If He Is Not Risen, There Is No Reason

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He is not here, but is risen! — Luke 24: 6a NKJV

The swaddling cloths are gone! The burial cloths are laid aside! Now, we see the real gift, unwrapped and resurrected! Now, we can understand the reason for the celebration of His birth. A birth that would have gone unnoticed if not for His death and Resurrection. Unto us a Son is given, a Son who was obedient unto death on a cross that you and I might have eternal life. He was born in a lowly station of life, but now He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords with total authority over all creation. Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord! 

Rejoice!  for He is risen!

And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, “Rejoice!” So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him.  — Matt 28:9 NKJV

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

Post 11-30-2016

The Next Opportunity

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13 When the devil had finished tempting Jesus, he left him until the next opportunity came.  — Luke 4:13 NLT


Jesus was tempted for 40 days by satan. We are not told how long each temptation lasted or how often the temptation was repeated. Since satan has probably not changed his pattern of tempting humans, it was probably a constant nagging to just go ahead and do it. When the first temptation fails, he tries another tactic, always going about like a roaring lion, but having no power. The first temptation that Jesus faced was one we are all familiar with; pride: “you don’t need God, just do it yourself”. The second temptation was idolatry and greed: “just worship me and I will give you everything you want”. Why should you wait and go through all the pain and suffering when you can have it now, just by bowing down to sin? The third temptation is the sin of presumption: “You know God is going to take care of you, just go ahead and do what you want to do, it doesn’t matter”. We are told in Psalm 19:13 “Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.”  Yes, God will take care of us in dangerous situations, but to think that we can do outrageous things of our own choosing and expect God to always react is presumptuous and deadly. It is one thing to test God’s faithfulness but it is completely different to tempt Him with

our foolishness.  Be sober, be alert, satan is just waiting for his next opportunity to test us.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Post 11-29-2016

We’ve Only Just Begun!

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 11 In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us. — Col. 3:11 NLT
 
God’s Holy Spirit abides in us and we abide in Christ. We are now filled with and fully clothed by God Himself. Therefore, we have access to the same attributes as Christ Jesus Himself. Just as we accepted God’s Gift of salvation, we can accept (access) His attributes or we can use our own vain imaginations. The question is this: What thoughts are we going to allow to control our words and actions? “Wrong” or “right” thinking, that is the question.  Will we continue to let our old fleshly nature control our thoughts and actions or will we allow the Holy Spirit to do His work in us?  Will we allow Him to teach us and guide us into all truth?  Will we allow Him to sanctify us on a daily basis?  The flesh says “no” so we must put to death the flesh and follow after the Spirit.  Jesus wants to be Lord over every area of our lives, not just part.  The journey begins when we accept Jesus as our Savior and continues until we meet our Savior.  It is onward and upward and it gets sweeter every day.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Post 11-28-2016

 

Give and Give Generously

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And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others–. 2 Cor. 9:8 NLT


It is important for us to remember that everything we have here on earth is a gift from God. It doesn’t matter who signs the paycheck, God is ultimately our resource. We are to be good stewards of all of the resources God gives us. This includes our time as well as our finances. Just as He has the authority to raise up leaders and put people in positions of authority, He can raise us up financially or He can bring us down if we trust only in our finances. Any gift that God gives to us is to be used not just for our benefit, but for the benefit of those He puts in our paths each day. The ultimate use of the resources God has put under our authority is to expand the Kingdom of God. It isn’t that God “needs” us or our finances, He has chosen to use us in His work. That requires us to be obedient to His precepts. Unless you are using more than 10% of your time and money for God, you haven’t started giving yet. Give generously and cheerfully and be prepared for a great blessing from the Lord.

38 Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back. – Luke 6:38 NLT

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

Post 11-27-2016

Reconciliation

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18 And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him.  — 2 Cor. 5:18 NLT


God’s plan of salvation is simple. If we believe that Jesus was born to a virgin, lived a sinless life, died on the cross for our sins, was buried, arose from the tomb three days later, ascended into heaven where He is today interceding in prayer for us, we are saved. Nothing more, nothing less. You have taken the first step on your journey to heaven. Once we have asked Jesus to forgive us of our sins, God’s Holy Spirit takes up residence and abides in us. This causes us to look at everyone and everything differently. We are now a new creation, our old life is gone and we are now in Christ Jesus. As we continue on our journey, we need to spend time talking with Jesus and meditating on God’s Holy Word. This is a free gift from God and we are now restored in our relationship with Jesus Christ. Now, we have become His ambassadors to the world. God is asking each of us to join His work in bringing others into reconciliation with Him. The more we practice this lifestyle, the sweeter our relationship with Jesus becomes. We find that He truly does “grow sweeter and sweeter as the days go by”.  Jesus becomes everything to us and provides everything for us.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Post 11-26-2016

The Spoken Word Produces Fruit

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11 It is the same with my word.  I send it out, and it always produces fruit.
It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.

– Isaiah 55:11 NLT

God furnishes everything that the natural world needs to survive and produce bountiful crops. It is His plan that He established when He created everything in the universe. All plants would produce seed and fruit after its own kind so that the animals would have plenty to eat. Even though Adam and Eve sinned and were removed from the Garden of Eden, that did not change the law of reaping and sowing. Now, they would have to work for the plants to produce and feed themselves, but still the plants produced seed and fruit for them to eat and survive
God’s plan for the Spiritual world is the same. He sends out His word and it produces fruit after its kind. Once the Word (the seed) is planted in our hearts, God sends out His Holy Spirit to water it causing it to be alive and active and productive. It might reproduce 30 times, 60 times, or in really good hearts it might even reproduce itself 100 times The really good heart is one that has the Seed implanted and waters that Seed every day with Scripture study and meditation on the Scriptures. That heart also communes with the Spirit of God everyday without ceasing. God’s Holy Spirit knows the heart of God and He searches our hearts so that the communication is effective and productive. Take time to study and pray and you will see the Word of God start to reproduce like fruit in those around you.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Post 11-25-2016

Spirit-Led Prayer

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1 I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.  — 1 Timothy 2:1

Jesus willingly gave His life for each of us. He gave it for those who cursed and persecuted Him as well as for those who followed Him. He did it because of His great love for humanity of all religions and nationalities. It is His desire that everyone be saved. Will everyone accept Jesus as their Savior and Lord? No, but that does not change what Jesus did for us. Once any person accepts Jesus as their Savior and Lord, should they decide to do that, the Holy Spirit indwells that person. As we progress in following the example of Jesus there is a change in our hearts’ desires and our actions. We are to attempt to live at peace with everyone around us, even with those who curse and persecute us. Is this possible? Yes, or Jesus would not have asked us to do it. When we are mistreated for the sake of Jesus Christ and His Kingdom, our response is to love and pray for those that commit the acts. Praying for our persecutors pleases God because we are following the example that Jesus set for us. How they respond to that love and our prayers for them is not in our control. It is ultimately between them and God. If revenge of any sort is necessary, God says that is His responsibility, not ours. So pray for everyone, family, friends, neighbors, cults, religious people, anyone in authority over you in any situation. You can be assured that your flesh is not going to want to pray for some of these people, but God’s Holy Spirit will draw you, teach you, and even do the praying for you if you choose to be obedient.

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

Post 11-23-2016