“Rejoice Always”

 16 Rejoice always, – 1 Thess. 5:17 NKJV

 1 Thess. 5:12-21 NKJV

One of the reasons I love Paul’s letters is the fact that right in the middle of telling us how bad it is and how much worse it could be, he suddenly stops, (and I believe) he just shouts it out. REJOICE! If our laboring for the Lord does not bring us joy, we need to realign our priorities. One of the ways we quench the Spirit is to refuse to be joyful in our walk with God. We should test everything we hear, Does your pastor’s sermons always line up with the Word of God? You should check every comment I make and see if it really fits with the Scriptures. The more we study God’s Word, the more we will see why Paul was always content regardless of his situation. God will give us His peace, and we are blameless in God’s eyes because of the blood of Jesus Christ. Fear not, God is faithful, He will do what He says He will do. If we remain faithful, we will reap our crowns (rewards) in heaven.

Hebrews 10:19-23 NKJV

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

“You Imitated the Believers…”

14 And then, dear brothers and sisters, you suffered persecution from your own countrymen. In this way, you imitated the believers in God’s churches in Judea who, because of their belief in Christ Jesus, suffered from their own people, the Jews.— 1 Thessalonians 2:14 NLT

1 Thess. 2:13-16 NLT

We can talk about a lot of different things and different “gods” and most people may not even pay attention to what we are saying. But when we talk about the Good News, which is “the very Word of God”, we will get some sort of reaction. The Name of Jesus is not neutral and when it is spoken, it requires that a decision be made by the hearer. No response or not accepting is still a decision. If we allow the Word to continue its work in us, we will be persecuted by the worldly factions. Since the Creator was persecuted, even to death, how can we, the creation, expect not to be persecuted?

Luke 9:23-26 NLT

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

“Think About the Things of Heaven…”

2 Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.– Col. 3:2 NLT

Col. 3:1-8 GW

Paul tells us in Romans about the struggle he had with the flesh. He always wanted to do right, but found himself doing the wrong things. He knows what is right, but doesn’t always live up to that standard. We have the same struggle and as long as we are in this tent of flesh, we will always have it. We have to put to death our fleshly desires and focus on Jesus. The devil wants to keep us “sin-minded’”, but we need to follow God’s Holy Spirit and be “Christ-minded”. If we have the mind of Christ, His attitude, and if we always try to see things through His eyes, then we can focus on things above and those fleshly desires will become less and less important. This does not mean that we live in some fantasy world, but rather, that the things of Christ become more real to us as we mature in our journey with Him.

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

“Their Sinful Minds Have Made Them Proud…”

18 Don’t let anyone condemn you by insisting on pious self-denial or the worship of angels, saying they have had visions about these things. Their sinful minds have made them proud.— Col. 2:18 NLT

Colossians 2:16-22 NLT

In the Old Testament, God established certain traditions and feasts for His people to observe at specific times of the year. He had very specific rules as to how the sacrifices were to be prepared and offered. These things were shadows of the sacrificial work of Jesus in the New Testament. But as time went by, the ruling religious class added thousands of rules to what God had given. These additional rules are why Jesus rebuked the Sadducees and the Pharisees. They laid too heavy a burden on the people. Jesus fulfilled the law and many of the prophecies of the Old Testament. We are no longer required to observe all the feasts and traditions. Jesus gave us a very simple plan of salvation. But, just as corruption came into the old law because of prideful humans, it has crept into the plan that Jesus gave us. False prophets have arisen and they go about preaching all kinds of requirements that Jesus does not place on us. Study and meditate on the Scriptures daily so that you are not taken captive by such drivel. The path is narrow and the way is straight, stay on the true path guided by God’s Holy Spirit.

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

“Raised to New Life…”

12 For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead. — Colossians 2:12 NLT

Colossians 2:6-13 NLT

The Old Testament circumcision was of the flesh as an outward symbol of a covenant relationship with God. Our circumcision is of the spirit removing our sinful nature and replacing it with God’s Holy Spirit. Our hearts and desires were changed and God wrote His Name upon our hearts. Our baptism is the outward symbol of being buried with Christ and raised again to a new life.

“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”-2 Cor. 5:17

” Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.” – Eph. 4:24

We were spiritually dead in our sinful nature but now all things are made new. We are new creatures:

Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”-Romans 6:4

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

“Forgetting Those Things Which Are Behind…”

13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have [d]apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,  – Phil. 3:13 NKJV

Phil. 3:12-16 NLT

None of us will achieve perfection while we are clothed in this tent of flesh. However, we can never use that as an excuse for not trying to do better every day. We must keep our eyes and mind focused on Jesus. We must keep pressing onward and upward. Jesus tells us that once we have started the journey with Him, we should never look back.

 Luke 9:61-62 NLT.

Forget the past or satan will use it to beat you up mentally and spiritually every day. God has already forgotten our sinful past. When we grow weary, we should pray and wait upon the Lord, He will give us renewed strength to press on.

Psalm 40:28-31 NLT

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

“So Be Careful How You Live…”

15 So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise.— Ephesians 5:15 NLT

Ephesians 5: 1-15 GW

To make the most of our opportunities from a Biblical viewpoint means more than working hard or trying to make a profit on everything we do. It means, at least in part, to take the time to pray for and show love for those God puts in our paths. It means being a good steward over all the resources God has allowed us to use. Understanding what the Lord wants us to do means focusing our every thought and action bringing the lost to Christ. We should avoid excesses of every kind except the fruits of the Spirit against which there is no law. Our rewards for good works here on earth are laid up for us in heaven and will last for an eternity making them much more valuable than gold or silver. We should always have joy in our hearts and a thankful attitude in our minds and words of praise on our lips.

Colossians 3:16-17 NLT

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

“But God Did Listen!”

19 But God did listen!  He paid attention to my prayer.— Psalm 66:19 NLT

Psalm 66:16-20 NLT

Even when we sin, God still loves us. He wants to bless us all the time. But He can’t bless us if we do not confess our sins. When our relationship with God is broken because of sins that we have not confessed, His heart is broken. He leaves the 99 sheep to bring back the 1 lost sheep when we confess. We are never alone, He hears our prayers and knows our situation, but He is limited in what He can do for us because of our sins. God is always faithful to forgive us when we confess and then our relationship with Him is restored and there is joy in heaven. What amazing grace and love that God would love sinners enough to die for us!

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

“Alive and Powerful”

12 For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.– Hebrews 4:12 NLT

Hebrews 4:12-16 NLT

God knows our hearts and our innermost thoughts. His Spirit searches our heart and minds to reveal any sinfulness or sinful thoughts that we might have. He reveals that anger we have been harboring and we have to deal with it. God wants us to be totally committed to Him. He will not accept being the #1 God in the race, He wants us to understand that He is the only God  He can ask this of us because of what Jesus did for us on the cross. He understands that we will fail. If we could accomplish this on our own, then Jesus died in vain. But He has made a way for us by allowing us to come into the throne room and ask His forgiveness. He is always faithful to forgive us and help us when we repent and return to Him. He is ALWAYS there to help when we need Him and especially when we need Him the most.

10 For you are great and perform wonderful deeds. You alone are God.​— Psalm 86:10 NLT

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

“His Unfailing Love…”

20 Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer or withdraw his unfailing love from me.— Psalm 66:20 NLT

Psalm 66:16-20 NLT

God wants to bless us all the time. He gave us His Son, so why would He withhold any good thing from us? For this to happen, we must stay “prayed up”, instantly repenting for any sin that we do, whether it be intentionally or unintentionally. When God’s Spirit brings conviction, we must agree with God that we have committed a sin and ask His forgiveness. He is always faithful to forgive us. Then we must thank Him and praise Him for that forgiveness. God inhabits the praises of His people. He is within us, with us, surrounding us. He will never leave us nor forsake us. His mercies are new every morning. Let your first words every morning be praise and thanksgiving. Your attitude will be sweeter and your day will go more smoothly.

Romans 8:32-34 NLT

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