“For By Grace You Have Been Saved…”

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.– Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV 

Ephesians 2:4-10 NKJV

Our salvation is a gift from God, we didn’t earn it by works and we didn’t purchase it with favor or money.  It was God’s plan before the foundations of the earth were laid.  As Paul said, if we boast, we must boast in Christ Jesus alone.  Does this negate works?  Not at all, we are saved to work, not by our works.  Just as it was God’s plan to send Jesus to purchase our redemption with His blood, it was always God’s plan that we would have a part in His kingdom work here on earth.  God has gifted each of us with a spiritual gift to be used in His work.  Some of us are preachers, others are teachers, others encourage, others have gifts of help.  The list of gifts is lengthy, because we all have a part in God’s plan and purpose.  Make a commitment today to ask God about your gift and how to use it in His plan.

1 Peter 4:7-11 NKJV

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

“God Will Reward You For It.”

14 But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats. — 1 Peter 3:14 NLT

1 Peter 3:13-18 NLT

We are all guilty! We have felt that gentle nudge from God’s Spirit and said nothing, we have heard that soft quiet voice and still we did nothing! The King of Kings, the Creator of the Universe has issued the command to go and spread the gospel to all of us. (Ref. Matt 28:19, 20) And in individual situations, He has asked us to speak out and invite others into His Kingdom. Why don’t we speak out? Are we afraid that our friends and acquaintances will mock us, make fun of us, reject us? Always remember this, they did the same to Jesus and we are not greater than our Creator. But the most important thing to remember is that it isn’t us they are rejecting, it is Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. We are going to suffer in this world, and as Peter tells us, it is better to suffer for doing good, than for doing evil.

Matthew 5:10-12 NLT

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

“Cleanse Me From These Hidden Faults.”

12 How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart?    Cleanse me from these hidden faults.— Psalm 19:12 NLT

Psalm 19:7-14 NLT

As Christians, we are not usually tempted to go out and do what the world normally perceives as sin.  No, satan has to be a little sneaky when he comes after us.  Every decision we make has a consequence, either for good or for bad. Do not be deceived, there is no neutral ground in spiritual warfare. How can we know when we have “missed the mark”?  God sent His Spirit to lead us into all truth and convict us when we have erred.  Our sins are usually those of the presumptive type. We presume to know answers to things that are too hard for us to know.  The reason presumption is a sin, is because it is a fruit of being prideful.  We would never be so bold as to say out loud that we can make decisions without the leadership of God’s Holy Spirit.  But, have you ever had that thought cross your mind or do you act out of habit without consulting God?  Jesus said if we consider the thought, we are guilty of the sin. Those thoughts lead to ideas which lead to actions and those lead to bad habits.  When this happens, sin is trying to get dominion over us.  We should ask God’s Holy Spirit to correct us and ask for forgiveness, so that we can be blameless and innocent of great transgression. We set alerts so that certain websites send us a notification if we are about to cross a line. Set an alert with God’s Holy Spirit and ask Him to notify You before You cross the line.

13 Therefore, get your minds ready for action[ac] by being fully sober, and set your hope[ad] completely on the grace that will be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed.[ae] 14 Like obedient children, do not comply with[af] the evil urges you used to follow in your ignorance,[ag] 15 but, like the Holy One who called you, become holy yourselves in all of your conduct, 16 for it is written, “You shall be holy, because I am holy. – 1 Peter 1:13-16 NET

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

“We Are Not Practicing the Truth.”

6 So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. — 1 John 1:6

1 John 1:5-10 NLT

On the first day of creation, God spoke the natural light into existence. He created the light to dispel the darkness. He called the light day and the darkness night. Later, He created the sun for light in the day and the moon and stars for light at night.  But God is greater than natural light, He is the spiritual light that illuminates the darkness of our hearts and exposes our sins. He does not do this to embarrass us, but to show us that we are unable to dispel the darkness for ourselves. Just as we need fire, electricity, or batteries to dispel the natural darkness, we need help dispelling the spiritual darkness in our hearts. He is that Light and He has come to do that for us. Once we have been made aware of our spiritual darkness and the fact that Jesus can provide us Light, we must make a choice to walk in God’s Light or continue to walk in the darkness. After the exposure, if we say that we are not in darkness, we are liars and only fooling ourselves. God has provided the Light, but we must decide to turn on the switch. It is not a decision that can be delayed. Refusing to turn on the Light is a decision and it will lead to deeper darkness.

12 Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” — John 8:12 NLT

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

“Work at Living in Peace…”

14 Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. – Hebrews 12:14

Hebrews 12:12-15 NLT

As Paul tells us in Romans 12, we should do everything that we can do to live in peace with our fellow man.  Add to that, the fact that we should strive to live a Holy life. God tells us to be Holy because He is Holy.  Once we are indwelt by God’s Holy Spirit, it should be our inclination to follow the example of Jesus in all that we do.  That requires us to not only seek peace and holiness, but to teach others so that no one fails to receive the gospel of Jesus Christ.  To do this, we must avoid gossip and rumor mongering.  If we practice those things, we hurt others instead of helping. Do this with humility and love so that no one can blame you.  When you are wrongfully blamed, quickly forgive the person.  Don’t hold grudges and allow a “root of bitterness” to grow in your heart. This will, first of all, destroy you and then those around you.

Romans 12:14-18 NLT

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

“It Is By His Great Mercy…”

3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation  — 1 Peter 1:3 NLT

1 Peter 1:3-7 NLT

Because of God’s great mercy, He sent His Son to pay for our redemption. When we accept this fact, we also accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. We are spiritually born again at that very moment. We have our salvation immediately, but we live with great expectation because this is a beginning, there is more to come. We have an inheritance that is kept for us in heaven. God’s Holy Spirit is the earnest payment for that inheritance. And using that portion of faith that God has given to each of us, God is protecting us by His Power until the process of salvation has been completed and revealed on the last day. We are saved by His resurrection power, we are kept by the power of His word and we will arrive at home by His power. In this world, we will be offended and have some trials. We should count it all blessing to be chosen to suffer with our Savior. But on that last day, there will be “joy unspeakable and full of glory”. Praise God in every situation. He inhabits the praises of His people and He is always here with us to carry us through. Salvation and joy, now and forevermore!

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

“You Will Be Made Complete…”

19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.— Ephesians 3:19 NLT

Ephesians 3:14 -21 NLT

God is the Creator of all things. Therefore, they are His to give as He desires. His resources, like His love, are unlimited.  Our tiny human minds cannot begin to imagine the depth. length, width, and height of God’s love.  There is only one force that is powerful enough to cause a Creator to create a creature knowing that He would someday have to die on a cross to redeem His creation from eternal death.  It is a love that certainly is too great for us to understand.  Now, we can only try to imagine that kind of love, but one day we will know the fullness of God’s love.  Today, we see in a glass darkly, but one day, we will see clearly.  His love is the power in us that causes us to want to love our friends and our enemies. There are three great motivators for humans: greed, fear, and love. Greed only lasts till the money runs out, fear is only effective as long as the boss is around, but love is endless and loyal at all times.
So give love graciously and abundantly, there is no end to the supply of love.

34 So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”   — John 13:34-35 NLT

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

“Your Endurance Has A Chance To Grow…”

3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. — James 1:3 NLT

James 1:2-5 NLT

Some people seem to believe that God allows us to be tempted to prove something to Him.  He never tempts us. (James 1:13)  He does, however, allow us to be tested by situations.  The testing that He allows in our lives is for our benefit.  God already knows what our response will be, but the tests allow us to know where we are in our journey with God.  If we wallow in self-pity in the testing, our flesh allows the tests to turn into temptations.  When we are tested, we have to make a decision to trust God with the outcome or try to fix it ourselves.  If we fix it, it is always a temporary fix and we soon find ourselves back in the same old situation. If we allow God to deliver us from our troubles, we will grow in our walk with Him and He can trust us with bigger things.  We are His creation and it is His right to allow the tests. The tests are always for our benefit and the outcome makes us stronger. The most fertile ground is in the lowest valley, that is where faith is put to the test. We are His prized possessions and He would never do anything to harm us. A baby will never learn to crawl or walk if we carry it all the time. Thank God that He trusts us enough to allow the tests. The testing God allows is to make us stronger and wiser.  As we mature, God is able to use us more effectively in growing His Kingdom here on earth. If we don’t take care of the little things, He cannot trust us with bigger things.

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