“Be Still…”

7 Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes. — Psalm 37:7 NLT

In our busy, busy world, how do we find the time to just sit in the presence of the Lord? Many times in the Scriptures, God admonishes us to just be still. Jesus set the example for us, He would often go out into the gardens and spend time alone communing with God. If He needed that, how much more do we need it? We not only need those times of rest and refreshing, but we need to know Jesus on a personal level. There is a huge difference in knowing about Jesus and really knowing Jesus. And to really know anyone, we have to spend time with them. Bask in His presence and you will start to get a grasp of the depth of His love for you. The knowledge of His love for us will sustain us through the tough times.

10 “Be still, and know that I am God!  I will be honored by every nation.  I will be honored throughout the world.”— Psalm 46:10 NLT

“He Sat In the Boat…”

3 Stepping into one of the boats, Jesus asked Simon, its owner, to push it out into the water. So he sat in the boat and taught the crowds from there.  — Luke 5:3 NLT

Luke 5:1-7 NLT

Most of us have jobs to go to on a regular basis and a car to drive to work and back home. If we are skilled laborers, we have a tool kit full of the tools we need to perform our job. Simon Peter was a fisherman by trade. He had been blessed with a boat and fishing nets to earn a living. Yet, on this night (and probably several others as well), he had been unsuccessful in netting any fish. But then (how often do the “but thens” come along in our lives, and we choose to ignore them?), Jesus asked to use Simon’s boat for His ministry. When Jesus was through teaching the crowd, He said to Simon: “go out where it is deeper and let down your nets”. Simon complained and objected, but then he let down his nets and caught a superabundance of fish. More than his boat could haul. What can we learn from this miracle? Think about the resources with which God has blessed each of us. Do you have a need in your life in some area? Pray about what resource you have that Jesus could use in His ministry and release that resource totally to Him. Remember the question that God asked Moses? What is that in your hand, Moses? Little or nothing can become much when we release it completely for God’s use. In faith, step out to where it is deeper, let go, and let God.

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

“We Must Be Saved!”

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 4:8-13 NLT

This verse is probably one of the best known verses in the Bible.  It may be very well-known but we had best not get complacent about it.  Do we believe what this verse says?  Is there really only one Name under heaven whereby we can be saved?  Would you stake your life on it?  In today’s society with its anti-Christian bent, we had better be sure we believe it if we are going to stand up for Jesus because there are thousands of our brothers and sisters around the world who are doing just that–giving their lives for Jesus.  If we believe then why do we get so mealy-mouthed around the religious people of the world? There is not one religion that makes this claim, only Christianity. Our beliefs had better be rooted in Jesus and our lives built on Him.  Otherwise, when the storms come and the winds of doubt and fear start beating us up, we will fall.  If you read the full passage above, then you will know that verse thirteen says that the council of leaders knew that Peter and John “had been with Jesus”.  Isn’t  that what we want others to see in us?  Enough of the likeness of Jesus that they will know that we have spent some time with Jesus.  Jesus died for all sinners, we owe it to Him to let the whole world know.  Are we ready to stand up, speak up and die if we have to?  Let us all pray that if that time comes in our lives that we will be ready to meet the challenge and joyfully go home to be with Jesus.

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

“Be Prepared…”

2 Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching.— 2 Timothy 4:2 NLT

2 Timothy 4 :1-5 NLT

We live in a society that could very easily be described by these verses. People follow their own desires and look for religions and worship centers that confirm their way of life. They do not want to be accountable to anyone. That is why the Name of Jesus upsets them. They don’t want to hear about relationships because having a relationship with someone requires us to know them and be accountable to them. So, the world rejects truth and chases after all the “feel good” religions that pop up. But we are to be clear about our beliefs and stand fast on the Word of God, never wavering. Yes, we will be criticized and despised by the world. So was Jesus and He said we (the created) could expect the same treatment that He (the Creator) received. Nevertheless. we are to be “steadfast and immovable” in our faithfulness to Jesus Christ.

1 Cor. 15:56-58 NLT

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

“This Is How God Loved the World:”

16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. –John 3:16 NLT

John 3:16-21 NLT

Has anyone ever asked you, “What does it mean to be saved? Saved from what?” If you have been asked that question, were you able to answer it? When you were saved, from what were you saved? We were all born in sin, born into a world that is filled with the darkness of sin. Because of that, we are condemned to an eternity of punishment because Paul tells us in Romans 2:8, “But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and instead live lives of wickedness.” Is this fair? Yes, because God has offered each of us the opportunity to be saved. God does not want anyone to go to hell and he doesn’t send us to hell. We earn our way to hell. (Romans 6:23–For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.) Each person has to accept God’s free gift of salvation. When we do that, we can and must walk in the light of the Lord Jesus Christ. Hate the darkness, come to the Light so others can see Jesus in you.

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

“Not Even the Powers of Hell…”

38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. — Romans 8:38 NLT

Romans 8:35-39 NLT

Each of us goes through a myriad of situations in our lifetime. Hardly a day goes by, (probably none) that we don’t have some sort of frustration in our lives. Does this mean that we have lost our salvation or that God no longer loves us? No, God hates sins, but He does not hate the sinner, His heart is set on forgiveness and restoration. Our fellowship with Him can be broken and interrupted, but the very second we repent, He is waiting with open arms to receive us back into fellowship with Himself. If we don’t have this assurance of salvation and forgiveness, then as Paul said, “we, of all people, are most to be  pitied”. But we do have it because it is dependent on the faithfulness of God, not on our faithfulness. So, in the darkest of times, when we don’t “feel saved”, God is still God and Jesus is still interceding for us.  Nothing can separate us from His love and His care. Our hope is eternal.

1 Cor. 15:12-20 NLT

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

“But If We Confess Our Sins…”

9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.– 1 John 1:9 NLT

1 John 1:5-10 NLT

Once we have accepted Jesus as our Savior, God’s Spirit comes to abide within us. He will lead us in the path God has chosen for each of us if we are willing to follow. But, we are not going to become sinless overnight and we shall never become perfect in this world. There will always be a struggle between our flesh and our Spirit. Nevertheless, our salvation is secure. Does this mean we won’t fail? No, of course not. If we could do this on our own then Jesus would not have had to die on the cross. God knew even before He redeemed us that we would fail, He is not surprised by anything we do, because He is omniscient. But, because He loves us so much, He is waiting with open arms for us to repent and return to Him. He is always faithful and just forgives us when we ask. He cleanses us and restores us over and over and over again. We are His children and He cares deeply for each of us.

John 12:35-36 NLT

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

“Looking For That Blessed Hope…”

13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; – Titus 2:13 NLT

Titus 2:11-15 NLT

Jesus gave His life so that we might live lives free of sin. He cleansed us and made us His very own. When we need more wisdom to accomplish His purpose, He freely gives it to us. We are covered and bathed in His righteousness. There are certainly days when we almost lose sight of the hope that we have in Christ Jesus. But because of all He has done and is doing for us, we should live lives that are devoted to Him holding on to the hope that we will see Him one day and we will spend an eternity with Him. We must not only hold on to this hope, but we must teach and encourage our Christian brothers and sisters to do the same.

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

“You Can Be Full of Joy…”

24 God can guard you so that you don’t fall and so that you can be full of joy as you stand in his glorious presence without fault. – Jude 24 GW

Jude 17-24 GW

We can see the things that are spoken of here in these verses happening in our churches of today. We have church leaders who are leading their congregations astray by teaching them that they have the liberty to live their lives as they please. Their messages “tickle the ears” of the people. Instead of preaching purity and obedience, they are saying “live like you want to live”, fulfill the desires of the flesh, its okay. But God says we are to be holy because He is holy and we are to pattern our lives after Jesus. Do not be deceived by false teachers, we will reap what we sow. If we sow fleshly desires, we will reap the consequences of those acts. If we sow righteousness, peace, joy, patience, forgiveness and the fruits of the Spirit, we will reap the rewards of those actions. Love God and follow His commands daily. Then we will be safe in God’s love.

Galatians 5:22-26 NLT

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

“Not Too Difficult For You”

11 “This command I am giving you today is not too difficult for you, and it is not beyond your reach.— Deut. 30:11 NLT

Deut 30:11-14 NLT

This was the message that God gave to Moses to give to the children of Israel. Time and again, God would give them this message. Time and again, God changed the hearts of His people. They would disobey and go astray. Being a just God, He was required to discipline them. They would repent and turn back to Him and He would soften their hearts and accept their offerings again. That was the Old Testament. Then Jesus died on the cross for our sins and established a new and better covenant.  Now, Jesus says the whole law hinged on two commandments. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself.  Two commandments that are certainly not hard to understand, but God knew we would fail, so He sent us a Helper, His Holy Spirit.  Now, He is closer to us than He has ever been.  We don’t need to look for Him anywhere because He abides in us and is all around us. Or as St. Patrick said: “Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left.”.  There is no need for us to go anywhere or search anywhere because He abides in us and leads us into all truth.  Two commandments, easy to understand, but not so easy to follow on a daily basis.

John 14:15-21 NLT

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