“Live In Complete Harmony”

5 May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus — Romans 14:5 NLT

Romans 13:1-7 NLT

As the years pass, the percentage of people attending church on a regular basis declines.  Instead of growing stronger and influencing the society around us, the body of Christ grows weaker and weaker.  Jesus warned us that a house divided could not stand.  Yet, we have allowed satan to come in and use the differences in our denominations to divide us rather than focusing on our common ground and encouraging each other.  Paul told us over and over how important it is for Christians to stand together as one body, the body of Christ.  We are no longer able to stand because we refuse to stand together.  Instead, the body of Christ is ripped apart from the inside because of our lack of love for Christ and each other.  When we disparage and discourage our brothers and sisters, we violate the two greatest commands.  The commands to love our Lord with all our hearts, mind, and strength and our neighbors as ourselves.  Is it any wonder that the outsiders look at the Church and decide not to become a part of the family?  We must show the world the love of Jesus and the peace and the joy that comes with that love rather than the image of a torn and decaying body.  We get enough of that from the society around us.  As long as the foundation is the name of Jesus, Jesus alone, no other name and no other way, the houses can be different and still compliment each other.

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

Post 04-14-2019

“Wonderful Things”

8 Let them praise the Lord for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them. — Psalm 107:8 NLT 

Psalm 107:1-9 NLT

When something really good happens to us do we take the credit for that event or do we give the glory to God?  Do we say “look what I have done” or do we say “look what the Lord has done for me”?   When He chose us, called us and redeemed us, did we tell everyone we knew? The Psalmist encourages us to “tell others” just as Jesus commanded us to go and make disciples.  After a bout with satan, when we are feeling all alone and distressed, who came to rescue us?  Did we take the time to thank Him or was it “just another day at the office”?  When we are hungry and thirsty and we receive food and drink, do we stop to thank Him before we eat or do we act like this is something that we deserve?  We are all pretty good at asking God to watch over those we know who are about to leave on a trip or are presently traveling. But when we or they return safely from the trip, do we gather around and thank God for the safe return?  Does our lifestyle reflect an “attitude of gratitude” or is it more like “I’ve worked hard and I deserve this ___________” (fill in the blank).  We need to heed the reminder found in James 5:17, “every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father above”.   Let us be careful to always give Him praise for His goodness toward us.

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

Post 04-13-2019

“Full of Joy In the Lord”

4 Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!— Philippians 4:4 NLT 

Philippians 4:4-9 NLT
If you spend any time talking with non-Christians about Jesus and why they have not accepted Him as their Savior, you soon learn that their views on Jesus are not the primary reason for not accepting Him.  It is their view of what they think Christianity is and what it requires them to do or not do. They have this idea that Christians have little or no fun and that to be a Christian, they are going to have to completely change their lifestyle. There will be some changes required.  For some, it will be a very dramatic change.  For others, it will only be a change in their mindset about why they do the good things they have been doing.  The “good” ones are usually the hardest ones to convince that they need a Savior.  Back to the point.  Have we ever considered where the outsiders get this view that Christians must live a dull, joyless life?  Since most of them don’t spend much time, if any, reading the Bible, they get it from watching us and listening to our conversations.  Do we show them that “the joy of the Lord is our strength” or do they see us as sad, beaten down people who are forced to stay home on Saturday night so we can go to church on Sunday morning?   Is our lifestyle a good advertisement for Jesus or does it turn others away from seeking Him? Think about it.

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

Post 04-12-2019

Pray! Praise! Rejoice!

1 Come, let us sing to the Lord!  Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation — Psalm 95:1 NLT 

Psalm 95:1-7 NLT

Have you ever been reading the Bible or praying or just spending some down time with Jesus and suddenly a song of joy and praise comes to your mind and without a thought, you just burst into song?  The purpose of the Scriptures, after salvation, is to teach us about the great mercy, love and care that God has for us.  I believe there are certain Scriptures that the Holy Spirit included for the sole purpose of bringing us great moments of joy.  Joy that overflows our hearts and bursts forth into praises for what God has done for us.  The next time satan has us on the run and we feel the weight of the world on our shoulders instead of having a pity party, let’s commit to finding some of these verses and let them come alive in our hearts and minds.  In fact, why don’t we memorize a few of them just so we can quote them to the old liar.  That’s what Jesus did.  God does not want us to be miserable one second of our lives.  He has given us freedom to choose to be joyous but we have to reach out and access the joy and peace that He offers.  For me, nothing can dispel darkness, gloom and doom as quickly and effectively as a few good verses and a couple of praise songs.  Put some in your memory arsenal and fire away

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

Post 04-11-2019

Just Me and the Holy Spirit

4  You thrill me, Lord, with all you have done for me!    I sing for joy because of what you have done.— Psalm 92:4 NLT

 Psalm 92:1-8 NLT

Accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior is not an act based on emotions, It is based on faith and the knowledge of God’s grace and mercy.   But the result of that decision can bring an emotional release.  We don’t have to cry or jump for joy at that moment but sooner or later, we should feel the joy that salvation brings. There could be tears of sorrow and tears of joy. Sorrow because we realize how we have shared in the persecution of our Savior and joy because we realize that He loved us enough to die for us even while we were sinners. As we learn more about God’s plan of salvation and how He draws us to Him, there should be times that the joy causes us to overflow.  As we mature in our walk with Him, our desire to spend time with Him alone should grow deeper.  There is joy in group worship and we need to be a part of that.  But to really get to know and love our Lord and Savior, it takes time alone with Him,  It is in those special times alone with Him that you can really access the joy and peace that He promised each of us.  When we really love someone, we want to spend time alone with them.  We long for those private moments when we are totally centered on each other and nothing interrupts.   Doesn’t Jesus, the great lover of our souls, deserve a few moments like that with us every day?

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

Post 04-10 2019

Spread the Good News

14 But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? — Romans 10:14 NLT 

Romans 10:9-15 NLT
When we accepted Jesus as our Savior, we became a part of a family and took on the family name, Christian.  One of the biggest responsibilities that comes with the family name is telling others about our new family and inviting them to become a part of that family.   “Go and make disciples”  isn’t a suggestion, it is a command.  That doesn’t mean that we all have to lay down what we are doing and go to foreign countries but it does mean that wherever you are is your mission field.  “Go” to your family, your neighbor, your business associate, your friends and your enemies.  Telling others about Jesus should be considered a privilege and it should be a joy for us to do it.  When God called us to be His child, He had a plan and a purpose for us.  He has a part for each of us to play in building His Kingdom here on earth and in heaven.  Can we be Christians without “going and telling”?  Each of us should ask God that question and seek His answer diligently.  Can we be happy, joyful Christians without “going and telling”?   Since not telling is being disobedient, I seriously doubt it.  If you have never experienced the joy of leading someone to Christ, ask God to give you that opportunity today. 
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 04-09-2016

“Let the King of Glory Come In”

11  Teach me your ways, O Lord, that I may live according to your truth! Grant me purity of heart, so that I may honor you. — Psalm 86:11 NLT
Psalm 86:8-13 NLT

Our purpose while we are here on earth is to honor and glorify God.  As sinners, we had neither the knowledge, ability or desire to do that.  It was only after we accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior that we came to realize how weak and foolish we were.  As Christians, our knowledge and ability are still limited.  That is why we must daily call upon the Holy Spirit to teach us God’s ways.   Our flesh will rebel, so we need the power of the Holy Spirit to overcome those desires and to change the desires of our hearts.  He is waiting to guide us into all truth and to give us pure hearts that yearn for fellowship with Jesus.  There is an old hymn with these words that we should make a daily prayer: “Just a closer walk with thee, grant it, Jesus, let it be.”  Our hearts should long for Jesus more than anything else in this world.  Any day spent without a conversation with Jesus is a dark, lonely and misspent day.  Just as the sun rises in the east every morning to dispel the darkness, so must we allow the Son to arise in us each morning to dispel the darkness of evil that surrounds us. “Open wide the gates and let the King of glory come in”.

Psalm 118:19-21 NKJV

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

Post 04-08-2019