“This Is the Key To Your Life”

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19 “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! 20 You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. — Deut. 30:19, 20a NLT

This choice was given to the children of Israel under the old covenant.  They lived under the old covenant and the law.  We live under the new covenant and grace.  The covenants have changed but the choices are still the same, we can choose life or death. We can choose to accept the sacrifice of Jesus as our redeemer or we can reject that sacrifice and choose death.  We were born in sin into a sinful world, we choose death by continuing that lifestyle.  We choose life by accepting Jesus, loving God, obeying Him and committing ourselves firmly to Him. This choice is “the key to life”.  Choosing Jesus and life unlocks doors so that we can access the abundant life.  Life is more about “being” than about doing. We are called human beings not human doers.  Before we do anything, we need to be in the presence of God. To be in His presence means we spend time at His feet learning His teachings and allowing Him to disciple us.  Maybe that is why all the “blessed are” verses in Matthew 5 are called the “be-attitudes”.  We need to learn to have the same attitude that Jesus has so we can be like Him. If we spend enough time “being” in His presence, the “doing” will be a natural outflow of our “being”.  Then we can live the abundant, blessed life He desires to give us.

10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. — John 10:10 NLT

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

Post 11-09-2018

“Don’t Touch! Don’t Taste”

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21 “Don’t handle! Don’t taste! Don’t touch!”? – COL 2:21 NLT
We think we are far advanced from the first century AD. In technology, dress, and the comforts of life, we are.  But human nature itself has not changed much. We still have those who want to regulate everything that each individual does or wants to do.  That is why we have so many laws that we can fill numerous buildings storing all the paperwork. But, as Jesus knew and we should have learned, external laws don’t keep us from sinning.   Jesus pointed out to the religious leaders of His day that they kept adding man-made rules and regulations to the laws God had given them. These had no spiritual value since what goes into us that makes us obedient or disobedient, it is what comes out of us.
 

10 After Jesus called the crowd to him, he said, “Listen and understand what I am saying. 11 It is not what people put into their mouths that makes them unclean. It is what comes out of their mouths that makes them unclean.” — Matt.15:10, 11​

As Christians, we have liberty, but we must use that liberty wisely in choosing what we do and what we don’t do.  We must be sure that we are not adding to what God has said is right and/or wrong.  We must not allow the things that we have chosen to rule our lives to the extent that they become our “god”‘ and we impose those things on others as if they were laws or commandments.

12 “I am allowed to do all things,” but not all things are good for me to do. “I am allowed to do all things,” but I will not let anything make me its slave. — 1 Cor. 6:12

Wrong choices are external symptoms of an internal problem. The problem is that we have not allowed God’s Word to conform our thoughts. If we bring all of our thoughts into captivity to God, we will not need external “dos” and “don’ts”. It will be our hearts desire to do what God wants us to do and not do the things He doesn’t want us to do.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 07-02-2018

Choices, Decisions, Consequences

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25 He chose to share the oppression of God’s people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin. – Hebrews 11:25
Every day, we make choices about the things in our lives.  A lot of those decisions are almost robotic or habitual.  We do this at this time because we always have.  Some decisions require us to actually consciously think about them before we decide what to do.  Every now and then, we have what we refer to as “big” decisions.  These are the things that affect our lives today and in the future. Some of those decisions will be irreversible and affect all the people in our circles of influence whether we want them to or not.  Some of us will be given opportunities to make world-changing decisions, maybe all of us.  Do you think Moses had any idea that his decision that day was a world changer?  To him at that time, it was probably a small decision that only affected the lives of a few people. But, consider this, “what if” Moses had not made the decision he made. “What if”, he had decided that he liked the riches and the glory of Egypt more than his people, what would have happened? Reminisce with me today. Let’s think back over our lives, how many “what if” times have we had?  How many times has God given us opportunities to change our little corner of the world and we made the wrong decision?  The next person the Holy Spirit nudges us to witness to could be God’s choice to be the Moses or the Billy Graham of the next generation. “What if” we don’t follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and talk to that person about salvation?  Today, let’s make a renewed commitment to be faithful in following the leadership of the Holy Spirit and encourage those around us. Let’s be faithful in the “little” things because “what if” there aren’t really any “little” things in our lives?  Now is “the time” and where you are is “the place” to make that “big” decision!

 

14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” — Esther 4:14 NIV

 

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

Post 05-19-2018

“Behold the Man!”

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 “Hail! King of the Jews!” they mocked, as they slapped him across the face.
– John 19:3 NLT
 

The mockery and the persecution goes on and on. A whip with jagged pieces of metal that literally tore the flesh from His back, a crown of thorns that was pushed viciously down upon His brow and a another slap across the face. All this plus the verbal mockery of His truthful claims as to who He really was. Then Pilate goes back out to the crowd and says “I find Him not guilty”. Pilate could have stopped the proceedings then and there, but he chose not to do so. He has Jesus brought out wearing the purple robe and the crown of thorns and Pilate speaks to the people.
“Ecce homo!” “Behold the man”!
The crowd wants Jesus crucified and they let Pilate know that loudly. Pilate tells the crowd they can take Jesus and crucify Him. He knows they can’t administer the death penalty. It is just a ploy to assuage his quilt. Today, I say to all of us, “Behold the Man”, what will we do with Jesus? Will our words and actions or the lack thereof scream ‘Crucify Him’ or will they plead for His acceptance?
Behold the Man”!!!

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

Post 12-06-2017

Choose to Trust Him

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20 When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. – John 14:20 NLT
 

Jesus was always teaching His disciples and encouraging them. He knew that until the Holy Spirit came, they would feel alone and discouraged. He assures them and us that we will never be alone. He isn’t here physically with us now, but He is here abiding in our hearts and guiding us. If we love Jesus, we will be obedient children and the Father loves all of those who love Jesus. Every word that Jesus spoke came straight from the Father, so it is Truth. Everyone has the same opportunity to answer the call to come to Jesus. It is difficult for us to understand why some do and some don’t. God doesn’t send anyone to hell, a person has to work hard to get to hell. The wages (salary, pay) of sin is death. It is hard to understand why anyone would continue on that path when the plan of salvation is free and open to all who will accept. So, each of us has a choice to make, we can accept salvation full and free or we can earn our way to hell.

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

Post 11-05-2017

Don’t Prejudge

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1 My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others? – James 2:1 NLT
We must be careful not to make quick judgments and choices based on how someone looks or the price of the clothes they wear. God created each of us in His image and has a plan and a purpose for each of us. We must learn to look at people as God sees them.
7 But the Lord told Samuel, “Don’t look at his appearance or how tall he is, because I have rejected him. God does not see as humans see​.​ Humans look at outward appearances, but the Lord looks into the heart.”  –1 Samuel 16:7 (GW)

Of course, we can’t actually see into their hearts. So, what we must learn to do is withhold our opinions of them until we get to know them. Until then, we should not show favoritism to one person over another. We must also remember that whatever standards we use to judge and form our opinions of others are the same standards that will be used to judge us.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Post 05-28-2017

Human Being

even-smaller-bug-light119 “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! 20 You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. — Deut. 30:19, 20a NLT

This choice was given to the children of Israel under the old covenant.  They lived under the old covenant and the law.  We live under the new covenant and grace.  The covenants have changed but the choices are still the same, we can choose life or death. We can choose to accept the sacrifice of Jesus as our redeemer or we can reject that sacrifice and choose death.  We were born in sin into a sinful world, we choose death by continuing that lifestyle.  We choose life by accepting Jesus, loving God, obeying Him and committing ourself firmly to Him. This choice is “the key to life”.  Choosing Jesus and life unlocks doors so that we can access the abudant life.  Life is more about “being” than about doing. We are called human beings not human doers.  Before we do anything, we need to be in the presence of God. To be in His presence means we spend time at His feet learning His teachings and allowing Him to disciple us.  Maybe that is why all the “blessed are” verses in Matthew 5 are called the “be-atitudes”.  We need to learn to have the same attitude that Jesus has so we can be like Him. If we spend enough time “being” in His presence, the “doing” will be a natural outflow of our “being”.  Then we can live the abundant, blessed life He desires to give us.
10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. — John 10:10 NLT
Post 03-15-2016

Hearts Like This

even-smaller-bug-light128 “The Lord heard the request you made to me. And he said, ‘I have heard what the people said to you, and they are right. 29 Oh, that they would always have hearts like this, that they might fear me and obey all my commands! If they did, they and their descendants would prosper forever. — Deut. 5:28, 29 NLT

God chose the children of Israel to be His people and as long as they were obedient, He blessed them and provided for them.  But, oftentimes, they were disobedient and God had to discipline them.  He has chosen us to be His peculiar people in today’s world.  It is His heart’s desire to bless us daily and provide everything that we need to live Godly lives.  We, like the children of Israel, often require discipline.  Because of choices we make, a just God cannot bless us during our times of disobedience.  This does not mean that every rough patch we go through means we have sinned, some of those times, God allows so that we can grow spiritually.  God is not looking for times to discipline us, He is looking for times that He can pour out His blessings on us.  He is looking for those whose hearts are totally committed to Him.  As we read in verse 29, God says “Oh, that they would always have hearts like this, that they would fear me and keep all my commandments.”    If we have that kind of heart, then God promises us that we will prosper forever.​  He is still looking for those with that kind of heart today, hearts that are fully committed to Him.
The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. — 2 Chronicles 16:9a NLT
Post  03-06-2016

Free to Choose

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12 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. 13 You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. —1 Cor. 6:12,13 NIV

When we​ accepted Jesus as our Savior, we were set free from the bondage of sin. We no longer were bound to satan and the flesh. Just as our physical freedom has limits, so does our Spiritual freedom have limits.  The physical limits are set by the laws of the land.  Our Spiritual limits are set because of our love for our Lord and Savior. Free to do anything?  Yes, but would doing just anything the flesh wanted glorify our Lord? No, of course not.  The flesh is weak and if we give into fleshly desires, they will become our master. We are free to choose who we serve. We can serve Jesus and live or we can serve the flesh and die. We are free to give into temptations, but that doesn’t mean that we should. There are dire consequences to choosing a sinful lifestyle.

14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. 15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.–James 1:15 NASB

Post 05-20-2015