“He Gave His One and Only Son’

16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. –John 3:16 NLT

John 3:16-21 NLT

Has anyone ever asked you, “What does it mean to be saved? Saved from what?” If you have been asked that question, were you able to answer it? When you were saved, from what were you saved? We were all born in sin, born into a world that is filled with the darkness of sin. Because of that, we are condemned to an eternity of punishment because Paul tells us in Romans 2:8, “But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and instead live lives of wickedness.” Is this fair? Yes, because God has offered each of us the opportunity to be saved. God does not want anyone to go to hell and he doesn’t send us to hell. We earn our way to hell. (Romans 6:23–For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.) Each person has to accept God’s free gift of salvation. When we do that, we can and must walk in the light of the Lord Jesus Christ. Hate the darkness, come to the Light so others can see Jesus in you.

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

Post 08-26-2019

“Pursue Peace With All Men”

14 Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. — Hebrews 12:14 NASB

Hebrews 12:14-17 NASB

The test is this: How do we react when we are betrayed by someone that is close to us, whether it be a family member, friend, close associate or a stranger? Is your first thought, “I should pursue peace with all men”? Or does anger immediately fill you and your mind starts to think about ways to “get even”? What does “get even” mean and how do we know when we are “even”? Ignore the anger? No, iyou hold your anger, it will eventually become a “root of bitterness”. That root, as it grows, will push every good thing out of the way to manifest itself in your personality. Let God handle it for you. Jesus was betrayed by Judas, a “friend” who had been the treasurer of the disciples and a companion for the better part of 3 years. What was his reaction to that betrayal? He allowed Judas to carry out his work even though Jesus knew it would mean His death. Remember, because of our sins, we have all betrayed Jesus and yet, He died for us. Easier said than done, right? So, how do we allow God to do it? 

6 Then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel saying, ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.–Zechariah 4:6 (NASB)

We listen to the Spirit of the Living God and His Spirit directs us as to what we should say and/or do. Most likely, the only action for us will be to pray for the person who has offended us and prepare our hearts to forgive when we are asked and render assistance and encouragement when the offender needs it.

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

Post 08-05-2019

“Not Guilty”

4 “I warned the proud, ‘Stop your boasting!’  I told the wicked, ‘Don’t raise your fists!  — Psalm 75:4 NLT

Psalm 75:4-10 NLT

In Ephesians 6:4, Paul warns us to “be angry and sin not”.  God is big enough to handle all of our anger.  But when we become angry with God, we need to be careful how we present that feeling to Him. We are not to be defiant or boastful of our own power.  If we allow ourselves to be controlled by the anger rather than us controlling the anger then we get into the area of sin.  When we have thoughts about not liking what God is allowing to go on in our lives, we need to present those thoughts to Him.  We can’t hide them from Him since He knows our every thought before we do.  We have to be honest with ourselves and with God while at the same time showing Him respect for who He is.  Instead of shaking our fist at God, we need to fall on our faces before Him and ask Him to give us wisdom to understand why He is allowing us to go through each particular situation.  God is not a God of chaos, He has a plan and a reason for allowing things to happen in our lives.  We need to ask the Holy Spirit to help us capture all of our rebellious thoughts and bring them under obedience to Christ Jesus.  2 Cor. 10:3-5 NCV  When we have done this and repented of our anger, God is always faithful to forgive us, pick us up, wrap His big arms around us and restore us to the family.  We must be careful to never, never let satan use quilt to defeat us after God has forgiven us. We must agree with God and forgive ourselves.  He still has work for us to do in His Kingdom.

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

Post 04-01-2019

“Loss of Temper Leads to Harm”

8 Stop being angry!  Turn from your rage!
Do not lose your temper—
it only leads to harm. — Psalm 37:8 NLT

Psalm 37: 1-9 NLT
Considering all that is going on in this country and around the world, this is a very timely message.  Every day we see the wasteful results of those that choose to express their anger with violence and illegal acts.  God gave us our emotions and one of those is anger.  There is an anger that comes from righteous indignation when we see the evil being done to others in our cities across the world.  But that anger must be controlled and pointed in the right direction.  Our response must be to hate the sin and love the sinner.  Unless we are expressing our feelings about sin and evil actions, we should never use the word “hate”. Jesus has set the standard.  We are not allowed to pick what we will love or hate, He has already shown us the right way.  We are all guilty of allowing our anger to control us at times, so we need to learn to pray before we react to any situation.  
We must pray for those that have been deceived into thinking that violence is a solution to their issues.  Each of us needs to set aside a few minutes of each day to pray about this issue and for praying especially for the cities that we call home.

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

Post 03-19-2019

Why Are We Persecuted?

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20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. – John 15:20 ISV
In His lifetime here on earth, Jesus suffered rejection, ridicule, mockery, and finally death on a cross.  While he was living out His life as an example to us, He promised us that we would be offended and suffer persecution as well.  When we suffer for His sake, we should be happy that He has chosen us to suffer with and for Him because we will receive a blessing here and a reward later.
 
11 “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. 12 Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.– Matt. 5: 11, 12 NLT
 
God also disciplines His children and the discipline is for our benefit so that we grow and mature in His service.

 

19 I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference. — Hebrews 3:19 NLT

I like the NLT translation of this verse because the way most of us Christians sin is through indifference.  So what, if my neighbors are lost, I am not going to get involved.  Yeah, I felt that little nudge to speak or act but I am not going to do anything.  Yes, I should visit the sick but I just don’t have the time. Woe unto us!! Jesus will not ignore these sins of indifference, there will be discipline for His children in this world, not in eternity.  The kids of satan may prosper here because they are not God’s children to discipline but they will suffer punishment, the full wrath of God’s anger, for an eternity.  So, we don’t need to concern ourselves with how God handles them.
We need to be concerned over why we are suffering:  Is it persecution for His sake or discipline for our mistake?

 
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 09-17-2018

Speak Carefully

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​1​0  “For the person who wants to love life    and see good days
must keep his tongue from evil
    and his lips from speaking deceit.  
​- 1 Peter 3:10 ISV​
 

 Somehow, somewhere, it seems that we have gotten the idea that it is not necessary for us to be careful of the words we speak and the tone of voice we use when we speak those words.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  When I become frustrated and/or angry, I hear myself speaking unkind words in a tone that I should not be using.  I am always convicted of the words and the attitude that caused me to speak those careless words.  Not always immediately, but the Holy Spirit does not leave me alone until I agree with Him and confess my sin. I am so grateful that God loves me enough to discipline me, no matter how long it takes. The passage of scripture quoted here in 1 Peter (originally from Psalm 34:12-16) reminds me that as a Christian, I should not be guilty of speaking words in that tone of voice.  If I truly “love life” and want to “see good days”, I must “keep my tongue from evil and my lips from deceitful speech”.  I must “seek peace and pursue it”, then God’s eyes will be on me and He will hear my prayers.  If I continue to rebel against God with unkind words and a bad attitude,  I have no basis to expect Him to do anything for me. God seems to be teaching me a lesson that “bad things happen to good people” sometimes because He disciplines His children.  The obverse of this is that He doesn’t discipline those that are not His children, but they will receive the full brunt of His wrath in the fullness of time.  Our part, then, is to remain obedient and faithful and He will do His part. As the Psalmist puts it:

8  Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil.  9  For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.  10 A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found.  11  But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity— Psalm 37:8-11 NIV

 

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

 

Post 08-28-2018

Human Anger Does Not Produce Peace

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20 For human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. – James 1:20 ISV
 
As the end of time draws nearer and nearer, satan seems to be reacting like the cornered, trapped animal that he really is. That same spirit of anger and violence seems to be permeating our society.  We see it in all the headlines, the senseless murders and crimes that are being committed on a daily basis. Yes, these things have been happening every since Cain slew Abel but the frequency and the intensity seems to be magnified more and more everyday. That is on a worldwide basis, but what about each individual?  There was a time when we could laugh at our mistakes and have a little fun with each other over those issues on which we disagreed.  But, more and more we have to be much more sensitive to these things.  Statements that once would have been seen as light humor are now taken seriously and great harm is done.  Even small, unintended injustices suddenly become someone’s newest campaign against whatever was mentioned.  We see over and over the truth of the verse that “human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”  Therefore, we, as Christians must put aside all our foolishness and fill our hearts and minds with the Word of God. Meditating on and storing God’s word in our hearts is our strongest defense against any kind of unacceptable behavior.  
 
11  I have hidden your word in my heart

that I might not sin against you.
12  Praise be to you, Lord; teach me your decrees. 
— Psalm 119:11, 12 NIV

In a world of violence and anger, we must stand as lighthouses to lead others to Jesus, the Prince of Peace. We must let the light of Jesus shine through us.  We must be the ones to show others that in the middle of the storm, there is a safe harbor, a place of calmness and peace. More and more, the world needs individual peacemakers. By blessing others with our examples of peacemaking, we ourselves receive God’s blessing.

 
Blessed are the peacemakers,

for they will be called children of God. — Matt. 5:9
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 07-30-2018