What Was Jesus Thinking?

5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.— Phil. 2:5 NLT

Phil. 2:1-11 NLT

What was the attitude of Jesus while he was here clothed in human form?  He came first as a servant, giving up all of His glory.  He came to earth just as an ambassador to a foreign country.  He had access to all of the power and the angels of heaven yet He limited Himself to live as a mere human.  He never used His powers to advance Himself as humans see advancement. The instances we read about of Jesus using His powers are actions that advanced the Kingdom of God here on earth.  He could have called on legions of angels to protect Him at any time yet He chose to suffer and die for our sins.  He ate with sinners.  He showed mercy to the poor and to the needy.  He could have allowed Himself to be crowned king by His followers.  Instead, He chose to live a life serving others.  He was a giver and He gave up everything to die on a cross for our sins.  He gave His lifetime and His life for us.  How much of our time are we willing to give up for Him?  We are all familiar with the saying “time is money”, perhaps we should consider tithing our time as well as our money. 

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

Post 04-22-2019

“The Lord Has Helped Us”

5 I am counting on the Lord;  yes, I am counting on him.
I have put my hope in his word.
 — Psalm 130:5

Psalm 130 NLT

Our hope as Christians is that when we leave this world we will be with Jesus for eternity.  This hope is not only built on the Word of God, it is guaranteed by the death and resurrection of His gift to us, His Son.  We receive assurances that this hope is true in our own life experiences.  As a child, my Mom told me “Son, you are going to have problems in life because you don’t take other people’s word for things, you have to experience them all yourself”.  That prophecy came true, much to her regret in a lot of cases.  And looking back on my life much to my regret in a lot of cases.  But looking back also gives me confidence that my hope is built on Jesus and His Word because of the many times He has rescued me and brought me safe this far. 

12 Samuel then took a large stone and placed it between the towns of Mizpah and Jeshanah. He named it Ebenezer (which means “the stone of help”), for he said, “Up to this point the Lord has helped us!” — 1 Samuel 7:12

My life has lots of Ebenezer stones and the remembrance of those times assures me that God’s word is true and that He is faithful all the time.  What a great hope we have because our salvation is based on His word and His faithfulness.

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

Post 04-21-2019

Cleaning the Church

12 It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. — 1 Cor. 5:12

1 Corinthians 5:6-13 NLT

A few generations ago, when someone in the church membership was known to be living a lifestyle of sin and that fact was affirmed by two or three witnesses, that person was first warned and counseled by the leaders of the church.  If he/she refused to change their ways, they were brought before the congregation for disciplining.  When they were found guilty and refused to repent, they were asked to leave the church.  It is not only scriptural for us to do that but it is our responsibility to do it.  First, we must make sure that there is no yeast in ourselves and then we can judge those of the household of faith.  It is not our responsibility or business to judge non-Christians, that is God’s business and He will take care of it in His own time.  A church body with sin in it is a weak body and it will not attract unbelievers to Christ.  In fact, outsiders will turn away from that body because of the hypocrisy.  We, as church bodies, don’t do this much anymore.  I believe that is one of the biggest reasons for the decline in church memberships and that fewer people attend church.  Let us be sure that we are not living a lifestyle of sin ourselves and then make sure that any yeast or leaven is removed from the church body.  No one wants to be around a body that is going through the process of putrefaction.  We need to clean it up and shine for our Lord and Savior, that light will attract others to Christ.

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

Post 04-20-2019

“Give Me Sense to Follow Your Commands”

73 You made me; you created me. Now give me the sense to follow your commands.— PSALM 119:73

Psalm 119:73-80 NLT

This verse is a prayer that I need to pray every day.  When I find myself getting irritated, I need to pray this verse so that I do not hurt others with unkind words.  When I find myself judging others, I need to pray this verse.  When I find myself criticizing, I need to pray this verse.  When I see someone in need and I don’t take the time to help them, I need to pray this verse.  When I feel the nudge of the Holy Spirit to speak to someone about Jesus and I refuse to do it, I need to pray this verse.  When I spend money for things that I don’t need, I need to pray this verse.  When God says “no’ or “wait” and I run ahead of Him, I need to pray this verse.  Most of all, I need to pray this verse when I think that Jesus has done something or allowed something to happen in my life that is not for my benefit.  Because that thought violates the highest command to “love the Lord your God with all of your heart”.  You get the idea, I need to pray this verse a lot.  Hopefully, the rest of you are better at allowing the Holy Spirit to control your thoughts and words than I am, if not, then just join in and pray this with me, “Now give me the sense to follow your commands”.

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

Post 04-19-2019

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