“Onward Christian Soldiers”

39 This promise is to you, to your children, and to those far away—all who have been called by the Lord our God.— Acts 2:39 NLT

Acts2:32-41 NLT
 

The disciples had been through basic training and spent three years with Jesus.  They had peen patient, prayerful and persecuted and they had persevered through it all.  True, they had their moments of doubts and disappointments and had at one point run away and left Jesus all alone to face his killers.  But when the time was right, Jesus had brought them all back together and given them their final instructions before His departure. The first instruction was to “wait in Jerusalem”.  The basic training was over and they were about to go on their first missions without Him as their leader.  Up to now, the provisions and power had come through Jesus but He was no longer physically with them.  Now, the time had come for them to tap into the source of power through another person, the Holy Spirit.  A person just as much as Jesus, in fact, the same person but not in human form.  Jesus was God in visible human form.  The Holy Spirit is the new heart-sized version, just as powerful and able to be everywhere at once. 
The disciples now had the power and God would give them the provisions. The fight was on, the Commander had given the order– “Charge!” and the power started a great movement that is still alive today.  We are the “far away” mentioned in this verse.  It is up to us to be the hands and feet as the Holy Spirit carries on the battle.

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

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

Post 02-08-2019

Talk It! Walk It! Love It! Live It!

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16  Let us, your servants, see you work again;
    let our children see your glory. 
— Psalm 90:16 NLT


Psalm 90

Lord, we live in a sinful world where evil is magnified on a daily basis.  Our children are daily tempted with overdoses of “me first” and sexual innuendos. They see riots in city after city where people get what they want by protesting and violence rather than working through the legal system. The America we live in now is not the America that most of us were raised in.  It is more like Macedonia when Paul arrived. There is violence on the outside everywhere we look and there are people all around us living in fear. 2 Cor. 7:5, 6   Our kids and grand-kids see good people struggling everyday to make it. They see parents working too many hours because the parents live in fear of not being able to give their kids everything they think they want.  First, help us as parents and grandparents to live lives totally dependent on you.  Let us be the examples that show the younger generations that possessions and busyness do not bring peace and lasting joy.  Remind us of that daily by helping us to observe the work that you are doing in our world right now, all around us.  Then, Lord, let our lifestyles be a beacon to others to point the glory you receive from our obedience.  Open our eyes to see that you are still a God who works miracles on a daily basis. Let our children see your glory and the beauty of worshiping the only true and living God.  As Pastor Jack Graham says 
“YOU CANNOT EXPECT YOUR CHILDREN TO LEAD DYNAMIC, SPIRIT-FILLED CHRISTIAN LIVES IF YOU AREN’T LIVING A VIBRANT, DYNAMIC, SPIRIT-FILLED CHRISTIAN LIFE YOURSELF”.
Help us to live lives totally dependent on You and the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Help us to talk the talk and walk the walk before them that they may catch hold of Who you are and what you desire for each of us.  Your desire is for us to be joyful and content no matter what our present situation may be.
Father, thank you for protecting our kids and grand kids.  First of all and most importantly of all, thank you for protecting them spiritually so that they will spend an eternity with you.  Then, thank you for protecting them physically, mentally and emotionally and for providing for their every need.  All praise and glory be to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 12-06-2018

“Stop Fighting With Each Other”

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You ask for something but do not get it because you ask for it for the wrong reason—for your own pleasure. – James 4:3 ISV
 
Let’s think back over the last few “discussions over differences” that we have had with a loved one, an acquaintance or someone ever the phone. In what percentage of the statements that we made, did the word “I” come up?  Were our thoughts, desires, and words based on “just judgment” or on our fleshly desires? Were we seeking justice or desiring to convince the other person(s) involved that we were right and they were wrong?  Or, if we are honest, were we just wanting to have it “our” way?  If we just wanted to have it our way, that is pride and we were more than likely wrong and just didn’t want to admit it.  When these “discussions over differences” get a little ugly, the flesh desires to kill and we satisfy that desire by using unkind and hurtful words.  Those words kill relationships. We covet the approval of our opinions from the other(s) involved in the discussion. so, we try to change their minds with our gift of persuasion. Instead, we should understand our limitations and ask God to change the minds of the ones who are wrong, accepting the fact that that might be us and not the others.  If we truly want God to answer our prayers (and He always does), then we need to be ready to accept the answer He gives.  Because the passage ends with the words “that you may spend what you get on your pleasures”, we tend to limit it to mean money. But, it applies to more than possessions and money, it also applies to time and talents. Are we using the time, talents and possessions that we have now for the glory of God?  We need to remember that all these “things” are really God’s anyway, they are just on loan to us and we could lose them quickly. Before we ask God for anything, we should be sure that what we are desiring will bring glory to His name.

17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. — Col. 3:17 NIV

 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 08-07-2018

Are We Models for Other Believers?

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As a result, you became a model for all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. – 1 Thess. 7
 
What words of encouragement Paul gives to the Thessalonians!  They have become models for believers everywhere. They are known throughout all of Greece for their faith in God!  So, when Paul and his companions arrive at a new place, the people there are already aware of who they are because of the good things they are hearing about the church in Thessalonica.  They already know the story of how the people in Thessalonica have turned from serving idols to serving the true and living God.  Because of Paul’s message which is being delivered with the power of the Holy Spirit, they now wait for the return of Jesus, the One God has raised from the dead, the One who would come and rescue them from the coming wrath!  Do the churches that we attend have that kind of reputation in the world today?  Is our local church seen as a place of safety and comfort? Or would people find more fellowship and feel more welcome in a secular setting? Do we do a good job of greeting newcomers and make them fell comfortable in our pews? Are we more like a wide-open hospital tent in a war zone or an emergency room only for believers?  Pick a number, any number.  If that many newcomers came to our church today, would we have enough members willing to pray with each one individually and explain the message of salvation to them?  Or would we need a triage to assign the degree of urgency to each case so the staff could handle it? No, we couldn’t do that since we all have the same disease and we are all affected to the same degree and in the same way.  So, would any of them have to leave without having an opportunity to talk to the Doctor? Am I personally able and willing to introduce them to the great Physician? My prayer for each of us is that we are not only able but that we are willing to do that. The fields are white with harvest.

35 You say, don’t you, ‘In four more months the harvest will begin?’ Look, I tell you, open your eyes and observe that the fields are ready for harvesting now! – John 4:35 ISV
 
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 07-10-2018

“Seasoned With Salt”

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5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. — Colossians 4:5,6 NIV

As Christians, we need to be constantly reminded that the “outsiders” , those that have not yet accepted Jesus as their Savior, are watching every move we make and listening to every word we say.  Not only to what we say but the tone of voice we use when we say it.  Every day, everywhere we go, we are witnessing.  Will our lifestyles attract others to Christ or cause them to turn away? Our conversations and our attitudes must be full of grace. The grace of God, in giving us Jesus as our Redeemer and Savior, is the one great difference between Christianity and worldly religions.  We are different.  We are the only ones who serve a living God.  No worldly religions make that claim. The fact that we serve a living Savior makes us accountable to Him.  That is why the name of Jesus always requires a decision.  When you hear that name, you either accept or reject Him, there is no middle ground.  This is a stand from which we cannot back down.

 

32 “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven. — Matthew 10:32, 33

 We must hold our position and do it with grace and love. We must study the Scriptures so that we will be instantly ready to answer anyone and everyone who questions us.  Our whole lifestyles should be seasoned with salt, the great preservative and flavor enhancer.  If we are seasoned with salt, we will attract others to our living God and they will remain forever.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 07-08-2018

Letters Read By Everyone

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1 Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. 2 Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. — 2 Cor. 4:1​, 2  ​NIV
When we hear the word minister or ministry, we tend to think of pastors. evangelists, missionaries and offices of that sort.  But, God has given each of us a ministry. Each one of us has been called to service by God. Our mission field is where we live, work or go to school.  Our congregations are our families, neighbors, fellow workers and/or fellow students. Just as surely as a pastor is responsible to proclaim the message of Jesus Christ and His resurrection to his congregation, we are to do the same for those God has placed in our circle of influence. Just as surely as a pastor should pray for those in his congregation, we are responsible to pray for those around us. Just as surely as a church staff should minister to the needs of the congregation, we should minister to the needs of those God has put in our “congregations”. Whether those needs be spiritual, emotional, physical or financial, we have a responsibility to use the resources God has given us to comfort others.  3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.– 2 Cor. 1:3, 4 NIV

Our lifestyles should reflect the truth that we are letters sent from Christ written on hearts of flesh by the Holy Spirit and read by everyone who knows us.

2 You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. 3 You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. — 2 Cor. 3:1, 2 NIV

We should use every ministry opportunity to contend for the faith that has been entrusted to us by God Himself.


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

Post 06-07-2018

We Want to See Jesus

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 They said, “Sir, we want to meet Jesus.”
– John 12:21b NLT
The people were still spreading the word about what Jesus had done for Lazarus. This caused a lot of curiosity in the villages and caused others to want to meet Jesus. Even people who were not Jews had become interested in who this man was. They were there to celebrate the Passover Feast. They went to Philip and said “Sir, we would like to see Jesus.” There are lost people in our world today who want to see Jesus. they may not realize that is who they are looking for, so we have to be the ones to tell them. They are empty and they need someone to love them enough to tell them about Jesus.

Does our lifestyle and the way we act toward them cause the lost to be attracted to Christ? Would a person who knew you feel comfortable about asking you about Jesus? Are we letting our light shine?

 
2 ​The people who walk in darkness

    will see a great light.
For those who live in a land of deep darkness,
    a light will shine.

 – Isaiah 9:2 NLT​


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

10-20-2017