Life Or Death?

22 But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. — Romans 6:22 NLT

Romans 6:17-23 NLT

Romans 3:23 tells us that we have all sinned and our attempts to live without sin or to be like God have failed.  We were born as slaves to sin and the desires of the flesh.  We were in bondage to that kind of lifestyle. But the Trinity had laid a plan to free us from that bondage long before they laid the foundations of the earth.  That plan was for God Himself to come to earth clothed in a human body.  So, we see that the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus was not some johnny come lately plan nor was it a knee-jerk reaction to what satan was doing.  It was a secret, well-laid plan that the enemy could not defeat because he knew nothing about it.  God never had any thoughts about leaving His creation without a Redeemer.  Now the mystery of salvation has been revealed to all of us. We have a simple choice to make.  Accept Jesus and be freed from the bondage of sin.  Before we accepted Jesus, we had no choice about sin, now that we have accepted Him, we are free to chose to do right and live a holy lifestyle. We now have a new Master, one who gives us freedom to choose what we will do and how we will react to situations.  We can choose to work ourselves to death (the wages of sin are death) or we can reach out and accept that free gift of life today. 

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

Post -04-03-2019

The Effect of Hearing the Gospel

20 So the message about the Lord spread widely and had a powerful effect. — Acts 19:20 NLT

Acts 19:11-20 NLT

We are told in verse one that “God gave Paul the power to perform unusual miracles.”  In verse twenty, we see the reason for this was to spread the Good News about Jesus and the redemption story.  The spreading of the Gospel always has a powerful effect on all those that hear.  To those that hear and believe, it brings new life.  To those who hear but refuse to believe, it brings death.  Anytime the name of Jesus is spoken those that hear it must make a decision right then and there.  Either they will believe the Good News and receive life or they will refuse to believe and earn their way to hell.  When the name of Jesus is spoken with the intent to glorify God, it contains all of the power that was present at the resurrection of Jesus.  But when the name of Jesus is spoken with the intention of self-glory or for the mere purpose of gaining wealth, the result is confusion and chaos. Just ask the seven sons of Sveca.  God is a God of miracles and miracles are still being performed today.  Not all of us are given the power to perform miracles as Paul was.  God gives different gifts to members of the body of Christ so that it can be whole and bring glory to Himself. God doesn’t perform miracles on a whim or on demand.  Each time we witness a miracle we know that God has a purpose and a plan that requires a miracle to complete the plan.  Miracles always affect more than one person.   The person receiving the miracle is not the only one touched.  Those seeing or listening that are already believers are encouraged and those who do not believe will be drawn to God.


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

Post 03-12-2019

Mount Zion Brings Life

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2  “The Lord came from Mount Sinai and dawned upon us from Mount Seir;  he shone forth from Mount Paran and came from Meribah-kadesh with flaming fire at his right hand. 3  Indeed, he loves his people; all his holy ones are in his hands. They follow in his steps and accept his teaching.. — Deut. 33:2, 3 NLT

This is beginning of the last blessing that Moses gave to the children of Israel.  It was a reminder to the people of how God had chosen them and brought them through the desert to the Promised Land.  Because of His great love for the people, God remained faithful to His promise even though the people were often disobedient and ungrateful. It was also an admonition to continue to follow in the steps of their God and accept His teachings.  Moses blesses the tribes of Israel, then leaves them.  As God instructed, Moses climbs Mount Nebo up to Pisgah Peak where God allows him to view all of the Promised Land.  There, at 120 years of age, Moses passed away.  God came to the children of Israel from Mount Sinai, a mountain that was covered with smoke and fire, touching the mount brought death.

God comes to us from Mount Zion, “the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem”. (Hebrews 12:18-24)  Touching Mount Zion brings life and joy to those who love the Lord, to those who accept His teachings and follow in the steps of Jesus.  Today, spend some time in the presence of Jesus, just loving Him and marinating in His love.  If you do, you will touch Mount Zion and receive true life and an abundance of joy.

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

Post 11-10-2018

Does Our Walk Match Our Talk?

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For this reason, the Scriptures say, when the Messiah was about to come into the world:  “You did not want sacrifices and offerings, but you prepared a body for me.  6  In burnt offerings and sin offering you never took delight. – Hebrews 10:5-6 ISV

When Christ came into the world, He came with the full knowledge of what His mission was.  He was to give His body as a once-for-all times sacrifice.  No longer would God be pleased or accept burnt offerings or offerings of any other kind to take away sins.  All the old rituals are now worthless.  Remission of sin that required the shedding of blood was completely satisfied when Jesus gave up His blood and His life for us on the cross.  Belief in His free gift to us is the only way to salvation.  Once we have accepted Jesus and experienced the liberty in Him, there is no longer any requirement for anything to physically die to achieve salvation.  But we do need to offer our bodies as “a living sacrifice” to Jesus. This is the only sacrifice that is acceptable to God.  To do that, means we have to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.  This is a process that we go through on a daily basis.  Just as Jesus gave His life for us on a cross, we also must take up a cross and follow Him.  Our sacrifice is not to take away our sins, but it is to give God the glory for all that He has done for us.  Our focus is now changed from the physical to the Spiritual, from things temporal to things eternal. We must “bring every thought captive”.  This requires us to walk out the consequences of every word and action before we speak or act.  Will our words and actions create life or destroy life?

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

Poat 11-04-2018

What’s That Smell?

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15 Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing.  – 2 Cor. 2:15 NLT
 
In the first century, when a king or leader had conquered a new territory, he would bring the captives back to his country and parade them down “main street’.  This was to show his subjects how powerful he was and to receive their worship and praise.  It also reminded them of what could happen if they ever decided to be disloyal to the king.  These were unwilling captives. Paul is giving thanks to God that we are led in this triumphal procession as willing captives.  We are captives and bondservants because we have chosen Jesus as our Savior and King.  Now, it is time for each of us “to spread the aroma of the knowledge of Him everywhere”.  That Word will be good news to some because they will receive the Word with gladness of heart, accept Jesus and receive the gift of forgiveness and eternal life.  It will be a stench in the nostrils of those who refuse to accept our God as the only true and living God and Jesus as their Savior and King. That rejection will lead to death and eternal punishment.  Just as Paul felt inadequate to do that job, so should we. As he says, “who is equal to such a task?”  None of us can do this work alone, It must be Spirit-led and Spirit-fed.  As Paul also explains, “I can do all things through Jesus Christ”.  And so can we do all things through Jesus.  It is His plan, His purpose and it is accomplished by His power, not ours. We are to be faithful and follow His example.
1 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. — Eph. 5:1 NIV
We are to offer our lives as a sacrifice and a fragrant offering to God. Just as bees are drawn to honey, others are drawn to Jesus by people who live sacrificial lives.
Do our lifestyles release a sweet smelling aroma of life or a stench of death?


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

Post 06-04=2018

Praying for Our Persecuted Christian Brothers and Sisters

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11 And you are helping us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks because God has graciously answered so many prayers for our safety. – 2 Cor.1:11 NLT
 
When we read these verses, we need to consider our brothers and sisters who live in places where persecution and imprisonment are still common practice today.  They need our prayers and our encouragement on a daily basis.  There are numerous testimonies from these Christians about being able to endure their harsh treatment because they received cards and/or knew that other Christians were praying for them daily.  They, as Paul, have learned to rely on God to deliver them from deadly perils.  Until recently we, in the free world, have not been subject to such unfair and brutal treatment.  That time has passed and we are being tested here in America, as well as other so called free countries. Christians are being ridiculed, beaten to death and imprisoned for refusing to deny their faith and their beliefs.  We need to pray and encourage each other daily.  Our hope is still in Jesus Christ.  He is our Redeemer, our Savior and our Lord. There is no other God that is capable of loving their followers and delivering them from every situation. We need to understand that some times that deliverance includes physical death. But we need to count it all joy and say along with Paul:

20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. — Phil. 1:20, 21 NIV

 

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

Post 05-29-2018

Deify or Crucify? – The Choice is Yours

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15 “Away with him,” they yelled. “Away with him! Crucify him!” “What? Crucify your king?” Pilate asked. “We have no king but Caesar,” the leading priests shouted back. – John 19:15 NLT

John 19:12-16 NLT

 

After a minimum of 12 hours of verbal abuse, lashings, and being questioned in 6 different settings, Jesus is handed over to the crowd to be hung on a cross. Pilate is still trying to “wash his hands” of the blood of Jesus because Pilate had pronounced Jesus “not guilty”. Nevertheless, he hands Jesus over anyway. Pilate could have stopped the crucifixion but he did not. The crowd had chosen a temporary, earthly king over the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Approximately eighteen hours earlier, the crowd pushed on by the religious leaders, had started down a path from which there would be no turning back. That is what unbelief and sin does to us. When the flesh lusts and we start to feed it, it always takes us further than we want to go and keeps us longer than we want to stay.
14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. 15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. 16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.—James 1:14-16​ (NASB)
Will we choose the earthly, fleshly king that leads us to death or the King of Kings who offers us life everlasting?

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

12-08-2017