“Like A Mother Cares For Her Child”

even-smaller-bug-light1

Instead, we were gentle[ among you, like a nursing mother tenderly caring for her own children. – 2 Thess. 2:7b ISV
 
Paul sets a great example for us to follow when we are witnessing to others. We should be doing this because our hearts’ desire is to show others the love that we have for them. We have this love for them because of the love Jesus has for us. No other motive is needed, not money, not fame, not popularity.  Even while spending his life as a missionary, Paul worked as a tentmaker, so that his presence would not be a financial burden on those to whom he was speaking. He and his companions did their best to mirror the lifestyle of Jesus, their Lord and Savior. Because Jesus cared enough to die for us, Paul spent his life in caring for others, just like a Mother cares for her children.  Not only was he concerned about their physical welfare, but he cared even more about their spiritual welfare. He didn’t just preach the Gospel message and leave them, he spent time in explaining the scriptures to them and living an obedient lifestyle while he was there with them.  He encouraged, comforted and urged them to live lives worthy of God. In other words, he was “making disciples”, teaching them how to grow in the word and not leaving them as babies without food and no one to feed them. He exemplified God’s love even more by writing letters to them after he had left as well as sending some of his companions back to check on them at times. Jesus’ command was not to “love them and leave them” or to “save them and send them’, it was to make disciples.
 

19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” — Matt. 28:19, 20 NIV

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

Post 07-12-2018

“Let the Dead Bury Their Own Dead”

even-smaller-bug-light1

22 But Jesus said to him, “Follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead.” – Matt.8:22 NKJV

This response by Jesus seems harsh to us.  However, if we were a 1st century Jew, we would have understood what Jesus was saying to this disciple.   The disciple could have meant either that he wanted to stay home with his Father until he passed away which would have been an indefinite time or he could have meant that he wanted to be sure that his Father’s bones were transferred to an ossuary which was a common custom after the body had decomposed. But touching dead bones would have made him unclean, this was a job that he paid others to do and it would also have meant that his Father had been dead for a year or more.  Either way, the disciple is saying “No” to Jesus. How many different ways do we say “No” to Jesus when He says to us “Follow Me”?

​ ​
15 So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise.16 Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.

​ – Eph. 5:15-16 NLT

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

Post 06-01-2018

Like Us or Like Jesus?

even-smaller-bug-light1

13 As a result, other Jewish believers followed Peter’s hypocrisy, and even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. – Gal. 2:13 NLT
 
 
Paul continues his crusade to help people to understand the freedom they now have since Jesus fulfilled the law. New converts then and now are not compelled to travel to Jerusalem and make sacrifices each year nor are we expected to meet any requirements of the law. We are required to love the Lord, our God, with all our heart, strength, mind and body. If we do this, we will see changes in our lifestyle. Not because of some written laws but because the love of God constrains us. We respond to the love of God. It is His love for us that keeps us.

2 ​ ​fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him​ endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.–Hebrews 12:2 (NASB)
6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.—Philippians 1:6 (NASB)
Our focus is not to be on requiring others to take communion as often as we do or if they worship more reverently or loudly than we do (I could go on but you get the picture). We should be focused on making disciples that obey Jesus because they love Him, not in making clones that worship and/or serve like we do.

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

Post 12-27-2017

Teach Your Spiritual Children Well

even-smaller-bug-light1

19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. — Matt. 28:19 NLT
 

Jesus commissioned us to go and make disciples starting at home and working our way out to the rest of the world. Making disciples requires more than just the plan of salvation. We are to spend time with new converts teaching them the discipline of the Word of God. We must show them by example that we have to spend time with the Word and talking with God on a daily basis. We also must show them that it is necessary for us to spend time together as Christians. We are told not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together. We need the encouragement and help of those around us to endure in our walk with God. There is the old example of removing a red hot ember from the fireplace and setting it out by itself. It is soon black and cold. You can put it back in the fireplace and it is soon red hot and giving off warmth again. Our spirits are the same way, we need that “togetherness” to keep our passion and compassion flowing for Jesus. Learn all you can and take the time to teach what you have learned to those around you. That is the way each of us can fulfill the commission that Jesus gave to the disciples and to us.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Post 11-17-2016

Saved – Part 4 – Learning to Walk

even-smaller-bug-light1

16 Here’s my instruction: walk in the Spirit, and let the Spirit bring order to your life. If you do, you will never give in to your selfish and sinful cravings. 
– Gal. 5:16 Voice
 
 
Once a baby learns to stand alone, then it is time for the baby to practice toddling. You know those first shaky, unsure, unsteady steps.  The baby will start, maybe make a couple of steps and fall.  The baby needs someone there to catch him/her so he/she is not harmed.  It is a struggle and it takes a patient parent to watch as the baby falls over and over.  A good parent realizes that if the child never falls, he/she will never learn to walk by themselves.  It is the same in our spiritual walk.  First we crawl, then we learn to stand and then we start to take a few, unsure steps.  But never fear, just like an earthly parent is there to catch the toddler, God the Holy Spirit is there to catch us.  But just like the toddler, we will never develop strong spiritual legs if we are not allowed to try and fail.  Just as the toddler must be encouraged and learn to keep their eyes on the goal and not on their feet, we too must keep our eyes on the goal and not on our failures.  We need to be Jesus conscious and not sin conscious. The Holy Spirit will always be there to catch us, encourage us and cheer us on in the rough times.  Just as a child takes time to learn to react to his senses so that he/she can stay balanced, we must learn to listen to the Holy Spirit to keep our lives balanced. He will keep us on the path and away from those things that would do us irreparable harm. 
07-08-2106

Saved – Part 3 – Learning to Stand

even-smaller-bug-light1

11 You will teach me how to live a holy life.  Being with you will fill me with joy;
at your right hand I will find pleasure forever.
 — Psalm 16:11 NCV
Just as we would never leave physical babies alone to fend for themselves, neither should we leave Spiritual babies alone to fend off satan all by themselves. The great commission of Matthew 28 says to “go and make disciples”.  Making disciples or teaching a new baby in Christ to walk requires us to give up our most valuable non-renewable possession – time. We need to give of our time to teach new converts the value of daily prayer and meditating on the Scriptures.  We need to spend time with them teaching them that being saved does not mean that we will never be offended or that we will never fail.  We need to spend enough time with them to be sure that they understand that those offenses and failures does not mean that God does not love them.  God is, in fact, right there with them all of the time. He never sleeps nor slumbers and He never leaves us alone. Every time we fall, He is there to pick us up, clean us up, wrap His arms around us and love us until the pain goes away.  Most of all, we must teach them that their Helper lives right inside of them and is always there to teach, lead and guide  and help them to stand.
Post 07-07-2016

Love, Teach, Disciple

even-smaller-bug-light1Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, 8 so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. 9 Surely you remember, brothers and sisters, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. 10 You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed. 11 For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, 12 encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory. — 1 Thessalonians 2:7b-12 NIV

​Paul sets a great example for us to follow when we are witnessing to others​. We should be doing this because our hearts’ desire is to show others the love that we have for them. We have this love for them because of the love Jesus has for us. No other motive is needed, not money, not fame, not popularity.  Even while spending his life as a missionary, Paul worked as a tentmaker, so that his presence would not be a financial burden on those to whom he was speaking. He and his companions did their best to mirror the lifestyle of Jesus, their Lord and Savior. Because Jesus cared enough to die for us, Paul spent his life in caring for others, just like a Mother cares for her children.  Not only was he concerned about their physical welfare, but he cared even more about their spiritual welfare. He didn’t just preach the Gospel message and leave them, he spent time in explaining the scriptures to them and living an obedient lifestyle while he was there with them.  He encouraged, comforted and urged them to live lives worthy of God. In other words, he was “making disciples”, teaching them how to grow in the word and not leaving them as babies without food and no one to feed them. He exemplified God’s love even more by writing letters to them after he had left as well as sending some of his companions back to check on them at times. Jesus’ command was not to “love them and leave them” or to “save them and send them’, it was to make disciples. 

19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” — Matt. 28:19, 20 NIV

Post 10-25-2015