"But That He Loved Us"

10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. – 1 John 4:10 NLT

Real Love

​As long as we live in the flesh, we will not have the capability to love like God loves us. But, over and over, in the Scriptures, God instructs us to love Him first and most of all and then to love our neighbors as ourselves. God gave up His only Son to redeem us. Jesus gave up all His glory in heaven, came to earth to walk among us in the flesh and submitted Himself to death on a cross to demonstrate His love for us. This was while we were still sinners and separated from Him. Not many of us will be asked to give up our physical life for Christ, so how do we demonstrate our love for Jesus? We do that by giving up our rights, putting Jesus first, others second, and ourselves last. This is the example that Jesus set for His disciples then and for us now.

29 And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then—Matt. 19:29,30 (NLT)

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

Post 02-10-2020

"Corrupting The Whole Body"

6 And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.  ​  – James 3:6 ​NLT

James 3:2-6 NLT

We all know the old saying: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” Or as I learned it in my childhood “words don’t bother me”.  Either way, it is wrong. With our tongues, we can speak words of life or words of death. The death might be a relationship or a lost opportunity. We can speak words of peace or words that stir up anger. We should always consider our thoughts carefully because those thoughts turn into words that can buildup, tear down or completely destroy. We can think of our thoughts as a text message we are about to send, once we hit the send button, there is no way to recall the message regardless of how much we regret the words. Our words can truly fan a small spark into a raging wildfire causing damages that may not be repaired. Regardless of how we feel about any  situation, it is our duty to speak words of peace and restoration. 

9 God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God. ​ – Matt. 5:9 NLT​

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

Post 12-27-2019

“I Consider Everything Else As Worthless”

8 It’s far more than that! I consider everything else worthless because I’m much better off knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. It’s because of him that I think of everything as worthless.— Philippians 3:8 

Philippians 3:5-11 NLT

There is absolutely no action or good work that we can do that will save our souls. Our righteousness is like filthy rags compared to the righteousness of Jesus. So, living good lives, doing good deeds, and obeying the law are useless for salvation. Sooner or later, we all have to kneel before Jesus, confess our sins, repent, take up our cross and follow Jesus. We are saved by grace through faith, lest any of us should brag that we have somehow saved ourselves. We must share in His suffering and death to experience the power that raised Jesus from the dead. When we do this, our hearts will be broken because of His suffering for us. But they will soon be filled with joy unspeakable because His Spirit abides in us and we will participate in His resurrection. We are in Christ and He is in us: therefore, we are totally immersed in Him. One day soon, we will be like Him! Hallelujah!

We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.— 2 Corinthians 4:7 NLT

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

Post 09-20-2019

“If The World Hates You”

18 “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first.- John 15:18 NLT

John 15:18-25 NLT

Today, instead of focusing on our “problems”, I am asking you to join me in prayer for our brothers and sisters in Christ that have real problems, not imagined. we have such a super-abundance of “things” and we, at least still today, have the freedom to meet together and worship our Lord and Savior. Each of us spends in one day more than most of these people make in a year. We are so blessed that our lips should never utter a complaint and our voices should never stop singing praises to our Almighty God. so, as part of your worship to him, offer up a sacrifice of praise and prayer.
“So today we pray for persecuted church members who are suffering severely from Satan’s tactics of deceit and intimidation: loss of family members (Nigeria), economic deprivation (India), incarceration in metal shipping containers (Eritrea), lack of personal peace (Pakistan), fear of discovery (Middle East). As we pray, we can rest in the fact that they (and we) are part of God’s wise and caring plan, no matter how inscrutable that plan may appear to human eyes. There is hope because He hears the cry; He sees the misery; He is concerned about the suffering. When it seems dark and hopeless, the persecuted testify “God is good—all the time!”” (Excerpt from Standing Storm Through the Storm, 02-15-14)

 23 Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me. – Luke 9:23 NLT

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

Post 08-01-2019

One Story – One Hope

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Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled. – Romans 15:4 NLT
 
 
All of the Scriptures, both Old and New are a continuing story of hope. In the Old Testament, the Jews were constantly reminded of the hope they had that God was with them and would deliver them in His timing. The prophets also told of a time when the Messiah would come to deliver not only the Jews but also the Gentiles. The New Testament continues that story of hope with the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. We still look forward to the time when Jesus will come again to receive all of His children to be with Him in heaven. That is the hope we have that gives us encouragement to endure the time we spend as aliens here on earth.  While we are here, we are instructed to follow the example that Jesus set in His time here as a stranger and an alien. We are to accept one another as He accepted us, love each other as He loves us, edify and encourage each other.  We do this to bring glory, honor and praise to God, our Father. This is not possible in the flesh unless we mortify the flesh and submit to the leadership of the Holy Spirit, even unto death, if necessary.
23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.25 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? — Luke 9:23-25 NIV

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

Post 04-27-2018

“Love is A Debt We Owe”

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8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. — Romans 13:8-10 NIV

God is love, Jesus was God in the flesh, so Jesus is love and therefore He was the fulfillment of the law. The death of Jesus on the cross for our sins was love beyond our comprehension.  It wasn’t just love squared or love cubed, it was, and still is love to the power of infinity. The flesh is incapable of love in any degree, much less to the level of love that God has for us. Yet, we are instructed to work toward that goal. Is it a work  of futility?  For the flesh, yes.  For the Holy Spirit, no. While there is a plethora of emotions associated with love and acts of love, those feelings and emotions are not the reason we love. It is a decision we make. The death of Jesus on the cross was not a result of some emotional explosion in heaven, it was a decision made by the Trinity. Jesus paid all of our sin debt and we can never repay Him for that.  But, we still have a continuing debt that we can never pay in full. It is somewhat like a “full life” insurance policy. As long as you live, you owe regular payments on it.  Our debt of love will never be marked “Paid in Full”.  But we still need to be sure that it stays “paid up to date”.  Are we making regular, daily payments on our debt of love?

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

Post 04-25-2018

“I Have Seen the Lord”

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18 Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them, “I have seen the Lord!” Then she gave them his message. – John 20:18 NLT

Resurrection morning! Ain’t no grave could hold Him down!! The cross is a necessary step for Jesus to get back to His glory. He carried His cross, died to Himself for us and now He is alive forevermore! Do you see the example here? The cross Jesus asks us to bear is a necessary step for us to get to glory. We carry the cross, we die to ourselves for Jesus and we have life everlasting!! As Paul tells us we must be willing to share in the sufferings of Jesus. But wait, read the next verse. There is good news!
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.–2 Cor. 4:16-18 (NIV)
When we die to ourselves and bury the flesh, we can sing along with Jesus, “Ain’t No Grave Gonna Hold Me Down”!!

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

Post 04-01-2018