No Favorites

even-smaller-bug-light1

17 And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. — 1 Peter 1:17 NLT

1 Peter 1:17-21 NLT

We will all be judged for what we do and we will all be judged by the same standards. Jesus paid the exact same price for each of us. No one person is more valuable to Him than any other person. Because of the price He paid, we all owe Him everything. Giving Him everything does not even scratch the surface of what we owe Him. He paid a debt that we could never pay. While we were still leading those sinful lives filled with nothing, He loved us enough to shed His blood for us. Because of that and the example He set for us, we have come to trust in God. The God that has never broken a single promise and has never gone back on His Word. He is the Rock on which we can plant our feet and never be moved. He holds the future in His hands, therefore we have eternal hope because He raised Christ from the dead. He can also raise us from the dead and one day He will do just that. Without that hope, we of all people would be the most miserable. So let us continuously give Him praise and glory all day, every day!

15 Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name. 16 And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God. —Hebrews 13;15-16 NLT

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

Post 06-16-2017

Faithfulness Has It’s Rewards

even-smaller-bug-light1So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.  ​- 1 Peter 1:7​b NLT

1 Peter 1:6-8 NLT

We must have genuine faith to endure the trials and hardships here on earth. Our faith will be tested on many occasions. Through these tests and temptations we will grow stronger in our walk with the Lord. We must remember that we will never be tempted with anything that is not common to others, it will never be more than we can bear, and there is always a way out it we want to escape the temptation.


13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.​-1 Cor. 10:13 (NLT)​
 

So we must press on to heaven. We will have our reward when Jesus Christ is revealed. “Trust and obey, for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus”. (Hymn by John H Sammis, circa 1887) We love and trust Jesus because He gave Himself for us. That hope is what brings us joy and peace.

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

Post 06-13-2017

Let God Do Your Boasting

even-smaller-bug-light1

 18 For it is not he who commends himself that is approved, but he whom the Lord commends. — 2 Cor. 10:18 NASB

God has given each of us certain talents that we are to use for our livelihood. These talents are also to be used for Kingdom work here on earth. The workplace is our mission field that God has given to each of us. Our jobs may be temporary, short term or long term, but it is where God has planted us for now. Use your talents to to do the work well. Not everyone is called to be a pastor, missionary, music director, etc., but we are all called to be servants of one another to make the church stronger. Our job is to minister to (serve) those that God puts in our path. Our vocational work may give us earthly rewards, but we are to lay up our rewards in heaven. We can do that by loving and serving others.

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

Post 01-12-2017

Make A Joyful Noise!

even-smaller-bug-light117  ‘In the last days,’ God says,    ‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy.
    Your young men will see visions,
    and your old men will dream dreams. — Acts 2:17 NLT

(Wonders)

The pouring out of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost was a beginning of the fulfillment of this prophesy from Joel in the Old Testament.  God contiues to pour out His Spirit on His people even today.  This will continue until Jesus returns to take all of His children home.  Then the Holy Spirit will be removed from the earth and satan will reign. When will this be?  Only God the Father knows.  If we are saved, it doesn’t really matter when it happens, we will be ready.   What does matter is how we spend our time until then.  When we accepted Jesus, we were saved and we are still saved.  Works will not make us more saved, they are an outward sign of who we serve as Master and Lord. The works we do here are also how we earn our rewards in heaven.  We are not to live as we used to live, but through the direction of the Holy Spirit and studying of God’s Word, we are to determine those things that please God and do those things only.  When we see sinful things going on, we are to expose them, not participate in them. We must learn to live wisely and not as fools. We are to spend our time, not in grumbling, whining and complaining, but in joyfully serving the Lord doing everything He asks us to do wherever He has planted us. The nosies we make should be joyful and give glory to the Lord.
Post 03-31-2016

Spending Our Time Wisely

even smaller bug light

11 And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh. — Romans 13:11-14 NIV

​Over the centuries, Christians have received a lot of criticism because many have tried to predict the time when Jesus will return​.  Jesus specifically told us in His Word that no one but the Father knew the day and the hour. Even so, it is our eternal hope and we look forward expectantly for His return.  It is certainly true that regardless of when, we know that the completion of our salvation “is nearer now than when we first believed”.  We don’t need to waste our time and energy on trying to figure out when Jesus will return.  We don’t need to waste out time trying to gratify the flesh which can never get enough. Yes, everyone needs to earn a living and take care of those things that God has made us stewards over, But, and much more importantly, we need to spend a lot more of the time God has allotted us here on earth in worshipping God, praising God and disciplining others to be ready at all times. We are never on neutral ground, we are in a war zone constantly.  We need to fight the good fight clothed with the armor of God and the righteousness of Jesus Christ.

36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For, “In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.” — Hebrews 10:36, 37 NIV
Post 08-10-2015

For His Glory Only!

even smaller bug light

31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32 Do not cause anyone to stumble,whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— 33 even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.—1 Cor. 10:31-33 NIV

​Every word that we say and every action we take has an effect on everyone in our circle of influence, whether that circle is small or large is not the question. Every thing we do and/or say should be seasoned with love, kindness and mercy. Otherwise, how can our words and actions glorify God?  If we exhibit the fruit of the Spirit, we will not be a stumbling block to those around us.  Notice that Paul says he “tries” to please everyone in every way. We are not to violate our conscience simply to please someone, that would be a sin for us and a stumbling block for them.  We are not to seek glory or earthly rewards for ourselves. Instead, we live a lifestyle that glorifies God and builds up our rewards in heaven. But when there is a conflict of conscience, every choice we make must please God and not man.
3 For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive, 4 but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts. 5 For we never came with words of flattery​, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness. 6 Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others,–1 Thess. 2:3-6a ESV
Post 06-13-2015

Planting and Watering

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

5 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. 9 For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.—1 Cor. 3:5-9 (NIV)
​Paul continues to teach that it is the message, the Good News, that is important. Paul and Apollos are only servants of Jesus Christ carrying out His command to “go and make disciples”. It is also a message to us that each of us has been given a gift by the Holy Spirit. We need to exercise that gift and use it to further God’s work and His Kingdom here on earth. We are all members of one body and each of us has a part in the Kingdom and the church. We will be rewarded in heaven for the works that we do here on earth. But if we refuse to use the gift that God has given us to benefit the body, then the whole body is injured and unable to function in the way God has planned for His church. He will call someone else to fill that position and we will lose our earthly blessing and our heavenly reward for that particular task. We are co-workers, planting and teaching, but God is the One who gives the increase. We are responsible for being and doing, we are not responsible for the results. That is God’s part and He will not fail.
10 As the rain and the snow​ come down from heaven,​ and do not return to it
without watering the earth​ and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:​ It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire​ and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.–Isaiah 55:10, 11 (NIV)

Post 05-04-2015