Plenty of Good Water

7 It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. — 1 Cor. 3:7 NLT

1 Corinthians 3:5-11 NLT

Paul  compares our salvation to a seed that is planted.  When a seed is planted in dry ground, it must be watered regularly and continually.  When we accept Jesus as our Savior, He plants a seed of His love in our heart. For that love to grow, it needs to be watered by the washing of the Word on a regular basis. The soil needs to be exposed to the sun so it will be warm enough for the seed to germinate.  The seed that is planted in us must be exposed to the Son for it to germinate. If we spend time in the Word, God the Holy Spirit will cause that love to grow.  Our hearts will become more tender toward God and our fellow human beings.  How fast this change takes place depends on how much time we spend taking in the food and the water of the Word. If God is the one who makes the seed sprout and grow, then doesn’t it make sense that the seed has to be exposed to God on a regular basis. We do that by spending time alone with God.  While the names of the people that we allow to plant and water the seed are not important, their words and messages are very important.  Be sure the seed is good (only the name of Jesus) and that the water does not contain impurities that will hurt the young plant.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 04-18-2019

“I Love to Tell the Story”

13  I will lift up the cup of salvation and praise the Lord’s name for saving me.  — Psalm 116:13 NLT

Psalm 116:5-14 NLT

If God never did another thing for us after giving us the gift of salvation, it would be more than sufficient reason for us to praise Him forever.  Yet, He just keeps on giving and giving.  Every breath is a gift. “Every good and every perfect gift is from above”.  Those gifts come from the Father in whom there is no variation.  He has always been a giver, He is a giver now and He has no plans to change.  He is the Solid Rock, whatever good there is comes from Him and that will not change.  Every day is a day that He has made just for us.  He doesn’t need day and night, they are a gift for frail humans whose minds are too small to grasp an eternity with no seams. He gives us “a time for all things”.   He is never more than a thought away from us.  He is our constant companion so that we are never alone.  If we were in heaven with Jesus, we would be praising Him constantly.  Yet, here on earth we live every day in His presence and spend little or no time praising Him and offering up thanks for all that He does.  We should praise the Lord daily for saving us and tell the world about our salvation.  Our tongues should be like the “pen of a ready writer” and tell the story over and over.  “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 04-17-2019

“Glory To His Name”

1  Not to us, O Lord, not to us,  but to your name goes all the glory
for your unfailing love and faithfulness.
— Psalm 115:1 NLT 

Psalm 115:1-8 NLT
Our purpose while we are here on earth is to praise the Lord and to give all the glory to Him.  Why does God deserve and expect all the praise? Because it is His “unfailing love and faithfulness” that has saved us and kept us safe this far.  We have nothing else to offer God.  There is nothing that God needs from us but He desires to hear our praises to Him and to fellowship with us at all times.  Our God is the only true and living God. Others worship gods that are lifeless, unable to love and unable to communicate.  Others have to go to their gods while our God is with us all the time.  He is our foreguard, the One who goes before us. He is our armor and our present help, the One who provides for us and surrounds us with His love and protection.  He is our rearguard, the One who washes away every stain from our past.  He was with us in the past, He is with us now and is already ahead of us preparing the way.  No religion has a god that can make such a claim.  Our every thought, word and action should let the world know that “our God reigns” in majesty and in love. Our lifestyles should magnify His glory.  As John the Baptist said, “we must decrease so that He can increase” in our lives.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 04-16-2019

Pray for Others Daily

13 And I will also give you what you did not ask for—riches and fame! No other king in all the world will be compared to you for the rest of your life! — 1 Kings 3:13 NLT

1 Kings 3:5-14 NLT

When we go before the Lord to pray, do we jump right into our lists of things that we “need” and/or want or do we first acknowledge who God is? Do we allow Him to influence our prayers in any way?  Do we truly pray that His will be done in our lives or are we more concerned that God should answer our prayers the way we want them to be answered and when we want them to be answered?  Do we ever consider what God might want us to ask Him to give us?  Do we often pray prayers that actually grieve the Holy Spirit because we don’t allow Him to help us pray?  It might be helpful right after we have prayed to think back through what we have just asked God to do for us.  Do we pray prayers that have eternal consequences for all of God’s Kingdom or are our prayers just about us and our present situation?  We should bring our specific requests before God at all times, but our prayers should not always be limited to “we four and no more”. God says no to our requests when we “ask amiss”.  When we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us in our prayer times, we can be sure that God will be pleased with our prayers as well.  When He is pleased with our requests, He answers “Yes” to those requests and adds bonuses that we did not even consider or imagine.  When we pray, our focus needs to be upward and outward as well as inward.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 04-15-2019

“Live In Complete Harmony”

5 May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus — Romans 14:5 NLT

Romans 13:1-7 NLT

As the years pass, the percentage of people attending church on a regular basis declines.  Instead of growing stronger and influencing the society around us, the body of Christ grows weaker and weaker.  Jesus warned us that a house divided could not stand.  Yet, we have allowed satan to come in and use the differences in our denominations to divide us rather than focusing on our common ground and encouraging each other.  Paul told us over and over how important it is for Christians to stand together as one body, the body of Christ.  We are no longer able to stand because we refuse to stand together.  Instead, the body of Christ is ripped apart from the inside because of our lack of love for Christ and each other.  When we disparage and discourage our brothers and sisters, we violate the two greatest commands.  The commands to love our Lord with all our hearts, mind, and strength and our neighbors as ourselves.  Is it any wonder that the outsiders look at the Church and decide not to become a part of the family?  We must show the world the love of Jesus and the peace and the joy that comes with that love rather than the image of a torn and decaying body.  We get enough of that from the society around us.  As long as the foundation is the name of Jesus, Jesus alone, no other name and no other way, the houses can be different and still compliment each other.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 04-14-2019

“Wonderful Things”

8 Let them praise the Lord for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them. — Psalm 107:8 NLT 

Psalm 107:1-9 NLT

When something really good happens to us do we take the credit for that event or do we give the glory to God?  Do we say “look what I have done” or do we say “look what the Lord has done for me”?   When He chose us, called us and redeemed us, did we tell everyone we knew? The Psalmist encourages us to “tell others” just as Jesus commanded us to go and make disciples.  After a bout with satan, when we are feeling all alone and distressed, who came to rescue us?  Did we take the time to thank Him or was it “just another day at the office”?  When we are hungry and thirsty and we receive food and drink, do we stop to thank Him before we eat or do we act like this is something that we deserve?  We are all pretty good at asking God to watch over those we know who are about to leave on a trip or are presently traveling. But when we or they return safely from the trip, do we gather around and thank God for the safe return?  Does our lifestyle reflect an “attitude of gratitude” or is it more like “I’ve worked hard and I deserve this ___________” (fill in the blank).  We need to heed the reminder found in James 5:17, “every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father above”.   Let us be careful to always give Him praise for His goodness toward us.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 04-13-2019

“Full of Joy In the Lord”

4 Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!— Philippians 4:4 NLT 

Philippians 4:4-9 NLT
If you spend any time talking with non-Christians about Jesus and why they have not accepted Him as their Savior, you soon learn that their views on Jesus are not the primary reason for not accepting Him.  It is their view of what they think Christianity is and what it requires them to do or not do. They have this idea that Christians have little or no fun and that to be a Christian, they are going to have to completely change their lifestyle. There will be some changes required.  For some, it will be a very dramatic change.  For others, it will only be a change in their mindset about why they do the good things they have been doing.  The “good” ones are usually the hardest ones to convince that they need a Savior.  Back to the point.  Have we ever considered where the outsiders get this view that Christians must live a dull, joyless life?  Since most of them don’t spend much time, if any, reading the Bible, they get it from watching us and listening to our conversations.  Do we show them that “the joy of the Lord is our strength” or do they see us as sad, beaten down people who are forced to stay home on Saturday night so we can go to church on Sunday morning?   Is our lifestyle a good advertisement for Jesus or does it turn others away from seeking Him? Think about it.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 04-12-2019