“Don’t Handle! Don’t Taste! Don’t Touch!”

18 Don’t let anyone condemn you by insisting on pious self-denial or the worship of angels, saying they have had visions about these things. Their sinful minds have made them proud — Colossians 2:18

Colossians 2:16-23 NLT

Condemnation comes from satan and weighs us down with guilt for things that we have done in the past or things that we are doing now.  If satan can keep you feeling guilty, he has defeated you because you will not be able to do good works when you are weighed down with guilt.  Remember that there is no condemnation for those of us who are in Christ Jesus.  Condemnation is different from conviction.  God’s Holy Spirit will bring conviction upon us but it will lead us to repentance. Once we have repented, our relationship with Jesus is restored and we can again be effective working for Christ.  Man should not add any requirements for salvation to what God has already laid out in His Word. No matter what anyone tells you, we cannot be good enough to earn salvation or bad enough to lose our salvation.  Our salvation depends on Jesus and His shed blood. God tells us in Romans that nothing, absolutely nothing, can separate us from Him and His love. Why? Because it is a gift from God and gifts cannot be bought or earned. All the rules and precepts are shadows of what is coming.  It is our responsibility to use discernment and cross check what people say with the Holy Scriptures.  If the two do not agree, then we must always go with the Word.  Just as our physical bodies are controlled by our brains (head) and nourished by the blood flowing through it , so is the Spiritual body controlled by the head, who is Christ Jesus.  The whole body is held together by the power of His Word and is nourished by His Spirit flowing through us.

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

Post 06-17-2019

Divine Protection

5 But while Peter was in prison, the church prayed very earnestly for him. — Acts 12:5 NLT

Acts 12: 5-11 NLT

Jesus had instructed Peter to feed His sheep. He was basically appointing Peter as the leader of the church after His ascension.  He had also told Peter that satan desired to “sift him as wheat”.  That is a metaphor meaning that satan wanted to separate Peter from the others like a farmer separates the chaff from the wheat when he winnows it.  By stirring up King Agrippa to have Peter arrested and put in jail, satan was attempting to sift Peter.  The leaders of the Jews were recruited by satan and joined by encouraging Agrippa in his acts of persecution.  Peter was chained in prison with sixteen guards assigned to do nothing but watch him.  God sent an angel to free Peter from his chains and they walked right past all of those guards.  Peter thought it was a dream or a vision until the gates to the city swung open of their own accord and the angel left Peter.  I can imagine that about the time Peter realized that it was for real, he probably remembered that Jesus also said “but I have prayed for you”.  Jesus  had prayed, was now at the right hand of God praying and the whole church was praying late into the night.  God had a plan for Peter and Jesus had prepared Peter for that plan.  The enemy’s plans to thwart God’s plans were defeated because of prayer. All the demons of hell and the earthly recruits were not enough to overcome the prayers of a handful of saints.  We need to be prayer warriors and spend more time praying fervently for God to rescue our nation and keep our families safe. God is able to protect us and provide for us when He selects us for Kingdom work.  We will not be defeated!

“The closer I get to the end of my life, it seems the only question that matters, Is the life I am living pleasing to God?” – Ken Gire In “Sacred”

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

Post 02-26-2019

Sin is Sin is Sin!

even-smaller-bug-light1

16 There are six things the Lord hates—
    no, seven things he detests: – Proverbs 6:16 NLT

Somewhere at sometime, satan deceived someone into thinking and/or believing that God has a prioritized list of sins ranging from “little” to “big”.  That lie has been propagated throughout the generations, much to satan’s delight. A short study of Scripture will quickly prove that untrue.The above verses in Proverbs and this one from The Revelation are good examples.
 

8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” — Rev. 21:8

God doesn’t see lies as black and white, to Him, lies are lies, period.  While the external effects of some sins are greater than others, the internal effect to each of us committing those sins is the same.  Sin, any sin, separates us from the love of God.

2 ​But your iniquities have separated

you from your God;
your sins have hidden his face from you,
so that he will not hear.
 — Isaiah 59:2
 

As long as there is unconfessed sin in our lives, we limit what God can do for us and through us.  Just as the rebellion of the children of Israel limited God in the wilderness, we do the same thing. If we continue to live a lifestyle of rebellion and unconfessed sin, God has no choice but to withdraw His blessings and protective covering over our lives. The children of Israel were defeated in battles when they were disobedient to God.  We live defeated lives, when we refuse to obey and confess our sins.

 
40 How often they provoked Him in the wilderness,
And grieved Him in the desert!
41 Yes, again and again they tempted God,
And limited the Holy One of Israel. — Psalm 78:40, 41
God knows every minute part of us and every thought that we have, we cannot hide it from Him. When we have sinned, instead of running from Him, we need to run to Him, He is waiting with outstretched arms.
 
16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. — Hebrews 4:16

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

Post 06-26-2018

Undefeated!

even-smaller-bug-light122 “People of Israel, listen! God publicly endorsed Jesus the Nazarene by doing powerful miracles, wonders, and signs through him, as you well know. 23 But God knew what would happen, and his prearranged plan was carried out when Jesus was betrayed. With the help of lawless Gentiles, you nailed him to a cross and killed him. 24 But God released him from the horrors of death and raised him back to life, for death could not keep him in its grip. — Acts 2:22-24 NLT     Acts 2:25-41

Our story never changes.  It is the old, old story that is new every morning.  It is our anthem, our song, our strength and our hope.  Jesus voluntarily gave up HIs glory in heaven temporarily.  He was born into the world, He was fully man and fully God.  He went about doing good and God performed miracles, wonders and signs through Him.  Not everyone believed the story then and not everyone believes the story now.  But God, knowing what would happen, already had a plan in place.  Jesus came to this earth to redeem a fallen people from their sins and nothing, no one, nor any force of any kind would prevent that from happening. Over and over, the religious leaders conspired to kill Jesus before His time and in a manner that would not be sufficient for redemption.  God would not allow it.  Jesus was the perfect man, God had the perfect plan and now we are redeemed.  Just as God had a plan for Jesus, He has a plan for each of us to participate in the redemption story.  We are not perfect, God already knows that, so when we fail, He understands.  But His plan for each of us takes our weaknesses and failures into account.  He is never surprised by our failures and He never gives up on us.  We are chosen, we are called and we will succeed in the plan Jesus has for each of us.  So, when satan, the father of lies, comes to shame us with all of our failures, we just need to tell him to take it up with Jesus, stand up. let God clean us up and press on.  The battle is not ours, it’s the Lord’s and He won the war years ago at the cross.  We may suffer losses and temporary setbacks, but we cannot be defeated.   Romans 8:38
Post 04-01-2016

The Battle is Not Ours

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

8 Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. 9 But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? 10 You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! 11 I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.—Gal. 4:8-11 (NIV)
​Before we​ accepted Jesus as our Savior, we were enslaved by our sinful flesh, just as the Galatians were back then. Before Paul came into Galatia, they worshiped idols made by men and were in bondage to all sorts of immoral acts. Once, they accepted the Good News, they were free from that bondage. Paul had started churches in the area earlier. After he left the area, the people started to fall back into their old worldly ways, practicing useless traditions of men. Eat this , don’t eat that, do this on this day and not any other day, etc. Paul was writing to them to encourage them to continue on their new Spiritual journey. We see the same thing still happening today when the founder of a new church retires or moves on. We have to focus on Jesus and the Gospel message, not on the messenger. Except for Jesus, there never has been, isn’t now, and never will be a perfect man. We all fall and come up short. Just don’t make falling a lifestyle. Ask for the forgiveness that Jesus has already paid for and move on. Let’s learn to be “Jesus conscious” and not “sin-conscious”. If satan can keep us focused on our failures, he has won the battle and we will live defeated lives, Focus on Jesus, our Champion and our Defender. We can be more than conquerors.
He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.—2 Chron. 20:15 (NIV)

Post 04-02-2105

We Need to Remember and Remind Each Other

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

12 I write to you, dear children, because your sins are forgiven through Christ.
13 I write to you, fathers, because you know the One who existed from the beginning.
I write to you, young people, because you have defeated the Evil One.
14 I write to you, children, because you know the Father.
I write to you, fathers, because you know the One who existed from the beginning.
I write to you, young people, because you are strong;
the teaching of God lives in you, and you have defeated the Evil One.—1 John 2:11-14 (NCV)​

​John is reminding​ each group of people of who they were, who they are now, and how each of us got here. Now that we have been redeemed and cleansed by the blood of Jesus, we need to be walking in the Light and our lifestyle should reflect the example that Jesus set for us to follow. When we are tempted to think that we might be just a little better than our neighbors or when we start to wonder; “how could Jesus save a person like that?” ,we need to remember who we used to be and the kind of lifestyle we used to lead. Just as Isaiah told the children of Israel, remember that we were all cut from the same stone, we are all born sinners.
The Lord says, “Listen to me,
those of you who try to live right and follow the Lord.
Look at the rock from which you were cut;
look at the stone quarry from which you were dug.–Isaiah 51:1 (NCV)

​We have done nothing to desire God’s mercy and grace, it is a free gift that is available to all. Thus, the old saying: “Except for the grace of God, there goes you and me”
Post 09-24-14

Do Not Be Deceived–Stand Firm

God is waiting to show you the way.

God is waiting to show you the way.

13 As for us, we can’t help but thank God for you, dear brothers and sisters loved by the Lord. We are always thankful that God chose you to be among the first to experience salvation—a salvation that came through the Spirit who makes you holy and through your belief in the truth. 14 He called you to salvation when we told you the Good News; now you can share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.​ 15 With all these things in mind, dear brothers and sisters, stand firm and keep a strong grip on the teaching we passed on to you both in person and by letter.​ ​16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, 17 comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say.–2 Thessalonians 2:13-17​ ​(NLT)
In 2 Thess. 2:5-12, Paul talks about the spirit of the anti-Christ that is already present in the world. The anti-Christ is being held back by God’s Holy Spirit. Our concern now is to stand firm on the Holy Scriptures and not be deceived by that spirit of the anti-Christ. That spirit is busy today in our world deceiving people and it explains why intelligent people believe incredible things. The world as a whole will become more wicked as time passes. Those of us who have been called to salvation and have accepted Jesus as our Savior have nothing to fear from the anti-Christ or satan himself. Jesus has given us eternal comfort and hope. He will continue to strengthen us and comfort us as we carry out His plan for each of our lives. We are not to live in fear, because we belong to God Who has told us that He is greater than the spirit that lives in the world. We cannot be defeated!!!!!
But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.–1 John 4:4 (NLT)
Post 05-31-14