“Not By Human Desires”

2 so that he can live the rest of his mortal life guided, not by human desires, but by the will of God.– 1 Peter 4:2 ISV

 1 Peter 4:1-13 ISV

We may look at the list of things that pagans choose to do and with great relief, say “I never given in to any of those things.”.  But let’s take another look.  A synonym for debauchery is decadence which is defined as excessive self-indulgence. How much time and money do we spend on things that benefit no one but ourselves?  At what point do our “needs” actually become only our “wants”?   Then there is lust, usually taken in the sexual connotation, but let’s spread that out a little further.  How about the desire to control and to have a high position?  Or the desire for things? And then there is that ugly word, idolatry.  No statues or figurines in the house? How about things that we spend inordinate amounts of time and money trying to acquire?  How about persons on whom we spend inordinate amounts of time and money trying to please and/or appease?  How about things and events that we spend way, way too much time talking about?  If there is anything or any person in our lives that we feel so strongly about that those feelings would cause us to be unkind to and/or hurt others, those are idols. If we are guilty of any of these things and suffer in any area whether it be financially, emotionally, or spiritually, then we are not suffering for Christ, we are suffering from bad decisions and there is no reward for ourselves and no glory for God.  We need to decide that we are done with sin, commit to doing God’s will and then when we suffer for His sake, Christ will receive the glory and we will receive the reward in heaven. We have all seen those dirty cars where someone has written on them “Wash Me”.  When our lives become so cluttered and covered with things and issues, maybe we need someone to write on our our hearts, “wash me”.

Isaiah 1:18. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. 

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

Post 04-06-2020

“God Has Done This”

4 “After the Lord your God has done this for you, don’t say in your hearts, ‘The Lord has given us this land because we are such good people!’ No, it is because of the wickedness of the other nations that he is pushing them out of your way— Deuteronomy 9:4 NLT

Deut.9:4-6 NLT

We are blessed to live in a beautiful country where we are free to travel from the Pacific Coast to the Atlantic Coast without having to stop at any border stations. We are also free to work, play, and worship without police or military interruption. We are free to accomplish most anything we have the ability and the desire to do. But, just as the children of Israel became full and fat in the land of Canaan and forgot Who it was that gave them the land, we are guilty of the same sin. We have done absolutely nothing to merit being born and raised in a country established on Judeo-Christian principles. God established this nation and has maintained it because we have been a nation “under God”. When we, as a nation, depart from those ways and turn to wickedness, God will discipline us just as surely as He disciplined the Jewish people when they disobeyed. We have been blessed because we have always blessed Israel. If that doesn’t remain true, we will be a cursed nation. God’s Word is true and He will not be mocked.

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

Post 08-14-2019

“Revive Us Again”

26 Then Jesus told her, “I am the Messiah! — John 4:26 NLT


John 4:21-30 NLT

The trip from Judea to Galilee took Jesus through Samaria.  It was a rough journey and Jesus, in His human form, was subject to becoming tired and weary, just as we are.  The Samaritans and the Jews were not on the best of terms and rarely, if ever, spoke to each other.  Yet, Jesus began to talk to this Samaritan woman and tell her things about her past and her present situation. She realized that He was a prophet and began to question Him about the difference in the traditions of how the Samaritans and the Jews worshipped God.   Jesus began to explain these things to her and tells her that was the way things were but those things were changing.  The Samaritan woman says that she knows things will change when the Messiah comes.  It is then that Jesus reveals to her that He is the Messiah for whom she has been waiting.  Jesus uses the words “I AM”.  The same words that God had used when Moses asked God, “who shall I say is sending me?”  Hearing these words, she immediately becomes a missionary and runs to tell the whole town about Jesus.  When Jesus touches us, we have to tell somebody.  Do we still have that burning desire to tell people about Jesus, the Messiah, the great “I AM” or has the fire gone out?  If we no longer have that desire to tell others about Jesus, perhaps it is time to ask God to light the fires again.


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

Post 01-05-2019

Hope Springs Eternal

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3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In God’s great mercy he has caused us to be born again into a living hope, because Jesus Christ rose from the dead. — 1 Peter 1:3 NCV

The hope that we have of our final salvation is a living hope.  It was searched for and studied by the prophets of old.  The Holy Spirit revealed things to them and as much as they desired to grasp this hope, they were told that the truths they were revealing were not for them at that time but for a later time.  That time came when Jesus was resurrected from the dead, ascended into heaven and sent us the great Comforter, the Holy Spirit.  When we receive the Spirit and He abides within us, He brings with Him a living hope.  It may start as just a tiny flame of hope, but as our understanding matures, it grows with each passing day. We are saved, we are being saved and one day we will have our final salvation.
 
 
The prophets desired it, the angels desire to look into it and understand it, but, by the grace of God, we have it.  We need to feed that hope daily by studying God’s Word, praying and praising Him. As we practice these things, we will find that our hope grows and that we experience a peace and joy that we cannot explain.  A joy full of glory because each day we are nearer to the ultimate goal of our faith — which is the salvation of our souls.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 12-18-18

Where Is Your Heart?

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11 Also, make it your goal to live quietly, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we instructed you, – 1 Thess. 4:11 ISV
 

God hates sin, all sins, but He loved sinners enough to send His Son to die for us. And not just die, but to be crucified cruelly and mocked publicly.  This is His example to us of how much we should love others, not just family and friends, but also strangers and enemies. The people that Paul was writing to at this time were those who gave of their resources to others who had needs and also gave to support Paul in his missionary work so that he could meet the spiritual needs of others and spread the gospel.   How do we show our love for Jesus? By being obedient and helping those in need.  Not just physical needs by giving of our resources, which we should do, but also giving of our time in caring for those with spiritual and emotional needs. A smile, a handshake, a hug, a word in season, a minute listening are all gifts that we can give each other and they are often much more appreciated than any monetary gift that we could give. These gifts we can give over and over since they don’t affect our budgets. So, we can do more and more.  We need to be very careful of how we spend the time God has given us. The majority of our time should be spent in doing those things that will win the respect of outsiders and build up the Kingdom of God. By making it a habit to do these things, we will soon find that it is our heart’s desire to do them more and more. Not only will we receive a great blessing here and now, but we will also be laying up treasures in heaven.
 19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. — Matt. 6:19-21 NIV
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 07-16-2018

Just Taste It!

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1 Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. — 1 Peter 2:1-3 NIV

Do you remember the first time in your life that “you tasted that the Lord is good”?

I actually don’t remember the date but I do remember that it was about 9 in the morning on a hot summer day and I could take you to the exact place that the Holy Spirit miraculously moved in my life and “saved me to the uttermost”. Tears of joy and relief streamed down my face so much that I had to stop on the side of the road and just praise God for His goodness. Since that time I have not lived a sinless life but I can tell you that when I do sin, it grieves the Holy Spirit, breaks the heart of God Himself and now, thanks to His enduring goodness, faithfulness and mercy, it breaks my heart as well.
His love motivates me to rid myself of all malice and sin of any and every kind. When I pray and receive the forgiveness that Jesus bought for me on Calvary, I taste again and again of His goodness and mercy. I crave His Word and a day without it would be a dark, dreary and lonely day. My heart’s desire is to know Him more and more every day. I look forward to the day when I can move from the “milk” of the Word to the “meat” of the Word, so I might grow to be the mature son He wants me to be. Nothing less and nothing more.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 04-16-2018

From Bondage to Freedom

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31 So, dear brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman; we are children of the free woman.- Gal. 4:31 NLT
Just as Ishmael mocked Isaac, the crowds had mocked and persecuted Jesus. Both Isaac and Jesus were born to fulfill a promise. Isaac was the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham. Even though both Abraham and Sara were well past child-bearing age, Isaac was born to them. Even though, Mary had never known a man she conceived and brought forth a Son. Jesus was a fulfillment of the promise that God would provide a Redeemer for His people. He would also be a Redeemer and Savior for all who would call upon His Name and accept Him as Lord of their life. Because of that, we who have accepted Jesus are children of the promise. Accepting Jesus and turning from the world, (the slave woman) we are no longer slaves in bondage to our fleshly desires. Even though we sometimes fail, it should be our heart’s desire not to stay fallen and return to our old habits. Jesus died that we might be free from those entanglements.
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.–Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV)

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

Post 01-12-2018

Showing Our Love By Our Actions

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Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  – James 2:8 NLT
We are all familiar with the commandment that Jesus called the second most important commandment. We believe it, but how do we walk that out in our everyday lives? How do we show the world around us that we love Jesus and that we love them? Of course, we can see those in need physically, financially and materially. We should always fulfill those needs as much as we possibly can. But what about those with spiritual needs? If our neighbor had a deadly disease and we had the cure, would we withhold it? Yet, there are those in our families, our circle of friends, and in our neighborhood, who have a deadly disease called sin.
15 Your desire grows inside you until it results in sin. Then the sin grows bigger and bigger and finally ends in death–James 1:15 (ERV)
 

We have the cure for that disease, why don’t we share it with everyone who has not accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior? Remember, we were once infected with that disease and someone shared the cure with us. “Go and do likewise”.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Post 05-29-2017

Not Me, Lord!

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13 And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong and he never tempts anyone else. ​ – James 1:13 NLT


God never tempts us. So, if God isn’t tempting us, then where do those temptations originate? That’s right, they come from 
our fleshly desires and from satan. We know that satan was allowed to tempt Jesus with promises of wealth and grandeur. Jesus, being human, yet perfect, did not give in to those temptations. Why? Because Jesus had one desire and that was to please our Father, God. We are not perfect, so when satan tempts us with his beautiful pictures of what could be if we only let him in, we give into those temptations. Why? Because our fleshly desires are stronger and more immediate than our desire to please God. We are enticed and we allow our desires to mislead us. We think that we can turn our desires off and on like a water fountain. But, we find that once we have compromised with satan, we lose control. Then that sinful idea or thought starts to happen more often and soon it takes on a life of its own. So, we grab a little pleasure here and a little pleasure there. Suddenly, those little pleasures have grabbed us and we can’t shake them. That is when sin latches onto us, takes us further than we want to go, and keeps us longer than we want to stay. Pride says “I would never”.  But reality says we did and we must confess our sins.  
Ask Peter.

 

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

Post 05-24-2017

Everyone, Everywhere, Every-time

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1 I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. — 1 Timothy 2:1 NLT

Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Paul instructs and encourages us to pray for all people continuously. We should intercede for family, friends, neighbors, and enemies that God would draw them to Himself through the Holy Spirit that they may be saved. We should especially pray for those in authority over us. Not just governmental authorities, but we should also pray for those in authority over us in our family, church, and workplace. Because it is God’s desire for everyone to be saved, it should also be our desire and our prayer. Jesus is the only Mediator between us and God because He loved us enough to be obedient, even to death on the Cross.This plan was put into place before the foundations of the world were laid. God was never surprised at the evil of humanity and knew even when He created us that He would have to give His only Son for our redemption. How magnificent and awesome is the love of God toward us! Our lips should be a source of constant praise for His goodness and mercy!

Psalm 63:1-5 NLT


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

Post 03-27-2017