Speak the Truth

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“You certainly spoke the truth!” – 4:18b NLT

Jesus makes a statement that leads to this woman speaking the truth about her situation. When we encounter Jesus, we are brought immediately to the point of truth. Jesus knows the truth about each of us. There is never a chance encounter with Jesus. Each one is planned to bring us face to face with the truth about ourselves. To receive salvation, each of us must admit that we have sinned and need forgiveness. Just as this woman realized that Jesus was more than a mere stranger, we must realize that Jesus is different from anyone we have ever encountered. Every meeting with Jesus requires us to make a decision. When a non-believer meets Jesus, their decision will leave them one step closer to hell or take them all the way to heaven.

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

Post 08-18-2017

See for Yourself

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“Come and see for yourself,” Philip replied.
– John 1:46b NLT

Each of us must come to Jesus for ourselves. No one else can do this for us. Parents and Grandparents, regardless of how much they love and pray, cannot make this decision for you. It is personal and it is eternal. Just as Jesus knew Nathanael before He came to Jesus, so He knew each of us before we came to Him. He knows us at our very worst, He knows our unkind thoughts. No matter how sinful or how ugly it is, Jesus knows all about it but He still loves us. He is waiting with open arms to receive us. If you haven’t truly accepted Him as your Savior and Lord, then, please, “Come and See for Yourself”. Once you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, you will never be alone again.

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

Post 08-07-2017

The King’s Kids

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10 So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God. – 1 John 3:10 NLT

A child of God is anyone who accepts Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. When we do that, our sins are forgiven and we become a new creation. We are filled with God’s light and where there is light, there can be no darkness. Does this mean that if we sin or fail that we are no longer God’s children? Not at all, each of us will fail at times. The question is not about a single sin, but a lifestyle of sin. If our salvation experience does not change our lifestyle then we need to question whether it was a real life-changing event or merely an emotional experience that we had. Don’t be deceived, God is faithful and just. Getting saved is a rational, logical experience. There may be emotions and feelings involved, but the true experience is a decision that we make to trust our souls and our future to Jesus. If we have done this, then there will be changes in our lifestyle. Some immediately, some as we mature in our walk with Christ. Our lives will bear the fruit of the Spirit.

Galatians 5:22-26 NLT


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

Post 07-10-2017

Seek Purity of Thought

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12 How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart?    Cleanse me from these hidden faults.

— Psalm 19:12 NLT


As Christians, we are not usually tempted to go out and do what the world normally perceives as sin.  No, satan has to be a little sneaky when he comes after us.  Every decision we make has a consequence, either for good or for bad. Do not be deceived, 
there is no neutral ground in spiritual warfare. How can we know when we have “missed the mark”?  God sent His Spirit to lead us into all truth and convict us when we have erred.  Our sins are usually those of the presumptive type. We presume to know answers to things that are too hard for us to know.  The reason presumption is a sin, is because it is a fruit of being prideful.  We would never be so bold as to say out loud that we can make decisions without the leadership of God’s Holy Spirit.  But, have you ever had that thought cross your mind or do you act out of habit without consulting God?  Jesus said if we consider the thought, we are guilty of the sin. Those thoughts lead to ideas which lead to actions and those lead to bad habits.  When this happens, sin is trying to get dominion over us.  We should ask God’s Holy Spirit to correct us and ask for forgiveness, so that we can be blameless and innocent of great transgression. We set alerts so that certain websites send us a notification if we are about to cross a line. Set an alert with God’s Holy Spirit and ask Him to notify You before You cross the line.

16 For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy. — 1 Peter 1:16

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

Why?

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27 For the hearts of these people are hardened,    and their ears cannot hear,
and they have closed their eyes—
so their eyes cannot see,
and their ears cannot hear,
and their hearts cannot understand,
and they cannot turn to me
and let me heal them.’ — Acts 28:27 NLT
 
 
The Jewish leaders there in Rome had already heard the message of Jesus. They wanted to hear it again from Paul and to hear what he believed.  Any time and every time the name of Jesus is mentioned, it requires that we make a decision.  Whether we decide to reject Him, accept Him or to think about it, we make a decision.  Some of these leaders were persuaded to believe by what Paul said and others were not.  It is a mystery to us why all the people hear the same message but some respond positively and some respond negatively.  Did Paul quit preaching the Word because some refused to believe?  No!  For two years, Paul supported himself and continued to tell others about the Good News.  Paul understood that the results of his preaching the Word were not up to Him.  His part was to continue to be obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit.  We are to do the same thing.  Keep preaching and/or teaching and not be discouraged because we don’t see any results.  The results are up to the Lord and the Holy Spirit, not to us.  We will see the results when we get to heaven. Until then we just keep living out God’s plan for each of us and let Him handle the results.
 
Post 07-31-2016

We Are the Lord’s

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29 But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.  — Acts 5:29 NKJV
 
In Romans and other Scriptures we are taught to obey the laws of the land.  We are also taught to respect the officials and to pray for those who rule over us.  In today’s military, we are taught to obey all orders that are legal and moral. There are times when we, as Christians, have to make decisions about how far we can go in obeying others.  Peter and the apostles did not need time to think about or pray about their decision.  They had already decided that they should obey God rather than man.  With this in mind, we should have already made a predetermined decision that when laws conflict with the Holy Scriptures, we will obey God and His word.  From a temporary, worldly viewpoint, this can be a costly decision.  We have brothers and sisters who are being persecuted, imprisoned, beaten and murdered because they refuse to deny Jesus as their Savior and Lord.  There are youths of all ages that are beaten by their own parents and kicked out of their homes because they have converted to Christianity and refuse to turn back.  Let us pray for them on a daily basis.  The mantra of the persecuted Christians is “It is harder to live for Christ than it is to die for Him”‘   As our society grows more evil and violent, we must come to that same conclusion now before the pressure is really on.  From an eternal, spiritual viewpoint, it is an easy decision to decide for the Lord.
 

7 For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. 8 For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.   — Romans 14:7, 8 NKJV

Post 06-17-2016

 

Forgive? Absolutely! Forget? Well……

even-smaller-bug-light125  “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more. — Isaiah 43:25 NLT

God forgives us of our sins and chooses not to remember them or hold them ​against us.  No where in the Bible are we instructed to “forgive and forget”.  Like many sayings attributed to the Bible, this one is not in there.  While it is a beautiful expression and idea, I am not sure that humans are capable of forgetting those transgressions,  either the ones we have committed against God or those that have been committed against us.  While we may not be capable of forgetting, we are charged over and over with the responsibility of forgiving.  That we can do, because it is an act of the will, it is a decision that we make.  God has certainly told us that His forgiveness of our sins requires us to forgive others
 
32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.  — Eph. 4:32​

There are many other verses emphasizing the fact that we must forgive.  These verses also show us how our relationship with the Father is affected by a lack of forgiveness. (Matt. 6:15)  They also show us how a lack of forgiveness causes us to become bitter (Hebrews 12) and how unforgiveness will cause us to lose our reward (2 John). 

The “forgetting” part means that we should be so sure and certain about our decision to forigve that the transgression no longer affects our relationship with the person committing the act.  It is no longer a part of any discussion we have or any decision that we make.  It means that just as God has justified our standing with Him, we do the same for the transgressor.  It is as if we had “forgotten” or as if that incident had never happened.
Notice in the passage from Isaiah that God said He would forgive
 ​themfor His sake which indicates there are some good things that come to those who do the forgiving as well as to those who are forgiven.  So,  if for no other reason, we need to forgive for our own sake.

Post 01-26-2016