Living the New Life

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Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.– Col. 3:2 
 
When we accept Christ as our Savior it should change the way we assess the things we see and hear.  There should be external evidence of what has taken place inside of us.  Our thoughts and our hearts’ desires should be focused on things above and not on earthly things.  If we find that we are still worried about the things happening around us, particularly those that we can’t control, we need to get into the Scriptures and allow the presence of the Holy Spirit to assure us of God’s omnipotence and omnipresence.  If we find that most of our thoughts are still on the same things that we thought about before, we need to be sure that we have repented.  True repentance will cause a change of some of our habits and our thought patterns. It will cause us to reprioritize the things in our lives. Before, we evaluated things according to worldly standards, now we should be evaluating them according to God’s standards.  We have died and are now hidden in Christ. The flesh does not like this new us. It is a constant battle to put to death all those fleshly desires and satan will surely be coming around to remind you of how much “fun” you were having when you were serving Him. We have to put these fleshly things to death in our minds, while they are still in the idea or thought stage. If we allow them to take root in our mind, we have lost the battle. We cannot do this alone, we have to allow God to accomplish it through and for us.
 
3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.-2 Cor. 10:3-5
Post 07-03-2018

“Walk By the Spirit”

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16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.–Gal. 5:16-18 (NIV)

What does Paul mean when he says “walk by the Spirit”? To understand what Paul is talking about, we have to understand that every word we say and every conscious action we take is a direct result of a decision we have made. The decisions we make are a direct result of our thought patterns. Our thought patterns are controlled by what we spend the most time thinking about. We spend the most time thinking about what we feel is most important to us. The more we think about one thing, the more important it becomes to us. It becomes a cycle of our thoughts producing actions that produce more thoughts about the same thing. We are born in sin into a world that is saturated in sin. so we are going to have sinful thoughts. More and more of the things we hear and see are designed to tempt us to satisfy the flesh. But the flesh wants the things that are contrary to what the Holy Spirit knows that we need. The indwelling Spirit is there to guide us and help us break the sinful thought pattern. Does the Holy Spirit audibly speak to us? Yes, sometimes He does. But most of the time, He just nudges us with a whisper that we sometimes think is our own thought. Sometimes He has other Christians speak to us. Sometimes, He speaks to us through God’s Word. When we have humbled ourselves and seek His guidance, He will get the message to us. If we listen to, hear and obey the message, we are being led by or “walking by the Spirit”.

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

Post 03-06-2018

Keep the Temple Clean and Holy

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16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.1 Cor. 3:16,17 NASB

When Solomon built the first Temple in Jerusalem, it included the Holy of Holies or the Most Holy Place. That was where the Ark was placed and that is where the Shekinah glory of God came down. There was no sun or artificial light in the place, the glory of God was the only light that lit up the Most Holy Place. If anyone defiled the Most Holy Place in the Temple, they were sentenced to death. The priest that entered the Most Holy Place wore a rope around his ankle, so that if he erred in his duties and God destroyed him, his body could be pulled out. This should let us know how serious God is about the defilement of His Temple. Now, we are that Most Holy Place. It is hard for us to grasp the concept that we are a Temple of the Living God. There is the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, actually living inside us. The Holy Spirit is a person with emotions. He can be grieved and hurt. If we choose a lifestyle that defiles the Temple, our bodies, we will be destroyed as well. Does this mean that we will die and go to hell? No, not if you have accepted Jesus as your Savior. It could very well mean that you depart from this earth at an earlier age than you expected.

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

Post 02-02-2018

Believe. Trust. Obey.

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23 And this is his commandment: We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us. ​ – 1 John 3:23 NLT


We are saved by grace through faith. Faith requires that we believe that Jesus Christ is the sinless Son of God. If we truly believe this, then we know that our sins are forgiven and that we are children of God. This knowledge will be reflected in our lifestyle and how we treat others. When we fail, and we all do, satan will try to condemn us using false accusations and condemnation. The Holy Spirit does not condemn, it convicts. When we are convicted, we must confess and Jesus is always sure to forgive us of our failures. Remember that salvation is based on knowledge and believing that Jesus died for our sins. Although, some do get emotional when they are saved, it is the knowledge and believing (faith) that saves us. As long as we live in these tents of flesh, our emotions are going to run the gamut of highs and lows. If we allow our emotions to control us, life will be just one long roller coaster ride and, no, it will not be fun and thrilling. It will be scary and depressive. No matter what satan accuses us of doing, we have to STAND on the Rock of Ages. Submit to God, resist the devil and he has to flee. Then we can have the joy of the Lord because God will never leave us or forsake us.


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

Post 07-12-2017

A Friend of the World is an Enemy of God

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You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. – James 4:4 NLT

The Greek word (moi-kho’s) that is translated as adulterers has more than just a sexual connotation. It is anyone committing an act of infidelity or unfaithfulness to God. These actions are what depict us as “friends” of the world. If we live a lifestyle that is filled with these kind of actions, then we show by our actions that we are “enemies” of God. Our flesh is constantly warring against the Spirit that God has placed inside us. We need to be guided by God’s Holy Spirit not by our fleshly desires.

16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil​l​ the lust of the flesh.

17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.–Gal. 5:16,17 (KJV)
We cannot win the war by ourselves, the flesh is too strong. But God gives us grace and mercy. He is made strong in our weaknesses. If we are faithful to walk “in the Spirit”, God will fight and win every battle for us.

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

Post 06-06-2017

Divine Nature

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4 And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires. — 1 Peter 4:4 NLT

God created Adam and Eve in His image.  They did not have the advantage of having the Holy Spirit abide within them. After we accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we are daily being transformed by the Holy Spirit.  As we learn to follow His leadership more closely each day, we become more and more like Jesus.  In this way, we can share in His divine nature.  It is only as we learn to listen to that still, small voice and heed its teachings that we slowly escape the corruptions that are caused by our human desires.  As we grow Spiritually, we become less like the world around us and more like Jesus.  We are a part of the body of Christ.  He is the head and the same blood that flows through the head flows through the body.  So, we are “partakers of His divine nature”.  We are forever connected to the Divine source.  Just as a branch can produce nothing without the nutrients that flow from the root through the vine to the branch, we can do nothing in and of ourselves.  It is only as we drink and eat the goodness of God that we can become more like Him each day. If we are what we eat then we need to feast daily on His word and drink deeply of His Holy Spirit.

Post 09-17-2016

“Daddy, Tie My Shoestrings”

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3 Then he said,“I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. — Matt. 18:3 NLT
When some hear this passage, they think of the innocence of a little child who has not yet learned the difference between right and wrong.  Perhaps that’s what Jesus was referring to but I am not so sure.  I think in the context of His remark about humility, He may very well have been referring to something deeper than that.  After all, small children who truly do not know the difference in right and wrong would not need forgiveness, would they?  No, I believe Jesus is referring to us becoming as dependent on Him for everything we need as a small child is dependent on his/her parent for everything they need to survive.  We have to come to Jesus in such humbleness and humility because we realize that we can do nothing about our situation. We are lost and will stay lost without his mercy and grace. But I believe He is reaching even deeper than that. We must humble ourselves to the point that we really and truly understand that we can do nothing in any situation without Him.  Just like a little child comes to us and says “Daddy, tie my shoestrings because I can’t”,  so must we humble ourselves before our Daddy and confess that we can’t.
Post 09-06-2016

Keep Giving Until It Feels Good!

even-smaller-bug-light129 “Yes,” Jesus replied, “and I assure you that everyone who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or property, for my sake and for the Good News, 30 will receive now in return a hundred times as many houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and property—along with persecution. And in the world to come that person will have eternal life. 31 But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then. — Mark 10:29-31 NLT

God has nothing against rich people or people that are successful from a worldly viewpoint.  Riches, power and position are neutral and can be used for good or for evil. It is the misuse of these things that causes our issues with God.  He allows us to have those things for His honor and His glory.  We are to use whatever we have, be it little or be it much, as a means to an end, not the end itself.  We should use those things for His glory here and now and be ready to give them up completely, if necessary.  Any good thing that we have now comes from God and belongs to God.  When properly used, it will bring glory to God now.  If it is necessary for us to give it up to bring glory a​nd honor to the Father, we will receive ​a return now and rewards in eternity.  ​It is not about the amount we give, it is about the sacfrifice we make in giving to God.  The poor widow put in two small coins, others gave much more, but only she recevied praise from Jesus.  She gave her grocery money, they gave from their surplus. When we have the heart of the widow and give like she gave, then the blessings will come. ​ Not because we gave a lot, but because we gave sacrifically, trusting God to meet our every need.  Don’t be concerned about the amount or the percentage, don’t quit giving when it hurts, just keep giving until it feels good.

Post 03-03-2016

No Fear!

even-smaller-bug-light142 “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” 43 Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him. — Luke 22:42, 43 NLT

​As we read about all the miracles that Jesus performed while He was here on earth we sometimes forget and need to be reminded that He, like us, was fully human.  He did all of His works as a man, not as God.  He even told us that He could do nothing in and of Himself but that He could only do the works of the Father.(John 5:19).  We are told by the writer of Hebrews that even though Jesus was the Son of God, He still offered prayers and pleadings to the One who could rescue Him from death (Hebrews 5:8).  Jesus knew and understood His mission because He had been in on the planning session that occurred before the foundations of the earth were laid.  But in the flesh, He was not looking forward to the experience of being separated from His Father for the first and only time in His life.  Separated because when He took our sins upon Himself, the Father could not look at Him or comfort Him in any way.  While Jesus was in the flesh as a man, God sent Moses and Elijah to talk with Him about His death on the Cross (Mount of Transfiguration, Luke 9:31).  As Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, God sent an angel to strengthen Him.  What we need to realize is that God does the same thing for us.  If we listen carefully and heed His words, we will find that there is nothing that happens to us that He has not carefully prepared us to bear.  
​Jesus​ lived every day knowing the cruel death that awaited Him on the cross.  Yet, He set His face toward Jerusalem and never turned back. Do we live every day prepared to die for what we know is true?  If we do, then we can die prepared to live forever and that knowledge should remove any fear of death that we have.
Post 02-08-2016

Redemption and Restoration

even-smaller-bug-light11 Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important. — Galatians 6:1-3 NLT

Yesterday, I wrote about witnessing by spending time with sinners.  We are called to do just that, but in doing so, we need to use wisdom and discernment.  Being saved and filled with the Holy Spirit does not keep us from making bad decisions.  If we have weaknesses of the flesh, we need to avoid those situations where we would be needlessly tempted.  We don’t put ourselves in harm’s way unless we are sure that we have been called to do that.  Just as it would be foolish to step into the street in front of a speeding truck to try to prove that God always protects us, it is foolish for us to put ourselves in dangerous situations if God has not called us to do so.  Not many of us are David Wilkersons (The Cross and the Switchblade) who can successfully face the dangers of the worst parts of New York City to witness to gang members.  Nevertheless, we all have a calling to witness to those around us.  The mission field starts in the home and goes outward from there.  We do not want to be like the seven sons of Sceva (Acts 19) who ended up battered and naked.  We must use discernment in where, when and to whom we witness, but that is never to be used as an excuse not to witness.  We may not be sure of all of God’s will for each of our lives but there are two things we can be sure of in this journey with Jesus.  We are to make disciples as we go, we all have our marching orders to do that.  We are supposed to restore the fallen as well, but do so circumspectly avoiding the very appearance of evil.

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. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”– Matt. 28:19,20 NLT
Post 01-30-2016