Come On In

even-smaller-bug-light1

19 So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does. –John 5:19 NLT
 


Jesus used the healing of the man at the pool of Bethesda to get the attention of the people, especially the religious leaders, He wanted them to understand who He was and why He was there. But, like most of us, when we first encounter Jesus, the religious leaders looked for reasons not to accept the truth of who Jesus is. We find fault with how and why Jesus does the things He chooses to do. Here is a human being, who claims to be the Son of God. He is making these preposterous claims that He can heal, raise from the dead, and even forgive sins. In their eyes, this is blasphemy. What do we see, when we look at Jesus and His claims? Do we see the love of God and His great mercy or do we see what the religious leaders saw? If we are totally honest in our search for truth, we will be drawn to this man Jesus and His love for us. He will not force you to accept Him, but He is standing at your heart’s door asking you to invite Him into your heart and life. If you haven’t already done so, please take a moment and ask Him in now.

20 “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.  ​ – Rev. 3:20 NLT​


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

Post 08-25-2017

Planning Is Good!

even-smaller-bug-light1

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

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

Post 06-08-2017

Reconciled Through Perfection

even-smaller-bug-light1

​1 ​Remember what I said earlier about the role of the high priest, even the ones chosen by human beings? The job of every high priest is reconciliation: ​ – Hebrews 5:1a The Voice
 
Hebrews 5:1-4 VOICE

God appointed Aaron, the brother of Moses, to be the first high priest of the Jewish nation. After Moses followed God’s instructions in anointing Aaron and his sons, Aaron was then able to offer the prescribed sacrifices to God, Everything offered had to be without blemish or the sacrifice was not acceptable. These were offered on the altar and when they were offered properly, God would accept them as a sweet smelling sacrifice and forgive the sins of the people. Aaron understood the weakness of the people and their inability to refrain from disobedience. He suffered from the same weakness. (Read Exodus 32 for that story). So he could have empathy and compassion on the people as he offered the sacrifices for both his and their sins. This was a temporary fix that God allowed until a true sacrifice could be given.There is no remission of sin without the shedding of blood, Since sin came into the world through the disobedience of the first man, Adam, complete permanent remission of sin would have to wait on the sacrifice of a perfect man, Jesus Christ.
 
Hebrews 10:11-18 The VOICE


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

Post 04-27-2017

WHY?

even-smaller-bug-light1

12 God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. — James 1:12 NLT
Why do Christians have to endure trials and persecutions? I suppose people have been asking this question since the first century. The disciples never quite understood why Jesus had to suffer and die until after the Resurrection. God does not allow us to go through suffering so that He will know where we are on our journey, He allows it so that we will know. He allows it so that our “I can” will turn into “No, I can’t but God can”. “No pain, no gain” applies to spiritual growth as well as physical. Would understanding the “why” really make the pain any less real or painful?  I am sure that since Jesus was in on the plan of redemption, He understood the why, but that didn’t keep Him from asking His Father if there might not be another way. As he prayed in the garden of Gethsemane.
 

42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”–Matt. 26:42 NIV

 

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

Post 04-10-2017

Called and Equipped

even-smaller-bug-light1

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,
— Philippians 2:5 NKJV

Having the same mind as Christ Jesus does not mean that we know everything that He knows. It means that we have the same attitude toward others and that we desire the same outcome from situations. It ultimately means that we humble ourselves under His mighty hand. That humility will cause us to want to please Him. Yes, even to the point of dying for Him. Not there yet? Most of us aren’t. That’s okay for now, God knows our hearts. Just keep striving toward the mark so that we don’t miss the high calling of Christ Jesus. Living a life of Holiness is a journey that is taken one step at a time. Whatever God asked you to do, you can be sure He has prepared you to go through it. He will go before you, with you, and be your rearguard. 

“God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called” – Pastor Jack Graham

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

Post 12-11-2016

The Beginning of the Change

even-smaller-bug-light1

17 I see him, but not here and now.    I perceive him, but far in the distant future.
A star will rise from Jacob;  a scepter will emerge from Israel.
— Numbers 24;17 NLT
This would have been a strange prophecy for the Israelites to hear. This was a confirmation of the prophecy in Gen 49:10 that the scepter would never depart from between Judah’s feet. All priests were to be of the tribe of Levi and Jacob was of the tribe of Judah. How could a priest rise out of the tribe of Judah? But God had a plan that would not violate the laws that He had handed down. When the scepter rose out of Israel, there would be a change in the way people were to worship God. This is explained further in Hebrews.

Hebrews 7:11-16 NLT

So, we see that while the priesthood of the Levites was established by the law, the priesthood of Jesus was established through the power of an indestructible life that could only be from the Creator. It was decided before the earth was formed. Jesus would be the final and perfect blood sacrifice for all the sin of the world. He was not, can not, and will not be destroyed or defeated. What Adam gave up in Eden, Jesus took back with His death and resurrection.


Now, we celebrate His birth, but that truly was just the beginning!

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

Post 12-01-2016

In God Alone

even-smaller-bug-light1

3 You have been very hard on us, making us drink wine that sent us reeling.— Psalm 60:3

 
There are times in all of our lives when we feel like David in this Psalm. We feel like we are broken down and unable to function. It is as if everything we have held on to is being shaken and stripped away from us. God allows us to go through these hard times to develop our faith. We are often confused by the things God allows, although we should not be. When we meditate on God’s Word, we are reminded that the answer is always the same. We don’t need things, we need Jesus. We need to learn to pray a new way. If we want peace, then we have to do what God has called us to do. We should be asking God, not so much for things, but for His presence to be magnified in our life and our lifestyle. We cannot accomplish this alone, We need the Holy Spirit every second of every day. When we get our priorities straight, we will arrive at the same conclusion that David did in this Psalm.  We are unable to do anything of value with God’s help. It is He who tramples our foes and does mighty things for us.  Or, as Jesus put it, “you can do nothing without me”.   But with His help, Paul reassures us that “we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us”.
Post 09-26-2016