“In the Beginning With God”

2 ​​He existed in the beginning with God.  -John 1:2 NLT​

Before God created the world and divided time into night and day, They existed. God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit were there as One and yet separately. Jesus was the Word and was there with God. He participated in the creation of all things and all things were made for Him. He is Life and He is Light. He came into the world as the Word made Flesh. John was sent to announce His coming and John was faithful in carrying out that mission. John was the prophet foretelling the birth of Jesus. John was looking forward to that day even though John knew that when Jesus comes, “I must decrease and He must increase”. Now, we are the prophets looking back and looking forward, we tell of the future return of Jesus. We should pray that we will be as faithful as John was in carrying out our part of the mission. It is up to each of us to carry out the plan and the purpose that God planned for each of us to do. This was decided before the beginning of the world.

God’s Masterpiece

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

“Prove That They Are God’s Children”

11 Dear friend, don’t let this bad example influence you. Follow only what is good. Remember that those who do good prove that they are God’s children, and those who do evil prove that they do not know God – 3 John 11 NLT

3 John 1:9-12 NLT

The devil hates anything good. When he sees us showing love and compassion for others, his anger knows no bounds. That is why it is so important for us to show our love for others. We not only please God, but, at the same time, we frustrate satan. Showing our love by doing good is how we imitate Jesus.

38 And you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.—Acts 10:38 (NLT)

We are now the voice, the hands and the feet of the gospel. It is up to us to continue the work that Jesus started. He doesn’t need people with ability, He needs people that are available for Him to use. He could do it all without us, but He has chosen to use the foolish things of this world to confound the wise, so He uses those that make themselves available to Him. Show love and do good so that others can speak highly about you and you will lay up your rewards in heaven.

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

“For God Called You to Do Good…”

21 For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps. ​– 1 Peter 2:21 NLT​

1 Peter 2:18-21 NLT

In today’s society and in most countries, we no longer have slavery. But in our workplaces, we do have taskmasters that often treat us unfairly. So, Peter’s admonition to endure with patience is directed to us. Just as Jesus is our example of enduring unjust pain and persecution, so are we to do the same. God is our Jehovah-jireh, our provider. He has provided us with jobs so that we can provide for our families. Instead of complaining and gossiping about our bosses, we should be thankful for the provision. No matter who signs the paycheck, God is our provider. We are to set an example for those around us by having a grateful attitude and not joining in when others are criticizing the employer(s). Jesus promised us that we would be treated unjustly and offended by the world, so we should not be surprised by the unjust treatment we receive. We have not yet been required to be faithful when we are facing death for Christ’s sake. We should have the same attitude that the apostles had in the First Century.

Acts 5:40-41 NLT

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

“They Will See Your Honorable Behavior…”

12 Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world. – 1 Peter 2:12 NLT​

1 Peter 2:10-12 NLT

Before we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we were just one in a mass of people. Now that we have accepted Him and because of God’s great mercy, we have been adopted into a family, the family of God. We now bear the name of Christ and our conduct should reflect our new identity. Just as a newborn baby is automatically a citizen of the country into which they are born, so are we citizens of heaven the very moment we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior. The baby has all the rights and privileges afforded by that citizenship even though he/she is unable to take advantage of them at that moment. The same is true of a newborn babe in Christ Jesus. We have all the rights and privileges afforded the citizens of heaven. We are “citizens with the saints” .

19 So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family.–Eph. 2:19 (NLT)

There is no waiting! We have all the rights of a citizen of heaven now!

We need to walk carefully and be alert at all times because we do not want to embarrass our new family. We must be careful of the things we do and say so that outsiders will have no reason to speak negatively about our Lord and Savior. Our honorable behavior brings glory to God and his body, the Church.

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

“You Didn’t Know Any Better Then…”

14 So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. – 1 Peter 1:14 NLT​

1 Peter 1:13-16 NLT

When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we become a new Creation. Before that change, we were controlled by fleshly lusts. We did what “self” wanted to do without exercising self-control. Now that we are a new creation, we walk in the Spirit and do those things that are in obedience to Christ. Are we now perfect? No! But we are striving toward that mark. Will we fall short? Yes, but the blood of Jesus has covered those sins. Now that we know the right things to do, we must pursue them and not go back to our old ways. Our lifestyle should reflect our new destination. People who have known us should be able to see a difference in the way we walk and talk. The things that used to occupy the highest priorities in our lives should be further down the list. There are some things we should want to give up immediately and others need to be moved way down our list of priorities. We need to take an inventory and honestly find out where Jesus is on our list of priorities. Jesus is not in a contest with other “gods”. He will accept nothing less than the top shelf, He is either “Lord of all” or He is not “Lord at all” in our lives.

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

“We Will Live And Do This or That…”

15 What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” – James 4:15 NLT

James 4:3- 17 NLT

Although none of us are promised tomorrow, it is still a good idea to have a plan. God has set that example for us. He had a plan for all His children collectively, before He laid the foundations of the earth.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world.–Matt. 25:34 (NLT)

He also has plans for each of His children individually.

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope–Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT).

So, it is not wrong to have plans. They are only a problem and a boast when we plan without asking God about it. Or if we think that we can accomplish anything good without God. We are only here on this earth for a very small portion of time and then we are gone. So, we need to spend our lives “redeeming the time”, in other words, making good use of it to further the work of the Kingdom of God. This was His plan when He created the world and us.

10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.–Eph. 2:10 (NLT)

So, we see that God planned us, formed us, and then created us anew to do His good works for His glory. If we plan anything less, it does not honor our Creator and if we plan anything greater, it is presumptuous and sinful. When we know to do good and refuse to do it, it is a sin against God and our fellowman.

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

“You Don’t Get It…”

3 And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.– James 4:3 NLT

James 4:1-3 NLT

God always answers our prayers. He answers us in one of four different ways.

1. Do it now–and of course that is the answer we want so we recognize it right away.
2. Delay–It wasn’t what we wanted to hear so we assumed God didn’t answer our prayer.
3. Don’t do it – I’m not hearing that so God must not have answered
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4. Dynamically Different–He answers in such a better and highly effective way than what we anticipated that we don’t recognize it as His answer.

When our prayers are from wrong motives and for selfish reasons, His answer is always no. Then, because of our pride, we get angry with God and accuse Him of all sorts of things. God understands that anger and when you get through pouting and ask Him, He will forgive you. God is not bound by our desires or our timetable. Even the “yes” answers are not always immediate. We have to wait on His timing. Do we really want our answer or would we prefer God’s answer?  Remember in​ ​1 Kings 19:3-5  when Elijah prayed “I have had enough, Lord, just take my life.”?  Then think of how God answered that prayer in 2 Kings 2:9-12 when God took him up in a chariot of fire!  If God had taken Elijah’s life when Elijah wanted him to, Elisha would not have been trained to become Elijah’s replacement and Elisha would never have seen all the great miracles. God answered Elijah’s prayer in a way far better than Elijah could have thought of or dared to ask. So when we don’t get the answer we want or it is not in the time frame we wanted it– relax, God is still in control.

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

“All of the Laws Except One…”

10 For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws. — James 2:10 NLT

James 2:10-13 NLT

The law(s) were given to the children of Israel to show them that sin was in the world. Without the law there would have been no disobedience of the law and therefore they would not have understood sin. With the law, they understood sin and also understood that no human being could live up to the perfect standard required by the law. The law was their/our teacher to show them/us that we all need a Savior. This was no surprise to God. Before the foundations of the earth were laid, He had prepared a perfect Lamb to be our Savior. Because God is merciful, He sent His only Son into the world as the only perfect human. Jesus came to us knowing that He would be sacrificed for our sins, although He was sinless. Now we live under grace, the unmerited favor of God. We did nothing and can do nothing to earn grace and salvation. It is a free gift from God.

8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.–Ephesians 2:8-9 (NLT)

We should sing praises to God daily. He is a marvelous, amazing God. “What a wonderful Savior is Jesus our Lord”!!!!!!!

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

“Do What It Says…”

25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. – James 1:25 NLT

James 1:19-25 NLT

Never say that someone or something made you mad. If you get angry, it is because you didn’t control your emotions. There certainly can be righteous anger, but, we have to be honest because we know that most of our anger is from our pride. We also know that in our times of anger, we think and say things that we should not have said and those words are often very vile and evil. We must plant God’s Word in our hearts because it is out of the heart that the mouth speaks. Don’t just plant the Word, but water it and feed it everyday. That means that we have to spend time meditating on God’s Word so that we remember it and act accordingly. If we study, meditate and act according to that word, God can and will bless us.

Psalm 1:1-3 NLT

“Work At Living In Peace With Everyone…”

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 NLT

Hebrews 12:14-17 NLT

Our salvation is by grace through faith, not by works and it is a free gift. But living a holy, peaceful life requires diligence. We must stay in God’s Word and depend on the leadership of God’s Spirit. To accomplish this, we must be sure that we forgive others so that no root of bitterness springs up in our hearts and pushes out the love that we should have. We must look after each other and teach others to lead a Godly, moral life. This should be done humbly and modestly, not trying to bring glory to ourselves but focusing on Jesus. Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess, but we must encourage others to do it now and not wait until it is too late. God’s Spirit will not always strive with men. So, pray that others will accept the free gift before it is too late, at the same time, being sure that we don’t fall to temptation.

41 Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak! – Matt. 26:41 NLT​

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