“Following Jesus”

12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. – Philippians 3:12 NLT

Philippians 3:7-14 NLT

God created a perfect earth.  When Adam and Eve were tempted by satan and chose to disobey God, the earth was no longer perfect.  Then the earth, along with humankind, started to age and decay.  God became the perfect man to redeem earth and all mankind from that fallen state.  When Jesus ascended, there was no longer anything left on this earth that was perfect. Then God came as the Holy Spirit to abide within us.  Since that time, those of us who accept Christ as our Savior and Lord have been given both the command and the desire to strive for perfection. Though we understand that as long as we live in this fleshly tent, it is impossible for us to achieve perfection, nevertheless, as Paul says we “press on to possess that perfection”.   Why would we or Paul strive to achieve a seemingly impossible goal?  If this temporal dwelling and life were the end, then we would be foolish.  But we, who believe in Jesus, have a knowledge and a hope of eternity.  That knowledge and hope will not be perfected while we participate in the activities of the Kingdom of God here on earth.  We press on because we know that when the Perfect One comes to reign again, we will be like Him.  It is then that our hope will be fulfilled and we will reach the goal of perfection.  We press on for a few years to win the prize of eternal perfection, following the One who has always been, now is and will always be Perfection.  Impossible in this lifetime? Yes. Impossible in eternity?  No!

1 Peter 1:13-16 NLT

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

“The closer I get to the end of my life, it seems the only question that matters, Is the life I am living pleasing to God?” – Ken Gire In “Sacred”

Post 02-15-2019

“Marinate Everything In Prayer”

15 Then Esther replied to Mordecai, 16 “Go and gather all the Jewish people who are in Susa and fast for me. Don’t eat or drink for three days, night or day. – Esther 4:15 ISV

Esther 6: 5-12 NLT

We are familiar with the story of Esther and how God exalted her to the position of queen in a most unlikely situation.  Besides Esther, there are three other people God had positioned strategically for this particular time. God needed a man with the the authority to make things happen so He had positioned Xerxes as king.  He needed a villain, He chose Haman for this role.  Haman was the perfect villain for this time, he hated Mordecai and all of the Jews. God needed a hero, someone who would refuse to bow to the villain and with the backbone to stand up for God’s people.  He chose Mordecai who had a little known history with the king.  In the past, he had warned the king about a plot to kill the king and for this he had never been rewarded (at least not  in earthly ways).  Mordecai was also a man of compassion.  We know this because he had taken his cousin, Hadassah, also known as Esther and raised her as his own daughter after his uncle died.  God had prepared and positioned each of these people to carry out His plan to free His people and destroy the enemy.  God is preparing each of us to do the same thing today.  Are we ready and willing to do our part when all the people involved come together?  If not, how do we get ready?

15 Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.  — 2 Timothy 2:15 NLT

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

“The closer I get to the end of my life, it seems the only question that matters, Is the life I am living pleasing to God?” – Ken Gire In “Sacred”

Post 02-14-2019

“We Belong To Jesus”

29 But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.   — Acts 5:29 NKJV

Acts 5:22-32 NKJV

In Romans and other Scriptures we are taught to obey the laws of the land.  We are also taught to respect the officials and to pray for those who rule over us.  In today’s military, we are taught to obey all orders that are legal and moral. There are times when we, as Christians, have to make decisions about how far we can go in obeying others.  Peter and the apostles did not need time to think about or pray about their decision.  They had already decided that they should obey God rather than man.  With this in mind, we should have already made a predetermined decision that when laws conflict with the Holy Scriptures, we will obey God and His word.  From a temporary, worldly viewpoint, this can be a costly decision.  We have brothers and sisters who are being persecuted, imprisoned, beaten and murdered because they refuse to deny Jesus as their Savior and Lord.  There are youths of all ages that are beaten by their own parents and kicked out of their homes because they have converted to Christianity and refuse to turn back.  Let us pray for them on a daily basis.  The mantra of the persecuted Christians is “It is harder to live for Christ than it is to die for Him”‘   As our society grows more evil and violent, we must come to that same conclusion now before the pressure is really on.  From an eternal, spiritual viewpoint, it is an easy decision to decide for the Lord.

7 For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. 8 For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.   
— Romans 14:7, 8 NKJV

“The closer I get to the end of my life, it seems the only question that matters, Is the life I am living pleasing to God?” – Ken Gire In “Sacred”

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

Post 02-13-2019

“For His Glory”

11  Revive me, O Lord, for Your name’s sake! For Your righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble. — Psalm 143:11 NKJV

Psalm 143:7-12 NKJV

Post There are times in our lives when everything around us seems to be going in the wrong direction.  There are situations that we have prayed about on a daily basis, we have checked the Scriptures to be sure that our request does not violate them in any way and we have agreed with others in our request.  Yet, we still don’t see any positive results.  It is then that we, as the Psalmist does here, must fall on our faces and ask God to fulfill our request, not for our sake, but for the glory of His name.  The end of our rope is the beginning of our hope.  The surety that God cannot be defeated and that He will not give His glory to anyone else is our hope and our reason for being confident that He will act.  Yes, it will be in His time and in His way, but He will act. So, when satan seems to be winning the battle, we appeal to God to act speedily for His name’s sake.  And He will do it.

10  Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver;  I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.  11  For My own sake, for My own sake, I will do it;  For how should My name be profaned?  And I will not give My glory to another. — Isaiah 48:10, 11 NKJV

“The closer I get to the end of my life, it seems the only question that matters, Is the life I am living pleasing to God?” – Ken Gire In “Sacred”

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

Post 02-12-2019

“I Am The Way…..”

12 There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” — Acts 4:12 NLT

Acts 4:5-12 NLT

Jesus Christ died on the Cross at Calvary for every single person who has lived, is living and will ever live.  Those who accept that fact as the absolute truth will make it to heaven, those who don’t won’t.  It is a simple, plain message that even a child can understand and accept.  Yet, there are those who refuse to believe it.  They have their own god(s) and become very angry when they hear the name of Jesus.  Why?  Because every time the name of Jesus is heard, those hearing it have to make a decision.  Some will say “Oh, I will decide later” not understanding that this statement is a decision not to accept Him.  They want us to water down the message and allow for other ways to get to heaven. But there is only one way.  “Have you accepted Jesus as the only way into heaven?”  There is no negotiation, the deal has been sealed and everyone comes on the same terms.  The foot of the cross is level ground, everyone comes just as they are and accepts Jesus the same way. The rich, the famous and the powerful must meet Jesus the same way as the poor, the unknown and the common man.  The only way is to go empty-handed, humble and obedient.  It isn’t a man’s plan that can be altered, it is the infallible, immutable plan of God. 

6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” – John 14:6 NLT

“The closer I get to the end of my life, it seems the only question that matters, Is the life I am living pleasing to God?” – Ken Gire In “Sacred”

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

Do Good Because Someone Is Watching

6 But Peter said, “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!” — Acts 3:6 NLT

Acts 3:1-11 NLT

God has a plan for each of us and following that plan, we will intersect with the plans He has for others.  Every minute detail of every plan is laid out and weaved into the patterns of our lives.  The lame man was laid by the Temple gate every day.  No doubt, Peter, John and even Jesus had passed him before on their way to worship in the Temple.  Why did God choose this particular day to demonstrate His power?   We could say that we don’t know the specific reason and that would be true.  But we can assume without doing any injury to the Scriptures here that there was at least one person present in the crowd that day that needed to see this miracle occur.  Probably more, but at least one, needed to see a lame man made whole.  God doesn’t waste miracles.  He has His reasons for when, where, and why.  We have no idea of how big the impact of this particular miracle became as time passed.  When reading the Bible, it is important to remember that the acts we read about are only a small sampling of what was going on at the time.  One of the people in the crowd may very well have become a church founder or maybe just a missionary to his own family.  Either way, it was necessary for this miracle to happen at this exact moment on this day in front of this crowd.  God excels in doing the extraordinary in ordinary places and times.  Listen for the small, still voice.  He is asking some of us to allow Him to take our ordinary lives and do something extraordinary with them today. At least one of us, maybe more.And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. – Romans 12:1 NLT

“The closer I get to the end of my life, it seems the only question that matters, Is the life I am living pleasing to God?” – Ken Gire In “Sacred”

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

Post 02-10-2019

“We Can Do All Things…”

15 So on October 2nd the wall was finished—just fifty-two days after we had begun. 16 When our enemies and the surrounding nations heard about it, they were frightened and humiliated. They realized this work had been done with the help of our God.  — Nehemiah 6:15, 16 NLT

Nehemiah 6:1-9 NLT

Rebuilding the wall that surrounded Jerusalem in Nehemiah’s time was a major construction project.   Although we can’t be sure of exactly how much of the wall they rebuilt, we can be sure that at the very minimum, it would have exceeded two and a quarter miles.  Compare that to how long it takes a construction crew to repair a section of interstate that exceeds two miles even with all the equipment and ready-made materials they have available to them today. Then add to that, the fact that they had to build the final portions of the wall using one hand and carrying a weapon in the other.  And the whole time, they were being harassed and ridiculed by their enemies.  It was quite a miraculous feat.  There is no way Nehemiah and his people could have even started this project without the direction and the power of God working through the people involved.  From the king of Babylon to the least of the workers in Jerusalem, God worked through each of them to provide for the people and the project.  When satan sees that God has raised up people to do a great work, he is always there to try to thwart what God is doing.  He was there in Nehemiah’s time trying to discourage everyone with bluster and lies and he is still up to his old tricks today.  We need to pray that God will raise up Ezras and Nehemiahs in our day to rebuild the body of Christ.  So that satan and his allies will once again be “frightened and humiliated” when they see God helping us.“

“The closer I get to the end of my life, it seems the only question that matters, Is the life I am living pleasing to God?” – Ken Gire In “Sacred”

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

Post 02-09-2019