“For the Good of Others”

24 Don’t be concerned for your own good but for the good of others. – 1 Cor. 10:24 NLT

1 Cor. 10:23-26 NLT

We are born with a free will, but as we get older we realize that our choices are controlled by our fleshly desires.  If we wish to be truly free, we need someone to free us from the bondage of sin and fleshly desires.  Jesus came to do just that, When we accept Him as our Savior and Lord, we are free indeed and can choose to do whatever we please.  We have the right to do anything, but we will soon learn that that attitude is not pleasing to God because He realizes that not all things are good for us or the body of Christ. Some choices are destructive and harmful to ourselves and others. As we mature in our spiritual walk, we start to understand that our love for Him should constrain us from making those bad choices. Yes, we can eat anything and we can do anything. But are those choices beneficial to us and the Kingdom?  The Kingdom of God is not about our fleshly desires, it is about serving others. We should show our love for God by loving others and showing that love by our actions.

17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.–Romans 14:17-18 NIV


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

“Remove the Evil Person”

13 God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you. – 1 Cor. 5:13 NLT

1 Cor. 5:9-13 NLT

Paul is not suggesting that we never associate with worldly people whose lives are controlled by their fleshly desires. Just as Jesus said, we “are in the world but not of the world”. We hold ourselves to different standards. We are not to think of ourselves as “better than” nor are we to think of ourselves as “holier than” anyone. What we are to do is to separate ourselves from our Christian brothers and sisters who have chosen to live unholy lifestyles. We are as Paul puts it to “expel the wicked person from among you.” This seems harsh to us. We had rather hide behind verses such as “judge not lest you be judged” and “pull the plank out of your own eye before you point out the toothpick in your brother’s eye”. (my paraphrase) We must keep the Temple of Christ clean and holy.

1 Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.—2 Cor. 7:1 NIV

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

“Following Their Own Desires”

3 Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires.– 2 Peter 3:1-4 NLT

2 Peter 3:1-4 NLT

We are to be in the world, but “not of this world”. While it is true that we need to be cognizant of the things going on around us everyday, we should not allow those things to weight us down. With all the bad news we are subjected to everyday, how do we avoid negative thinking? We do what Peter suggested here, we refresh our memories of all of God’s promises and how He has never failed or gone back on His word. When satan tempted Jesus, Jesus rebuked him with the Word of God. We must be so grounded in the Word, that we do the same thing. We must remember that even Jesus said He did not know when the end would come.

32 “However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows. 33 And since you don’t know when that time will come, be on guard! Stay alert!—Mark 13:32,33 (NLT)

Yes, there are those that mock and say “Oh, I have heard that for years and Jesus still hasn’t come back.” While that statement is true today, it may not be true tomorrow. We do not need to waste our time trying to figure out when Jesus will come back. We have plenty to do while we wait. We must be on guard against the wiles of the devil and we must stay alert! Do not be deceived, Jesus will come back at the appointed time. We just need to stay ready.

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

Post 01-19-2020

“Don’t Slip Back Into Your Old Ways”

14 So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. – 1 Peter 1:14 NLT

1 Peter 1:13-16 NLT

When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we become a new Creation. Before that change, we were controlled by fleshly lusts. We did what “self” wanted to do without exercising self-control. Now that we are a new creation, we walk in the Spirit and do those things that are in obedience to Christ. Are we now perfect? No! But we are striving toward that mark. Will we fall short? Yes, but the blood of Jesus has covered those sins. Now that we know the right things to do, we must pursue them and not go back to our old ways. Our lifestyle should reflect our new destination. People who have known us should be able to see a difference in the way we walk and talk. The things that used to occupy the highest priorities in our lives should be further down the list. There are some things we should want to give up immediately and others need to be moved way down our list of priorities. We need to take an inventory and honestly find out where Jesus is on our list of priorities. Jesus is not in a contest with other “gods”. He will accept nothing less than the top shelf, He is either “Lord of all” or He is not “Lord at all” in our lives.

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

Post 01-09-2020

“Elijah Was As Human As We Are”

17 Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years! ​ – James 5:17 NLT

James 5:13- 18 NLT

Of course, we know that God already knows our needs and our situation, but He has instructed us to ask and keep on asking. Jesus told the story of the persistent woman and the unjust judge. She kept pestering the judge until he gave her what she was requesting. God does not always give us what we ask, because sometimes we ask for things that we don’t need. Psalm 37:4 tells us that if we delight ourselves in the Lord, He will give us the desires of our hearts. Have you ever noticed that sometimes, when you pray fervently that what you end up asking from God is not what you were thinking about when you first started praying? That is when you can know that “the desires of your heart” have aligned with God’s Word and His will. Then the answer is always yes. But, if our desires don’t line up, then we often get a “no” or “wait”. Some people say that it is a cop out to pray “nevertheless not my will, but Yours be done”. But that is what Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. So, if He set the example, it is a good pattern to follow.

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

Post 01-05-2020

“Your Motives Are All Wrong”

3 And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.– James 4:3 NLT

James 4:1-3 NLT

God always answers our prayers. He answers us in one of four different ways.

1. Do it now–and of course that is the answer we want so we recognize it right away.
2. Delay–It wasn’t what we wanted to hear so we assume God didn’t answer our prayer.
3. Don’t do it – I’m not hearing that so God must not have answered
​.
4. Dynamically Different–He answers in such a better and highly effective way than what we anticipated that we don’t recognize it as His answer.

When our prayers are from wrong motives and for selfish reason, His answer is always no. Then, because of our pride, we get angry with God and accuse Him of all sorts of things. God understands that anger and when you get through pouting and ask Him, He will forgive you. God is not bound by our desires or our timetable. Even the “yes” answers are not always immediate. We have to wait on His timing. Do we really want our answer or would we prefer God’s answer?  Remember in​ ​1 Kings 19:3-5  when Elijah prayed “I have had enough, Lord, just take my life.”?  Then think of how God answered that prayer in 2 Kings 2:9-12 when God took him up in a chariot of fire!  If God had taken Elijah’s life when Elijah wanted him to, Elisha would not have been trained to become Elijah’s replacement and Elisha would never have seen all the great miracles. God answered Elijah’s prayer in a way far better than Elijah could have thought of or dared to ask. So when we don’t get the answer we want or it is not in the time frame we wanted relax, God is still in control.

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

Post 12-30-2019

“He Never Tempts Anyone”

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

James 1:13-16 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.

Luke 22:60-62 NLT

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

Post 12-17-2019

“Worthy of His Kingdom”

5 And God will use this persecution to show his justice and to make you worthy of his Kingdom, for which you are suffering.— 2 Thess. 1:5 NLT

2 Thess. 1:3-10 NLT

Most Christians in the Western World have not experienced the kind of persecution to which Paul is referring. Probably the worst persecution that we receive is losing (temporarily, hopefully) the friendship of someone close to us because of our belief in the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Here, Paul is talking about those early Christians who gave their lives for the Gospel. I would guess that most of us have wondered, at some time or other, how far we would go for the Gospel. Would I really lay down my life for Jesus?  Paul tells us that we should consider our physical bodies as dead already. 

3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.– Col. 3:3 NKJV

Since this is true, we should consider our physical bodies already dead. But our Spirit will always be alive because of what Jesus did for us at Calvary. So, if we are attempting to live the lifestyle that Jesus wants us to, isn’t the decision already made? We agreed to die with Christ and mortify (put to death) our fleshly desires so that we will be raised with Christ in our new immortal bodies. It is all about faith and trust. Will God do what He said or not? The answer is “Yes, of course, He will.” In His mercy, He will protect and perfect us and in His justice, He will repay the persecutors.

Romans 12:19-21 NLT

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

Post 10-14-2019

“God Has Already Taught You”

9 We do not need to write you about having love for your Christian family, because God has already taught you to love each other. — 1 Thess. 4:9 NCV

1 Thess. 4:9-12 NCV

Before we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we were ruled by our own fleshly desires. Flesh does not want to love others or help them in any way. Flesh is a “selfie”, it is all about me, me, me. After we accepted Jesus, God’s Spirit came to abide in us. Now, we are walking after the Spirit and not the flesh. God’s Spirit teaches us to love one another. As we mature in our walk with God, we should be learning to love more and more. As we love others more, we learn to first look at our faults and the areas we need to improve. If we do this in light of the Scriptures, we find that we have less time to meddle and gossip. This leads to a more peaceful life. We need to stay focused on Jesus and what He has called us to do, so that outsiders see the love we display and they will be drawn to Jesus.

1 John 4:7-12 NCV

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

Post 10-12-2019

“Christ Is All That Matters”

Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us  — Col. 3:11b NLT

Col. 3:9-15 NLT

As Christ becomes more real to us, and as we learn to be obedient to the urging of His Spirit abiding in us, we realize more and more, the weaknesses we have and our inability to control them. Until we can say “I can’t but Jesus can”, we will always have these temptations of the flesh. We have to allow Jesus to control our urges and desires. The more we allow Him to do so, that much more of our sinful nature is stripped away and we put on more of His nature. It doesn’t matter what your ethnicity or your past is. The only thing that matters is Christ in us. Since we are God’s holy people, we must clothe ourselves with His characteristics. Love, mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience is what Jesus looks like. What about us, what do people see when they look at us?

Gal. 5:22-26 NLT

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

Post 09/27/2019