Plenty of Good Water

7 It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. — 1 Cor. 3:7 NLT

1 Corinthians 3:5-11 NLT

Paul  compares our salvation to a seed that is planted.  When a seed is planted in dry ground, it must be watered regularly and continually.  When we accept Jesus as our Savior, He plants a seed of His love in our heart. For that love to grow, it needs to be watered by the washing of the Word on a regular basis. The soil needs to be exposed to the sun so it will be warm enough for the seed to germinate.  The seed that is planted in us must be exposed to the Son for it to germinate. If we spend time in the Word, God the Holy Spirit will cause that love to grow.  Our hearts will become more tender toward God and our fellow human beings.  How fast this change takes place depends on how much time we spend taking in the food and the water of the Word. If God is the one who makes the seed sprout and grow, then doesn’t it make sense that the seed has to be exposed to God on a regular basis. We do that by spending time alone with God.  While the names of the people that we allow to plant and water the seed are not important, their words and messages are very important.  Be sure the seed is good (only the name of Jesus) and that the water does not contain impurities that will hurt the young plant.

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

Post 04-18-2019

“Devote Ourselves to Good”

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This saying is trustworthy. I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have put their faith in God may devote themselves to good actions. These things are good and helpful to other people. ​- Titus 3:8 ISV​
Paul started chapter three by asking Titus to remind the church at Crete of certain things, such as  ”be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.”  In verses 2 and 3 ,he reminds them of how they used to act and in verses 4-9, he tells them why they should act differently now and in the future.  They have been saved from the wrath to come, redeemed from their sins and justified by the grace of God.  They are now heirs of God with the hope of eternal life. The same is true for us today. Because God has placed the Holy Spirit in us as an earnest of this hope, we can be sure of its fulfillment. These things still need to be stressed in today’s world, so that we will also devote ourselves to “doing what is good”.   Jesus said that He did the works of the Father and in the book of Acts, we read this verse:

38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him. ​ —  Acts 10:38 

So, “doing what is good” means to follow the example of what Jesus did while He was here on earth. The “works of the Father” are accomplished by living a lifestyle modeled after Jesus. A list of “works” would be very long but would definitely include witnessing and disciplining. We can’t do these works alone but, just as Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit and power, so are we.
Ask God today, what “good works” He has planned and purposed for your life. Then be obedient in following the leadership of the Holy Spirit in accomplishing those “good works” . Do not become disappointed if you don’t see immediate results. Just remember three things:
1. Not everyone accepted the message when Jesus gave it, so not everyone will accept it from you.
2. We are not responsible for the results, that is the work of the Holy Spirit.
3. Wherever we are and whatever we are doing, we are witnessing for good or for evil, which one will we choose?
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 07-24-2018

Redeeming the Time

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11 This is all the more urgent, for you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. – Romans 13:11 NLT
 
Over the centuries, Christians have received a lot of criticism because many have tried to predict the time when Jesus will return.  Jesus specifically told us in His Word that no one but the Father knew the day and the hour. Even so, it is our eternal hope and we look forward expectantly for His return.  It is certainly true that regardless of when, we know that the completion of our salvation “is nearer now than when we first believed”.  We don’t need to waste our time and energy on trying to figure out when Jesus will return.  We don’t need to waste out time trying to gratify the flesh which can never get enough. Yes, everyone needs to earn a living and take care of those things that God has made us stewards over, But, and much more importantly, we need to spend a lot more of the time God has allotted us here on earth in worshiping God, praising God and disciplining others to be ready at all times. We are never on neutral ground, we are in a war zone constantly.  We need to fight the good fight clothed with the armor of God and the righteousness of Jesus Christ.

36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For, “In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.” — Hebrews 10:36, 37 NIV

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

Post 04-26-2018

Clean It Up!

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12 It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. — 1 Cor. 5:12

A few generations ago, when someone in the church membership was known to be living a lifestyle of sin and that fact was affirmed by two or three witnesses, that person was first warned and counseled by the leaders of the church.  If he/she refused to change their ways, they were brought before the congregation for disciplining.  When they were found guilty and refused to repent, they were asked to leave the church.  It is not only scriptural for us to do that but it is our responsibility to do it.  First, we must make sure that there is no yeast in ourselves and then we can judge those of the household of faith.  It is not our responsibility or business to judge non-Christians, that is God’s business and He will take care of it in His own time.  A church body with sin in it is a weak body and it will not attract unbelievers to Christ.  In fact, outsiders will turn away from that body because of the hypocrisy.  We, as church bodies, don’t do this much anymore.  I believe that is one of the biggest reasons for the decline in church memberships and that fewer people attend church.  Let us be sure that we are not living a lifestyle of sin ourselves and then make sure that any yeast or leaven is removed from the church body.  No one wants to be around a body that is going through the process of putrefaction.  We need to clean it up and shine for our Lord and Savior, that light will attract others to Christ.

Post 08-24-2016

Joy Unspeakable

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7  And though you started with little,  you will end with much.. Job 8:7 NLT
Bildad also wrongly assumes that Job has committed some transgression and God is disciplining Job for  that sin.  But Bildad is correct in the statement that he makes.  “But if you pray to God and seek the favor of the Almighty, and if you are pure and live with integrity, He will surely rise up and restore your happy home”.  And his statement in verse 7 above turns out to be a prophecy for Job.  Job definitely ends up with twice as much as he had in the beginning.  If we faithfully persevere in the times of testing, we will be blessed here on earth.  The greatest of these blessings is not material possessions or anything that money can buy.  It is the peace and the joy that comes from knowing that we are pleasing our heavenly Father. From my own personal experience, I can testify that there is a peace that each of us can access that is different from what the world knows as peace. It is a peace that will guard our hearts and our minds.  It is a peace that keeps from thinking those thoughts that satan would use to destroy us. It is a peace that assures us that we are not alone now and we will never be alone.  Although the peace you have now may be little, focus on Jesus and you will have abundant peace and joy that is truly unspeakable.
Post 06-23-2016