“No Other Name”

12 There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”  — Acts 4: 12 NLT

Acts 4;8-13 NLT

This verse is probably one of the best known verses in the Bible.  It may be very well-known but we had best not get complacent about it.  Do we believe what this verse says?  Is there really only one Name under heaven whereby we can be saved?  Would you stake your life on it?  In today’s society with its anti-Christian bent, we had better be sure we believe it if we are going to stand up for Jesus because there are thousands of our brothers and sisters around the world who are doing just that–giving their lives for Jesus.  If we believe then why do we get so mealy-mouthed around the religious people of the world? There is not one religion that makes this claim, only Christianity. Our beliefs had better be rooted in Jesus and our lives built on Him.  Otherwise, when the storms come and the winds of doubt and fear start beating us up, we will fall.  If you read the full passage above, then you will know that verse thirteen says that the council of leaders knew that Peter and John “had been with Jesus”.  Isn’t  that what we want others to see in us?  Enough of the likeness of Jesus that they will know that we have spent some time with Jesus.  Jesus died for all sinners, we owe it to Him to let the whole world know.  Are we ready to stand up, speak up and die if we have to?  Let us all pray that if that time comes in our lives that we will be ready to meet the challenge and joyfully go home to be with Jesus.

“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 03-01-2019

“Why Are Your Hearts Filled With Doubt?”

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38 “Why are you frightened?” he asked. “Why are your hearts filled with doubt?  — Luke 24:38 NLT
As the two men who had met Jesus on the road to Emmaus were sharing their story with the disciples, Jesus suddenly appeared among them.  Jesus spoke to them and said “Peace be with you”.  But they were startled and frightened, how could this be?   After three years of walking with Jesus and hearing His teachings on a daily basis, the disciples were still not convinced that Jesus would really be resurrected.  They thought they were looking at a ghost.  Jesus told them to look closely and see that it was really Him.  He invited them to touch Him and know that He was real.  Still, they were not fully convinced, so Jesus asked for something to eat.  We can wonder at the unbelief and lack of faith of the disciples but we show that same unbelief and lack of faith when we are fearful and worry about things.  We need to examine ourselves and ask ourselves the same questions that Jesus asked the disciples, “why are we frightened and why are our hearts filled with doubt”?  God has told us over 365 times in the Bible in one form or the other, :“DO NOT FEAR!”.  Yet, is there a day that goes by that we do not express fear and doubt with our words and/or actions?  Instead of accessing the peace and the joy that Jesus has promised and is waiting to give each of us so that we can enjoy today with Him, we obsess over what MIGHT happen tomorrow.  If we really believe that Jesus can and will provide our every need, then we should just rest in His arms and allow Him to do exactly what He said He would do.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 12-29-2018

You Can’t Get Anymore Saved

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31 And there was great joy throughout the church that day as they read this encouraging message. — Acts 15:31 NLT
 
 
“There was great joy” when the people were told that they had done the one necessary thing they needed to do to be saved.  When we are first saved in today’s society, we need to be very careful who we listen to.  As Paul said, “if anyone, including an angel from heaven and/or me, comes to you and gives you some different message, that person should be cursed.”  Gal. 1:6 (my paraphrase}. The letter did go on to give the new converts some guidelines as to what they should or should not do. The letter did not claim that these guidelines had to be followed to complete their salvation.  It is still the same today, when we personally witness to someone who accepts Jesus as their Savior, we need to take a few minutes and give them some encouragement and guidelines as well.  We need to explain to them that satan will waste no time in trying to discourage them and make them doubt their salvation.  We need to encourage them to find a good Bible teaching church and a good mentor to help them along the way.  After the initial acceptance of Jesus as our Savior, we need someone to help us understand that the Holy Spirit will come alongside us and help us learn to “walk in paths of righteousness”.  
Post 07-06-2016

The Narrow Way

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12 There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”  — Acts 4: 12 NLT

This verse is probably one of the best known verses in the Bible.  It may be very well-known but we had best not get complacent about it.  Do we believe what this verse says?  Is there really only one Name under heaven whereby we can be saved?  Would you stake your life on it?  In today’s society with its anti-Christian bent, we had better be sure we believe it if we are going to stand up for Jesus because there are thousands of our brothers and sisters around the world who are doing just that–giving their lives for Jesus.  If we believe then why do we get so mealy-mouthed around the religious people of the world?  There is not one religion that makes this claim, only Christianity. Our beliefs had better be rooted in Jesus and our lives built on Him.  Otherwise, when the storms come and the winds of doubt and fear start beating us up, we will fall.  If you read the full passage above, then you will know that verse thirteen says that the council of leaders knew that Peter and John “had been with Jesus”.  Isn’t  that what we want others to see in us?  Enough of the likeness of Jesus that they will know that we have spent some time with Jesus.  Jesus died for all sinners, we owe it to Him to let the whole world know.  Are we ready to stand up, speak up and die if we have to?  Let us all pray that if that time comes in our lives that we will be ready to meet the challenge and joyfully go home to be with Jesus.

Go and Make Disciples! – Part 1

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19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.– Matt. 28:19 NLT
 
We are all very familiar with the Great Commission that Jesus gave His disciples.  Luke tells us that shortly after this, Jesus ascends leaving the disciples without the only leader they had ever known. If we had been there and been one of the disciples of Jesus, what would our initial repsonse have been?  If it were anything similar to what I believe mine would have been, it would have caused me to ask a lot of questions.  Where do I start, which direction do I go, who is going to support me as I make the trip and who is going to take care of my family while I am gone?  I don’t have any speeches prepared to present to the people, what will I say?  I’m not prepared to go on some long journey to some place I have never been and I haven’t prepared my family for such a venture.  I would not only be doubting my abilities to carry out this mission (which is totally true}, I would be doubting God’s ability to enable me to carry out His mission (which is totally wrong and therfore sinful).  I would be doubting His ability to provide for me and to take care of me.  I would be saying “God is able” but my thoughts and my actions would be saying “I don’t really believe that”.
As true believers, our response should not be one of worry and doubt but of agreement, just as Isaiah said when God asked HIm “who shall we send?” and Isaiah answers “Here am I, Lord, send me.”.
 
Post 06-08-2016

What A Friend

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20 “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. — John 17:20 NLT

John 17:20-26 NLT

What an encouraging thought it is to know that almost two thousand years ago, our Lord and Savior,  Jesus Christ was praying for us.  He prayed for us then and even now, He is at the right hand of the Father interceding for us.  He is still praying the same prayer.   He wants us to  “all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you.”   Not only is Jesus interceding on our behalf, but the Holy Spirit is praying for us.  When we reach that point in prayer where words can’t express what we feel in our hearts, the Holy Spirit prays for us with “groanings that cannot be expressed”.  

Romans 8:26-28 NLT

God, our Father, is waiting to hear from us and to answer us, knowing our weakness, He planned for His Son and HIs Spirit to do for us what we could not do for ourselves.   The Triune God, the Trinity, works as One to be sure that our prayers are heard and answered.  There is no Friend so faithful in assuring that His plans for each of us will be successful.  He plans our lives, He prays for our lives and He always completes His plan. He causes everything to work together.

Why do we doubt and worry?  Repent and rejoice!

Post 06-04-2016

 

He Can And He Will!!

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38 “Why are you frightened?” he asked. “Why are your hearts filled with doubt?  — Luke 24:38 NLT
As the two men who had met Jesus on the road to Emmaus were sharing their story with the disciples, Jesus suddenly appeared among them.  Jesus spoke to them and said “Peace be with you”.  But they were startled and frightened, how could this be?   After three years of walking with Jesus and hearing HIs teachings on a daily basis, the disciples were still not convinced that Jesus would really be resurrected.  They thought they were looking at a ghost.  Jesus told them to look closely and see that it was really HIm.  He invited them to touch Him and know that He was real.  Still, they were not fully convinced, so Jesus asked for something to eat.  We can wonder at the unbelief and lack of faith of the disciples but we show that same unbelief and lack of faith when we are fearful and worry about things.  We need to examine ourselves and ask ourselves the same questions that Jesus asked the disciples, “why are we frightened and why are our hearts filled with doubt”?  God has told us over 365 times in the Bible in one form or the other, :“DO NOT FEAR!”.  Yet, is there a day that goes by that we do not express fear and doubt with our words and/or actions?  Instead of accessing the peace and the joy that Jesus has promised and is waiting to give each of us so that we can enjoy today with Him, we obsess over what MIGHT happen tomorrow.  If we really believe that Jesus can and will provide our every need, then we should just rest in His arms and allow Him do exactly what He said He would do.
Post 05-03-2016

The Whole Sandwich

even-smaller-bug-light1 23 I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. 24 I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours. — Mark 11:23, 24 NLT

These are two well-known and often quoted verses from the Bible.  Of course, we know the basic principle of God answering prayer is true.  But, can we just randomly pick a mountain, ask God to cast it into the sea and watch it immediately happen?  Of course not.  We might not like the mountain where it is but there might be a million other people who love it and perhaps even God Himself might like the mountain where it is.  If God has told us to pray that prayer about a specific problem, then that mountain will be moved.  But the important thing for us to notice and remember with these two verses is the fact that they are the meat between two slices of bread​.  
We ​can’t just have the meat, we ​have to eat the whole sandwich. ​ ​ Look at the principle in verse 22:
22 Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God.”

There is a requirement that God has laid out for us before we ask Him to move the mountain.  And then verse 24 gives us another requirement that we must fulfill before we ask God for anything:
25 But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.

And there are some veggies that need to be eaten as well,  Have we determined that what we are asking for aligns with all the Scriptures, not just our favorite ones?  If we have met the requirements for God to answer our prayer —
 ​believing (being completely convinced that it will happen)​, forgiveness and alignment with His will, then the mountain will move.
Post 02-15-2016

Doubt Defeated

even-smaller-bug-light118  John’s disciples told him about all these things. Calling two of them, 19  he sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”  20 When the men came to Jesus, they said, “John the Baptist sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?’” — Luke 7:18-20 NIV

John the Baptist is the one who had announced that Jesus was the Son of God and had baptized Jesus in the Jordan River.  He saw the dove come down and heard the voice from on high saying “this is my Son in whom I am well pleased”.  Yet, sometime later, when John was in prison, he began to wonder about this man, Jesus. “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” When things are out of whack and it seems like God isn’t in control, I read these verses and I am encouraged.  After the questions, Jesus had this to say about John and us:

28 I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” — Luke 7:28 NIV

And there was Thomas who is remembered for doubting.  He was not rebuked by the Lord but was allowed to touch Him and confirm that Jesus was Jesus.  I have never been quite sure why Thomas was pointed out since all of the group had expressed doubt by their actions or lack thereof.  And what did Jesus have to say to Thomas?

29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” — John 20:29 NIV

Those that had been with Jesus had doubts and Jesus reassured them with tenderness and love.  We have Jesus in the form of the Holy Spirit.  He reassures us with that same tenderness and love.  Ask, if you must, but believe that it is true. Jesus quoted the Old Testament which should remove any dobut about its authenticity.  If He accepts it as truth, we can be confident in doing the same thing.

11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. — John 14:11 NIV

Post 01-07-2016

Are We Fully Persuaded?

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

38 Again feeling very upset, Jesus came to the tomb. It was a cave with a large stone covering the entrance. 39 Jesus said, “Move the stone away.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said, “But, Lord, it has been four days since he died. There will be a bad smell.” 40 Then Jesus said to her, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” 41 So they moved the stone away from the entrance. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you heard me. 42 I know that you always hear me, but I said these things because of the people here around me. I want them to believe that you sent me.” 43 After Jesus said this, he cried out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with pieces of cloth, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take the cloth off of him and let him go.”
—John 11:38-44 (NCV)

​Just imagine this scene! A crowd standing at a tomb, which was a cave covered by a large stone. Some were crying, some were doubting, all of them, I am sure, wondering what Jesus was going to do next. Is it any wonder that Jesus had cried earlier? He was surrounded by a sea of unbelief. It would have been particularly hurtful because the ones who knew Him and He loved so much were also doubting. But, thank God, Lazarus didn’t have to depend on the faith of all those people or he would never have come out of that grave. Picture the look on their faces when Jesus said “Lazarus, come forth!’ Their attitude went from one of doubt to amazement! Some of them were even convinced that Jesus was really who He said He was. “Let Him go!” There must have been some rejoicing there that day in Bethany! STOP! Now, picture yourself in that same crowd that same day. In which group do you see yourself? Do you come there as a believer or a doubter? Do you leave there as a believer or a doubter? Fast forward to “now”. In which group are we now? Are we fully persuaded?
Post 01-10-2015