“I Am Watching”

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11 Then the Lord said to me, “Look, Jeremiah! What do you see?”And I replied, “I see a branch from an almond tree.”12 And the Lord said, “That’s right, and it means that I am watching, and I will certainly carry out all my plans.” — Jeremiah 1:11, 12 NLT

The almond tree is particularly significant in the Holy Scriptures.  It is a sign of hope because it blossoms in the middle of the winter on a leafless tree.  It reminds us that there is life even in our darkest hours.  It is connected with charity in the book of Numbers because Aaron’s rod was from an almond tree and it blossomed and brought forth fruit overnight.  Charity because the Levitical tribe lived on the gifts of the people, they had no earthly possessions.  In the original KJV, the branch was called a “rod” which symbolizes power or leadership.  In Old Testament times, the fruit of the almond tree was believed to be the external expression of the goodness that is in all of us.  Here in Jeremiah, the branch or “rod” of the almond tree is associated with God watching over His word and His people with power to perform.  It means that He will carry out His plans and nothing nor anyone can stop Him from doing so.  Our part is to spread His word among the people.  Just as Moses told Aaron to take the incense and go between the dead and the living to stop the plague, we are to take the Word and stand in the gap to stop the advance of sin.  We speak the Word and stand, God’s Word accomplishes and produces the fruit.
11 It is the same with my word.  I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to,
 and it will prosper everywhere I send it. — Isaiah 55:11 NLT
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 10-20-2018

“All Glory, Majesty, Power and Authority”

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11 All power to him forever! Amen. -1 Peter 5:11
 
We must remember that we are in a war at all times. We must continually resist the devil and not give him any hold on us in any way. That means that our daily lifestyle should be one that “shuns the very appearance of evil”.  We must stand firm in the faith, not murmuring or complaining about the situations we find ourselves in. If we are where we are because of our own bad decisions, we certainly don’t need to complain. If God has put us where we are, there is a reason for it and we should endure it with joy.  We are not experiencing anything that thousands before us have not already experienced and remained faithful. Our sufferings are to make us strong and steadfast and to bring glory to God. As Paul said.

18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. — Romans 8:18, 19 NIV

Our suffering here is but a very short time, then God will deliver us from it all.  He has all power and authority to do so and He has never failed on a promise to us.
24 To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.— Jude 24, 25  NIV


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

Post 04-24-2018

Foolish and Weak or Wise and Powerful

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25 This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength. – 1 Cor. 1:25 NLT

The Jews wanted to see miracles to prove the truth of the Gospel. Jesus had performed many signs and wonders but they still refused to accept Him as the Messiah. When the Pharisees had requested a sign, Jesus answered them:
39 He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah–Matt. 12:39 (NIV)
They had seen that sign because after three days, Jesus arose from the grave. We are not saved by signs, miracles or wisdom, we are saved by grace through faith. Head knowledge has to become heart knowledge before we receive saving grace. The power that resurrected Jesus from the grave is more powerful than any earthly force and is still available to each of us today. The foolishness of Jesus Christ is wiser than anything in the world and it is still available to us today. We just need to persevere in our faith and ask the Holy Spirit to grant us wisdom.
4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.—James 1:4, 5 (NIV)

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

Post 01-26-2018

The Power of the Cross

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18 The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. – 1 Cor. 1:18 NLT

Paul’s main objective was to preach the Word of God. Yes, he stayed in each new location until he had people in place to take care of the flock, but his heart was always on starting a new work in a new location. Paul isn’t saying new converts don’t need to be baptized, he is saying he has appointed others to do that part of the work. A lot of good pastors have “burned out” by not following Paul’s example and trying to do all the work themselves. A good preacher does not have to be eloquent or powerful in his delivery. What he does have to be, is obedient to the Holy Spirit. In our world today, it is even more apparent that the message of the cross is considered foolishness by those who appear to need it most. The world does not have an answer for Jesus, so they resort to ridicule and abuse of the believers. Jesus said this would happen, so it should come as no surprise to us. But we must remain faithful, knowing that Jesus suffered unto death on a cross.
1 “All this I have told you so tha
t you will not fall away. 2 They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. 3 They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me.—John 16:1-3 (NIV)

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

Post 01-24-2018

 

Our Source of Power

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25 “I have spoken of these matters in figures of speech, but soon I will stop speaking figuratively and will tell you plainly all about the Father. – John 16:25 NLT
 

When Jesus said that He had been speaking in figures of speech,, He was referring to the parables He had used to explain things to the disciples and His followers.
13 “Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while​ ​seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they​ ​understand​Matt. 13:13 (NASB)
For the rest of His time on earth before the Crucifixion, He would only be teaching His disciples so He could now speak plainly to them. Jesus is starting here with an explanation that from now on, they (and now we) have to do the praying (led by and assisted by the Holy Spirit which He is sending). This is all based on the love of God for His children. God’s children are those who believe and love His Son, Jesus Christ. If we are in tune with the Holy Spirit, God will give us whatever we ask in the name of Jesus. Now, we know that Jesus is in heaven interceding for us and the Holy Spirit prays through us and for us. This isn’t “pie in the sky” or “get rich quick” praying, this is agreeing with what God Himself (after all, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are God) is praying for us. This is down on our knees, heartfelt, fervent “get me through today” prayer. We just need to get plugged into the current and access the power that God has made available to us.

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

Post 11-19-2017

Dying is Better

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10 Then the leading priests decided to kill Lazarus, too,
– John 12:10 NLT
Sin always takes us further than we want to go. The leaders had planned to kill Jesus and now they would have to kill Lazarus as well. How many others would have to die before the movement was stopped? We don’t know because Christians are still being killed today for their faithfulness to Jesus. The persecuted church of today will tell you that it is much harder to live for Jesus than it is to die for Him. Would we suffer and die for Jesus? Jesus said that we must be willing to do that.
34 Then Jesus called the crowd to him, along with his followers. He said, “If people want to follow me, they must give up the things they want. They must be willing even to give up their lives to follow me. 35 Those who want to save their lives will give up true life. But those who give up their lives for me and for the Good News will have true life.–Mark 8:34-35 (NCV)
Have we made that commitment? Can we say along with Paul:
10 I want to know Christ and the power that raised him from the dead. I want to share in his sufferings and become like him in his death.11 Then I have hope that I myself will be raised from the dead.–Philippians 3:10, 11 (NCV)
The great thing is that for us, it is a win-win situation. Paul put it this way:
21 For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better.–Philippians 1: 21 (NLT)

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

Post 10-18-2017

Resurrection Power!

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10 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death — Phil 3:10 NLT

Can you imagine the power that was manifested when Jesus was resurrected from the grave? There must have been tremendous spiritual warfare occurring around that location and that time in history.  We have that same power available to us to use for God’s glory today. Our mortal bodies are rotting away, but our Spirits should be getting stronger each day as we allow God to renew them. Paul says the problems we have today are trivial and temporary compared to the glory they will produce. When we endure small problems here, they produce a greater glory that will last an eternity. So, each day we should be focusing on Jesus and looking forward to the things that we cannot see now, but God says when they are manifested in the future, they will last forever. So, when troubles seem many and satan is trying to defeat you at every turn, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face and the things of this world will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.”  We need to learn to walk in that glory and grace and experience that power.

Post 10-03-2016