“Seek First the Kingdom of God”

33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.  — Matt. 6:33 NLT

Matt. 6:25 -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 05-15-2019

Using Our Resources for Kingdom Work

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. — Philippians 4:19 NLT

 Philippians 4:13-20 NLT

This  is one of those verses that just about everyone knows even if they have very limited familiarity with the Bible.  We need to ask ourselves if we truly believe this verse. How many of us have ever really experienced an unfulfilled need in our lives?  If we don’t count the days that we fast or the times we missed a meal because we chose to, have we ever had a day when we didn’t have three meals or at least have the opportunity to have three meals?  Most of us could probably go ten days or more without wearing any of our clothes twice.  If we are honest, the large majority of those reading this have never experienced a true “need” in our lives.  The truth is that we in the United States could probably clothe most  of the needy in our land by giving away the clothes we don’t need or wear.  We could feed families on the food we throw away.  When we pray that God will feed the hungry and clothe the needy, do we ever consider that He might be saying to us, “I have but you haven’t passed it on to them yet”?  Maybe God has chosen not to give us any more until we use what we have got for His honor and glory by helping others.

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

Post 04-05-2019

To Those Who Use Them, More Is Given

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Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” — Luke 19:9 NLT

Luke 19:1-9 ISV

Jesus temporarily gave up all of His glory in heaven for one reason. That reason was to come to earth, be born as a human, live a perfect, sinless life so that He would be sacrificed for our sins. Some of the people then, just as now, never understood that.  They were always trying to find fault with the things He did.  Jesus associated with and ate with sinners.  We must follow that example if we are to bring others to Christ.  Do we actively “seek” those who are lost or do we try to avoid situations where the Holy Spirit might nudge us to speak to sinners about Jesus and where they will spend eternity?  Do we hide behind the claim that we have not been called to be preachers or missionaries?  When we pray asking God to send workers into the fields of harvest, do we  exclude ourselves as being one of those who are subject to the call?   If we do, then are our prayers really sincere?  Since Jesus gave up everything to redeem us, what are we willing to give up to follow in His footsteps?  Is our attitude one of “save me and leave me alone” or “save me and use me to grow Your Kingdom here on earth and in eternity”?  To those that use the talents they have to expand the Kingdom, more is given, to those that refuse to use their talents to expand the Kingdom, what they have is taken away.

The talents that God has given to each of us are our Spiritual muscles, we either use them or we lose them.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 12-15-2018

We’re Standing In It Now!

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20 One day the Pharisees asked Jesus, “When will the Kingdom of God come?”  
Jesus replied, “The Kingdom of God can’t be detected by visible signs. 21 You won’t be able to say, ‘Here it is!’ or ‘It’s over there!’ For the Kingdom of God is already among you — Luke 17:20, 21 NLT

 Luke 17:20-37

The coming of the end of time and the return of Jesus are discussions that take up a lot of time and energy.  They are used positively in the fact that the hope of Christians is that this is factual and will happen.  They are used negatively by those that are non-believers because they hear the same story over and over and it hasn’t happened in over two centuries.  There is much discussion among believers because we can’t agree on the meaning of what is written in the Book of The Revelation.  Jesus tells us that only the Father knows the day and the hour when Jesus will return.

Mark 13:32-37   

Knowing that we can’t really know the time when Jesus will return, let us be concerned about the things we can and do know.  Jesus tell us here that “the Kingdom of God is already among you” and in Hebrews, we are told that we have come to Mount Zion and are receiving an unshakeable Kingdom. Both of these verbs are present and future.


Hebrews 12:18-28 

We have the Kingdom of God dwelling in us because the Holy Spirit abides within us.  And one day, we will receive the fullness of that Kingdom when we arrive in heaven.  Our concern needs to be on obedience to God so that we make it to heaven and to bring as many others with us as we can.  Our purpose on earth is to glorify God by witnessing for Him now.  He will take care of the “later”.

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

Post 12-10-2018

 

Works Are Necessary for Kingdom Growth

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25 But the one who looks at the perfect law of freedom and remains committed to it—thereby demonstrating that he is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of what that law requires—will be blessed in what he does. – James 1:25 ISV

Do works save us? Certainly not!

8 For it is by grace you have been saved,through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.  — Eph. 2:8, 9

Then why are works important? If we look back at the Great Commission that Jesus gave us in Matt. 28:18-20, we find that He tells us to do more than just get people to confess their sins. Jesus commands us to “go and make disciples.” What is a disciple?  Webster defines “disciple” in this way:

someone who accepts and helps to spread the teachings of a famous person

One can be a Christian without actually being a disciple. You can accept Jesus as your Savior and go on with your lifestyle pretty much unchanged (I don’t know how that is possible, but some claim to be able to do so).  But a true disciple follows after his chosen leader, uses His life as an example to follow, spreads His doctrines and teachings and encourages others to do the same. Those who are disciples of sect leaders and worldly religions take the idea of being a disciple much more serious than a lot of us Christians. Some of them take it so far as to be considered “militant” in their actions.  Their actions are governed by anger and hate and wrong teachings.  Our actions are governed by love, but that just means that we have to be kinder in spreading the Gospel of Jesus, not less active or effective. We have a message of perfect love and freedom, which is what the world really desires. We have the Holy Spirit inside us and working with us using the same resurrection power that raised Jesus from the dead. If we are obedient to Jesus’s words that we should “make disciples” then we will “be about our Father’s business”.  That requires us to do the same works that Jesus did when He was here on earth. As Christians, we are not called to be spectators but, rather to be participators, in the work.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 07-31-2018

“Devote Ourselves to Good”

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This saying is trustworthy. I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have put their faith in God may devote themselves to good actions. These things are good and helpful to other people. ​- Titus 3:8 ISV​
Paul started chapter three by asking Titus to remind the church at Crete of certain things, such as  ”be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.”  In verses 2 and 3 ,he reminds them of how they used to act and in verses 4-9, he tells them why they should act differently now and in the future.  They have been saved from the wrath to come, redeemed from their sins and justified by the grace of God.  They are now heirs of God with the hope of eternal life. The same is true for us today. Because God has placed the Holy Spirit in us as an earnest of this hope, we can be sure of its fulfillment. These things still need to be stressed in today’s world, so that we will also devote ourselves to “doing what is good”.   Jesus said that He did the works of the Father and in the book of Acts, we read this verse:

38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him. ​ —  Acts 10:38 

So, “doing what is good” means to follow the example of what Jesus did while He was here on earth. The “works of the Father” are accomplished by living a lifestyle modeled after Jesus. A list of “works” would be very long but would definitely include witnessing and disciplining. We can’t do these works alone but, just as Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit and power, so are we.
Ask God today, what “good works” He has planned and purposed for your life. Then be obedient in following the leadership of the Holy Spirit in accomplishing those “good works” . Do not become disappointed if you don’t see immediate results. Just remember three things:
1. Not everyone accepted the message when Jesus gave it, so not everyone will accept it from you.
2. We are not responsible for the results, that is the work of the Holy Spirit.
3. Wherever we are and whatever we are doing, we are witnessing for good or for evil, which one will we choose?
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 07-24-2018

Greater Works

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12 “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father– John 14:12 NLT

It is hard to imagine doing greater things than Jesus.I don’t know of a greater miracle than raising someone from the dead, so Jesus must have been talking about “greater” in quantity, not “greater” in quality. He could only be in one place physically while He was here on earth, now that the Holy Spirit abides in each of us, He can be all over the world at the same time. We now have access to the same power that Jesus had. If we ask for and believe that we receive it, we can actually have it. I once asked a Pastor since this is true, why do we not see more miracles today? He answered that it was because we don’t love like Jesus loved. While that is true, I think it is because we don’t believe like Jesus believed. If we truly believed that we had access to the same power that Jesus had when He was here and has now in heaven, we would ask for and receive it.6 The Lord said, “If your faith were the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Dig yourself up and plant yourself in the sea,’ and it would obey you.–Luke 17:6 (NCV)

We, like the Israelites in the desert, have limited what God can do for us and through us.

40 How often they provoked Him in the wilderness,And grieved Him in the desert! 41 Yes, again and again they tempted God, And limited the Holy One of Israel. 42 They did not remember His power:—Psalm 78:40-42a (NKJV)

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

Post 11-04-2017