“Speak”

43 For they loved human praise more than the praise of God. — John 12:43 NLT

John 12:42-50 NLT

There were many of the people, leaders in the religious communities and others who believed what Jesus was saying but refused to admit it in public. They were more concerned about what the Jewish leaders would say and do than they were about what Jesus said.  They were afraid that they would lose their positions in the community and be removed from the synagogue.  They would not admit publicly that they believed what Jesus said.  When we read these verses, it is easy for us to criticize and judge these people for their lack of support for Jesus.  But, if we stop, meditate and let the Holy Spirit lead us into the truth, we may just realize that we are sometimes like those people.  Yes, our egos say we would never deny Jesus and perhaps, verbally we wouldn’t.  However, we must look at our actions or our lack of action in certain situations.   How many times have we been nudged by the Holy Spirit to say something to someone or do something for someone and by our inactions, we said “NO”.  In those times, we became “secret believers”  preferring silence over speaking out for Jesus, our Lord and Savior.   How many times have we felt the shame when we are convicted of our inactivity by the Holy Spirit?   Jesus said that “if you deny me before men, I will deny you before the Father”.  If we do not speak out and our lifestyles do not show others that we are living for Jesus, then the truth of His words will judge us on the day of judgment.  We must be willing to get out of our comfort zones and be ridicule, offended and persecuted because we believe the truth.  There is only one God and only one Jesus who died for our sins.  There is no other way to heaven.

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

Post 01/22-2019

Redeeming the Time

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“I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. ​ – John 15:9 NLT


To abide in Jesus we must obey His commands. If we do this, we have access to the same power that raised Jesus from the grave. It is this power of the indwelling Holy Spirit flowing through us that produces good fruit. The best and everlasting fruit is love. If our finite minds could grasp the power of the infinite love of God, nothing would be impossible for us. To understand this love requires us to spend time alone with God reading His word to Him. You cannot truly love someone you do not know and you can’t know someone without spending time alone with them. God cherishes the time His children spend alone with Him. You may be thinking that people decide to love each other through letters, phone calls and emails. That is very true.. But how much time have they spent writing and/or reading those letters and emails or talking on the phone? In today’s wireless world, you don’t have to be face to face with someone to spend time with them. We should be thankful that God has the original wireless system. God has been having love affairs with His children without the internet or computers for years. But His system is so much better because it doesn’t cost anything, it is never busy, it never breaks down and we always get an answer.


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

Post 11-09-2017

“Gotta Tell Somebody”

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46 “We have never heard anyone speak like this!” the guards responded. – John 7:46 NLT

The religious leaders and the Pharisees, the very ones that God had entrusted to shepherd His flock, were the ones that refused to believe that this man, Jesus, was the Messiah. They were well versed in the Old Testament and should have known all the prophecies. It would have been fairly easy for them to find out exactly where Jesus was born and how many of those prophecies His birth and life, up to this point, had fulfilled. The problem was this; if they acknowledged Jesus as the Messiah while He refused to set up an earthly Kingdom, then they would lose their positions and authority to rule over the people. The flesh is stubborn, even in the presence of overwhelming evidence, the flesh wants to hang onto the old ways, so they allowed themselves to be deceived.. Accepting Jesus as the Messiah would have turned their society upside down. Our flesh is the same today. We want a better life but we don’t want to give up fleshly pleasures. We cannot allow ourselves and those around us to be deceived. It is our responsibility to spread the Good News. Jesus died for our sins and we can be set free.
13 For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 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 10:13-14 (NLT)

Today, ​​t​ell somebody about Jesus!​​!


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

Post 09-20-2017

No Neutral Ground

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13 But no one had the courage to speak favorably about him in public, for they were afraid of getting in trouble with the Jewish leaders. – John 7:13 NLT

Jesus did the things He did and He did them the way He did because of His complete obedience to God the Father. He could have chosen to do otherwise, but then He would not have been the sinless sacrifice.

19 So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does. ​-John 5:19​
When we are faced with non-believers and those who would ridicule and persecute us, what do we say about Jesus? Is Jesus just some “good man” or is He the Savior and Lord of our life? Is he just a historical figure or was He the Messiah? Is He our “strong tower” to run into for shelter or do we live “in the shadow of His wings”? God is not in a contest with other “gods”, He is the only God! In each of our lives, we must decide if He is “Lord of all” or not “Lord at all”. There is a war going on for the control of our minds and there are only two choices, there is no neutral ground.
31 So what should we say about this? If God is for us, no one can defeat us.–Romans 8:31 (NCV)


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

Post 09-13-2017

Can You Explain It?

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14 But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats. — 1 Peter 3:14 NLT

We are all guilty! We have felt that gentle nudge from God’s Spirit and said nothing, we have heard that soft quiet voice and still we did nothing! The King of Kings, the Creator of the Universe has issued the command to go and spread the gospel to all of us. (Ref. Matt 28:19, 20) And in individual situations, He has asked us to speak out and invite others into His Kingdom. Why don’t we speak out? Are we afraid that our friends and acquaintances will mock us, make fun of us, reject us? Always remember this, they did the same to Jesus and we are not greater than our Creator. But the most important thing to remember is that it isn’t us they are rejecting, it is Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. We are going to suffer in this world, and as Peter tells us, it is better to suffer for doing good, than for doing evil.


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

 

Post 11-09-2016

The Holy Spirit Brings Life

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21 The tongue can bring death or life;  those who love to talk will reap the consequences.
— Proverbs 18:24

Words are powerful. God spoke the world into existence and He gave Jesus all authority in heaven and earth. Jesus gave that authority to us.  So, we have the power to speak words of life and blessing or to speak words of death and cursing.  Do your words produce life or death?  Since we are indwelt by the Triune God, we have the words of life. The world needs something to believe in and hang onto. Speak words of life to those around you and you will not only bless them, but you will find as you speak those words and they become real to you, your attitude improves.  The Beatitudes are called that because speaking blessings should always be our attitude. James warns us that the tongue is a dangerous weapon that we are unable to control. 

We must allow the Holy Spirit to control it for us and it will produce fruit that brings forth life.  Let the fruits of the Spirit rule over you and you will become a life-giving stream to your family and friends.
Post 10-15-2016

It Isn’t a Coincidence

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30 Philip ran over and heard the man reading from the prophet Isaiah. Philip asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?”  — Acts 8:30 NLT
When the persecutions of the Christians started in Jerusalem, the believers were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria.  Philip had  been preaching and teaching about Jesus in Samaria.  When Peter and John arrived, an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip and told him to go south along the road to Gaza.  On his way, he met an eunuch from Ethiopia.  This eunuch had been to Jerusalem to worship.  He was reading aloud from a scroll of the Old Testament.  This particular scroll contained the book of Isaiah.  Since he had been to worship in Jerusalem and was in possession of a Biblical scroll and reading it aloud, we can safely assume two things.  He was familiar with the Jewish religion and he was searching for something.  So God had been preparing the heart of this eunuch to receive the Good News for some time.  I think we can safely assume that God had big plans for this eunuch when he returned to Ethiopia, but whether God had big plans for the eunuch or just wanted to save the eunuch is not the point.  The point is that God’s plans for Philip and the eunuch intersected at this point.  The eunuch was seeking understanding of the Scriptures and God sent a man to him who could explain those Scriptures.  Every day, our live intersect with other lives.  This was, is and will always be God’s plan for spreading the Good News.  Are we prepared to instantly obey?  Are we prepared to explain God’s plan of salvation to those whose paths we cross?  If not, why not spend some time today preparing to do just that?  There is a heavenly reason that you are where you are today.  It didn’t just happen.  Look around you, there are lost people that you have been sent to speak to. God has prepared their hearts to hear and He has given you the words of life to speak to them, therefore speak.
Post 06-24-2106

 

Light the Fires Again

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26 Then Jesus told her, “I am the Messiah! — John 4:26 NLT
The trip from Judea to Galilee took Jesus through Samaria.  It was a rough journey and Jesus, in His human form, was subject to becoming tired and weary, just as we are.  The Samaritans and the Jews were not on the best of terms and rarely, if ever, spoke to each other.  Yet, Jesus began to talk to this Samaritan woman and tell her things about her past and her present situation. She realized that He was a prophet and began to question Him about the difference in the traditions of how the Samaritans and the Jews worshipped God.   Jesus began to explain these things to her and tells her that was the way things were but those things were changing.  The Samaritan woman says that she knows things will change when the Messiah comes.  It is then that Jesus reveals to her that He is the Messiah for whom she has been waiting.  Jesus uses the words “I AM”.  The same words that God had used when Moses asked God, “who shall I say is sending me?”  Hearing these words, she immediately becomes a missionary and runs to tell the whole town about Jesus.  When Jesus touches us, we have to tell somebody.  Do we still have that burning desire to tell people about Jesus, the Messiah, the great “I AM” or has the fire gone out?  If we no longer have that desire to tell others about Jesus, perhaps it is time to ask God to light the fires again. 
Post 05-10-2016

Shine and Speak

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God sent a man, John the Baptist, to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. — John 1:6, 7 NLT
God sent John the Baptist as a forerunner of Jesus.  The purpose and plan for John’s life was to tell the world about the Light that was coming.  John understood and accepted his mission wholeheartedly.  John spent his life in the wilderness living on locusts and honey, witnessing to those who came out to hear him.  He was not the Light but was a witness that the Light was coming.  John was so effective in his work that Jesus called him “the greatest man who ever lived”.
Yet,  Jesus said “even the least person in the Kingdom of God is greater than he is”.  How can this be that we could be greater than John the Baptist who lived his life for and utltimately gave his life for Jesus?  The word “greater” here is used in the same sense that the word “greater” is used when Jesus said that we would do even “greater” works than Jesus did when He walked here on the earth.  It is not meant to demean or lessen the value of the work that John and Jesus did, but to emphasize the greatness of the Kingdom of God itself.   It is not written to give us illusions of grandeur or self-importance, but to encourage us to work for the Kingdom of God.  It is not as individual Christains that we are greater or can do greater works but it is our inclusion in the Kingodm of God that is emphasized as being of utmost importance.  So, the work we do for the expansion of the Kingdom of God is greater in importance than anything that we do that the world considers great or important.  If we are to be “greater” then we must finish the work that John started.  John was the forerunner, Jesus was the reason and we are the witnesses for this and future generations.  We are here as Light and Life to a dark and dying world.  So, let your Light shine and speak the words of Life to those around you wherever you are and whenever you can. There is no “greater” work to be done.
Post 05-05-2016

Living the Life

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2  Sing to the Lord; praise his name.  Each day proclaim the good news that he saves. — Psalm 96:2 NLT
God has a plan and a a purpose for each one of us.  The ultimate goal for each of those plans is to glorify God.  We glorify God by proclaiming the good news that Jesus saves.  We can do this by teaching, preaching or simply living a lifestyle that shows others how much Jesus means to us and what He has done for us.  God has never called anyone to do anything without equipping them and training them.  The way we walk and talk is observed by those around us.  We talk to others about ball games, movies we have seen, places we have been to and books that we have read.  We share experience after experience with them, but we never touch on the most important experience that we have had.  We never mention anything to them about when we met Jesus and all the things he has done for us since.  Yes, we occassionally share that with our Christian brothers and sisters, but when we are talking to others, do we mention the name of Jesus? It isn’t alwas necessary to quote Bible verses to people.  Sometimes, we just need to tell them what Jesus has done for us.  Anytime, the name of Jesus is mentioned, a decision has to be made;  will we accept HIm or reject HIm?  Just allow the Holy Spirit to guide you and your lifestyle and testimony will be effective. 
Post 04-21-2016