“Warn Them Before God”

14 Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.—2 Timothy 2:14-1​5​ NIV

Paul is instructing Timothy (and us) about the destruction and divisions that are caused by debating over doctrines. He is instructing us that our time would be better spent in meditating on God’s Word and doing exactly what it says without adding anything to it.  This is what the scribes and Pharisees had done to the Old Testament law. They had added their own interpretations to it and were weighing the people down with useless requirements. Some of us do the same thing today and then wonder why our church attendance is down.
The important thing for us to remember is that God made the plan of salvation very simple for a reason. It is not a burden to bear, it is easy to understand and for us, it is free, even though it cost God His only Son. Anyone can do it.

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.–John 3:16 NIV

Is there more to the story?  Yes, but just believing and repenting is all there is to salvation. Knowing the rest of the story will help you enjoy the journey.

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

“Make Known His Praise”

5 Sing to the Lord, for he has done wonderful things.   Make known his praise around the world.  – Isaiah 12:5 NLT

Praise

Each of us needs to pause each day and meditate on what an amazing God we serve. He has every right to be angry with us and punish us accordingly. Instead, He put all of our sins on His only Son and allowed Him to be crucified on a cross for our salvation.  Jesus was all man and all God, so God Himself hung on that cross and He has become our salvation. He is our strength and our song. We can trust Him to complete the work He started in each of us when we accepted Jesus as our Savior, No matter the situation, we can turn to Him and draw water from the springs of salvation and they will fill us with joy.  Every moment of every day, we should “rejoice and be glad.”

8 And though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls. – 1 Peter 1:8-9 NASB

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

“The Sword of the Spirit”

17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God..—Ephesians 6:17 NLT

Dressed for Battle 

Since we don’t actually see the angels and the demons surrounding us, it is hard for us to stay aware of the continuous battle going on around us everyday.  But there are several examples of this in the Scriptures. The example in Daniel 10 involves at least two demonic princes and two angelic princes.

20 So he said, “Do you know why I have come to you? Soon I will return to fight against the prince of Persia, and when I go, the prince of Greece will come; 21 but first I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth. (No one supports me against them except Michael, your prince.–Daniel 10:20-21 NIV

Just as Daniel was not physically involved in the battle, neither are we.  Our battlefield is our mind. That is why our armor is not physical armor, it is invisible things that protect our thought patterns from being overwhelmed by evil. These weapons are truth, righteousness, readiness that comes from the gospel of peace, faith, salvation and the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. For us to be fully dressed in the armor God has provided for us takes time. It is not a piece of clothing that you can just throw in the corner and then grab when bad times come. It takes hours and hours of prayer, Bible study and meditation to get fully dressed.  satan knows where the holes in our armor are.  We must pray daily for the Holy Spirit to show us the holes and then spend whatever time it takes in prayer and Scripture study to mend those holes. While we reside in this old piece of decaying flesh, we will never be able to fill all the holes. That is why God has His angels encamped around us.

7 The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.—Psalm 34:7 NIV

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

“Led By the Spirit”

16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.–Gal. 5:16-18 (NIV)

What does Paul mean when he says “walk by the Spirit”? To understand what Paul is talking about, we have to understand that every word we say and every conscious action we take is a direct result of a decision we have made. The decisions we make are a direct result of our thought patterns. Our thought patterns are controlled by what we spend the most time thinking about. We spend the most time thinking about what we feel is most important to us. The more we think about one thing, the more important it becomes to us. It becomes a cycle of our thoughts producing actions that produce more thoughts about the same thing. We are born in sin into a world that is saturated in sin. so we are going to have sinful thoughts. More and more of the things we hear and see are designed to tempt us to satisfy the flesh. But the flesh wants the things that are contrary to what the Holy Spirit knows that we need. The indwelling Spirit is there to guide us and help us break the sinful thought pattern. Does the Holy Spirit audibly speak to us? Yes, sometimes He does. But most of the time, He just nudges us with a whisper that we sometimes think is our own thought. Sometimes He has other Christians speak to us. Sometimes, He speaks to us through God’s Word. When we have humbled ourselves and seek His guidance, He will get the message to us. If we listen to hear and obey the message, we are being led by or “walking by the Spirit”.

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

“The Crowd Was Divided”

43 So the crowd was divided about him.  – John 7:43 NLT

John 7:41-46 NLT

Although Jesus spent a lot of time in Galilee, He had fulfilled the prophecy by being born in Bethlehem, as well as being born in the lineage of King David. While the crowd continued to discuss whether or not Jesus was the Messiah, the leaders and the Pharisees sent the temple guards to arrest Jesus. They wanted to silence Him because more and more people were beginning to believe His story. But the guards came back empty-handed. When they were questioned as to why they had not arrested Jesus, their reply was that they “had never heard anyone talk like this”. The guards had been touched by the words that Jesus spoke, so much so, that they refused to follow the orders they had been given. The Temple guards, which were the ones that the leaders and Pharisees commanded, were Jewish.They realized that this man was different from any they had heard speak. They would also have been familiar with the Old Testament and would have known about the powerful prophets, such as Moses, Elijah, Isaiah and others. Still, nothing they had heard affected them like the words of Jesus. The words were so powerful, it required them to make a difficult decision.It is still the same today, when the name of Jesus is mentioned, we have to make a decision. It is “I accept” or it is “I reject”. There is no middle ground.

11 For Jesus is the one referred to in the Scriptures, where it says,‘The stone that you builders rejected​ has now become the cornerstone.
12 There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”–Acts 4:11-12 (NLT)

What decision have you made? Who do you say Jesus is​?​

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

“You Laid the Foundation”

10 He also says to the Son,  “In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundation of the earth and made the heavens with your hands. – Hebrews 1:10 NLT

Hebrews 1:10-14 NLT

Everything that is created will come to an end. Our souls will remain and live on forever. God has said that Jesus will live and reign forever and Jesus has promised us that we will be with Him and we will be in His likeness. Our souls, our life center, will remain alive after we shed this flesh like taking off a coat. Then our bodies will be glorified and we will be with Jesus in a new heaven and a new earth. Jesus will reign after all His enemies have been defeated. In our new, immortal bodies, we will reign with Him, serving Him and praising Him with joy and gladness. In the meantime, God has sent His angels to serve us, watch over us and protect us. Jesus “was” in the beginning, He “is” now and He “always will be”. He is the author and the finisher of our faith. Our salvation depends on the faithfulness of God, not on anything that we do. Therefore, we are secure in our salvation.

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

“What We Hope For”

1 Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see. ​- Hebrews 11:1 NLT

Hebrews 11:1-6 NLT

Hebrews, Chapter 11, is known as the great faith chapter. It lists those that are in God’s Hall of Fame for the Faithful. We must stay grounded in the Word and continue to ask God to make us more faithful. Our prayer should be like the cry of the Father of the boy possessed by a demon. He said, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief” (Mark 9:24). Unbelief or no faith is the sin that caused Jesus to die on the cross for us. All of our sins are just outward expressions of our unbelief. We fear because we do not believe that God can and will take care of us. Over and over in the Bible, God tells us “do not fear”, yet, we fear anyway. He tells us “do not worry” about physical needs, yet we spend a lot of time stressing out over whether we will have enough of this or that. Think about this: “If we can’t trust God to provide the little things, how can we possibly believe that He can save our soul”? What part of “do not” do we not understand? When Jesus, while on the cross, said “It is finished”, He was serious. Our part is to “seek you first the Kingdom of God and all its righteousness”….. The rest of that verse (Matt. 6:33) is God’s business and He is always faithful to take care of His business.

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

“Because I Am Holy”

15 But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. 16 For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.”–1 Peter 1:15-16 (NLT)
22 You were taught to put away your former way of life, your old self, corrupt and deluded by its lusts, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to clothe yourselves with the new self, created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.–Eph. 4:22-24 (NLT)

When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, His Holy Spirit sets up a residence in our hearts. God has sent His Spirit to “lead us into all truth”. There are some things (and those things are different for all of us) from which we are immediately delivered. We could make a long list of those things: smoking, drinking, overeating, gossiping, lying, bitterness, hatred and we could go on and on. And those instant deliveries should encourage us to continue on in the faith. But none of us are instantly delivered from all our erroneous ways and habits. It is a daily process of being led by God’s Spirit and learning more of the truth. As we study God’s Word, we find more things that we need to allow God to change so that we can be transformed into His image. We all still sin, but we have to stay on guard and not let satan bring us down with guilt. We must repent. That means more than turning away from the sin, it means we turn to something else. Each time we empty a spot in our heart, we must allow God’s Spirit to fill it with something new. Pay close attention to Paul’s instructions in verse 24, “clothe yourself with the new self”. When we put off the old, we should be careful to put on the “new”. The “new” will guard us against the fiery darts of our enemy.

6 But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.—Romans 7:6 NASB

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

“We Will Reap A Harvest”


9 So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. ​ – Gal. 6:9 NLT

Gal. 6:7-10 NLT

Jesus went about doing good deeds and spreading the good news that the Kingdom of God was at hand. He is our example to follow. With all the bad news we hear each day, we need to be diligent in spreading the good news. God gives us abundant opportunities each day to plant good seed in good soil. The majority of people that you come into contact each day are looking for something to believe in and hold onto. They are looking for something solid and secure that is not going to change. We have the answer in the good news of Jesus and His free gift of salvation. People are drowning in the sea of uncertainty and doubt. We are holding the life rope they need. Take the time to throw it out and bring them to the shore to meet Jesus.
If we focus on Jesus and spreading the Good News, He will continue to strengthen us and fill us with joy. Again, we need to follow the example Jesus set by taking time to be alone with God, meditating on the Word and praying. These times of refreshing will keep us from growing weary of doing good. We will reap what we sow. So, let us be diligent in our journey here on earth and lay up our rewards in heaven.

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

“Follow the Example of Christ”

1 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. 2 I praise you for remembering me in everything and for holding to the traditions just as I passed them on to you. 3 But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.—1 Cor. 11:1-3 NIV

Paul is encouraging the Corinthians to continue in following the practices of Christianity just as he has taught them to do. He has lived his life in front of them, as much as it is humanly possible, as an example of how Christ lived.  But there had been some reports of problems during the worship service.  Paul points to the fact that we are all to submit ourselves to Christ as the head of the Church, His body. We submit to Christ because He loved us enough to die for us.  So, this is the example for us to follow. Those who would be leaders in the Church must display the same kind of love that Christ did.  This is what Jesus was inferring to Peter when He asked Peter three times: “Will you feed my sheep?” Jesus was talking about more than physical food, He was asking Peter if He was willing to feed them spiritually, even to the point of death, if that became necessary. This is exactly the same kind of love that a husband should show for his wife and his family.  Husbands and Fathers need to ask themselves the same question that Jesus asked Peter.  “Will I feed this flock that Jesus has given me?  Will I not only provide for their physical needs, but also their spiritual needs?  Will I remind them daily how much Jesus loves and cares for them?”   If we do that, then we won’t have any problems being the “head” of the family.

6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.—Deut. 6:6-7 NIV

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