FREE! FREE! THANK GOD, WE ARE FREE INDEED!!

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

6 But from those who were of high reputation (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—well, those who were of reputation contributed nothing to me. 7 But on the contrary, seeing that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised 8 (for He who effectually worked for Peter in his apostleship to the circumcised effectually worked for me also to the Gentiles), 9 and recognizing the grace that had been given to me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and​ ​Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, so that we might go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. 10 They only asked us to remember the poor—the very thing I also was eager to do.—Gal. 2:6-10 (NASB)
​Paul ​did not back down from his stand on circumcision. When Peter, James and John, the pillars of the church in Jerusalem, recognized that Paul was right they gave him the right hand of fellowship. (To those who don’t speak Churchese, that means that Paul now had their support and was welcomed into the congregation of Christians,) They all agreed that the new converts, both Jewish and Gentile should not eat food that had been sacrificed to idols and that they should support the poor. It is still a good idea to help the poor and refrain from acts that might cause our brothers to be offended.. Paul and Barnabas leave to go back to Antioch to give the news to the new converts. We, like the first century church, must be careful not to add requirements to God’s plan of salvation. We do not want to become like the legalistic leaders who weighed men down with their traditions. When the Spirit sets us free, we are indeed free from the bondage of sin that was of no benefit to us. The law could not free us, but God could and did by sending His Son, Jesus as an offering for our sin.
1​ Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh—Romans 8:1-3 (NASB)
Post 03-22-2015

Words of Life

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

4 Jesus fully realized all that was going to happen to him, so he stepped forward to meet them. “Who are you looking for?” he asked. 5 “Jesus the Nazarene,” they replied. “I am he,” Jesus said. (Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them.) 6 As Jesus said “I am he,” they all drew back and fell to the ground! 7 Once more he asked them, “Who are you looking for?” And again they replied, “Jesus the Nazarene.” 8 “I told you that I am he,” Jesus said. “And since I am the one you want, let these others go.” 9 He did this to fulfill his own statement: “I did not lose a single one of those you have given me.”​ 10 Then Simon Peter drew a sword and slashed off the right ear of Malchus, the high priest’s slave. 11 But Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword back into its sheath. Shall I not drink from the cup of suffering the Father has given me?”—John 18:4-11​ (NLT)
​When Judas had led the Roman soldiers and the Temple guard to Jesus​, Jesus asked them who they were looking for. When they replied that they were looking for Jesus the Nazarene, Jesus said “I AM HE”. His words were so powerful that all the soldiers and guards fell to the ground, After all, this was the same voice that spoke the world and everything in it into existence.
1​ In the beginning the Word already existed.​ The Word was with God,​ and the Word was God.​ 2 He existed in the beginning with God.​ 3 God created everything through him,​ and nothing was created except through him.​ 4 The Word gave life to everything that was created. –John 1: 1-4a (NLT)
​Jesus​ could just as easily have spoken words of death to them, but because of His love for man, He did not do that. Instead, He spoke words that gave His disciples life and liberty. This fulfilled His earlier words that He would not lose any of the ones that God the Father had given Him. Even when Peter took out his sword, Jesus admonished him to put his sword away. There are times to fight, there are times to stand and then there are those times when we must drink from the cup of suffering if we are to be counted as a child of God. We each have a cross to bear.
Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.–Luke 9:23 (NLT)
Post 02-24-2015

“I Give My Life Freely”

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

17 The Father loves me because I give my life so that I can take it back again. 18​ ​No one takes it away from me; I give my own life freely. I have the right to give my life, and I have the right to take it back. This is what my Father commanded me to do.” 19 Again the Jews did not agree with each other because of these words of Jesus. 20 Many of them said, “A demon has come into him and made him crazy. Why listen to him?” 21 But others said, “A man who is crazy with a demon does not say things like this. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?” —John 10:17-21 (NCV)
​The decision for Jesus​ to be the perfect Lamb sacrificed for our redemption was made long before the world was spoken into existence.
18 You know that in the past you were living in a worthless way, a way passed down from the people who lived before you. But you were saved from that useless life. You were bought, not with something that ruins like gold or silver, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, who was like a pure and perfect lamb. 20 Christ was chosen before the world was made, but he was shown to the world in these last times for your sake. —1 Peter 1:18-20 (NCV)
​Jesus​ the human did not want to die on the cross any more than you or I would want to die such a cruel death. But Jesus as the second Person of the Trinity knew from time immemorial that He was going to do just that. Since Jesus was the Word and the Word was with God, Jesus was there when the decision was made and was in full agreement with the plan. So, He could truthfully say that He had the right to give His life and to take it back. Taking His life back was a reference to His resurrection that the Jews did not understand at that time. Being spiritually blind, they thought Jesus must be crazy or demon possessed. Before we accepted Jesus, we had no understanding of what Jesus was doing and why He was doing it. But, now that we know, it is our responsibility to carry the Good News to others. The New Year has begun, wouldn’t it be great if all of our friends and neighbors could begin a New Life by accepting Jesus? Let us freely give our time in spreading the Gospel so that others may have life eternal.
Post 01-02-2015

“What Do You Mean, Set Free?”

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

28 So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man on the cross, then you will realize that I am he and that I do nothing on my own, but I speak what the Father taught me. 29​ ​And the one who sent me is with me — he has not deserted me. For I always do those things that are pleasing to him.” 30 Then many who heard him say these things believed in him. 31 Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you keep obeying my teachings. 32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 “But we are descendants of Abraham,” they said. “We have never been slaves to anyone on earth. What do you mean, ‘set free’?” 34 Jesus replied, “I assure you that everyone who sins is a slave of sin.—John 8:28-34 (NLT)
​No matter​ how many times Jesus was rejected, He continued to try to get the people to believe Him. Jesus kept on saying what His Father had taught Him to say and some who heard believed Him. To those who believed, Jesus said “You are truly my disciples if you obey my teachings and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” The people replied that they had never been slaves, so how could they be set free? Jesus assured them that everyone who has a lifestyle of sin is a slave of sin. So it was with us, we were slaves to sin before we accepted Jesus as our Savior. He has set us free by making us a new creation in Christ Jesus. As soon as we accept Jesus, we become citizens of heaven and new creations. But living a holy lifestyle is a continuous process that we must work at everyday.
2 Do not be shaped by this world; instead be changed within by a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to decide what God wants for you; you will know what is good and pleasing to him and what is perfect.–Romans 12:2 (NCV)
—Post 12-19-2-14

“The Lower Lights”

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

12 Jesus said to the people, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t be stumbling through the darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” 13 The Pharisees replied, “You are making false claims about yourself!” 14 Jesus told them, “These claims are valid even though I make them about myself. For I know where I came from and where I am going, but you don’t know this about me. 15 You judge me with all your human limitations, but I am not judging anyone. 16 And if I did, my judgment would be correct in every respect because I am not alone — I have with me the Father who sent me.—-John 8:12-16 (NLT)
​The claim that Jesus made “I am the Light of the world” was true. It was a fulfillment of the prophecy in Isaiah
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)
​Where the light shines, it dispels darkness, the two cannot abide together. Those that follow the light of Jesus can walk without stumbling and they will be led to eternal life. When we were being led by the flesh, we walked in darkness and misjudged people just as the Pharisees and the religious leaders did. We were unable to see and understand the truth. When the Holy Spirit shined the Light of Jesus upon us, we could no longer live in darkness. Filled with the Holy Spirit, we are now the light that shines in the darkness of the world.
14 “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.—M​a​tt. 5:14, 15 (NLT
​This reminds me​ of the old hymn by Philip Paul Bliss. The hymn was inspired by a story told by the well known preacher, Dwight L Moody.
Brightly beams our Father’s mercy
From His lighthouse evermore,
But to us He gives the keeping
Of the lights along the shore.
Chorus:
Let the lower lights be burning!
Send a gleam across the wave!
Some poor fainting, struggling seaman
You may rescue, you may save.

​We​ are the lower lights, we must continue to shine to lead others safely to the shore.
Post 12-16-14

“Go And Sin No More”

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

1​ Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, 2 but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. 3 As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.​ 4 “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery.5 The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”​ 6 They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. 7 They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” 8 Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust. 9 When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman.10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”​ 11 “No, Lord,” she said.​ And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”—John 8:1-11 (NLT)
​The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees were still looking for some substantial charge they could bring against Jesus.​ If they could get Jesus to say anything against the law of Moses, then they could charge Him with blasphemy. But, as Jesus had done in the past, knowing what their thoughts and intentions were, He again avoided their trap. It would be fantastic to know what Jesus wrote in the dust, but whatever it was, it was sufficient to chase the accusers away. After they left, Jesus asks the woman, “does even one of them condemn you?” She says, “No, Lord”. Then she heard the most beautiful words a sinner can hear, “neither do I, go and sin no more.” Can you imagine the peace and joy she must have felt when she heard Jesus speak those words? We don’t have to imagine that feeling! Jesus has spoken the same words to each of us that has accepted Him as our Savior and Lord, The peace! the joy! the freedom! the liberty that flows over us at that moment is something the world could never give us. And it’s free because Jesus paid it all!
31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? ​—​Romans 8:31 (NLT)
Post 12-15-14

“Look Beneath the Surface”

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

20 The crowd replied, “You’re demon possessed! Who’s trying to kill you?” 21 Jesus replied, “I did one miracle on the Sabbath, and you were amazed.22 But you work on the Sabbath, too, when you obey Moses’ law of circumcision. (Actually, this tradition of circumcision began with the patriarchs, long before the law of Moses.) 23 For if the correct time for circumcising your son falls on the Sabbath, you go ahead and do it so as not to break the law of Moses. So why should you be angry with me for healing a man on the Sabbath?​ ​24 Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly.”—John 7:20-24 (NLT)
Doesn’t the crowd in Jerusalem that day kind of remind us of ourselves? Aren’t we always pointing fingers at others and trying to justify why and when we do what we do? Jesus pointed out some of the things that they and their ancestors had done on the Sabbath. Under the law, if the eighth day after birth occurred on the Sabbath, you would have to violate Moses’ law by working on the Sabbath or not circumcising the male child on the correct day. That is why Jesus said:
27 Then Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is Lord, even over the Sabbath!”–M​a​rk 2:27,28 (NLT)
​Jesus​ asks them to look beneath the surface, in other words, look into the situation and determine why the person is doing what they are doing on the Sabbath or any other time​.​ Jesus has set us free from the law and now we live under grace. If we are led by the Holy Spirit, our conscience will determine if our actions are right or wrong. No law is required.
Post 12-08-14

Does Where Really Matter?

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

19 “Sir,” the woman said, “you must be a prophet. 20 So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim, where our ancestors worshiped?” 21 Jesus replied, “Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews. 23 But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. 24 For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”—John 4:19-24 (NLT)
​We might think it strange that the woman asks this question, but in her time and situation, it was a very important question. Under the law, there were specific feasts and celebrations that could only be carried out in Jerusalem. She wanted to know how this would affect her worship. So, if we wanted to update this question to now, we might ask Jesus, “How is this going to affect my lifestyle?” Jesus answers her question by introducing a whole new concept. The time is coming and it is actually here now that you will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. After Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension, He sent us the Holy Spirit, Now that we have the Holy Spirit abiding in us, we can worship God anywhere and anytime. This is true for individual worship. The answer for corporate worship is a little more complicated.
24 Let us think about each other and help each other to show love and do good deeds.25 You should not stay away from the church meetings, as some are doing, but you should meet together and encourage each other. Do this even more as you see the day coming.—Hebrews 10:24,25 (NCV)
Post 11-10-14

The Gift of Eternal Life

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

9 Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?”​ 10 Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? 11 Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness. 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.—John 3: 9-17 (NLT)
​The​ finite human mind finds it impossible to understand the infinite love, mercy and grace of the heavenly Father. If someone tells us facts about earthly things and we refuse to believe, how is it possible for that person to tell us about heavenly things? Without the Holy Spirit, it would be impossible. But, because of His great love for the creatures He created, God has made the salvation plan free and simple. He gave us His Son to redeem us from all our sins, past, present and future. Jesus is the perfect, eternal gift. When God looks at us, He sees us through the Perfect blood of Jesus, even though, in our flesh, we are not perfect, that is how He sees us. To those who have accepted Jesus as Savior and Lord, there is no condemnation nor can there be. Jesus came that we might be redeemed and have an abundant life here and hereafter. Start enjoying the freedom and liberty that we have now in Christ Jesus.
Post 11-02-14

“Come, Follow Me”

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of these men who heard what John said and then followed Jesus. 41 Andrew went to find his brother, Simon, and told him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means “Christ”.​) 42 Then Andrew brought Simon to meet Jesus. Looking intently at Simon, Jesus said,“Your name is Simon, son of John—but you will be called Cephas” (which means “Peter”). 43 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Come, follow me.” 44 Philip was from Bethsaida, Andrew and Peter’s hometown.—John 1:40-43 (NLT)
​Once​ we answer the call to “come and see” and we have “tasted and seen” that the Lord is good, our next step is to follow the Lord. While the plan of salvation is simple and free, following the example that Jesus set for us is not easy and it is not free. He gave up His glory in heaven, came to earth and died for us. Should the created expect to do less than that for His Creator? From the worldly point of view, this is asking a lot, but from God’s point of view, it is the best thing that you can do. The only way to save your life is to let it go.
33 If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it—Luke 17:33 (NLT)
​For​ our sake, Jesus laid down His life, so that He could take it up again to be our Redeemer and Lord. So, we must lay down our lives for His sake.
23 Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me. 24 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. 25 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but are yourself lost or destroyed?—Luke 9:23-25 (NLT)
​”Come, follow me”! When we decide to this for Jesus, we find a life that is truly worth living.
Post 10-27-14