“Openly Declaring Your Faith”

10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved — Romans 10:10 NLT

Romans 10:9-15 NLT

We, who have been chosen by God and saved by His gift of Jesus dying on the cross, have a great responsibility to carry the message forward. We have received the commission and we must go forth. Not everyone will be glad to hear the Good News and not everyone will accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. But that does not relieve us of our responsibility to tell it everywhere we go. We are told that the angels in heaven rejoice greatly when a lost soul comes home. So, let’s make it our goal to keep the angels rejoicing continuously by leading people to Jesus Christ. Then when Jesus welcomes us home, we can just join in the festivities.

Luke 15:8-10 MSG

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

Post 07-16-2019

“When Your Faith Is Tested”

3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. — James 1:3 NLT

James 1:2-5 NLT

Some people seem to believe that God allows us to be tempted to prove something to Him.  He never tempts us. (James 1:13)  He does, however, allow us to be tested by situations.  The testing that He allows in our lives is for our benefit.  God already knows what our response will be, but the tests allow us to know where we are in our journey with God.  If we wallow in self-pity in the testing, our flesh allows the tests to turn into temptations.  When we are tested, we have to make a decision to trust God with the outcome or try to fix it ourselves.  If we fix it, it is always a temporary fix and we soon find ourselves back in the same old situation. If we allow God to deliver us from our troubles, we will grow in our walk with Him and He can trust us with bigger things.  We are His creation and it is His right to allow the tests. The tests are always for our benefit and the outcome makes us stronger. The most fertile ground is in the lowest valley, that is where faith is put to the test. We are His prized possessions and He would never do anything to harm us. A baby will never learn to crawl or walk if we carry it all the time. Thank God that He trusts us enough to allow the tests. The testing God allows is to make us stronger and wiser.  As we mature, God is able to use us more effectively in growing His Kingdom here on earth. If we don’t take care of the little things, He cannot trust us with bigger things.

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

Post 07-02-2019

“Why Are You Afraid?”

38 Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown? — Mark 4:38 NLT

Mark 4:35-41 NLT

I wonder how many sermons we have heard preached on this passage of scripture from Mark.
Some emphasize how frightened the disciples are, others question why Jesus would sleep during the storm or how He could sleep during the storm.  We have heard that when we are in the storm, God will calm the storm or He will calm us.  But I wonder if we are missing the real point of this story. Look at what Jesus said to His disciples:

“Why are you  afraid? Do you still have no  faith?”

I wonder if what Jesus really wanted to know was if the disciples had enough faith in Him to take care of them in the storm, no matter how high the waves.  In our lives, do we trust God to take care of us when the wind is blowing hard against our sails and the waves threaten to sink our boat?  Does it matter how strong the waves are when we are anchored in the SOLID ROCK? If God chooses not to calm our present storm, He will deliver us in the storm or through the storm. We just need to keep your eyes and thoughts focused on Jesus, not on the storm.  Peter was able to walk on the water as long as He was focused on Jesus but he begin to sink when he focused on the wind and the strong waves.  

Matt. 14:24-31 NLT

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

Post 06-12-2019

Believe and Speak In Faith

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28 She replied, “That’s true, Lord, but even the dogs under the table are allowed to eat the scraps from the children’s plates.”  29 “Good answer!” he said. “Now go home, for the demon has left your daughter.” 30 And when she arrived home, she found her little girl lying quietly in bed, and the demon was gone. — Mark 7:28-30 NLT

Hearing the words that Jesus had just spoken to her, it would have been understandable if this woman would have just crawled out of the room and left without receiving anything from Jesus.  But instead she suffered the humiliation and showed great humility by humbling herself before Jesus.  She told Jesus, I am not asking for the best, your leftovers will be more than sufficient to fulfill my needs.  Because of her humble response, Jesus answered her request and healed her daughter.  Is there a request in our lives that Jesus hasn’t fulfilled?   Is it possible that our “unanswered” prayers only appear to be unanswered because we refuse to humble ourselves before the Lord?   Is it possible that God can’t say “yes” because we refuse to say “yes” to His request?  Is it possible that we will only accept our preconceived notion as the answer and we miss what God is trying to do in our lives?  In this instance, Jesus first said “no” (which is an answer) but then because of her humbleness and persistence, He said “yes”.  God always answers every prayer, just because we don’t like the answer doesn’t mean He didn’t hear and answer us.  We need to be like the Phoenician woman, we need to be persistent but humble.  If we give God a good answer, He will give us a good answer.
 
So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. — 1 Peter 5:6, 7 NLT

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

Post 10-21-2018

Eat The Whole Thing

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 23 I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. 24 I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours. — Mark 11:23, 24 NLT

These are two well-known and often quoted verses from the Bible.  Of course, we know the basic principle of God answering prayer is true.  But, can we just randomly pick a mountain, ask God to cast it into the sea and watch it immediately happen?  Of course not.  We might not like the mountain where it is but there might be a million other people who love it and perhaps even God Himself might like the mountain where it is.  If God has told us to pray that prayer about a specific problem, then that mountain will be moved.  But the important thing for us to notice and remember with these two verses is the fact that they are the meat between two slices of bread.  We can’t just have the meat, we have to eat the whole sandwich.  Look at the principle in verse 22:

22 Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God.”

There is a requirement that God has laid out for us before we ask Him to move the mountain.  And then verse 25 gives us another requirement that we must fulfill before we ask God for anything:
25 But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.

And there are some veggies that need to be eaten as well,  Have we determined that what we are asking for aligns with all the Scriptures, not just our favorite ones?  If we have met the requirements for God to answer our prayer — believing (being completely convinced that it will happen), forgiveness and alignment with His will, then the mountain will move.
 
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 10-11-2018

Trust and Follow the Pathmaker

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11 Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true. ​- Hebrews 6:11 NIV
Accepting Jesus as our Savior is the first step on a  journey from here to heaven. We know our destination and we know that our arrival has been secured by the blood of Jesus. The huge difference in this trip and one that we might plan to take here on earth is that we don’t know the specifics of the route.  Generally, we know that it is ever onward and upward, but what does that entail on a minute by minute basis?  We are facing a great unknown and we must take every step by faith.  

 17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” — Romans 1:17 NIV
So we must study the gospel to know the way.  There is no earthly GPS that is going to lead us to heaven. But, God, in His great mercy and love for us installed a guide within us when we accepted His Son as our Savior.  We must learn to listen to the Guide to stay on the path. The way will not always be smooth and level.  It can get rocky and there will be valleys and mountains.  Just remember that every valley has two mountains and we travel from mountain to mountain not knowing what is over the next  one.  The important thing to KNOW is that we are never alone and if we get lost on the journey, the great Shepherd will leave the flock, come find us and carry us back to the straight and narrow path.  
 

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight
— Proverbs 3:5, 6 NIV

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

Post 05-10-2018

MVP – Most Valuable Possession

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6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.— 1 Peter 1:6​, 7​ NI​V

We have to go through trials and tribulations here on earth.  This should not surprise us, Jesus said “in this world you will be offended”. There is a specific reason that God allows us to go through these times of testing. And, amazingly enough, it is not to prove to Him how much we love Him, He already knows the answer to that question.  No, these tests are so we can know where we are on our journey with Him.  The suffering does allow us to realize whether or not our faith is genuine. If it proves to be genuine and our works withstand the fire, that is worth more than anything money can buy. Everything on earth can be and will be destroyed by fire except our faith and our hope.  Because we have hope eternal, we can praise Jesus Christ and give unto Him the glory and honor He so richly deserves. It is then that we will realize the truth of what Paul tells us:
 

18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.— Romans 8:18, 19 NIV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 04-12-2018