“Things That Are Excellent”

8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. — Phil. 4:8 NLT

Philippians 4:4-8

If we follow Paul’s advice, we will pray and be thankful for all things that God has done for us. We must continually guard our thoughts and the desires of our hearts. We need to focus on things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, excellent and worthy of praise. Then we will become God-conscious. Witnessing for Jesus will be a natural outflow of this kind of thinking. Our actions will be Christ-centered and people will know that we have something they don’t have. If we let our guard down, satan will rush in and have us thinking about the pleasures of the flesh. Then, satan will keep telling us about all the things we don’t have. After listening to that for a short while, we become sin-conscious. In that state of mind, we are of little use to God, ourselves or anyone else. Fight the good fight and stay focused on Jesus. Then we will enjoy God’s peace, joy will overflow and it will be completely natural for us to praise Him for His goodness.

Phil.2:1-5 NLT

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

Post 07-27-2019

Focus On Jesus

22  I was so foolish and ignorant—    I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you. — Psalm 73:22

 Psalm 73:22-28 NLT
Have you ever wondered if God thinks about us in these terms?  I am sure that satan, the old deceiver, would like for us to believe that He does.  If we have ever had these kind of thoughts, we should be like the Psalmist here. In his very next breath (or verse in this case), he immediately gets his head on straight by remembering what has happened in every instance in the past. The Psalmist realizes that he is speaking from a bitter heart and he has been questioning God’s wisdom.  God never leaves us nor forsakes us nor does He cast us from His presence.  Instead, He reaches down to us and if we reach up to Him, He takes us by the hand and continues to lead us toward our glorious destiny.  The Psalmist remembers that God is our strength, our fortress and our shield.  We allow satan to sneak these silly ideas into our minds when we are focused on the horizontal.   We need to stay focused on the vertical.  That means spending time alone with God, praising and thanking Him for His goodness and His blessings.  If we do this, we can be assured that God will set the rest of the world straight in His own time.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 04-02-2019

One Way – Jesus!

even-smaller-bug-light1

You are being fooled by those who deliberately twist the truth concerning Christ. – Gal. 1:7b NLT

In today’s world, it seems more and more that we hear about evangelists and preachers that have been caught in compromising situations. We know that now, just as in the first century, there are those who preach the gospel for the wrong reasons. Paul spoke about this in his writings.
18 But what does it matter? Here is the important thing. Whether for reasons that are right or wrong, Christ is being preached about. That makes me very glad. And I will continue to be glad.—Philippians 1:18 (NIRV)
Jude, the brother of Jesus, spoke about it as well.
4 For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.–Jude 1:4 (NIV)
Once we have heard the pure word of God and accepted Jesus as our Savior and Lord, the battle has just begun. There will be those people who want to lead us astray for their own gain or fame. But, we must remember that true repentance is not only turning from sin but it is turning to Jesus. There is no turning back.Does this mean that we will never fall? No, but it does mean that we won’t return to our old lifestyle. Our focus has turned from pleasing our flesh to pleasing our Lord and Savior. We need to ask Jesus for forgiveness when we fail, but we don’t need to let the devil keep us “sin-conscious”. We need to stay “Jesus conscious”.

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

Post 12-19-2017

Focus on Following Jesus

even-smaller-bug-light1

22 Jesus replied, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? As for you, follow me.”  – John 21:22 NLT

Jesus seems to be saying to Peter​, mind your own business. Your duty is to follow me, not to be overly concerned about what others are doing. That is good advice for us in today’s world as well. We need to stay focused on Jesus and not those around us. Yes, we need to respect those that are in spiritual authority over us, but we are not to make them idols. Sooner or later, the flesh will fail, but Jesus never has failed and He never will fail. What we need to do is accept Jesus as Lord of our life, obey His commands, follow His example and do what He has called and gifted us to do in His Kingdom. If we stay faithful in doing that, we will  have ​little, if any, time to criticize and judge our brothers and sisters. Doing this means we cannot and do not accept blindly the words of others. We must make sure they are aligned with the Holy Scriptures.
20 Do not scoff at prophecies, 21 but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. 22 Stay away from every kind of evil.–1 Thess. 5:20-22 (NLT)

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

Post 12-17-2017

Focus on Jesus

even-smaller-bug-light1

1 And so, dear brothers and sisters who belong to God and are partners with those called to heaven, think carefully about this Jesus whom we declare to be God’s messenger and High Priest — Hebrews 3:1 NLT

We must keep our minds and our eyes focused on Jesus, He and He, alone, is our example to follow. Jesus is the author and the completion of our faith. He is faithful to God always. There are times when we stumble and fall, but Jesus picks us up and carries us until we are able to walk with Him again. We are the church built on Christ the foundation. We are the body and Christ is the head. The builder and the head should be praised and glorified. That is our duty to glorify God at all times. We are His household and we can boast of nothing in and of ourselves, but we can point to Jesus, our Redeemer and be proud of the confidence we have because of His faithfulness.

13 If we are unfaithful,  he remains faithful,  for he cannot deny who he is.

 — 2 Timothy 2:13 NLT

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

Post 04-21-2017

Change Your Thought Patterns

even-smaller-bug-light1

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

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 after 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

Post 03-09-2017

Imitating Jesus

even-smaller-bug-light1

You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
— Phil. 2:5 NLT
Jesus came to set us free from the captivity of our sins. When we spiritually died with Christ and we were raised up again, we were set free from the powers of this world. Our lifestyles should reflect that death and resurrection. We should live our lives free from old laws and traditions. As Jesus instructed Peter in Acts 11: 9 The voice spoke again from heaven, ‘Do not consider anything unclean that God has declared clean.” But we must never let our liberty be a stumbling block to outsiders or those that are weaker. We should use our liberty in Jesus to attract others to Him. We are to be filled with the Spirit of the Living God and led by His directions. Only the love of God and His Spirit abiding in us can stop us from doing the evil things that the flesh continues to want to do. We should be Spirit-fed and Spirit-led. Will we be accused of trying to be little “Jesuses”? Probably so, but is there anyone better for us to attempt to imitate than our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ?
 

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

Post 03-08-2017