Does the Success of Others Bring Us Joy?

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29 It is the bridegroom who marries the bride, and the bridegroom’s friend is simply glad to stand with him and hear his vows. Therefore, I am filled with joy at his success

​. – John 3:29 NLT​

Over and over in Chapter 3, we are reminded of John’s faithfulness and steadfastness in following the plan that God had laid out for Him. In today’s society, with all of it’s “me first” attitudes, we need this constant reminder. We, like John, need to know our place in God’s plan and be faithful in carrying out that plan. God’s plan is for us to teach and preach the “foolishness” of the gospel. God has gifted each of us with a special gift that He wants us to use in spreading His Word. What is our gift and how are we using it to further the Kingdom of God here on earth? There is not one job in God’s Kingdom that is not important. Every part of the body has to function well for the Church to work as God planned it. Do we do our job with gratitude that God has chosen us to help Him? Are we filled with joy when those that have more visible jobs are successful? Do we honestly and fervently pray for those in authority over us? Are we “filled with joy” when those around us are promoted to a position over us? In our hearts and minds, we must see ourselves as less important and Jesus as Lord or as Paul puts it, we must mortify the flesh and follow after the Spirit.

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

Post 08-14-2017

He Is Why We Are Here

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30 He is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘A man is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’ – John 1:30 NLT

While Elizabeth was pregnant with John and Mary was pregnant with Jesus, Mary visited Elizabeth. At the sound of Mary’s voice, Elizabeth’s baby leaped within her womb. Even before John was born, He already knew his purpose and recognized his Lord. John stayed faithful to that mission. He is a great example of humility and faithfulness for us. We should be aware that God had a plan for us before we were born. It is our responsibility to determine that plan and follow it faithfully and humbly. We should never presume to do anything for God that He has not called us to do. God does not see success as the world sees success. What God wants from us is obedience and faithfulness.


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

Post 08-03-2017

We Are Winners Through Faith

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And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.  – 1 John 5:5 NLT​
 

Because of His great love for sinners, such as us, God made His salvation plan very simple and free. Just believe! Once we are saved, we start on a journey that will require everything and every part of us. It is not easy to love all of God’s children. Even so, it is not a choice we can make, it is a command given to us by our Father. Then we must learn to obey His commandments.  Through this obedience and faith in the work of the Holy Spirit in us, we can become over​-comers. The flesh alone can not defeat satan in the smallest battle, we have to depend on Jesus to fight our battles. Our job is to “trust and obey”. Instead of worrying and being filled with fear, we just need to lean on Jesus. The world says “when the going gets tough, the tough get going”. Jesus says something totally different.

28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”–Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT)


Jesus will never leave us nor forsake us, just rest in His arms and praise Him!


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

Post 07-18-2017

Faithfulness Has It’s Rewards

even-smaller-bug-light1So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.  ​- 1 Peter 1:7​b NLT

1 Peter 1:6-8 NLT

We must have genuine faith to endure the trials and hardships here on earth. Our faith will be tested on many occasions. Through these tests and temptations we will grow stronger in our walk with the Lord. We must remember that we will never be tempted with anything that is not common to others, it will never be more than we can bear, and there is always a way out it we want to escape the temptation.


13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.​-1 Cor. 10:13 (NLT)​
 

So we must press on to heaven. We will have our reward when Jesus Christ is revealed. “Trust and obey, for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus”. (Hymn by John H Sammis, circa 1887) We love and trust Jesus because He gave Himself for us. That hope is what brings us joy and peace.

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

Post 06-13-2017

Faith Produces Good Works

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16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? – James 2:16 NLT

We know that we are saved “by grace through faith, not by works, lest any man should boast”. We also know that everything we receive while we are here on earth is a free gift from God. So, what is the purpose of “good works” and why are they important? Well, there are at least two good reasons and probably more it you want to break them down. The first is this; now, that we are Christians, Jesus is our example and He went about doing good works.
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)


The second reason is this; doing good works here on earth is how we store our rewards or treasures in heaven.

20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.–Matt 6:20,21 (NLT)


If we do good works for these two reasons, it will keep our hearts and minds focused on Jesus and our final reward of living an eternity with Him. If we focus on that, it will make the burdens lighter and we can walk the path with joy and thanksgiving in our hearts and a song of praise on our lips!


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

Post 05-31-2017

Unshakable!

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28 Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe. ​ – Hebrews 12:28 NLT


God sent Moses to deliver the children of Israel from the bondage in Egypt. Because of their stubbornness and disobedience to what Moses told them to do, the generation of people that left Egypt never made it to the Promised Land. Except for Joshua and Caleb, the whole multitude of people died in the land east of Jordan. Because of their faithfulness and obedience, Joshua and Caleb received the promised reward of entering into the Promised Land. They were allowed to partake of the blessings of eating crops they did not plant, drinking water from wells they did not dig, and living in houses that they did not build. We have a better message from a better leader than Moses. We have heard from God Himself. He sent His Son, Jesus, to die for our sins and show us the way home. Those that do not believe the message He brought will be shaken and separated like chaff from the wheat. But if we remain steadfast and unshakable, we shall sit at the banquet table and enjoy the wedding feast that Jesus has prepared for us. We shall live in a city not made with human hands and spend an eternity with Jesus Christ, our Savior and our Lord. A better way that brings a much better reward.

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

Post 05-16-2017

We Must Remain Faithful

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39 But we are not like those who turn away from God to their own destruction. We are the faithful ones, whose souls will be saved. ​ — Hebrews 10:39 NLT


Early Christians had to suffer various kinds of persecution. They were beaten, imprisoned and insulted. They were also dressed in animal skins and used as prey for the dogs and the lions in the Coliseum to entertain the ruling class in Roman society. Eleven of the twelve disciples were martyred. We here in America know little or nothing about being persecuted for our beliefs. Until recently, we have enjoyed true freedom of worship and religious expression. That is changing now, Christians are being forced out of their jobs because they refuse to accept immoral principles that are in direct conflict with our Biblical beliefs. We need to stay in prayer, studying God’s Word and encouraging one another. Jesus told us that the time was coming when we would be tested.​

9 “Then they will hand you over to those who will torture and kill you. All nations will hate you because you are committed to me. 10 Then many will lose faith. They will betray and hate each other. 11 Many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.–Matthew 24:9-11 (GW)


We already see this happening in many parts of the world. But remember what Paul said to encourage us. If we remain faithful. God is faithful to do what He has promised.
 
Romans 8:37-39 NLT


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

Post 05-06-2017