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Spiritual Appetizers

Revised: Monday, March 18, 2019

Spiritual Appetizers


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Spiritual Appetizers is a collection of 12 Bible lessons.

The Bible lessons, Spiritual appetizers, on this page are for your spiritual health. Please enjoy.

Spiritual Appetizers Menu


A fruit of the Spirit

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“God’s kingdom has nothing to do with eating or drinking. It is a matter of being right with God. It brings the peace and joy the Holy Spirit gives.”Romans 14:17 (NIRV)

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 Gentleness, self-control: against such things there is no law. (RKJNT)

This peace, like all fruit of the Spirit, is unconditional and powerful. This peace is God’s gift to His children—Galatians 5:22—through the Holy Spirit. Philippians 4:7 says it is beyond understanding; it protects (guards or keeps) your hearts and minds (thoughts and feelings; YOU {humon}).

Jesus says…

The ‘fruit of the Spirit’ peace, eirene (ei-ray’-nay), is the peace that Jesus says is “not as the world gives“, it is His (God’s) peace John 14:27. This peace is not connected to possessions, income, education, intellect or human relationships. We cannot find this type of peace through anything other than the Spirit of God.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you: not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (RKJNT)

John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. (RKJNT)

My friends, be at peace with yourself and whatever situation you are in, allow God’s peace into your life experiences. This peace is being relaxed and content through Christ free from worry and fear.

In conclusion

What better words to close this lesson than found in Philippians 4:6-7 “Be anxious about nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (RKJNT)

Will you allow the peace of God to keep your heart and mind? Be blessed— Tim.

Question for ‘peace’: Are you at peace within your mind and heart?

Scriptures to read/study

Romans 14:14-23 (17); John 16:25-33 (33); Romans 8:1-11 (6), 12:9-21 (17-21) and 15:7-13 (13); Philippians 4:2-7 (7)

See what is available on the Sound Truth Ministry website.

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Jesus is God

The Lord Jesus Christ is not just the Son of God, He is God!

picture for jesus is god / spiritual appetizers - blue sky white clouds
Jesus is God
Message in the picture:
“In the beginning was the Word – the Word was God – all things were made by Him – the Word became human – I am the Beginning and the End – I am the First and the Last – Jesus is God”

John 1:1, 3, and 14 In the beginning was the Word; and the Word was with God; and the Word was God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was nothing made that was made.

14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father,) full of grace and truth. (RKJNT)

Think about this

God told Isaiah “I am the first”…”I am the last” [see Isaiah 41:4, 44:6, 48:12]. In the Revelation of Jesus Christ, Jesus reveals He is the first and the last [see Revelation 1:11, 1:17, 22:13 (22:16)]. We trust and believe the Scriptures speak truth, only one can be the first and the last. Jesus is God, the first and the last! Colossians 2:9 “For Christ is not only God-like, He is God in human flesh.” (NLV)

Key Points:

  1. In the beginning, was the Word

    Jesus was in the beginning of all things; He is the beginning. Colossians 1:17 “Christ was before all things. All things are held together by Him.” (NLV) [Read Colossians 1:9-18 (focus verses: 15-18; 16-17)]
    ♦ Revelation 22:13 “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the beginning and the End.” (OEB)

  2. All things were made by him

    Jesus is the creator of all things. Genesis 1:1, 1:21 and 1:27In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth… 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” (KJV)
    Colossians 1:16Christ himself is the Creator who made everything in heaven and earth, the things we can see and the things we can’t; the spirit world with its kings and kingdoms, its rulers and authorities; all were made by Christ for his own use and glory.” (TLB)

  3. And the Word was God

    So many do not believe Jesus is God, are you one of them? God put on flesh for many reasons, mainly to become the final sacrifice for sin. What a loving God we have, Jesus is His name.
    1 John 5:20
    And [in addition], we know that the Son of God has come [in a physical body, See 4:2] and has given us understanding, so that we can know the True One [i.e., God], and that we are in [fellowship with] the True One, even His Son Jesus Christ. This Son is the true God and eternal life.” (AUV)
    Isaiah 9:6For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (KJV)

1 Timothy 3:16 And confessedly, great is the secret [or, mystery] of godliness: God was revealed in flesh, justified [or, shown to be righteous] in spirit [or, by [the] Spirit], seen by angels, preached among [the] nations [or, Gentiles], believed on in [the] world, taken up in glory! (ALT)

Now, as what was before creation must be eternal, and as what gave being to all things, could not have borrowed or derived its being from any thing, therefore Jesus, who was before all things and who made all things, must necessarily be the Eternal God. Adam Clarke

Jesus is God, the creator, our Lord and Savior, not just the Son. Be blessed my friends Tim.

Related Bible studies:

God Our Savior || Jesus Suffered for You || Is Jesus God?

Question for “Jesus is God”: Do believe Jesus is God?

See what is available on the Sound Truth Ministry website.

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The Good Shepherd

picture for the good shepherd / spiritual appetizers - palo alto, ca

Message in the picture:
John 10:11, 14 “I am the good shepherd; and a good shepherd [is willing] to die for the sheep. I am the good shepherd and I know my sheep [intimately], and they know me [that way], – The Good Shepherd” (AUV)

Psalms 23:1-6 The Lord takes care of me as his sheep; I will not be without any good thing. 2 He makes a resting-place for me in the green fields: he is my guide by the quiet waters. 3 He gives new life to my soul: he is my guide in the ways of righteousness because of his name.

4 Yes, though I go through the valley of deep shade, I will have no fear of evil; for you are with me, your rod and your support are my comfort. 5 You make ready a table for me in front of my haters: you put oil on my head; my cup is overflowing.

6 Truly, blessing and mercy will be with me all the days of my life; and I will have a place in the house of the Lord all my days. (BBE)

Think about this

The Lord takes care of us, and all that we need. He leads/guides us (when we allow Him to). It is the Lord, who feeds us. He is responsible for our well-being. The Lord is the one who keeps and guards us.

As a result of His care, we have all we need. So we can say, “I shall not want” or “I will not be in need of anything.”

Key Points:

  1. A shepherd: Isaiah 40:10-11; Isaiah 63:7-14 (11; reference Exodus 14:19-22)
  2. God wants only good for His children; whatever He allows us to go through, know that it will ultimately be for your good…
  3. Jesus said “whatever you ask in my name, I will do it(from John 14:13-14), do you believe He will? So ask…

Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Hebrews 13:20-21 (KJV)

Know that the Lord is the good Shepherd with whom you will not be in need of any good thing. Be blessed my friends Tim.

Related Bible studies:

Comfort from the God of all Comfort || Providence – God knows what we need || Trust God

Question for “The Lord The Good Shepherd”: Do you have an intimate relationship with the Good Shepherd?

See what is available on the Sound Truth Ministry website.

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Make a Joyful Noise

Give praise to the Lord with joy!

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Psalms 98:4-6 Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. 5 Sing unto the Lord with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a psalm.

6 With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the Lord, the King. (KJV)

Think about this

Are we too civil to make a joyful noise to the Lord? Is God not worthy of joyful praise? Have famous people become our gods? Do you shout and cheer for them? Praise God with joyful music!

Key Points:

  1. Psalm 66:1

    Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands: (KJV)

  2. Will the rocks praise the Lord for you?

    Luke 19:37-40 “Jesus was coming close to Jerusalem. He was already near the bottom of the Mount of Olives. The whole crowd of followers was very happy. They began shouting praise to God for all the powerful works they had seen. They said, 38 “God bless the king who comes in the name of the Lord! There is peace in heaven and glory to God!”
    Psalm 118:26 39 Some of the Pharisees said to Jesus, “Teacher, tell your followers not to say these things!” 40 But Jesus answered, “I tell you, if my followers don’t say these things, then the stones will cry out.” (ICB) [Read Luke 19:28-40]

  3. Psalm 95:1

    O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. (KJV)

Let us make a joyful noise – The word used here means commonly to make a loud noise, to shout, Job 30:5. It is especially used (a) of warlike shouts, Joshua 6:16; 1 Samuel 17:20; (b) of the shout of triumph, Judges 15:14; (c) of the sound or clangor of a trumpet, Numbers 10:9; Joel 2:1. It may thus be used to denote any shout of joy or praise. In public worship it would denote praise of the most animated kind. – Barnes

Lift your voice and make a joyful noise of praise to the Lord, be blessed my friends Tim.

Related Bible study:

Praise the Lord

See what is available on the Sound Truth Ministry website.

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What We Hope For

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“Our Hope is in heaven! Assured, guaranteed, secure and confident expectation.” from Colossians 1:5

What is hope? Hope gives us something to look forward to, to strive for or seek after. We can set a goal to meet a desired end and be excited as we see ourselves getting close to achieving the goal. The goal must be something that is possible to reach otherwise there will be little hope or I should say it does not make sense to set a goal that we do not believe we can obtain, this is hopeless.

Colossians 1:3-6 Whenever we pray, we never fail to thank God, the Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ, about you, 4 now that we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all his people,

5 because of the hope which awaits its fulfillment in heaven. Of this hope you heard long ago in the true message of the good news which reached you — 6 Bearing fruit and growing, as it does, through all the world, just as it did among you, from the very day that you heard of God’s loving kindness, and understood what that loving kindness really is. (OEB)

Joyful expectation

The hope used in Colossians is a specific type of hope reserved for the children of God. This hope comes from the Greek elpis (el-pece’) it is the joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation.

Colossians 1:21-23 And it pleased God that you, once estranged from him and hostile towards him in your thoughts, intent only on wickedness — 22 But now he has reconciled you to himself by the sacrifice of Christ’s earthly body in death — it has pleased God that you should stand in his presence holy, pure, and blameless,

23 if only you remain true to your faith, firm and immovable, never abandoning the hope held out in the good news to which you listened, which has been proclaimed among all created things under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister. (OEB)

Hope – conclusion

Finally, what we hope for extends beyond a desired end it is based on a promise and commitment from God sealed by His Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 1:12-14 The end [i.e., of being so predetermined] was that we [Jewish Christians], who had previously placed our hope in Christ, should bring about the praise of God’s splendor. 13 You [Gentiles] also, who are in Christ, after having heard the message of truth, the good news about your salvation, and [after] believing in Him, were sealed [i.e., as evidence of ownership] with the promised Holy Spirit. [or, “the Holy Spirit who brings promises”].

14 He is a down payment of our inheritance, until God’s own possession [i.e., His people] receives redemption. [Note: Here “redemption” refers to receiving a new body in heaven]. May this bring about praise to God’s splendor. (AUV)

Continue to hope for what God has promised, be blessed my friends Tim.

Question for what we hope for: Do you hope for our heavenly home?

Scriptures to read/study

Colossians 1:3-8 (5); Acts 24:10-16 (15); Romans 4:16-25 (18), 5:1-5, 8:18-25, 12:9-13; 1 Corinthians 13:13

See what is available on the Sound Truth Ministry website.

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Love the Hate Out of Your Enemies

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“The power of love – If you hate the way someone treats you so bad, love them until it feels so good, love the hate out of them”

Matthew 5:43-45 You have heard that it has been said, You shall love your neighbour, and hate your enemy. 44 But I say to you,

Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you; 45 That you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven: for he makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (RKJNT)

Psalms 139:21-22 Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? 22 I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies. (KJV)

Love is the key

In Matthew 5:43 Jesus makes reference to Psalms 139:21-22. It may not be easy to love your enemies, but Jesus tells us to do so. The love through the Holy Spirit makes it possible.

Do you ever think of how much you hurt God with your actions, your words, or your thoughts? Remember, He sees all, hears all and knows all. Yet, He loves us and wants the best for us.

Let’s practice loving our haters, I am not telling anyone to allow/accept physical abuse. Take a little time to read the scriptures in this short Bible study to understand what I am saying.

Love to love

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Love is never tired of waiting; love is kind; love has no envy; love has no high opinion of itself, love has no pride; 5 Love’s ways are ever fair, it takes no thought for itself; it is not quickly made angry, it takes no account of evil; 6 It takes no pleasure in wrongdoing, but has joy in what is true;

7 Love has the power of undergoing all things, having faith in all things, hoping all things. 8 Though the prophet’s word may come to an end, tongues come to nothing, and knowledge have no more value, love has no end. (BBE)

In closing

How is it possible to love your enemies so much that you love the hate out of them? You make it impossible for them to continue to hate you. Apply the love principles shown in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, if you need help let me know.

Luke 6:35-36 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing back; and your reward shall be great, and you shall be the children of the Most High: for he is kind to the unthankful and to the evil.

36 Be merciful, as your Father also is merciful. (RKJNT)

I love you with the love of Christ, be blessed my friends Tim.

Scriptures to read/study

Matthew 5:43-48 (44); Luke 6:27-36 (27-29); Romans 12:9-21 (14 and 17-21); 1 Corinthians 13:1-8; 1 John 4:7-21

Recommended Bible lesson:

Love Truths

Question for ‘love the hate out of your enemies’: Is it easy for you to love your enemies?

See what is available on the Sound Truth Ministry website.

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Spirit Versus Flesh

Our conflict lies within us. We battle with doing what is right vs. what is wrong.

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“Our flesh (sinful/human nature) wants what is contrary to the Spirit (Godly nature/Holy Spirit) and the Spirit opposes what the flesh wants; they are enemies of each other. This conflict prevents us from doing what we should.”
[from Galatians 5:17]

This I say, Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are in conflict with one another: so that you cannot do the things that you wish [Galatians 5:16-17 (RKJNT)].

Every person that has the Holy Spirit deals with the conflict of Spirit versus flesh. The Greek words for flesh and Spirit in verse 17 above are sarx (sarx’) the flesh—our human nature—of a mind to sin and pneuma (pnyoo`-mah). As a child of God we should live a Spirit-led and {Spirit-enabled} self-controlled life.

For those people who are [controlled] by the flesh think about [i.e., desire] what the flesh wants; but those who are [controlled] by the Holy Spirit [desire] what the Holy Spirit wants. 6 For the one whose mind is [controlled] by the flesh will suffer [spiritual] death; but the one whose mind is [controlled] by the Holy Spirit will enjoy [never ending] life and peace.

7 This is because the one whose mind is [controlled] by the flesh is an enemy of God; for he is not obedient to God’s law, and in fact, cannot obey it [Romans 8:5-7 (AUV)].

Pleasing God

So that those who are in the flesh are not able to give pleasure to God. 9 You are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if the Spirit of God is in you. But if any man has not the Spirit of Christ he is not one of his. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

11 But if the Spirit of him who made Jesus come again from the dead is in you, he who made Christ Jesus come again from the dead will in the same way, through his Spirit which is in you, give life to your bodies which now are under the power of death [Romans 8:8-11 (BBE)].

Be Spirit led

So then, brothers, we are under obligation, but not to live under [the control of] the flesh, 13 for if you people live under [the control of] the flesh, you must die [spiritually]; but if you put to death [i.e., stop practicing] the [sinful] habits of the body by [the power of] the Holy Spirit, you will live [spiritually].

14 For all of those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 For you did not receive the Holy Spirit, to enslave you again to fear, but you received the Holy Spirit [who produces] sonship, so we can call out, “Abba”, [which means] “Father” [Romans 8:12-15 (AUV)].

Wonderful future life

God’s Spirit makes us sure that we are his children. 17 His Spirit lets us know that together with Christ we will be given what God has promised. We will also share in the glory of Christ, because we have suffered with him.

18 I am sure that what we are suffering now cannot compare with the glory that will be shown to us [Romans 8:16-18 (CEV)].

Scriptures to read/study

Galatians 5:13-18 (17); Matthew 16:21-23 (23) and 26:36-46 (41); Romans 7:13-25 (15, 18 and 21-25) and 8:1-17 (5-6 and 13). James 4:1-6 (5-6); 1 Peter 2:11-12; 1 John 2:12-17 (15-17).

Final thoughts

Wisdom will help a wise person more than ten rulers can help a city. 20 Certainly, there is no one so righteous on earth that he always does what is good and never sins [Ecclesiastes 7:19-20 (GW)].

So, put to death [i.e., stop practicing the desires of] your physical bodies [such as] sexual immorality, [moral] impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is [in reality] idolatry.

6 For the wrath of God will come [upon disobedient people] for practicing such things [Colossians 3:5-6 (AUV)].

We may give in to the desires of the flesh from time-to-time but we do not have to. We have power over our earthly, sinful and flesh nature; take control by the power of the Holy Spirit. Remember the words of Christ in Acts 1:8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you: …” Take control of your mind and body…

Blessings to you and your loved ones— Tim.

Recommended Bible studies:

Human Nature Hater || Self-Control || Fruit of the Spirit || Spirit-led, Spirit-fed

Question for Spirit versus flesh: Are you aware of your inner conflict?

See what is available on the Sound Truth Ministry website.

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What is your Spiritual Condition?

Are you healthy spiritually?

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Is it time for a Spiritual check-up? Are you healthy Spiritually?

At first, it might seem odd to ask. Hopefully, you have visited a medical doctor, physician, or someone who checked your physical health. But how do we check Spiritual health, is your spiritual leader the person you trust with your Spiritual health?

Often we face crossroads—moments when you must choose to do the right thing or tell a lie, cheat, and/or hurt someone. I’d rather not go through a list of the many things one might do against God’s will. I hope you understand what I mean. David seemed to recognize the connection between his physical health and his spiritual condition.

Psalm 38:3 There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest [health] in my bones because of my sin. (KJV) [read Psalms 38:1-22 and Psalms 41:1-13]

The KJV translators used the word ‘rest’ in Psalms 38:3 for the Hebrew shalowm (shaw-lome’) (or shalom {shaw-lome’}).

Spiritual health

There are other Hebrew words that seem to connect the physical health with your Spiritual condition:

  • riph’uwth (rif-ooth’) healing; a cure; “it shall be health”

Proverbs 3:7-8 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. 8 It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones. (KJV)

  • gehah (gay-haw’) a cure; medicine; “like a medicine”

Proverbs 17:22 A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones. (KJV)

  • marpe’ (mar-pay’) a medicine; a cure; “them, and health”

Words promote health

Proverbs 4:20-22 My son, attend to my words. Turn your ear to my sayings. 21 Let them not depart from your eyes. Keep them in the midst of your heart. 22 For they are life to those who find them, and health to their whole body. (WEB) [read Proverbs 4:20-27]

Proverbs 16:24 Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones. (KJV)

The Christians in Ephesus had lifestyle issues and were advised to make changes to improve their Spiritual condition {read Ephesians 4:17-32}, such as:

  • Stop lying and tell the truth (verse 25)
  • Do not sin when angry and do what you must to get over your anger as quickly as possible (verse 26)
  • Stop stealing and work to get what you need and to be able to help the poor (verse 28)
  • And do not lupeo (loo-peh’-o) the Holy Spirit {grieve or make the Holy Spirit sad} (verse 30).

Spiritual check-up

That was just a sample of some of the things we should consider when we have our Spiritual (used in the same manner as ‘get a physical’), that is a Spiritual check-up.

Their—the church at Ephesus—Spiritual physician, Paul, provided guidance comparing their activities to those of the unchurched or non-believer. We all have to check our lives; I call it a ‘Spiritual check-up’ (Galatians 6:4). People that want to live healthy lives have regular ‘physical check-ups’. If we fail to correct our ways; we will eventually grieve (sadden or upset) the Holy Spirit. Should we have regular ‘Spiritual check-ups’?

Are you making the Holy Spirit sad? Remember, “And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God…” from Ephesians 4:30 (ASV)

The conclusion

Jesus came to help the spiritually sick and make them well (holy). Allow the word to change your life and give you good spiritual health.

Luke 5:31-32 And Jesus answered them, “People who are healthy do not need a doctor, but [only] sick people do. 32 I did not come to call those who are doing right to repent [i.e., to change their hearts and lives], but [only those who are] sinners.” (AUV)

Maintain good spiritual health

1 Thessalonians 5:23 I pray that God, who gives peace, will make you completely holy. And may your spirit, soul, and body be kept healthy and faultless until our Lord Jesus Christ returns. (CEV)

I end this with words from 3 John to Gaius ‘Dear friend, I pray that all may be well with you and that you may have good health — I know that all is well with your soul.’ Maintain a healthy physical and Spiritual condition, until our next meeting be blessed— Tim.

Scriptures to read/study

Ephesians 4:17-32 (17-18); 1 Corinthians 6:1-11 (9-11); Galatians 5:16-26 (19-21); Ephesians 5:1-21 (3-8); Colossians 3:1-17 (5-8); 1 Peter 4:1-11 (3-4)

Recommended Bible studies:

Maintaining a Positive Attitude || Christian Life || Changed Life

Question for ‘are you healthy Spiritually?’: Are you allowing the Word to help you change? When did you do/have your last ‘Spiritual check-up’?

See what is available on the Sound Truth Ministry website.

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Impress God in life, not other people!

picture of San Gorgonio Mountains for hypocrite bible study / spiritual appetizers

Hypocrite = Pretender

The simple truth is a hypocrite is a pretender. One who acts to be what they are not. Why pretend to be good when God knows you are not? You might fool people, but you can never fool God!

Luke 12:1-3 At that time thousands of people gathered together. There were so many that they walked on each other. Jesus spoke to His twelve followers first, saying, “Look out! Have nothing to do with the yeast of the proud religious law-keepers which is pretending to be something it is not.

2 For there is nothing covered up that will not be seen. There is nothing hidden that will not be known. 3 What you have said in the dark will be heard in the light. What you have said in a low voice in a closed room will be spoken with a loud voice from the top of houses. (NLV)

Think about this

Why pretend? Do not be a hypocrite! Jesus sees and knows everything, so why pretend? Do you try to blend with others? Are you a closet hypocrite, that is, a Christian when other Christian’s are around and sinful at other times? Peer pressure is not easy to deal with; be a good example for your peers. Keep reminding yourself, God sees and knows all.

We cannot fool Him. Hold on, don’t leave, not one of us is perfect. This Bible study is like getting a shot of medicine, it may not feel good when you get it, but it is for your good. Be real, be true; do not pretend to be what you are not.

Psalms 139:1-4 O Lord, you have knowledge of me, searching out all my secrets. 2 You have knowledge when I am seated and when I get up, you see my thoughts from far away.

3 You keep watch over my steps and my sleep, and have knowledge of all my ways. 4 For there is not a word on my tongue which is not clear to you, O Lord. (BBE)

Key Points:

Hypocrisy explained

A hypocrite is a person who pretends to be what they are not. One who acts as if they are better than they are. Hiding the true person and motives, often from themselves. This actor is a deceiver (liar, fraud), self-righteous and sinful.

Who did Jesus call hypocrite and why?

A ruler of the synagogue (Luke 13:14) for accusing Jesus of breaking the Sabbath by healing {releasing} a woman {from satanic bondage} (Leviticus 23:3). Jesus reminded him that they take care of their animals on the Sabbath (Luke 13:15-16). Was it okay to release an animal, but not a human on the Sabbath? Do you do more for an animal than for a person? Do good every day!

The show-offs for doing things (giving, praying, fasting and doing for others) so others will see how holy they {think they} are (Matthew 6:1-4; 6:5-8 and 6:16-18). Those who boast about or make a show of prayer, fasting and how much they give to or do for others. Jesus did not make a show of His works, prayer or fasting to impress people. Ministers and other people who do this are hypocrites.

The scribes and Pharisees (Matthew 23:1-36 {12-15, 23, 25 and 27-29}) for not doing what they teach others to do. Jesus warned the people “…do not follow their example [of living] because they say [the right things] but do not do them.” “But they do all their deeds just to be seen by people.” {excerpts from Matthew 23:3 and 23:5 (AUV)}.

Jesus criticized hypocrites for being pious in public (Matthew 6:2, 6:5, 6:16). They were more interested in human praise when they gave alms, prayed, and fasted than in God’s reward. Hypocrites were also guilty of being judgmental of others’ faults and ignoring their own (Matthew 7:1-5). – Holman Bible Dictionary

Avoid being a hypocrite

Matthew 7:3-5 “Why do you notice the little piece of dust that is in your brother’s eye, but you don’t notice the big piece of wood that is in your own eye? 4 Why do you say to your brother, ‘Let me take that little piece of dust out of your eye’?

Look at yourself first! You still have that big piece of wood in your own eye. 5 You are a hypocrite! First, take the wood out of your own eye. Then you will see clearly enough to take the dust out of your brother’s eye. (ICB)

The close

picture of Mission Point Park, Mission Bay Channel and Pacific Ocean for the hypocrite / spiritual appetizers

Peter and Barnabas caught in hypocrisy

Galatians 2:11-14 When Peter came to Antioch, he did something that was not right. I stood against him, because he was wrong. 12 This is what happened: When Peter first came to Antioch, he ate and associated with the non-Jewish people.

But when some Jewish men came from James, Peter separated himself from the non-Jews. He stopped eating with them, because he was afraid of the Jews who believe that all non-Jewish people must be circumcised.

13 So Peter was a hypocrite. The other Jewish believers joined with him, so they were hypocrites too. Even Barnabas was influenced by what these Jewish believers did. 14 They were not following the truth of the Good News. When I saw this, I spoke to Peter in front of everyone.

I said, “Peter, you are a Jew, but you don’t live like one. You live like someone who is not a Jew. So why are you trying to force those who are not Jewish to live like Jews?” (ERV)

The sin of hypocrisy is easy to hide from people. The pretender rarely feels guilt and therefore does not repent. They must remember God sees through the mask and knows they are not honest. For your own good, stop acting holy, be holy.

Live a life that pleases God. Be blessed— Tim.

Related Bible study:

Deception – You Do Not Fool God

Questions for “Hypocrite-Alert…”: Did you enjoy this Bible study? Are you more aware of how you live for God?

Scriptures to read and study

Isaiah 29:13-16; Psalms 139:1-12 (1-4 and 7-8); Luke 13:10-17 (12-16); Matthew 6:1-4 (2); 6:5-8 (5) and 6:16-18 (16); Matthew 23:1-36 {(12-15, 23, 25 and 27-29); compare with Mark 12:38-40 and Luke 20:45-47}; Galatians 2:11-21 (focus verse: 11-14: 13); Matthew 7:1-5.

See what is available on the Sound Truth Ministry website.

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Jesus prayed for you

Part Two

picture for jesus prayed for you - p2 / spiritual appetizers
John 17:6a “I made your name known to the people you gave me.” (GW) John 17:15b “I ask you to protect them from the evil one.” (NRSV) – Jesus Prayed for YOU

Message in the picture

John 17:6a “I made your name known to the people you gave me.” (GW) John 17:15b “I ask you to protect them from the evil one.(NRSV)

Excerpts of Jesus’ Prayer for His followers. This is actually the Lord’s prayer for you!

John 17:6 “I made your name known to the people you gave me. They are from this world. They belonged to you, and you gave them to me. They did what you told them.” (GW)

♦ John 17:9 “I pray for them. I don’t pray for the world, but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours.” (WEB)

♦ John 17:13 “I am on my way to you. But I say these things while I am still in the world, so that my followers will have the same complete joy that I do.” (CEV)

♦ John 17:15 “I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one.” (NRSV)

♦ John 17:19 “For their sake, I am making myself ready to serve [sanctifying/consecrating myself] so that they can be ready for their service of [sanctified/consecrated by] the truth.” (EXB) [Read John 17:6-26]

Think about this

Some (including me) believe John 17 is the Lord’s Prayer. Hopefully, you will see that Jesus prayed for you, Himself, and for his followers (while He was in human form). Take a look at your favorite study Bible to see how they divide the prayer. Examples:

  • The New King James Version has three sections:
    1. 1-5 ‘Jesus Prays for Himself’.
    2. 6-19 ‘Jesus Prays for His Disciples’.
    3. 20-26 ‘Jesus Prays for All Believers’.
  • The New American Standard Bible also has three sections, but it is not the same:
    1. 1-12 ‘The High Priestly Prayer’.
    2. 13-21 ‘The Disciples in the World’.
    3. 22-26 ‘Their Future Glory’.

Do not allow this to confuse you. The section headings and verse groupings are meant to make the message clear. The main idea is to let you know that Jesus prayed for you.

Key Points:

  1. United in faith

    Jesus wants us to be united in faith. John 17:20-21 “My prayer is not for them only, but for all who will have faith in me through their word; 21 May they all be one! Even as you, Father, are in me and I am in you, so let them be in us, so that all men may come to have faith that you sent me.” (BBE)

  2. To be with Jesus

    He wants you to be with Him. John 17:24 “Father, my desire for all those whom you have given me is that they may be with me where I am, so that they may see the honor which you have given me; for thou did love me before the beginning of the world.” (OEM)
    John 14:3 “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” (RKJNT)

  3. God’s name

    Jesus prayed for you so you will know God’s name is Jesus. Yes, Jesus is God’s name.
    John 17:26 “I made your name known to them, and will continue to make it known, so that the love you have for me may be in them and I myself may be in them.” (ISV)

Thank you for the visit, be blessed— Tim.

Related Bible studies:

Jesus Prayed For You – Part One || Comfort from the God of all Comfort

Question for “Jesus prayed for you”: Do you know you are protected from Satan’s power?

See what is available on the Sound Truth Ministry website.

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Fear God

picture for spiritual appetizers - fear god
Message in the picture:
…Fear God – He’s the only One you should fear! the One who can take your life and then throw you into hell!…”
from Luke 12:5 (KJV)

Luke 12:4-7 And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you,

Fear him. 6 Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? 7 But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows. (KJV)

The message is from Jesus Christ warning us to ‘fear God’. He did not sugar-coat it; of course, it is to be understood as ‘to revere’ (admire, adore, respect…) or does it? Please do not overlook verses 6 and 7, why did Jesus also tell them to “fear not”? No scare tactics just raw truth; please continue reading to get the details and hopefully a better understanding.

This word ‘fear’, in Luke 12:5, comes from: phobeo – fear (exceedingly); to frighten; reverence. From phobos – alarm or fright [from a primary phebomai “to be put in fear”]. God the creator of all things is to be ‘FEARED’ i.e., respected, worshiped, honored and obeyed.

Respect God

Jeremiah 5:18-25 But even in those days, says the Lord, I will not let your destruction be complete. 19 And it will come about, when you say, Why has the Lord our God done all these things to us? that you will say to them, As you gave me up, making yourselves servants to strange gods in your land, so will you be servants to strange men in a land which is not yours.

20 Say this openly in Jacob and give it out in Judah, saying, 21 Give ear now to this, O foolish people without sense; who have eyes but see nothing, and ears without the power of hearing:

22 Have you no fear of me? says the Lord; will you not be shaking with fear before me, who have put the sand as a limit for the sea, by an eternal order, so that it may not go past it? and though it is ever in motion, it is not able to have its way; though the sound of its waves is loud, they are not able to go past it.

Worship God

23 But the heart of this people is uncontrolled and turned away from me; they are broken loose and gone. 24 And they do not say in their hearts, Now let us give worship to our God, who gives the rain, the winter and the spring rain, at the right time; who keeps for us the ordered weeks of the grain-cutting.

25 Through your evil-doing these things have been turned away, and your sins have kept back good from you. (BBE)

In Jeremiah 5:22 Fear ye not me? saith the Lord: will ye not tremble at my presence… Fear in Jeremiah 5:22 is from the Hebrew word yare‘ (yaw-ray’) to fear; morally, to revere {Webster’s definition of revere – mean to honor and admire profoundly and respectfully}. However, we must not overlook the word “tremble” from the Hebrew chuwl (khool); fear, FEAR GOD, He deserves to be feared (respected) for His power and abilities.

Your choice

You may choose to talk about Him in negative ways or say He does not exist, but I choose to “FEAR GOD”. Oh, I cannot wait to get into this deeper but for now, I will keep it short.

Proverbs 14:26-27 In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge. 27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death. (KJV)

Scriptures to read/study

Luke 12:4-7 (4-5); Proverbs 14:26-27 (10:11 and 13:14); Jeremiah 5:1-31 (22); Acts 9:26-31 (31); 2 Corinthians 5:9-11; Hebrews 10:26-39 (31); Revelation 14:6-13 (7)

The conclusion

2 Corinthians 5:10-12 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive what is due him for the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

11 Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men. But what we are is plain to God; and I also trust it is plain to your consciences. 12 For we do not commend ourselves to you again, but give you occasion to be proud of us, that you may have something to answer those who take pride in appearance, and not in the heart. (RKJNT)

Please consider the message in 2 Corinthians 5:10-12 ‘one day everyone will stand before Christ to receive our reward or punishment for how we lived this life.

Final plea

To those who know to respect and fear God, please do all you can to help others realize God looks at the heart and is not like mankind who is more concerned with appearance and possessions.’ For just as the Lord has forgiven you, so also must you do [1 Samuel 16:7]’.

Hebrews 12:28-29 If then, we have a kingdom which will never be moved, let us have grace, so that we may give God such worship as is pleasing to him with fear and respect: 29 For our God is an all-burning fire. (BBE)

I cannot stress the importance of the fear of and respect for God. Learn to respect, worship, honor and obey Him—be blessed— Tim.

Recommended Bible studies/articles:

Christian Life || Changed Life || Fear – International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

Question for ‘fear God’: Do you fear God?

See what is available on the Sound Truth Ministry website.

Skip to end.

Obey God

Not people!

picture for obey god - early moon / spiritual appetizers
“We must obey God rather than people – Obey God
from Acts 5:29″

Acts 5:29-32 To this Peter and the apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than people. The God of our ancestors raised Jesus, whom you put to death by hanging him on a cross. It is this Jesus whom God has exalted to his right hand, to be a guide and a Savior, to give Israel repentance and forgiveness of sins.

And we are witness to the truth of this, and so is the Holy Spirit — the gift of God to those who obey him.”  (OEB) [Read Acts 5:22-32]

Think about this

The morals of society are changing. Less focus on what God says and more on what people want. The apostles had to decide to obey God or listen to those in authority. The Lord sent an angel to release them from prison so they could return to the temple to continue to do His will. How often have you had to choose, obey God or your boss?

Do you love God enough to leave that job that requires you to do things that do not please God? Are you willing to be labeled and laughed at because you obey God?

Key Points:

  1. You benefit

    There was a time when all could not serve God. Now all can serve and please God. Do what He says. You benefit when you obey God.
    Romans 15:18-19 I will not talk about anything except what Christ has done through me in leading those who are not Jews to obey God. They have obeyed God because of what I have said and done,
    19 because of the power of miracles and the great things they saw, and because of the power of the Holy Spirit. (NCV) [Read Romans 15:14-21]

  2. Please God

    God sees all that we do. He knows why we do what we do. Do not focus on pleasing people, focus on pleasing God. Galatians 1:6, 10 I am astonished that you people are so quickly abandoning God [i.e., by rejecting His truth], who called you [to Himself] through the unearned favor bestowed [on us] by Christ. [You are turning] to a different “gospel,” (AUV)
    ♦ 10 For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? For if I were still pleasing men, I would not be a servant of Christ. (NHEB) [Read Galatians 1:6-10]

  3. Be obedient

    At some time in your life, you did what you wanted. God was not part of your life. People may have influenced your decisions, but now?
    Be like obedient children; do not let your lives be shaped by the passions which once swayed you in the days of your ignorance, but in your whole life show yourselves to be holy, after the pattern of the Holy One from whom you received your call.” 1 Peter 1:14-15 (OEB) [Read 1 Peter 1:13-21]

Related Bible study/article:

Christian Life Changed Life || Obedience to God – What Does the Bible Say?

Question for “obey God, not people”: Do you obey God’s word or follow people’s choices in marriage, sexual relations and other matters in life?

See what is available on the Sound Truth Ministry website.

Thank you, this is the end of ‘Spiritual Appetizers‘. I would love to hear from you, please complete the poll and/or leave a comment. Be blessed—Tim .

Copyright information:


(ALT) Scripture taken from the Analytical-Literal Translation of the New Testament of the Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1999-2001 by Gary F. Zeolla of Darkness to Light ministry (www.dtl.org). || (AMP) Scripture taken from the Amplified Bible, Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. || Scripture quotations marked (CEV) are from the Contemporary English Version Copyright © 1991, 1992, 1995 by American Bible Society, Used by Permission. || (ERV) Taken from the HOLY BIBLE: EASY-TO-READ VERSION © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center, Inc. and used by permission. || (EXB) The Expanded Bible Scripture taken from The Expanded Bible. Copyright ©2011 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


(GW) Scripture is taken from GOD’S WORD®, © 1995 God’s Word to the Nations. Used by permission of Baker Publishing Group. || (ICB) Scripture taken from the International Children’s Bible®. Copyright © 1986, 1988, 1999 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved. || (ISV) Scripture taken from the Holy Bible: International Standard Version®. Copyright © 1996-forever by The ISV Foundation. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED INTERNATIONALLY. Used by permission.


(NCV) Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved. || (NIRV) Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Reader’s Version®, NIrV® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. www.zondervan.com The “NIrV” and “New International Reader’s Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™ || (NRSV) New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. || Scripture quotations marked (TLB) are taken from The Living Bible copyright © 1971. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


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