“Following Jesus”

12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. – Philippians 3:12 NLT

Philippians 3:7-14 NLT

God created a perfect earth.  When Adam and Eve were tempted by satan and chose to disobey God, the earth was no longer perfect.  Then the earth, along with humankind, started to age and decay.  God became the perfect man to redeem earth and all mankind from that fallen state.  When Jesus ascended, there was no longer anything left on this earth that was perfect. Then God came as the Holy Spirit to abide within us.  Since that time, those of us who accept Christ as our Savior and Lord have been given both the command and the desire to strive for perfection. Though we understand that as long as we live in this fleshly tent, it is impossible for us to achieve perfection, nevertheless, as Paul says we “press on to possess that perfection”.   Why would we or Paul strive to achieve a seemingly impossible goal?  If this temporal dwelling and life were the end, then we would be foolish.  But we, who believe in Jesus, have a knowledge and a hope of eternity.  That knowledge and hope will not be perfected while we participate in the activities of the Kingdom of God here on earth.  We press on because we know that when the Perfect One comes to reign again, we will be like Him.  It is then that our hope will be fulfilled and we will reach the goal of perfection.  We press on for a few years to win the prize of eternal perfection, following the One who has always been, now is and will always be Perfection.  Impossible in this lifetime? Yes. Impossible in eternity?  No!

1 Peter 1:13-16 NLT

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

“The closer I get to the end of my life, it seems the only question that matters, Is the life I am living pleasing to God?” – Ken Gire In “Sacred”

Post 02-15-2019

“Marinate Everything In Prayer”

15 Then Esther replied to Mordecai, 16 “Go and gather all the Jewish people who are in Susa and fast for me. Don’t eat or drink for three days, night or day. – Esther 4:15 ISV

Esther 6: 5-12 NLT

We are familiar with the story of Esther and how God exalted her to the position of queen in a most unlikely situation.  Besides Esther, there are three other people God had positioned strategically for this particular time. God needed a man with the the authority to make things happen so He had positioned Xerxes as king.  He needed a villain, He chose Haman for this role.  Haman was the perfect villain for this time, he hated Mordecai and all of the Jews. God needed a hero, someone who would refuse to bow to the villain and with the backbone to stand up for God’s people.  He chose Mordecai who had a little known history with the king.  In the past, he had warned the king about a plot to kill the king and for this he had never been rewarded (at least not  in earthly ways).  Mordecai was also a man of compassion.  We know this because he had taken his cousin, Hadassah, also known as Esther and raised her as his own daughter after his uncle died.  God had prepared and positioned each of these people to carry out His plan to free His people and destroy the enemy.  God is preparing each of us to do the same thing today.  Are we ready and willing to do our part when all the people involved come together?  If not, how do we get ready?

15 Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.  — 2 Timothy 2:15 NLT

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

“The closer I get to the end of my life, it seems the only question that matters, Is the life I am living pleasing to God?” – Ken Gire In “Sacred”

Post 02-14-2019

Give It All Up For Jesus

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28 Then Peter began to say to him, “See, we have left everything and followed you.” 29 Jesus said, “I tell all of you with certainty, there is no one who has left his home, brothers, sisters, mother, father, children, or fields because of me and the gospel 30 who will not receive a hundred times as much here in this world—homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and fields, along with persecution—as well as eternal life in the age to come. – Mark 10:28-30
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 and 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 sacrifice we make in giving to God.  The poor widow put in two small coins, others gave much more, but only she received 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 sacrificially, 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.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“The Battle Is the Lord’s”

15 and the men of Judah began to shout. At the sound of their battle cry, God defeated Jeroboam and all Israel and routed them before Abijah and the army of Judah.–2 Chronicles 13:15 NLT

2 Chronicles 13:10-15 NLT

After Israel was divided, the northern and the southern kingdoms were often at war with each other.   On this occasion, Abijah, king of Judah had amassed 400,000 select troups and Jeroboam, king of Israel, had gathered 800,000 select warriors.  From the human viewpoint, it was fairly easy to see who would win the war, but God had other plans.  Judah had the original powerful weapon of mass destruction on their side.  They trusted in God. They still worshiped God as they were supposed to but Israel had polluted their worship service with false prophets and false priests.  God only accepts purity, He will not accept being one of many gods, when He is the only true and living God.  Even though Judah had enemy troops behind them and in front of them and they were outnumbered two to one, they showed no fear, but trusted God to do what He promised to do.  This obedience and trust in God resulted in God winning the battle for them. “God defeated Jeroboam and all of Israel”.  All Judah had to do was the “mopping up” and retrieve the bounty.  If we refuse to accept God’s gift of salvation and love, then we will have to face His wrath.  No one can stand against the wrath of God.  The only time satan thought He had defeated God, he soon learned that was his worst defeat.  Do not be deceived by appearances and false claims, there is only ONE TRUE AND LIVING GOD!  He is the Victor and only through Him will we obtain the victory!
“This gospel has come ​to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 01-26-2019

“God Is All Around Us All the Time”

But the Lord said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
— 1 Kings 19:9b NLT

1 Kings 19:8-18 NLT

After Elijah had eaten and then eaten some more, he ran for forty days and forty nights. His journey took him to Mount Sinai, the mountain of God. This was the mountain on which God had given Moses the tablets of the Ten Commandments. God speaks to Elijah and asks him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” I imagine Elijah might have been wondering the same thing. Elijah answers by registering his complaint about being the only prophet left in Israel. God instructs Elijah to stand before Him on the mountain. Then, God sends a mighty windstorm, an earthquake and a fire, but God was not in any of those things. When we are wallowing in self-pity, it takes a lot to shake us up and get our attention. After God got Elijah’s attention, He spoke to in a gentle whisper. No yelling, no screaming, no rebuke, just a gentle whisper. Then, God reassures Elijah that he is not alone, there are at least 7000 other prophets that God has kept from bowing their knee to Baal. No matter the situation, God is always so gracious to us and reassures us that everything is okay. He is God everywhere and all the time! We are never alone and we are never given more than we can bear. Yet, we still fail, moan and complain and God comes to us wherever we are, wraps His arms of love around us and comforts us.

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

Post 01-03-2019

“We Are to Be Beacons In the Storms of Life”

6 God sent a man, John the Baptist, 7 to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. — John 1:6, 7 NLT

John 1:6-14 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”

.Luke 7:24-28

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 ultimately 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 Christians that we are greater or can do greater works but it is our inclusion in the Kingdom 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, we should be beacons and alarms that speak the words of Life to those around us wherever we are and whenever we can. There is no “greater” work to be done.

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

Post 12-31-2018

“Why Are Your Hearts Filled With Doubt?”

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38 “Why are you frightened?” he asked. “Why are your hearts filled with doubt?  — Luke 24:38 NLT
As the two men who had met Jesus on the road to Emmaus were sharing their story with the disciples, Jesus suddenly appeared among them.  Jesus spoke to them and said “Peace be with you”.  But they were startled and frightened, how could this be?   After three years of walking with Jesus and hearing His teachings on a daily basis, the disciples were still not convinced that Jesus would really be resurrected.  They thought they were looking at a ghost.  Jesus told them to look closely and see that it was really Him.  He invited them to touch Him and know that He was real.  Still, they were not fully convinced, so Jesus asked for something to eat.  We can wonder at the unbelief and lack of faith of the disciples but we show that same unbelief and lack of faith when we are fearful and worry about things.  We need to examine ourselves and ask ourselves the same questions that Jesus asked the disciples, “why are we frightened and why are our hearts filled with doubt”?  God has told us over 365 times in the Bible in one form or the other, :“DO NOT FEAR!”.  Yet, is there a day that goes by that we do not express fear and doubt with our words and/or actions?  Instead of accessing the peace and the joy that Jesus has promised and is waiting to give each of us so that we can enjoy today with Him, we obsess over what MIGHT happen tomorrow.  If we really believe that Jesus can and will provide our every need, then we should just rest in His arms and allow Him to do exactly what He said He would do.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 12-29-2018