“Patiently Endure Testing”

12 God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. — James 1:12 NLT

James 1:12-16 NLT

Why do Christians have to endure trials and persecutions? I suppose people have been asking this question since the first century. The disciples never quite understood why Jesus had to suffer and die until after the Resurrection. God does not allow us to go through suffering so that He will know where we are on our journey, He allows it so that we will know. He allows it so that our “I can” will turn into “No, I can’t but God can”. “No pain, no gain” applies to spiritual growth as well as physical. Would understanding the “why” really make the pain any less real or painful?  I am sure that since Jesus was in on the plan of redemption, He understood the why, but that didn’t keep Him from asking His Father if there might not be another way. As he prayed in the garden of Gethsemane.

42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”Matt. 26:42 NIV

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

Post 11-02-2019

“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

WHY?

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12 God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. — James 1:12 NLT
Why do Christians have to endure trials and persecutions? I suppose people have been asking this question since the first century. The disciples never quite understood why Jesus had to suffer and die until after the Resurrection. God does not allow us to go through suffering so that He will know where we are on our journey, He allows it so that we will know. He allows it so that our “I can” will turn into “No, I can’t but God can”. “No pain, no gain” applies to spiritual growth as well as physical. Would understanding the “why” really make the pain any less real or painful?  I am sure that since Jesus was in on the plan of redemption, He understood the why, but that didn’t keep Him from asking His Father if there might not be another way. As he prayed in the garden of Gethsemane.
 

42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”–Matt. 26:42 NIV

 

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

Post 04-10-2017

Run to Win the Race

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24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.—-1 Cor. 9:24-2​7​ NIV

If we enter the race, we should run the race expecting to win.  What would be the point in running if we didn’t try to win?  If we are going to be a true competitor, we must train faithfully every day. If we do that to run an earthly race and win a temporary reward, shouldn’t we be much more serious about our Spiritual race?  We must run our Spiritual race as if our lives depended on winning it because they do. If we are faithful in that race, we will get a crown that lasts forever. Every day is a battle and we must fight the battle with sincerity and purpose. We must bring our flesh under submission and follow after the Holy Spirit.  We must strive for holiness so that we are not disqualified and fail to win the prize.  

13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called
me heavenward in Christ Jesus.—Phil. 3:13,14 NIV

Post 06-05-2015

“Our King is Coming”!!

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

12 The next day a great crowd who had come to Jerusalem for the Passover Feast heard that Jesus was coming there. 13​ ​So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Jesus, shouting, “Praise God! God bless the King of Israel!” 14 Jesus found a colt and sat on it. This was as the Scripture says, 15″Don’t be afraid, people of Jerusalem! Your king is coming, sitting on the colt of a donkey.” 16 The followers of Jesus did not understand this at first. But after Jesus was raised to glory, they remembered that this had been written about him and that they had done these things to him.—John 12:12-16 (NCV)
​The​ crowd heard that Jesus was coming so they took palm branches and went out to greet Jesus. In those days, it was common for the people to lay branches out for a king or a great leader to walk on or ride on as he entered the town. A conquering king would normally enter riding on a horse trained for war. A king that was coming in peace would ride in on a colt to show his humbleness. Jesus was a King who came in peace and riding on a colt also fulfilled prophecy.
9 Rejoice, O people of Zion!​ Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem!​ Look, your king is coming to you.​ He is righteous and victorious,​ yet he is humble, riding on a donkey—​ riding on a donkey’s colt.—Zechariah 9:9 (NLT)
​Jesus​ came first as a suffering servant and a peacemaker but His next entrance will be as a conquering King on a horse prepared for war.
11 Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse was standing there. Its rider was named Faithful and True, for he judges fairly and wages a righteous war.12 His eyes were like flames of fire, and on his head were many crowns.–Revelation 19:11-12a (NLT)

Chorus to “The King is Coming” by Bill G​aither
The King is coming, the King is coming
I just heard the trumpet sounding and soon His face I’ll see
The King is coming, the King is coming
Praise God, He’s coming for me​!​

http://www.allthelyrics.com/lyrics/gaither_vocal_band/the_king_is_coming-lyrics-960973.html#ixzz3OqJPKPdQ

​We should be able to sing this chorus with joy unspeakable and hearts full of anticipation!
Post 01-15-2015

The Crown of Life

God is waiting to show you the way.

God is waiting to show you the way.

9 Let the lowly brother glory in his exaltation, 10 but the rich in his humiliation, because as a flower of the field he will pass away. 11 For no sooner has the sun risen with a burning heat than it withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beautiful appearance perishes. So the rich man also will fade away in his pursuits.​
12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
–James 1:9-12 (NKJV)

God lifts up those that are humble and lowly, so they should be thankful. God brings down the rich, so that they realize they can’t help themselves. They need God just as much as those that are poor. When we go to the grave, we can take nothing with us. Rich or poor, when we meet Jesus face to face, the thing that matters is that we have accepted Him as our Savior. All the material things that we have on earth are meaningless when we reach heaven. We shall all be tested and made to endure temptations. If we endure those temptations and stand before God approved, we will be given the Crown of Life. Do not confuse the Crown of Life with salvation. Salvation is a free gift from God, the Crown of Life is something we earn while we are on earth and it is given to us in heaven. That is why we are admonished to lay up our rewards in heaven and not material things here on earth. Earthly rewards fade away, but heavenly rewards are eternal. The Crown of Life is one of 5 crowns that we can earn. These crowns are not for us to wear and strut around heaven showing them to everyone. The purpose of the crowns is for us to cast them at the feet of Jesus to give Him glory and Honor.
9 Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying:
11 “You are worthy, O Lord,
To receive glory and honor and power;
For You created all things,
And by Your will they exist and were created.”–Revelation 4:9-11 (NKJV)

Post 08-14-14

Everything Will Be Placed Under the Control of Jesus

God is waiting to show you the way.

God is waiting to show you the way.

6 Instead, someone has declared this somewhere in Scripture:
“What is a mortal that you should remember him,
or the Son of Man that you take care of him?
7 You made him a little lower than the angels.
You crowned him with glory and honor.
8 You put everything under his control.”
When God put everything under his Son’s control, nothing was left out.
However, at the present time we still don’t see everything under his Son’s control.9 Jesus was made a little lower than the angels, but we see him crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death. Through God’s kindness he died on behalf of everyone. 10 God is the one for whom and through whom everything exists. Therefore, while God was bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was the right time to bring Jesus, the source of their salvation, to the end of his work through suffering.​—Hebrews 2:6-10 (GW)​

​Reading this passage, I am reminded of these words from Isaiah:
8 “My thoughts are not your thoughts, and my ways are not your ways,” declares the Lord​. ​9 “Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways,​ and my thoughts are higher than your thoughts.”​–Isaiah 55:8,9 (GW)
Why does the Creator even consider the created? Why would God create us knowing that in the future, He would have to give His only Son as a sacrifice for our sins? He caused His son to give up the glory of heaven and become lower than the angels He had created. This is love that human beings cannot understand. Through His kindness, God allowed His son to suffer and die for us. Then, because Jesus was obedient even to death on that cross, God crowned Him with glory and honor and established Him as ruler over all things. When Jesus returns, He will use the authority given to Him to rule and reign. At that time, those who have refused to bow before Him will be cast into an everlasting hell. Those who have chosen to receive His salvation will be with Him in the new heaven and the new earth forever. We will cast our crowns at His feet and He will be crowned King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Post 07-09-14