“Think About the Things of Heaven,”

2 Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.  — Colossians 3:2 NLT

Col. 3:1-6 NLT

Before we accepted Jesus as our Savior and Lord, our thoughts were fixed on the things of this world.  Our focus was on ourselves and our fleshly desires.  What things can I do or indulge in that will make my life here more pleasurable?  What will I do tomorrow and the next day?  We gave little or no thought to the afterlife or where our souls would spend eternity.  After we accepted Jesus, our focus started (or should have started) to change.  We started to realize that there is more to life than possessions.  We slowly began to understand that we are not the center of the universe.  We felt our desires changing.  The invisible became more important than the visible. Did we change ourselves?  Of course not, if we could change ourselves, then Christ died in vain.  God has placed Himself as the Holy Spirit inside of us and it is He that is making those changes in and for us.  We are being transformed not by our own power but by the resurrection power of the Holy Spirit.  Each of us should pray that we will have a teachable spirit and allow that process to continue until we are transformed into His image.

Romans 12:1-2 NLT

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

“God In All of His Fullness…”

19 For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, — Col. 1:19 NLT

Col. 1:15-22 NLT

What an amazing God and what amazing grace! He made a creature that He knew He would have to die to redeem from sin.  He gave up all of His glory and chose to live among such lowly, filthy creatures.  Creatures consumed by sin and fleshly lusts.  He suffered persecution, bore our sins in His sinless body and endured beatings so that by His stripes we could be healed.  He could have stopped there but He didn’t.  He died a shameful death on a cross for our sins, was resurrected and lives in heaven interceding for us there at the right hand of God.  He could have stopped there but He didn’t.  He came back as a Spirit to abide inside of us so that we who chose to accept Him as our Savior would never be alone.

27 For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory. — Col. 1:27 NLT

GOD IN CHRIST AND CHRIST IN US!  AMAZING GRACE!

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

“Our Wonderful New Relationship…”

11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.  —Romans 5:11 NLT

Romans 5:6-11 NLT

There is only one Creator who would create a creature knowing that it would require His death to redeem that creation. What kind of Creator has that much love for His creation?  God, and God alone, because He alone is complete, pure love. God, as the man Jesus did not die for some bogus religion of the world. He died to renew the relationship that He had with man in the Garden of Eden. We call that relationship, Christianity. There is no comparison of Christianity to any religion in the world. Christianity is eternal because it is based on Jesus Christ, who died and was resurrected for our sins. He knew from before the foundations of the earth that He would have to do that. Sin took away that relationship and introduced all kinds of false hopes, which the world calls “religions”. All those religions are named after and founded on the teachings of dead men. But, praise God, Christianity is named after and based on the teachings of a LIVING GOD and SAVIOR! One who longs to talk to you and show you His love in the tiniest details of your Life.

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

“Lazarus Has Fallen Asleep”

11 Then he said, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but now I will go and wake him up.” – John 11:11 NLT

John 11:7-16 NLT

The followers of Jesus asked a reasonable question, one that we would most likely ask had we been there. Why would anyone want to return to a place where the people had tried to kill him? While the question shows their love for Jesus it also shows again their lack of faith in His ability to protect them and Himself. Had they not just walked away before? How quickly we forget the goodness and mercy of God when danger seems to lurk at our next step. Jesus uses the illustration of natural sunlight, but the followers had much more than that to watch over them. They had the Light of the world leading them. Jesus knew that Lazarus was dead and the purpose for which Lazarus had died. “And I am glad for your sakes”! Think of it, the followers are concerned, but Jesus is rejoicing! They will see the miracle of a friend being raised from the dead and their faith will be strengthened. Walking in the Light of Jesus, we are always safe from harm. If we live, He walks with us and if we die, we walk with Him. We should rejoice and be glad! Jesus does all things well and in His timing.

36 You must hold on, so you can do what God wants and receive what he has promised. 37 For in a very short time,​ “The One who is coming will come​ and will not be delayed.​ ​—Hebrews 10:36-3​7​ (NCV)

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

“…No, It Happened for the Glory Of God…”

4 But when Jesus heard about it he said, “Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.”  – John 11:4 NLT

John 11:1-6 NLT

Lazarus and his sisters were dear friends of Jesus. Mary and Martha sent a messenger to tell Jesus that Lazarus was sick. The messenger and the disciples must have been very surprised at what Jesus said when he heard the message. “This sickness will not end in death, it is for the glory of God”. How could sickness be for the glory of God? They, like us today, look at things from the human standpoint. Why should a friend of Jesus, the Great Physician, or a child of God have to suffer? A better question might be, “Why don’t wretched sinners like us have to suffer more than we do now?” Sin came into the world when man disobeyed God and it will remain in the world until Jesus comes back to establish His Kingdom here on earth. Until that time of restoration comes, we remain under the curse of sin. God gets glory by overcoming the curse of sin. While Jesus was here on earth, He overcame the curse of sin one act at a time. Yes, Jesus could have just spoken a word right where He was when He heard the message or He could have left immediately and gone to Lazarus. He chose not to do either of those things, but waited for 2 days before He left to go to Lazarus. God’s timing is not our timing and His answer is not always what we want to hear, but they are always exactly what is necessary to bring glory to Himself.

8 The Lord says, “My thoughts are not like your thoughts. Your ways are not like my ways. 9 Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts–Jeremiah 55:8, 9 (NCV)

Now we aren’t able to see and understand these things, but one day we will know and understand.

12 It is the same with us. Now we see a dim reflection, as if we were looking into a mirror, but then we shall see clearly. Now I know only a part, but then I will know fully, as God has known me.—1 Cor. 13:12 (NCV)

Until then, we can be comforted with God’s promises and the many gifts He gives each day, 

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

“Even If You Don’t Believe Me.”

38 But if I do his work, believe in the evidence of the miraculous works I have done, even if you don’t believe me. Then you will know and understand that the Father is in me, and I am in the Father.” – John 10:38 NLT 

Believe the Evidence

Jesus is setting a great example. He does exactly what His Father does and they should believe Him. If they can prove that He has done anything that God Himself would not do, then they have every right not to believe in Him or what He says. But if they cannot find anything that He has done in opposition to the Father, then they should believe Him. Everything that John said about Jesus was true and Jesus had been faithful to that description. Jesus issues the same challenge to non-believers today. If you can find any sin in the things I did in my lifetime or if you can find one promise that God has not been faithful to fulfill, then you shouldn’t believe me or my Word. But if you can’t find anything, then why don’t you accept my Word and accept me as your Savior and Lord? It really is that simple.

Jesus answered, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. The only way to the Father is through me.—John 14:6 (NCV)

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

“For God In All His Fullness…”

19 For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, — Col. 1:19 NLT

COL. 1:15-22 NLT

What an  amazing God and what amazing grace! He made a creature that He knew He would have to die to redeem from sin.  He gave up all of His glory and chose to live among such lowly, filthy creatures.  Creatures consumed by sin and fleshly lusts.  He suffered persecution, bore our sins in His sinless body and endured beatings so that by His stripes we could be healed.  He could have stopped there but He didn’t.  He died a shameful death on a cross for our sins, was resurrected and lives in heaven interceding for us there at the right hand of God.  He could have stopped there but He didn’t.  He came back as a Spirit to abide inside of us so that we who chose to accept Him as our Savior would never be alone.

27 For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.— Col. 1:27 NLT

GOD IN CHRIST AND CHRIST IN US!  AMAZING GRACE!

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

“I Give Them Eternal Life…”

28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me – John 10:28 NLT 

Never Perish

What a tremendous, magnificent, awesome promise!!! They will never die! And that promise is still in effect today. These old bodies that we wear around will one day give out, but we, our soul, will never die! Once we have accepted Jesus and the Holy Spirit abides in us, we are assured that we will never die. Guaranteed!!

13 So it is with you. When you heard the true teaching—the Good News about your salvation—you believed in Christ. And in Christ, God put his special mark of ownership on you by giving you the Holy Spirit that he had promised. 14 That Holy Spirit is the guarantee that we will receive what God promised for his people until God gives full freedom to those who are his—to bring praise to God’s glory—Ephesians 1:13, 14 (NCV)

No person or no thing can take us out of the hands of Jesus because God is greater than all and no one can defeat Him or His purpose. We will have new bodies and live forever with Christ Jesus, our Savior and Lord.

16 From this time on we do not think of anyone as the world does. In the past we thought of Christ as the world thinks, but we no longer think of him in that way. 17 If anyone belongs to Christ, there is a new creation. The old things have gone; everything is made new! 18 All this is from God. Through Christ, God made peace between us and himself, and God gave us the work of telling everyone about the peace we can have with him.—1 Cor. 5:16-18 (NCV)

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

“I Wish That You Were One or the Other!”

15 “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other!  –Revelation 3:15 NLT 

Revelation 3:15-19 NLT

God wants each of us to be totally committed to Him. Our lifestyles should reflect that commitment.  We have to look inside ourselves and allow God’s Holy Spirit to show us where the problem lies.  What is keeping us from being totally committed to Jesus?  Are temporary physical pleasures more important than eternal life in heaven?  Eternal life with Jesus is a free gift, so earning more money is not going to get you there.  The only true peace and contentment we have is in Jesus.  He knows our hearts and He knows the solution to not only the sins we try to hide, but to any situation we are facing. He is waiting to share that information with You.

Stop!  Listen!

If you do, He will speak to You.

3 ‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’   — Jeremiah 33:3 NKJV

“But Take An Interest In Others…”

4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. — Philippians 2:4

Phil. 2:1-5 NLT

If we have the same mindset as Christ Jesus, we will always show the love that we have for others. We must always put Jesus first, then others next.  The only way the world will know that we love Jesus is if we show that love to them and to each other.  Jesus loved us to the point of laying down His life for us, even while we were still sinners.  How much of your life are you willing to lay down to witness to your neighbors?  Laying down our lives for others is about more than just taking time to talk to them, it is also about living a Holy life before them.  Jesus has commanded us and He has also given us the power to speak words of life to those that He puts in our paths.  But they won’t listen to us, if our walk doesn’t reflect our talk.  As the saying goes, people don’t care what we know until they know that we care.  Let each of us show how much we care by showing compassion in every situation. 

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