“I AM” – Eternity in the Present

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58 Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I am

​ – John 8:58 NLT​

Jesus explains to the people that they don’t really know God even tough they claim God as “our God”. If they really knew God, they would accept Jesus and be excited that the Messiah had come in their lifetimes. Jesus says that even Abraham rejoiced as he looked forward to the birth of the Messiah. The people really didn’t accept this. Since Jesus is not even fifty years old, how could He possibly have seen Abraham? Then Jesus makes a statement that really gets the crowd worked up. “I existed before Abraham was even born”. The truth is more than that, Jesus existed before _______ and it doesn’t matter what you put in the blank, Jesus already existed.
1 In the beginning the Word already existed.
​ ​The Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 He existed in the beginning with God.
3 God created everything through him,
and nothing was created except through him.—John 1:1-3 (NLT)

The crowd became so angry that Jesus had to slip away or be stoned to death. The name of Jesus still causes that kind of reaction today. When the name of Jesus is spoken, there is no neutral ground and there is no procrastination. You either have to accept Him or reject Him. What choice have you made?

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

Post 09-28-2017

New Birth! New Vision! New Destination!

even-smaller-bug-light1Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” ​– John 3:3 NLT

Nicodemus was a leader and a Pharisee. He came to Jesus at night because he probably did not want the other Jewish leaders to know about the visit. Nicodemus readily admits that he believes that Jesus has been sent from God. He wants to know more about this man that is proclaiming that the kingdom of God is near. Jesus immediately tells Nicodemus that unless you are born again, you will never see the kingdom of God. What an amazing concept! How can a human be born again? Jesus explains that He is not talking about physical rebirth, but spiritual. It is not a physical change, but a change of the desires of the heart. How does this happen? From a human standpoint, we are unable to explain what happens inside. But just as the wind comes and goes without our understanding, so the Holy Spirit works inside us to renew us and rebirth us as children of God. We may not know how, but the work that He does in our hearts leaves no doubt in our minds that we are being made into new creatures. At the very moment that we accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord, the new creation is born with all the rights that come with being a citizen of heaven. God will spend a lifetime completing the work that He has started in us, but finish it, He will.

1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith,—Hebrews 12:1-2a (NKJV)
​The ​Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Post 08-11-2017

The Beginning of the Change

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17 I see him, but not here and now.    I perceive him, but far in the distant future.
A star will rise from Jacob;  a scepter will emerge from Israel.
— Numbers 24;17 NLT
This would have been a strange prophecy for the Israelites to hear. This was a confirmation of the prophecy in Gen 49:10 that the scepter would never depart from between Judah’s feet. All priests were to be of the tribe of Levi and Jacob was of the tribe of Judah. How could a priest rise out of the tribe of Judah? But God had a plan that would not violate the laws that He had handed down. When the scepter rose out of Israel, there would be a change in the way people were to worship God. This is explained further in Hebrews.

Hebrews 7:11-16 NLT

So, we see that while the priesthood of the Levites was established by the law, the priesthood of Jesus was established through the power of an indestructible life that could only be from the Creator. It was decided before the earth was formed. Jesus would be the final and perfect blood sacrifice for all the sin of the world. He was not, can not, and will not be destroyed or defeated. What Adam gave up in Eden, Jesus took back with His death and resurrection.


Now, we celebrate His birth, but that truly was just the beginning!

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

Post 12-01-2016

Positive or Negative?

even-smaller-bug-light165 Awe fell upon the whole neighborhood, and the news of what had happened spread throughout the Judean hills. 66 Everyone who heard about it reflected on these events and asked, “What will this child turn out to be?” For the hand of the Lord was surely upon him in a special way. — Luke 1:65, 66 NLT

 These are the words Luke wrote to describe the reactions of the people on hearing about the birth of John the Baptist.  It was a m​i​raculous event that Elizabeth should give birth at such a late age in life.  They were also in wonder that Zecheriah would allow his son to be named John since no one in the family had ever been named that.  In those days, the carrying on of traditional family names was extremely important.  Becuase of these two things, they knew that God was involved in a special way and that John must have a special purpose to fulfill.   Once Zecheriah ​was able to speak again, he prophesies about what that purpose is (vv 67-79).  

​In its own way, every birth is a miracle and every child has a special purpose in life.  God has a plan for every life and every one has been given a particular gift to accomplish that purpose.  Not all of us will be involved in what we call “fulltime” ministries, but all of us are involved in full time witnessing for the Lord.  Every wor​d and every action reflects positively or negatively on the Kingdom of God.  What is our lifestyle today telling people about Jesus and His Kingdom?  If someone observed us for a month, what do you think they would say about what we think is important?  Does our attitude and our demeanor tell others that we live in fear or that we have faith in a God who can and does do the impossible?  

10  Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
    I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. — Isaiah 41:10 NLT
Post 03-17-2016

Shepherds, Why This Jubilee?

even-smaller-bug-light1No army, no weapons, no royal garments, no worldwide proclamations, an announcement made to shepherds in a field. Just a poor couple in a lowly situation giving birth to a baby. Nothing unusual going on here, happens all the time.  And, yet, this is how God’s plan began to unfold.  Although it was well documented in the Old Testament, few chose to believe the prophecies, Because they refused to believe, this event came like a sneak attack in the midnight hours, in the most unlikely of places. No army, just one person and that person was a baby.  No wonder, the enemy never saw it coming.  How could anyone know that it was God Himself?  His redemption plan required Him to become flesh with real blood flowing through His veins. That blood would have to be shed to fulfill the law and redeem us from our sinful state.  It would be years later before the world realized what had taken place then and who arrived on the scene that night.  

13 Then Isaiah said, “Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of humans? Will you try the patience of my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. — Isaiah 7:13, 14 NIV

Immanuel, God with us!  The people didn’t believe it in Isaiah’s time and very few believed it,  that night,  years later in Bethlehem.  But, yet, there, in a manger laid the living proof that God had put aside all His glory and came to earth to win the battle for us.  Such magnificient, incomprehensible love demands our allegiance, our praises and our worship!  Such unimaginable love is more than reason enough to celebrate all the time, not just one day a year!
 
Shepherds, why this jubilee
Why your joyous strains prolong
Say what may these tidings be
Which inspire your heavenly song
Gloria, Gloria
Gloria, in excelsis Deo
Gloria, in excelsis Deo
Come to Bethlehem and see
Him whose birth the angels sing
Come adore on bended knee
Christ the Lord, the new born King
Gloria, Gloria
Come to Bethlehem and see!  The invitation is still open!  
Will you come?  Will you believe?   If not now, when? 
Post 12-25-2015

Remember – Rest – Rejoice

even-smaller-bug-light13 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. —– 1 Peter 1:3-5​ NIV

​We shou​ld spend as much time as possible each day praying and praising God for all that He has done and is doing for us. We should make every effort to start and end our day with a conversation with God.  That prayer will lead us to praise and we will find that our days go so much better.  We, of all people, should be filled with praise and joy all day long.  We are the only ones with a hope of eternal life with a living Savior and Lord.  We have received this hope as a gift from God that was purchased with the death and resurrection of His Son.  Through the blood of Christ, we have become sons and daughters of God and we have an eternal inheritance that “can never perish, spoil or fade”.  No religion on this earth can make such an offer, a gift that is available to everyone but only received by those who accept Jesus Christ as their Savior.  Through faith in Jesus Christ, we are kept and shielded by God’s power.  That resurrection power will keep us until our “the coming of the salvation ready to be revealed in the last time”.  Until that comes for each of us, we should practice the three Rs of Christianity:
 
Remember all the good things that God has done and is doing for us.
Rest in His everlasting arms that will never fail to catch us.
Rejoice because you are filled with the Holy Spirit and have eternal life.
 
If this doesn’ t fill our hearts with joy and our mouths with praise, perhaps we need to re-examine our relationship with Jesus.
Post 12-07-2015

From Tears of Sadness to Tears of Joy

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

20 I tell you the truth, you will cry and be sad, but the world will be happy. You will be sad, but your sadness will become joy. 21 When a woman gives birth to a baby, she has pain, because her time has come. But when her baby is born, she forgets the pain, because she is so happy that a child has been born into the world.
22 It is the same with you. Now you are sad, but I will see you again and you will be happy, and no one will take away your joy. 23 In that day you will not ask me for anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you anything you ask for in my name. 24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy will be the fullest possible joy.—John 16:20-24 (NCV)
​From desperation ​to delight, a part of the journey that most, if not all, of us must go through on our way to heaven. It’s that part of the journey we would like to skip, but God doesn’t allow any shortcuts. It is in those times that we learn where our true allegiance is. The disciples had been on a mountain top experience while they were walking with Jesus, but now they were in the valley. But as the McKameys sing’ “the God on the mountain is still God in the valley”. At this point in time, the disciples didn’t have the luxury of looking at the cross from the resurrection side. Those three days would seem like a lifetime to them. Jesus knew this and encouraged them to be faithful. Ask the Father in my name and He will fill you with joy, the fullest, possible joy.
13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.–Romans 15:13 (NASB)
Post 02-14-2015