“Do You Now Believe?”

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40 Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?” – John 11:40 NLT

Just imagine this scene! A crowd standing at a tomb, which was a cave covered by a large stone. Some were crying, some were doubting, all of them, I am sure, wondering what Jesus was going to do next. Is it any wonder that Jesus had cried earlier? He was surrounded by a sea of unbelief. It would have been particularly hurtful because the ones who knew Him and He loved so much were also doubting. But, thank God, Lazarus didn’t have to depend on the faith of all those people or he would never have come out of that grave. Picture the look on their faces when Jesus said “Lazarus, come forth!’ Their attitude went from one of doubt to amazement! Some of them were even convinced that Jesus was really who He said He was. “Let Him go!” There must have been some rejoicing there that day in Bethany! STOP! Now, picture yourself in that same crowd that same day. In which group do you see yourself? Do you come there as a believer or a doubter? Do you leave there as a believer or a doubter? Fast forward to “now”. In which group are we now? Are we fully persuaded?

16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave[g] his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
​- John 3:16

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

Post 10-14-2017

Jesus Weeps for the People

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35 Then Jesus wept. – John 11:35 NLT
Mary made the exact same statement that Martha had made, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died”. The weeping of Mary, Martha and their friends clearly upset Jesus. So much so that Jesus began to cry. The crowd thought He was crying because Lazarus had died. Little did they realize that the death of Lazarus had nothing to do with His tears. Jesus was heartbroken because of the lack of understanding and faith displayed by these people including Mary and Martha. You can almost hear Jesus asking them the same question He asked His disciples.
17 Jesus answered, “You people have no faith, and your lives are all wrong. How long must I put up with you? How long must I continue to be patient with you? Bring the boy here.” ​–Matt. 17:17 (NCV)
We have to ask ourselves the question: How many times have we broken the heart of the one who loved us enough to die for us? Has our lack of faith and our disobedience caused a river of tears? But God has already forgotten all those sins and mistakes. Let each of us pledge to do the same and press forward with a renewed faith that brings gladness and joy to our Lord and Savior. It would bring joy to His heart if each of us truly “cast all our cares upon Him” and let Him carry us through every situation. His mercies are new every morning.
22 The Lord’s love never ends;​ his mercies never stop.
23 They are new every morning;​ Lord, your loyalty is great.​–Lamentations 3:22,23 (NCV)


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

Post 10-13-2017

How Much Evidence Do We Need?

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 36 But I have a greater witness than John—my teachings and my miracles. The Father gave me these works to accomplish, and they prove that he sent me. – John 5:36 NLT
 

Jesus continues to explain to the Jewish leaders why they should believe that He is the Messiah. In Jewish tradition, the testimony of two or three male witnesses established a truth. Jesus points out to them that He has John the Baptist and God the Father as His witnesses. In any other legal situation this would have been sufficient proof for any Jew to believe what He was saying. But, as Jesus explains, He has an even greater proof, that of His teachings and His miracles. Just as so many people today refuse to believe His words, so it was then. This unbelief by His chosen people broke His heart. Unbelief still breaks the heart of Jesus. It is not His will “that any should perish, but that all should come to everlasting life”. Take the time today to tell someone you love about Jesus.

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

Post – 08-28-2017

No Worries

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33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.  — Matt. 6:33 NLT
God gave us time in 24 hour blocks so that our finite minds could comprehend it. He isn’t bound by those restraints. It is always the PRESENT (NOW) to Him. He sees time as an eternity having no beginning and no end. He has forgotten all about your PAST sins (they are cast as far away as the East is from the West) and only He knows whether we have an earthly tomorrow (FUTURE) or not. God comes to us right where we are right now. So, wherever you are and whatever situation you have found yourself in, just look up and you will see the hand of Jesus reaching down to pull you up out of the pit and set your feet on the Solid Rock. Trust Jesus to be your Savior, your Provider, and your Fortress.  God is our Jehovah-Jireh, our Provider. He is absolutely all we need.
 
19 And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.

— Phil, 4:19 NLT
Post 09-18-2016

You Can’t Get Anymore Saved

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31 And there was great joy throughout the church that day as they read this encouraging message. — Acts 15:31 NLT
 
 
“There was great joy” when the people were told that they had done the one necessary thing they needed to do to be saved.  When we are first saved in today’s society, we need to be very careful who we listen to.  As Paul said, “if anyone, including an angel from heaven and/or me, comes to you and gives you some different message, that person should be cursed.”  Gal. 1:6 (my paraphrase}. The letter did go on to give the new converts some guidelines as to what they should or should not do. The letter did not claim that these guidelines had to be followed to complete their salvation.  It is still the same today, when we personally witness to someone who accepts Jesus as their Savior, we need to take a few minutes and give them some encouragement and guidelines as well.  We need to explain to them that satan will waste no time in trying to discourage them and make them doubt their salvation.  We need to encourage them to find a good Bible teaching church and a good mentor to help them along the way.  After the initial acceptance of Jesus as our Savior, we need someone to help us understand that the Holy Spirit will come alongside us and help us learn to “walk in paths of righteousness”.  
Post 07-06-2016

Undefeated!

even-smaller-bug-light122 “People of Israel, listen! God publicly endorsed Jesus the Nazarene by doing powerful miracles, wonders, and signs through him, as you well know. 23 But God knew what would happen, and his prearranged plan was carried out when Jesus was betrayed. With the help of lawless Gentiles, you nailed him to a cross and killed him. 24 But God released him from the horrors of death and raised him back to life, for death could not keep him in its grip. — Acts 2:22-24 NLT     Acts 2:25-41

Our story never changes.  It is the old, old story that is new every morning.  It is our anthem, our song, our strength and our hope.  Jesus voluntarily gave up HIs glory in heaven temporarily.  He was born into the world, He was fully man and fully God.  He went about doing good and God performed miracles, wonders and signs through Him.  Not everyone believed the story then and not everyone believes the story now.  But God, knowing what would happen, already had a plan in place.  Jesus came to this earth to redeem a fallen people from their sins and nothing, no one, nor any force of any kind would prevent that from happening. Over and over, the religious leaders conspired to kill Jesus before His time and in a manner that would not be sufficient for redemption.  God would not allow it.  Jesus was the perfect man, God had the perfect plan and now we are redeemed.  Just as God had a plan for Jesus, He has a plan for each of us to participate in the redemption story.  We are not perfect, God already knows that, so when we fail, He understands.  But His plan for each of us takes our weaknesses and failures into account.  He is never surprised by our failures and He never gives up on us.  We are chosen, we are called and we will succeed in the plan Jesus has for each of us.  So, when satan, the father of lies, comes to shame us with all of our failures, we just need to tell him to take it up with Jesus, stand up. let God clean us up and press on.  The battle is not ours, it’s the Lord’s and He won the war years ago at the cross.  We may suffer losses and temporary setbacks, but we cannot be defeated.   Romans 8:38
Post 04-01-2016

Chosen and Befriended

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17 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18 even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 19 Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death. — Hebrews 11:17-19 NIV

​Abraham had lived for years waiting on the fulfillment of God’s promise of a son through which he would become the father of many nations. The son, Isaac, finally came when both Abraham and Sarah were well past normal child-bearing age.  Now, after a few short years with Isaac, God is asking Abraham to kill the dream. How could this possibly be?  Surely, Abraham had misunderstood what God said.  But, no, Abraham had completely understood what God said.  God knew how much Abraham trusted Him but Abraham needed to know that as well. If God has given any of us a vision or a dream in the past and it has not yet happened, do we trust God enough to let it die? Do we trust Him to bring that vision back to life, even if it takes a miracle?  The birth of Isaac was a miracle and the ram being caught in the bush was a miracle. Ah, you say, but Abraham was a chosen person, a friend of God’s.  God might do that for Abraham but not for me.  But, you would be wrong.  We are all chosen by God and we are all friends of God. God has not changed and He is still doing miraculous things on this earth.  If it takes a miracle for God to fulfill His promises to us, there are plenty of miracles left and more than sufficient power to make those miracles happen. We must believe. God does not always respond to every need, but He always responds to faith.

9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. — 1 Peter 2:9

24 One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. — Prov. 18:24
2​8 When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them,“Do you believe that I am able to do this?”
​ ​“Yes, Lord,” they replied. 29 Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you” — Matt. 9:28, 29
Post 09-01-2015