“Reach Out and Touch Someone”

even-smaller-bug-light1

He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 
– 2 Cor. 1:4 NLT
 
Everything that we have belongs to God. Whatever He has given to us is to be shared with those around us. The things with which God has blessed us should be held very loosely in our hands. They are to be used to bless others and further the work of the Kingdom here on earth. The early church understood and practiced this principle of giving and receiving. There are many verses that teach us to give to the poor, widows and orphans.  We must open ourselves up to be channels of blessings. This is also true in Spiritual things as well as natural.  In the Spiritual area, we don’t do quite as well in giving or receiving.  God has given us the Comforter to comfort us in all situations and we need to learn to share that message with a hurting world.  But, we also need to learn to accept that comfort when it is offered to us. Every one of us needs help in some area of our lives whether we want to admit it or not.  As long as we deny it, the pain and the chaos will not go away. None of us can fix ourselves, even though, satan would love for us to believe that we can. Reach out and touch someone was a Biblical principle long before it was a commercial.

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

Post 05-28-2018

Internal Guidance System

even-smaller-bug-light1

20 “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. 21 I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.–John 17:20, 21 (NLT)
 

As we continue to listen in on this prayer, we find that all the things that Jesus asked our Father to do for the disciples, He asks Him to do for us as well. It is the very heart of Jesus that we be holy and that we be full of peace and joy. Earlier, He had told us that He would send another to replace Himself.

26 “But I will send you the Advocate—the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will testify all about me.—John 15:26 (NLT)

This Advocate, this Counselor, Comforter, Teacher, Encourager guides us into all truth. Jesus was God in the flesh and as such, He could not physically enter into us, but this Advocate is God in Spirit. He could, would, and does dwell inside each believer reminding us of what Jesus did and said. He is our internal guidance system, installation charges prepaid by our Big Brother, no monthly fees, no interruptions and worldwide coverage with no breaks. Maybe that is why we say those that don’t have it are lost. It is our duty to tell the lost about this free guidance service. And like any good plan, you get a reward when they allow it to be installed! You get a blessing here and now! But, wait, there’s more! You get a reward when you get to heaven!


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

Post 11-26-2017

Total Dependence on God’s Provision

even-smaller-bug-light1

 “Take nothing for your journey,” he instructed them. “Don’t take a walking stick, a traveler’s bag, food, money, or even a change of clothes. — Luke 9:3 NLT
 

The apostles spent somewhere between 2 and 3 years walking with Jesus. They learned about the Kingdom of God from His words and His actions. Over and over, they were amazed at the miracles He performed. And John tells us that if all the miracles that Jesus performed had been written down in books, the whole world would not be able to contain them. Wouldn’t it be great to have been an apostle with Jesus at that time? Maybe, maybe not. Re-read verses 3 and 4. Would we really jump at the chance to follow those instructions? I think most of us would not want to leave our comfort zones and go on such a mission. Salvation is free and simple. but walking out the whole plan is tough. “Lay down your life, take up your cross and follow me.” Do you hear the call?

Luke 9:23-26 NLT


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

Post 02-09-2017

Spread the Good News

even-smaller-bug-light1

1 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me,
    for the Lord has anointed me
    to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted
    and to proclaim that captives will be released
    and prisoners will be freed.

— Isaiah 61:1 NLT


This prophecy about Jesus was repeated by Jesus Himself in Luke 4, As He taught in the synagogue, He read from the scroll and explained to those listening that He was the fulfillment of this prophecy. Not only was he sent to bring the Good News to us, He was the Good News in the flesh. As we are told in John 1, ” the Word became flesh and dwelt among us”. This is the time of year that we celebrate the coming of that Good News. While this is a season of great joy for most of us, it is also a season of great sadness for those that have not accepted the Good News. Proclaim the Good News to them and help them to understand that Jesus has come to bind up the brokenhearted, to free the captives and to comfort those that mourn. We are to follow His example and do the same things. Let others know that with Jesus, there is “joy unspeakable and full of glory”. Let them know that although we and they may be physically separated from our earthly families, we and they are never alone.

Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.   — 1 Peter 1:8-9 KJV


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

Post 12-06-2016

Let the Winds Blow!

even-smaller-bug-light1

3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. — 2 Cor. 1:3 NLT
 
God, in His great love for us, wants to relieve us of all of our grief and distress.  It is not His desire that we should suffer.  No parent wants to see his or her child suffer.  We want to reach out and comfort our children even when they may have caused their discomfort by a bad decision that they made.  Love says help them, but Godly compassion says that there are times when they and we must endure those times of distress and grief so that we learn not to repeat our mistakes.  As parents, we want to deliver our kids from the storm.  The lesson that we need to learn and that we need to teach our children is that God doesn’t always need to deliver us from the storm, He is able to comfort us in the storm.  Rough seas may come and destructive winds may blow but nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.  When God doesn’t immediately deliver us from the storm we must seek His comfort in the storm.  Then we will be able to pass that comfort, peace and joy on to those around us.
Post 09-09-2016

He’s Everyhere!

even-smaller-bug-light1

But the Lord said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
— 1 Kings 19:9b NLT
After Elijah had eaten and then eaten some more, he ran for forty days and forty nights.  That was sure some powerful carbos God fed him.  His journey took him to Mount Sinai, the mountain of God.  This was the mountain on which God had given Moses the tablets of the Ten Commandments.  God speaks to Elijah and asks him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”  I imagine Elijah might have been wondering the same thing.  Elijah answers by registering his complaint about being the only prophet left in Israel.  God instructs Elijah to stand before Him on the mountain.  Then, God sends a mighty windstorm, an earthquake and a fire, but God was not in any of those things. When we are wallowing in self-pity, it takes a lot to shake us up and get our attention.  After God got Elijah’s attention, He spoke to in a gentle whisper. No yelling, no screaming, no rebuke, just a gentle whisper.  Then, God reassures Elijah that he is not alone, there are at least 7000 other prophets that God has kept from bowing their knee to Baal.  No matter the situation, God is always so gracious to us and reassures us that eveything is okay. He is God everywhere and all the time!  We are never alone and we are never given more than we can bear.  Yet, we still fail, moan and complain and God comes to us wherever we are, wraps His arms of love around us and comforts us.
Post 05-08-2016

Learning to Lean

even-smaller-bug-light128 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace.  30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,  31  which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:  32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”  33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him.  — Luke 2:28-33 NIV

​Simeon​ was a priest serving in the temple at the time Joseph and Mary borught Jesus to be consecrated.  He had been told by the Holy Spirit that he would be honored to see the Lord’s Messiah before he died.  God arranged that Simeon would be walking in the courtyard when Joseph and Mary arrived with baby Jesus. It is amazing how God manages all the little details to be sure that His promises never fail.  It should give us great comfort and peace to know how much God cares about us.  How carefully He watches over us allowing and/or causing every piece of the puzzle to fall into place to fulfill HIs plan.  The events in our lives happen just in time and are designed to help us grow spiritually.  They are sometimes trying but they are never more than we can bear, if we lean on Him in those times.

10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.​ I will strengthen you and help you;  I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. — Isaiah 41:10 NIV

 Some people may feel that God has never spoken to them or promised them anything.  But, truthfully, He has promised each of us everything that we need to live the life that He has called us to live.
 

3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature — 2 Peter 1:3, 4a NIV
​So, in the best of times and the worst of times, if we lean on Jesus, we can always go in joy and peace.
12 You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; — Isaiah 55:12a NIV
Post 12-27-2015

God Chose Me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

even-smaller-bug-light19 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. — 1 Peter 2:9 NIV

​Think back to ​a time in your life when there was a particular group that you wanted to be chosen to be a part of.  Do you remember the joy and exhiliration that you felt when you saw your name on the list or heard it called out?  Multiply that feeling by a zillion zillions and you won’t even be close to the joy that we should feel every day because God has chosen us.  Knowing that we are God’s special possession should fill our hearts to overflowing and cause us to shout praises from the mountaintops or in the deepest valleys.  In the best and the worst of times, we, the chosen, can proclaim:

31 If God is for us, who can be against us? — Romans 8:31​b​

Think back to the time when you were a child and you were afraid of the darkness and how great it felt when Mom or Dad walked into the room, turned on a night light and took time to comfort and encourage you.  Or as they stayed, held you and you drifted peacefully off to sleep.  Multiply that feeling and that peace by a zillion zillions and you won’t even be close to the feeling of peace and the brightness of the light that comes when we answer the call of Jesus to come out of the darkness into His wonderful light.  And think of this, they left the room when you drifted off to sleep, but we have the added assurance that God will never leave us nor forsake us.  He is here to comfort and protect us all day and night, every day and night.
 

8 The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” — Deut. 31:8 NIV

No matter what circumstances are surrounding us or what situation we find oursleves in, we should be filled with joy because we serve a God who has been there, is there now, and will always be there. 
 

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. — Phil. 4:4,5 NIV

Post 12-14-2015

A Call To Service

even-smaller-bug-light110 Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith. 11 Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus clear the way for us to come to you. 12 May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. 13 May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones. — 1 Thess. 3:10-13

​Paul’s love and concern for the new converts that he and his companions have led to Christ is a great example for us to follow​.  We may never be missionaries in  a faraway land, but we are missionaries in a land that is not our home. We are aliens and strangers wherever we are on this earth. Therefore, we need to have the same concern for those new converts in our own churches. Every church body needs Barnabases and Timothys to encourage and teach new and older converts. We need Esthers and Priscillas to teach self-sacrifice, humbleness and obedience.
 15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16 “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.” –Esther 4:15, 16
We need Ezras to teach leadership, fasting, praying and complete reliance on God.
21 There, by the Ahava Canal, I proclaimed a fast, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask him for a safe journey for us and our children, with all our possessions. 22 I was ashamed to ask the king for soldiers and horsemen to protect us from enemies on the road, because we had told the king, “The gracious hand of our God is on everyone who looks to him, but his great anger is against all who forsake him.” 23 So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer. — Ezra 8;21-23
We need​ workplace ministers like Paul who witnessed while carrying on his occupation as a tentmaker and Lydias to encourage, support and provide for those laboring in God’s fields.
14 One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. 15 When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us. — Acts 16:14, 15
​We are all servants in God’s army and God needs us to serve and stand firm wherever we are and complete the tasks He has called us to do, whatever that may be.​He has a plan and a purpose for everyone He calls.
 
Have you discovered your purpose in the Kingdom?  If not, talk to Him today about it and get started.
Post 10-27-2015

Could I? Would I?

even-smaller-bug-light17 And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8 The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, 9 for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath. — 1 Thessalonians 1:7-10 NIV

What words of encouragement Paul gives to the Thessalonians!  They have become models for believers everywhere. They are known throughout all of Greece for their faith in God!  So, when Paul and his companions arrive at a new place, the people there are already aware of who they are because of the good things they are hearing about the church in Thessalonica.  They already know the story of how the people in Thessalonica have turned from serving idols to serving the true and living God.  Because of Paul’s message which is being delivered with the power of the Holy Spirit, they now wait for the return of Jesus, the One God has raised from the dead, the One who would come and rescue them from the coming wrath!  Do the churches that we attend have that kind of reputation in the world today?  Is our local church seen as a place of safety and comfort? Or would people find more fellowship and feel more welcome in a secular setting? Do we do a good job of greeting newcomers and make them fell comfortable in our pews? Are we more like a wide-open hospital tent in a war zone or an emergency room only for believers?  Pick a number, any number.  If that many newcomers came to our church today, would we have enough members willing to pray with each one individually and explain the message of salvation to them?  Or would we need a triage to assign the degree of urgency to each case so the staff could handle it? No, we couldn’t do that since we all have the same disease and we are all affected to the same degree and in the same way.  So, would any of them have to leave without having an opportunity to talk to the Doctor? Am I personally able and willing to introduce them to the great Physician? My prayer for each of us is that we are not only able but that we are willing to do that. The fields are white with harvest.
As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” — John 9:4, 5
Post 10-23-2015