“We Are to Be Beacons In the Storms of Life”

6 God sent a man, John the Baptist, 7 to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. — John 1:6, 7 NLT

John 1:6-14 NLT

God sent John the Baptist as a forerunner of Jesus.  The purpose and plan for John’s life was to tell the world about the Light that was coming.  John understood and accepted his mission wholeheartedly.  John spent his life in the wilderness living on locusts and honey, witnessing to those who came out to hear him.  He was not the Light but was a witness that the Light was coming.  John was so effective in his work that Jesus called him “the greatest man who ever lived”

.Luke 7:24-28

Yet, Jesus said “even the least person in the Kingdom of God is greater than he is”.  How can this be that we could be greater than John the Baptist who lived his life for and ultimately gave his life for Jesus?  The word “greater” here is used in the same sense that the word “greater” is used when Jesus said that we would do even “greater” works than Jesus did when He walked here on the earth.  It is not meant to demean or lessen the value of the work that John and Jesus did, but to emphasize the greatness of the Kingdom of God itself.   It is not written to give us illusions of grandeur or self-importance, but to encourage us to work for the Kingdom of God.  It is not as individual Christians that we are greater or can do greater works but it is our inclusion in the Kingdom of God that is emphasized as being of utmost importance.  So, the work we do for the expansion of the Kingdom of God is greater in importance than anything that we do that the world considers great or important.  If we are to be “greater” then we must finish the work that John started.  John was the forerunner, Jesus was the reason and we are the witnesses for this and future generations.  We are here as Light and Life to a dark and dying world.  So, we should be beacons and alarms that speak the words of Life to those around us wherever we are and whenever we can. There is no “greater” work to be done.

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

Post 12-31-2018

“Are You Ready?”

1 In the beginning the Word already existed.
    The Word was with God,
    and the Word was God.
2 He existed in the beginning with God.- John 1:1-2 NLT


John 1:1-5 NLT

He was, He is and He always shall be.  The Trinity, the Triune God was, is and ever shall be. They were, They are and They always shall be. They existed before time as we know it, They are alive today and They always shall be.  Two are in heaven, One abides in us. Together, They planned what was, what is and what is to come.  God’s spoken and written words are infallible, inerrant and immutable.  Their plans are unchangeable. They are the Author and the Finisher of our faith.  As it is written, so it was, so it is and so it will be.  What we believe does not and cannot change what was, what is and what will be.  What we believe will only determine our part in it and where we spend our eternity.  They are immovable and unstoppable. They are coming back and nothing or no one can stop them.  Our part is to believe Their story, tell Their story and live rejoicing every day because of Their story.  We, as Christians, have the one and the only true story and true hope. History has confirmed the truth of Their story over and over.
8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega—the beginning and the end,” says the Lord God. “I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come—the Almighty One.”  – –The Revelation of Jesus Christ to John the Baptist 1:8 NLT


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

Post 12-30-2018

“Why Are Your Hearts Filled With Doubt?”

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38 “Why are you frightened?” he asked. “Why are your hearts filled with doubt?  — Luke 24:38 NLT
As the two men who had met Jesus on the road to Emmaus were sharing their story with the disciples, Jesus suddenly appeared among them.  Jesus spoke to them and said “Peace be with you”.  But they were startled and frightened, how could this be?   After three years of walking with Jesus and hearing His teachings on a daily basis, the disciples were still not convinced that Jesus would really be resurrected.  They thought they were looking at a ghost.  Jesus told them to look closely and see that it was really Him.  He invited them to touch Him and know that He was real.  Still, they were not fully convinced, so Jesus asked for something to eat.  We can wonder at the unbelief and lack of faith of the disciples but we show that same unbelief and lack of faith when we are fearful and worry about things.  We need to examine ourselves and ask ourselves the same questions that Jesus asked the disciples, “why are we frightened and why are our hearts filled with doubt”?  God has told us over 365 times in the Bible in one form or the other, :“DO NOT FEAR!”.  Yet, is there a day that goes by that we do not express fear and doubt with our words and/or actions?  Instead of accessing the peace and the joy that Jesus has promised and is waiting to give each of us so that we can enjoy today with Him, we obsess over what MIGHT happen tomorrow.  If we really believe that Jesus can and will provide our every need, then we should just rest in His arms and allow Him to do exactly what He said He would do.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 12-29-2018

“Follow the Lord Completely”

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In this way, Solomon did what was evil in the Lord’s sight; he refused to follow the Lord completely, as his father, David, had done. — 1 Kings 11:6 NLT
Just in case, we should think that we are capable of handling great wealth easily, look at what happened to Solomon in his old age.  The wisest man in the world turned from the God who had blessed him abundantly with worldly goods, wisdom, power and fame.  If he couldn’t handle it, then we need to be very careful in our walk in this world.  Sure, Solomon still had plenty of money, after all, what was there to buy or to do with all that cash?  Even with all of his wisdom, he was still, somehow, not fulfilled. We can’t imagine his abundance but with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we can see that his failure was due to the desires of the flesh. Notice that in verse 4, it reads “they turned his heart to worship other gods”. Solomon came to the point that pleasing his wives was more important to him than being obedient to the God of Israel.  In all of his wisdom, Solomon forgot that God had said that the king must not take many wives or buy many horses. And the king must not accumulate large amounts of wealth for himself. But, the king must copy the scriptures and study them daily.
We have to wonder if Solomon had kept up the practice of reading God’s Word daily. It is only when we keep the Word of God first in our lives that we can overcome the desires of the flesh.  His Word must be our light, our guide and our advisor. Without His Word as a constant reminder of who He is and who we are, the flesh will dominate and we will end up in the same situation in which Solomon found himself in his old age. Daily, diligent meditation on His Word is our only hope for deliverance from evil.
“​The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 12-28-2018

Blessed Beyond Belief

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21 All of King Solomon’s drinking cups were solid gold, as were all the utensils in the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon. They were not made of silver, for silver was considered worthless in Solomon’s day! — 1 Kings 10:21 NLT
Can you imagine being blessed so abundantly that you would consider silver as being worthless?  I don’t think my imagination works that well.  And we must remember that Solomon did not ask for wealth, he asked for wisdom. Since he received all the worldly goods he did not ask for, the wisdom that Solomon did ask for and receive would have been out of this world because it was divine wisdom from heaven.  The point is this;  God wants to bless us with super-abundance, but God is not a wasteful God.  He blesses each of us with what we need and as much more as we can handle.  Each of us is blessed with a gift that is to be used for the growth of His Kingdom.  There is one job that God has designed each of us to do and  we can do that job better than anyon else can do it.  Why?  Because God provides us with the wisdom and the resources to do that job.  Not all of us can be great leaders worthy of worldly fame, but each of us has a tremendous job to do in the work of the Kingdom.  Not all of us can handle great wealth, we can see the proof of that when we read the sad stories of the people who win millions in the lotteries and a few years later they are broke.  We see proof of it when great sports figures who received millions of dollars while playing have to file bankruptcy a few years after retirement.  God has a plan and a purpose for each of us.  When we discover that plan and we are content to fulfill His purpose, then we can truly see that “all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to HIS PURPOSE”. (Romans 8:28)
 

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

Post 12-27-2018

“There Will Be Rejoicing In Heaven”

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“And the answer will be, ‘Because his people abandoned the Lord their God, who brought their ancestors out of Egypt, and they worshiped other gods instead and bowed down to them. That is why the Lord has brought all these disasters on them.’” — 1 Kings 9:9 NLT
God had fulfilled all of His promises and particularly those He had made to David and Solomon up to this point.  God blessed David and allowed him to amass all the wealth that Solomon would need to build the temple.  He had anointed David and then Solomon to be king over Israel.  He gave Solomon peace from all of his enemies for the time it took to build the temple and his own palace.  But the Creator of the universe knows the flesh.  He knew that as time passed, the people would become complacent and return to their idol worship.  So, even in this time of great celebration, God reminded them of what would happen if they abandoned Him and worshiped idols and honored created things as gods.  When we forget God and when we no longer worship Him as the only true and living God, He allows things in our lives to remind us of Who He is.  When God has blessed us, we must not become complacent and allow things or people to replace Him in our lives.  We must continually take inventory of our attitudes and actions to be sure they are God-honoring.  He is still the Creator of the universe, He is still the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  It is up to us to be sure He  is sitting on the throne of our lives.  If we forget and stray away, He will remind us of who He is and who we are.  That’s the bad news.  The good news is that He will come looking for us and bring us home on His shoulders. When He has returned us to the fold, there will be a party in heaven.

 

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

Post 12-26-2018

“The Gift That Keeps On Giving”

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6 For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. – Isaiah 9:6-7 NSRV


This prophecy was fulfilled in Luke 2 when the virgin Mary gave birth to the baby Jesus. God would keep His covenant with David that a member of David’s household would always occupy the throne of Israel. Jesus would not establish His earthly kingdom at that time, but it will be completely fulfilled when the new Jerusalem is established. It will be an eternal kingdom with Jesus as the last king. Jesus is the Prince of Peace, Mighty God, and the everlasting Father. We can celebrate the birth of Jesus because it is another assurance that God never fails to keep His covenants and His promises. He is an awesome, amazing God who holds us in the palm of His hand and we can never be separated from Him. He inhabits the praises of His people, so praise Him continually and “forget not all His benefits”.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 12-25-2018