“To Get To Know Peter”

18 Then three years later I went to Jerusalem to get to know Peter, and I stayed with him for fifteen days. ​- Galatians 1:18 NLT

Galatians 1:15-19 NLT

Just as God had set Paul apart to be the apostle to the Gentiles, He has a plan for each of us. That plan has been in place since before the earth was created. Besides Ananias, Paul did not consult with other Christians until he had spent time in the Arabian desert. How long he stayed in the desert is unknown, but he returned to Damascus and preached there for three years. Then he went to Jerusalem to spend time with Peter (Cephas). Besides what God had imparted to Paul through the Holy Spirit, he was able to talk about Jesus with Peter. That would be a conversation worth listening to. It is also a good example for us to follow. We need to spend time alone with God and then we need a mature Christian to mentor us. We need both to become what God wants us to be. We need to choose carefully and not let just anyone speak into our spiritual lives. After making a careful choice of who that person or persons will be, we still need to verify every word by the WORD.

1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.–1 John 4:1 (NASB)

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

“By Jesus Christ Himself”

1 This letter is from Paul, an apostle. I was not appointed by any group of people or any human authority, but by Jesus Christ himself and by God the Father, who raised Jesus from the dead. – Galatians 1:1 NLT

Galatians 1:1-5 NLT

Paul reminds the Galatians and us that he is an apostle sent by Jesus Christ and God the Father. Paul did not, in his own flesh, decide to be an apostle to the Gentiles. He was chosen by God for this specific task.

I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I take pride in my ministry—Romans 11:13 (NIV)

Then Paul goes on to remind them and us that we have grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Encouraging each other is something we should practice everyday until it becomes a habit. In the turbulent society that we live in today, we all need encouragement and a reminder that there is a safe harbor for us to come to when we need rest and peace.

8 In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.—Psalm 4:7 (NIV)

10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.​—1 Thess. 5:10-11 (NIV)

Peace and rest are just two of the gifts we receive because we are joint heirs with Jesus. His obedience to death on the cross brought glory to the Father. Our obedience in living for Jesus will bring more glory to the Father forever and ever.

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

“Then Annas Bound Jesus”

24 Then Annas bound Jesus and sent him to Caiaphas, the high priest. – John 18:24 NLT

Beaten and Bound – NLT

 With His first answer to the high priest, Jesus receives a slap in the face from one of the temple officials. Thus begins the mockery that is called a trial. This type of questioning and cruel treatment would continue through the night. When the  Annas finished questioning Jesus, he bound Him and sent Him to Caiaphas the high priest.  Jesus never claimed to be anyone but who He was. He never wavered or changed His story. He understood and accepted the reason He was being mistreated. He is our example of how we should respond when we are mistreated for His name’s sake. No matter how we suffer, if we are called to suffer, Jesus has already been there and worse. He will be there to carry us through. We should remember what Paul wrote to Timothy:

11 And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher.12 That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.–2 Timothy 1:11,12 (NIV)

We too are appointed as heralds and teachers of the gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:​ 12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: –2 Timothy 2:11,12 (NIV)

We must be ready to die for Him now, if we expect to reign with Him in heaven.

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

Dying to Reign!

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

19 Meanwhile, the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching.​ 20 “I have spoken openly to the world,” Jesus replied. “I always taught in synagogues or at the temple, where all the Jews come together. I said nothing in secret. 21 Why question me? Ask those who heard me. Surely they know what I said.”​ 22 When Jesus said this, one of the officials nearby slapped him in the face. “Is this the way you answer the high priest?” he demanded.​ 23 “If I said something wrong,” Jesus replied, “testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?” 24 Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.–John 18:19-24 (NIV)
​With His first answer​ to the high priest, Jesus receives a slap in the face from one of the temple officials. Thus begins the mockery that is called a trial. This type of questioning and cruel treatment would continue through the night. When the high priest Annas finished questioning Jesus, he bound Him and sent Him to Caiaphas the high priest.
(There were not really two high priests at this time. The Romans had removed Annas in AD 15, yet the Jews still respected him and considered him a high priest. Since his removal from office by the Romans, five of his sons had served as high priest and now, Caiaphas, his son-in-law was the actual high priest.)
Jesus never claimed to be anyone but who He was. He never wavered or changed His story. He understood and accepted the reason He was being mistreated. He is our example of how we should respond when we are mistreated for His name’s sake. No matter how we suffer, if we are called to suffer, Jesus has already been there and worse. He will be there to carry us through. We should remember what Paul wrote to Timothy:
11 And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher.12 That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.–2 Timothy 1:11,12 (NIV)
We too are appointed as heralds and teachers of the gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:​
12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
–2 Timothy 2:11,12 (NIV)

​We must be ready to die for Him now, if we expect to reign with Him​ in heaven.
Post 02-27-2015

We Are God’s Household

God is waiting to show you the way.

God is waiting to show you the way.

1 Brothers and sisters, you are holy partners in a heavenly calling. So look carefully at Jesus, the apostle and chief priest about whom we make our declaration of faith. 2 Jesus is faithful to God, who appointed him, in the same way that Moses was faithful when he served in God’s house. 3 Jesus deserves more praise than Moses in the same way that the builder of a house is praised more than the house. 4 After all, every house has a builder, but the builder of everything is God. 5 Moses was a faithful servant in God’s household. He told the people what God would say in the future. 6 But Christ is a faithful son in charge of God’s household. We are his household if we continue to have courage and to be proud of the confidence we have.–Hebrews 3:1-6 (GW)
​We​ must keep our minds and our eyes focused on Jesus, He and He, alone, is our example to follow. Jesus is the author and the completion of our faith. He is faithful to God always. There are times when we stumble and fall, but Jesus picks us up and carries us until we are able to walk with Him again. We are the church built on Christ the foundation. We are the body and Christ is the head. The builder and the head should be praised and glorified. That is our duty to glorify God at all times. We are His household and we can boast of nothing in and of ourselves, but we can point to Jesus, our Redeemer and be proud of the confidence we have because of His faithfulness.
Post 07-11-14

God is Able to Keep Us

God is waiting to show you the way.

God is waiting to show you the way.

9 For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus. 10 And now he has made all of this plain to us by the appearing of Christ Jesus, our Savior. He broke the power of death and illuminated the way to life and immortality through the Good News. 11 And God chose me to be a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of this Good News. 12 That is why I am suffering here in prison. But I am not ashamed of it, for I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him​ ​until the day of his return.—2 Timothy 1:9-12 (NLT)
​God gave the law first knowing that we would not be able to keep every aspect of it. It was given to show us that we need a Savior and the appearing of Jesus Christ made God’s plan plain to us. Jesus and Jesus alone had the power to break satan’s hold on us and conquer death. By His death and resurrection, Jesus shows us the way to life and immortality. God has chosen some to be preachers, apostles and teachers. We will all suffer to some extent, some even to death. We are not to be afraid or ashamed of our suffering. God has promised us that He will keep us and no one can take us out of His hand. No thing or no one can ever separate us from the love of God.
39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.–Romans 8:39 (NLT)
He will keep us, guide us, and give us the words to speak as we need them. Fear not!
Post 06-19-14

Pastoral Burnout

God is waiting to show you the way.

God is waiting to show you the way.


Ephesians 4:11-13 (NLT) 11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. 13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ
Read again the list of gifts that Christ gave to the Church. Did you notice that “minister” is not listed here. Have you ever wondered why? Ministering to church members is not their responsibility. Look at verse 12. Their job is to teach us (God’s people) to do the ministering. They are to teach and equip us to do God’s work. That work includes ministering to one another, building each other up, taking care of the sick, fixing meals, etc. The early church understood this as we are shown in Acts 6:2-6
2 So the Twelve called a meeting of all the believers. They said, “We apostles should spend our time teaching the word of God, not running a food program. 3 And so, brothers, select seven men who are well-respected and are full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will give them this responsibility. 4 Then we apostles can spend our time in prayer and teaching the word.” 5 Everyone liked this idea, and they chose the following: Stephen (a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit), Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas of Antioch (an earlier convert to the Jewish faith). 6 These seven were presented to the apostles, who prayed for them as they laid their hands on them.

Our pastors spend most of their time doing the job that God intended for us to do. Is it any wonder that they experience burnout? Planning messages, overseeing the church and its staff, performing weddings and officiating at funerals keeps them busy. We have been spoiled and taught the wrong way to look at our pastors. Just because they should have a servant’s heart and attitude does not give us the right to treat them as a servant. Pastors are fallible humans just like we are, they are not super humans given to us to abuse.
Take the time to visit your pastor and ask him/her how you can best pray for him. Just remember, keep your visits short and respect his/her time, not everyone has learned this lesson yet. Pray for him/her everyday and show your appreciation often.
Post 10/13