“To Find Out About Your Faith”

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5 But when I could stand it no longer, I sent Timothy to find out about your faith. I was afraid that the tempter had tempted you in some way, and that our work had been a waste of time.– 1 Thess. 3:5 ISV

1 Thess. 3:1-5 ISV

Paul continues to show his love and concern for the new converts in all the places he has been preaching and teaching. He does this not only by sending letters to several of the churches with instructions to share them with others, but also, by sending Timothy and others back to encourage them and check on their welfare.  It seems to have become a tendency for us to only talk about the love of God for us.  Unlike Paul, we do not stress the fact that the road is not always smooth.  In our lives as Christians, we will experience difficulties of various sorts and we will be offended, We need to be sure that new converts understand this while assuring them of the love of Jesus.  We will be tempted over and over but God always provides a way out. Jesus promised us that we would have troubles, but at the same time, He reminded us that He had overcome the world.

33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”— John 16:33

Not only did Jesus overcome the world, but he made it possible for us to be conquerors and overcomers as well. 

4 You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. — 1 John 4:4

After we have taught new converts John 3:16, let us not forget to also teach them another verse, so when duty calls they will be ready to answer. 

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. — Luke 9:23-24 NIV 

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

“There Is Freedom”

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17 For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. – 2 Cor. 3:17 

2 Cor.3:14-18 NLT

Even though the veil was rent when Jesus died on the cross, there are those who will hear the news and not accept it as truth.  Whether they claim to believe the law or not, their refusal of the offer of salvation leaves them under the law. Therefore, when the Old Testament is read, a veil covers their heart. They hear but they refuse to understand.  The veil is not removed from our eyes and hearts until we accept Jesus as our Savior. The law and the veil keep us in bondage and lead to death.  When we accept Jesus as our Savior, the veil is removed and the Holy Spirit comes to abide in us giving us freedom and life. At that moment, we are saved from the wrath of God and eternal punishment.  But, God wants us to have more than just salvation, He wants us to understand that now we are being sanctified or set apart for His service and for His glory. He wants us to get to know Him, to have a relationship with Him and participate in the abundant life. For that to happen, we must spend time contemplating and meditating on His Word. As we spend time with God, the Holy Spirit is transforming us into the image of God.

2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3 All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. — 1 John 3:2-3 NIV

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

“Run With Perseverance”

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1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. — Hebrews 12:1-3 NIV

We are so blessed to live in a country where we can still worship as we are led by the Holy Spirit. We don’t have to be concerned about being persecuted for our beliefs.  We try to avoid those situations where witnessing for Jesus might embarrass us much less those where we might be physically abused.  But, we are living in an age right now where Christians are being beaten and imprisoned for their loyalty and obedience to Jesus.  We need to prepare ourselves for those times even here in our own country.  Our Savior and Lord, the prophets, the apostles and all of those that have gone before us suffered very much. We are not better than our Creator, so we should expect to suffer as well. There are over one-hundred scriptures in the Bible that speak about rejoicing in the sufferings.  We are to “count it all joy”.

2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. — James 1:2-4 NKJV

Will it be easy to suffer for Jesus?  No, but God does send His angels to strengthen us, just as He did for His Son.

42 saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” 43 Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him.– Luke 22:42-43 NIV

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

“The Message of the Cross” – Part 2

18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”​ 20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.—1 Cor. 1:18-21 (NIV)

God raises up and God brings down. He uses those that the world rejects to accomplish His purposes. The world has access to more information in a few seconds now than we use to be able to get in weeks. But more and more information without the wisdom to use it is dangerous. To non-believers, Christianity is frustrating. They wonder how people believe in a God they can’t see, while at the same time they believe in all kinds of “gods” that are of their own making. Pride keeps people from believing in Jesus because once we believe, we become accountable to Jesus for our actions. So, God allows those that refuse to humble themselves to continue in their sins.

28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve​ of those who practice them.—Romans 3:28-32 (NIV)


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

“The Message of the Cross”

18 The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. – 1 Cor. 1:18 NLT

1 Cor. 1:13-18 NLT

Paul’s main objective was to preach the Word of God. Yes, he stayed in each new location until he had people in place to take care of the flock, but his heart was always on starting a new work in a new location. Paul isn’t saying new converts don’t need to be baptized, he is saying he has appointed others to do that part of the work. A lot of good pastors have “burned out” by not following Paul’s example and trying to do all the work themselves. A good preacher does not have to be eloquent or powerful in his delivery. What he does have to be, is obedient to the Holy Spirit. In our world today, it is even more apparent that the message of the cross is considered foolishness by those who appear to need it most. The world does not have an answer for Jesus, so they resort to ridicule and abuse of the believers. Jesus said this would happen, so it should come as no surprise to us. But we must remain faithful, knowing that Jesus suffered unto death on a cross.

1 “All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. 2 They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. 3 They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me.—John 16:1-3 (NIV)

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

“I Lay Down My Life’

17 “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. 18 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”–John 10:17-18 (NIV)

The Holy Spirit has been given to us as our guide, but He will never make us do anything against our own will. We have the power and the authority to make the same decision that Jesus made. We can decide to hold onto our earthly, physical lives if that is what we want or we can decide to put our lives on the cross that Jesus gives us to bear. We will never do this as long as our own pride and other people’s opinions of us are more important than pleasing God. There is one funeral that we all need to attend and that is the death and burial of our fleshly desires. Anything that we put above our love and obedience for God has to be removed. It is a decision that Jesus had to make and so must we. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus ended His prayer with “not My will but thine be done”. So should our prayer be as well.

44 Now it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. 45 Then the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two. 46 And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.’” Having said this, He breathed His last.–Luke 23:44-46 (NIV)

Are we ready to commit our whole lives, mind, soul, body, and spirit into the hands of God? The way of the cross leads home, but we have to go through the cross, the blood and the darkness to get there.


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

“Made Right With God”

16 Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. – Galatians 2:16a NLT

Gal. 2:15-17 NLT

Paul is explaining to the Jews present that they were never justified by the works they did under the law. They had spent their lives seeking to be justified but had come up short because the law cannot justify anyone. So, if the law was unable to justify anyone, was God actually causing everyone to sin when they were under the law? Paul says that would never happen. The law was not given to make men fail, but to teach them that they could not justify themselves by works.

19 Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are​ ​under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; 20 because by the works​ ​of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin. —Romans 3:19-20 (NASB)​

So, the law was given that all men might know that they needed a redeemer. That is why Jesus Christ died on the cross and was resurrected. Because of that act of love by God the Father and Jesus the Son, we are all now under grace, not the law. Now, we are all saved by grace through faith. There is a time, place and need for works, but they are not a part of salvation. We are justified by the blood of Jesus, we are in the process of being sanctified, and one day, we will be glorified. Not because we earned it, but, because Jesus, with His blood, has paid the full price for all of us!

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

“Show Us A Miraculous Sign”

18 But the Jewish leaders demanded, “What are you doing? If God gave you authority to do this, show us a miraculous sign to prove it.” – John 2:18 NLT

John 2:18-25

The Jewish leaders questioned the authority of Jesus and asked Him for a sign that God had given Him the authority to cleanse the temple. Jesus agreed to their demand, but with an answer that completely baffled them. No one could build this temple in three days, it would take years. They eventually saw the sign that Jesus was referring to, but the leaders probably didn’t know it because of their unbelief. Human nature hasn’t changed, people are still looking for a sign. How often do we miss what God is doing because of our “little faith”? Jesus knows whether we really believe or not when we ask Him for something. We know the “temple” that Jesus was speaking about was rebuilt (resurrected) in 3 days. Is the Cross and the Resurrection enough for us or do we still need a sign?

37 Don’t believe me unless I carry out my Father’s work. 38 But if I do his work, believe in the evidence of the miraculous works I have done, even if you don’t believe me. Then you will know and understand that the Father is in me, and I am in the Father.”–John 10:37-38 (NLT)

When Jesus completed the work His Father had sent Him to do, He said “It is finished”.

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

Post 03-06-2020

“Come, Follow Me”

43 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Come, follow me.” – John 1:43 NLT

Follow Me

Once we answer the call to “come and see” and we have “tasted and seen” that the Lord is good, our next step is to follow the Lord. While the plan of salvation is simple and free, following the example that Jesus set for us is not easy and it is not free. He gave up His glory in heaven, came to earth and died for us. Should the created expect to do less than that for His Creator? From the worldly point of view, this is asking a lot, but from God’s point of view, it is the best thing that you can do. The only way to save your life is to let it go.

33 If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it—Luke 17:33 (NLT)

For our sake, Jesus laid down His life, so that He could take it up again to be our Redeemer and Lord. So, we must lay down our lives for His sake.

23 Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me. 24 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. 25 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but are yourself lost or destroyed?—Luke 9:23-25 (NLT)

”Come, follow me”! When we decide to this for Jesus, we find a life that is truly worth living.

“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