“Bless And Do Not Curse”

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.—Romans 12:14 NIV​

Praying for and blessing those who persecute us is hard.  The flesh wants to scream, strike back and get revenge. Paul tells us this is a constant battle and we know from our own experiences that that is true. Why? Because the flesh wants what it wants and it doesn’t give up easily.

18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.–Romans 7:18-19 NIV 

We were born in sin into a sinful world. We are constantly tempted by the things we see, hear and read. That old father of liars, satan, knows where the chinks in our armor are and he pokes at us through those holes continuously. We are taught the “it’s all about me” philosophy on a daily basis. “You’re okay, I’m okay”  is a lie from the pits of hell. No one is okay without Jesus and no one can do Godly things without the leadership of the Holy Spirit. As long as we live in this old decaying tent of flesh, we will be tempted and we will have to fight a daily battle against those temptations. But, God has not left us alone to do this, He has made provisions for us. There is always a way out. 

12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.–1 Cor. 10:12-13 NIV

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

“When We Are Cursed, We Bless”

11 To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. 12 We work hard with our own hands.When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; 13 when we are slandered, we answer kindly. We have become the scum of the earth, the garbage of the world—right up to this moment. –1 Cor. 4:11-1​3​ NIV

Paul expands on the difference in attitude and lifestyle that he, Apollo, and Peter have as compared to the Christians in Corinth. They have given up all their earthly possessions and now they do not have an extra set of clothes nor a home of their own here on earth. They work hard physically so that they will not be a financial burden on the new converts. They respond to cursing, persecution and slandering with blessings, kindness and patient endurance. They are willing to be treated as the lowest form of life here on earth so that God might be glorified. Is it necessary for all of us to go through this kind of treatment? No, but we must have the attitude and the willingness to do it, if that is what Jesus calls us to do.

3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.—Romans 5:3-5 NIV

18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.—Romans 8:18 NIV


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

“Receive the Promised Holy Spirit”

14 Through Christ Jesus, God has blessed the Gentiles with the same blessing he promised to Abraham, so that we who are believers might receive the promised Holy Spirit through faith. – Gal. 3:14 NLT

Galatians 3:10-14 NLT

Paul continues to contrast living under the law as opposed to living under grace. For hundreds of years, all the Jews had known was the law plus all the man-made traditions that had been added by the priests and the religious leaders. That now there was a different way to please God was going to take a lot of “unteaching ” and “unlearning”. The law was not given to be a curse, but it became a curse because the flesh could not live up to its standards. It did not require faith, it was a law of works. It was meant to be a teacher showing “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”. We needed a change, but to have that change, we needed someone to remove us from under the curse of sin and the law. Jesus became a curse and a Redeemer for us. Through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, we can now receive the promise of the blessing of Abraham. We could not become the physical offspring of Abraham, but we could become the Spiritual descendants of the “seed” of Abraham. That “Seed” is Jesus Christ.

13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect —Romans 4:13,14 (NKJV)

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

“This Is The One”

15 John testified about him when he shouted to the crowds, “This is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘Someone is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’” – John 1:15 NLT

The One

John fully understood his mission as the forerunner of Jesus Christ. According to Isaiah, John’s purpose was to “prepare the way of the Lord”. John understood that as Jesus began His ministry that his own ministry would start to diminish. He was looking forward to that day. Jesus came to fulfill the law and redeem us from the curse of the law. He redeemed us from the curse of the law, but not from the blessings of the law. He came to make those blessings more abundant.

10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.—John 10:10​ (NKJV)

Because His death on the cross finished (fulfilled) the law, we “have all received one gracious blessing after another”. Those that have seen Jesus have seen the Father.

9 Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking me to show him to you?–​-John 14:9 (NLT)

Those that were alive at that time saw Him physically and we have seen Him spiritually as He is revealed to us though the Holy Spirit abiding in us.

Jesus is the ONE! He is THE ONE AND ONLY ONE that can save us from sin!!!!

It is our mission to spread the Word to a lost and dying world.

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

Post 02-26-2020

“Lazarus Is Very Sick”

4 But when Jesus heard about it he said, “Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.”  – John 11:4 NLT

John 11:1-6 NLT

Lazarus and his sisters were dear friends of Jesus. Mary and Martha sent a messenger to tell Jesus that Lazarus was sick. The messenger and the disciples must have been very surprised at what Jesus said when he heard the message. “This sickness will not end in death, it is for the glory of God”. How could sickness be for the glory of God? They, like us today, look at things from the human standpoint. Why should a friend of Jesus, the Great Physician, or a child of God have to suffer? A better question might be, “Why don’t wretched sinners like us have to suffer more than we do now?” Sin came into the world when man disobeyed God and it will remain in the world until Jesus comes back to establish His Kingdom here on earth. Until that time of restoration comes, we remain under the curse of sin. God gets glory by overcoming the curse of sin. While Jesus was here on earth, He overcame the curse of sin one act at a time. Yes, Jesus could have just spoken a word right where He was when He heard the message or He could have left immediately and gone to Lazarus. He chose not to do either of those things, but waited for 2 days before He left to go to Lazarus. God’s timing is not our timing and His answer is not always what we want to hear, but they are always exactly what is necessary to bring glory to Himself.

8 The Lord says, “My thoughts are not like your thoughts. Your ways are not like my ways. 9 Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts–Jeremiah 55:8, 9 (NCV)
Now we aren’t able to see and understand these things, but one day we will know and understand.

12 It is the same with us. Now we see a dim reflection, as if we were looking into a mirror, but then we shall see clearly. Now I know only a part, but then I will know fully, as God has known me.—1 Cor. 13:12 (NCV)

Until then, we can be comforted with God’s promises and the many gifts He gives each day, 

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

Post 06-05-2019

“By Grace Through Faith”

even-smaller-bug-light1

14 Through Christ Jesus, God has blessed the Gentiles with the same blessing he promised to Abraham, so that we who are believers might receive the promised Holy Spirit through faith. – Gal. 3:14

Paul continues to contrast living under the law as opposed to living under grace. For hundreds of years, all the Jews had known was the law plus all the man-made traditions that had been added by the priests and the religious leaders. That now there was a different way to please God was going to take a lot of “unteaching ” and “unlearning”. The law was not given to be a curse, but it became a curse because the flesh could not live up to its standards. It did not require faith, it was a law of works. It was meant to be a teacher showing “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”. We needed a change, but to have that change, we needed someone to remove us from under the curse of sin and the law. Jesus became a curse and a Redeemer for us. Through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, we can now receive the promise of the blessing of Abraham. We could not become the physical offspring of Abraham, but we could become the Spiritual descendants of the “seed” of Abraham. That “Seed” is Jesus Christ.
13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect —Romans 4:13,14 (NKJV)

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

01-01-2018

God Is Still Blessing

even-smaller-bug-light119  God is not a man, so he does not lie.  He is not human, so he does not change his mind.  Has he ever spoken and failed to act?
Has he ever promised and not carried it through?
20  Listen, I received a command to bless;   God has blessed, and I cannot reverse it! — Numbers 23:19, 20 NLT

God is the Creator, we are the created.  We are bought and paid for with the blood of His Son, Jesus.  He has every right, legal and anywise, to do with us as He pleases.  He can, and does pour out blessings on those He chooses to bless and curses on those He chooses to curse. However, being a just God, He does not make random decsions out of anger or fits of jealousy.  His decisions were made before the foundations of the earth were laid ​and they are based on HIs foreknowledge of our actions. He is never taken by surprise by any thoughts that we have or any actions that we commit. ​ He can only reveal those decisions to us after the fact, so they often seem to be made in haste, but nothing could be further from the truth.  ​Because of His​ great love for all of His creation, He has and still does warn us over and over about the consequences of unbelief and disobedience.  The fact that He has complete foreknowledge of how we will respond has never and will never keep Him from warning us over and over and weeping over our disobedience.  Recall what Jesus said about Jerusalem, how God had sent all the prophets to warn them and yet, they refused to be obedient and even murdered the prophets. Jesus wept bitter tears over Jerusalem saying “how often I have wanted to gather your children as a hen gathers her chicks, but you would not” (Matt. 23:37).  He still gives us those warnings about greiving, bringing sorrow or rejecting the Holy Spirit. 

30 And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.

​. — Ephesians 4:30 NLT​
So, let each of us today, make a new commitment to listening to and following the leadership of the Holy Spirit so that God will be pleased with us.
Post 02-27-2016

Words, Too Many, Too Often

even-smaller-bug-light19 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water. — James 3:9-12 NIV

​ ​These verses come at the end of a passage that speaks of the tongue and how our inability to control it causes us some many problems.  No human can tame his or her tongue. We can pray about it and we can strive to do it, but it is an impossible task for a human.  Only one man was able to do so and that was Jesus, the God-Man.  Nevertheless, that does not relieve us of the responsibility of asking the Holy Spirit to help us do better every day.  Our goal is to be that person who would never say or do anything to hurt someone else and that is the mark at which we should be aiming. Words that we speak without any intention of hurting anyone are often taken in the wrong way and cause pain to others.  Our prejudices, and we all have them, sometimes lead to a “slip of the tongue”.  Our thoughts lead to words and actions that show our true feelings and attitudes about others.  We need to always pray this prayer:

 
14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight,  Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. — Psalm 19:14
The things that we talk about most are the things that are truly important to us. The words and actions that we say and do are the fruits of our mindset and our hearts’ desires.  Just as a tree produces fruit after its kind, we will produce like fruit, be it good or evil. Our tongues were made to give praise, glory and honor to our Father in heaven.  Just as He spoke creation into existence, we have the power to speak words of life or death.  Let us always speak the words of life.

68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.” — John 6:68, 69

Post 11-18-2015

Weep and Repent Quickly!

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

25 As Simon Peter was standing and warming himself, they said to him, “Aren’t you one of that man’s followers?”​ Peter said it was not true; he said, “No, I am not.”
26 One of the servants of the high priest was there. This servant was a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off. The servant said, “Didn’t I see you with him in the garden?”​ 27 Again Peter said it wasn’t true. At once a rooster crowed.—John 18:25-27 (NCV)

Have you ever promised God that you would not commit a certain sin and then you find that the next time the temptation comes up, you fail again? Every time we sin, we grieve God the Holy Spirit. Do you remember how you felt the last time you failed your parents, in particular, your Mother? I think if we can get that picture in our minds, we can start to understand how it hurts the Holy Spirit when we grieve Him by sinning. God the Holy Spirit is a person just as God the Father and God the Son are personages. We may not believe it or think it about much, but let’s look at what Paul writes:
And do not make the Holy Spirit sad. The Spirit is God’s proof that you belong to him. God gave you the Spirit to show that God will make you free when the final day comes.—Eph. 4:30 (NCV)
Did you realize that you could make God sad?
I believe the very moment that Peter denied Jesus the third time, he realizes that he could hurt and wound God, our Savior. John doesn’t elaborate on this event, but if we read what​ is written in Matthew, we see how this affected Peter.
74 Then Peter began to place a curse on himself and swear, “I don’t know the man.” At once, a rooster crowed. 75 And Peter remembered what Jesus had told him: “Before the rooster crows, you will say three times that you don’t know me.” Then Peter went outside and cried painfully.—Matt. 26:74, 75 (NCV)
When we realize that we have hurt God the Holy Spirit, we need to weep and confess our sins quickly. We need to keep a good relationship with the Holy Spirit because through Him is the way we communicate with God.
Post 02-28-2015

“It is For the Glory of God”

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

1 A man named Lazarus was sick. He lived in the town of Bethany, where Mary and her sister Martha lived. 2 Mary was the woman who later put perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair. Mary’s brother was Lazarus, the man who was now sick. 3 So Mary and Martha sent someone to tell Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” 4 When Jesus heard this, he said, “This sickness will not end in death. It is for the glory of God, to bring glory to the Son of God.” 5 Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 But when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was for two more days.—John 11:1-6 (NCV)
​Lazarus and his sisters were dear friends of Jesus. Mary and Martha sent a messenger to tell Jesus that Lazarus was sick. The messenger and the disciples must have been very surprised at what Jesus said when he heard the message. “This sickness will not end in death, it is for the glory of God”. How could sickness be for the glory of God? They, like us today, look at things from the human standpoint. Why should a friend of Jesus, the Great Physician, or a child of God have to suffer? A better question might be, “Why don’t wretched sinners like us have to suffer more than we do now?” Sin came into the world when man disobeyed God and it will remain in the world until Jesus comes back to establish His Kingdom here on earth. Until that time of restoration comes, we remain under the curse of sin. God gets glory by overcoming the curse of sin. While Jesus was here on earth, He overcame the curse of sin one act at a time. Yes, Jesus could have just spoken a word right where He was when He heard the message or He could have left immediately and gone to Lazarus. He chose not to do either of those things, but waited for 2 days before He left to go to Lazarus. God’s timing is not our timing and His answer is not always what we want to hear, but they are always exactly what is necessary to bring glory to Himself.
8 The Lord says, “My thoughts are not like your thoughts.Your ways are not like my ways. 9 Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts–Jeremiah 55:8, 9 (NCV)
​Now we aren’t able to see and understand these things, but one day we will know and understand.​
12 It is the same with us. Now we see a dim reflection, as if we were looking into a mirror, but then we shall see clearly. Now I know only a part, but then I will know fully, as God has known me.—1 Cor. 13:12 (NCV)
Until​ then, we can be comforted with God’s promises and the many gifts He gives each day, one of which is the gift of music and song writers. I am reminded of a favorite hymn, “I Know Who Holds Tomorrow”.
Here are the words to the Chorus:
Many things about tomorrow
I don’t seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand.

Post 01-06-2105