Abundance and Contentment

even-smaller-bug-light1

10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. — John 10:10 NKJV

When we hear the term abundant, our minds quickly turn to material possessions, position, and money.  Those things have little to do with abundant living in the Biblical sense.  The list of millionaires, actors, and other famous people that have committed suicide in the prime of their lives proves this to be true.  Perhaps, we need to rethink what brings true joy in this present time and in the future.  It needs to be someone or something that is steadfast, true and unchangeable.  It must be someone or something we can have with us all the time.  It must be someone or something that we have instant access to whether we are having a “good” day or a “bad” day. It must be someone or something that is affordable whether we are rich or poor.  God knows that we need money, food and things to make the journey but He also knows that dependence on those things will not bring us joy or peace.  We need friends but they can’t be with us every second of every day.  What we really, really need is to learn to access the shalom kind of peace that Jesus bought for us at Calvary.  If we can’t trust Him for our daily bread, how can we trust Him with our souls for eternity?   Abundant living is an attitude of the heart.  You can’t buy it with all the money in the world, a friend can’t give it to you, a doctor might prescribe it but the pharmacy can’t fulfill the prescription.  It only comes when we learn the lesson that Paul learned,  “not that I was ever in need”.

11 Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. 12 I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. 13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. — Phil. 4:11-13 NLT

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

Post 10-02-2018

“Praise to the One Who Gave Us His Son”

even-smaller-bug-light1

3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. — 1 Peter 1: 3-​5​ NIV

Because of what Jesus has done for us, we owe Him everything and yet we owe Him nothing. Our salvation is free and can’t be purchased, so, in that sense we owe Him nothing.  But in the sense that we can be nothing and have nothing without Jesus, we owe Him everything. We owe Him praise, honor and glory at all times. We owe Him our allegiance and our faithfulness. We have to go through trials and hardships here on earth but we have an inheritance laid up for us in heaven.  This inheritance gives us a living hope that we are totally secure here and now and for eternity. We are saved now but we will not realize the full extent of what that means until we are at home with Jesus for eternity. But we do know enough to know that we owe Him all of our praises, so let’s just praise Him continuously.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

 

Post 04-11-2018

Is He Your King and Lord of All?

even-smaller-bug-light1

33 Then Pilate went back into his headquarters and called for Jesus to be brought to him. “Are you the king of the Jews?” he asked him. – John 18:33-37

”Are you the King of the Jews?” The question that Pilate asked or similar questions are still being debated today. Jesus answers with a question of His own. “Is that your question or did others tell you about me?” It is almost as if Jesus is asking Pilate, “do you care or are you just curious because others have asked that question?” Do you really want to know who I am? Pilate avoids answering the question by saying he is not one of the Jews and asks Jesus another question. “What have you done wrong?” Jesus answers by telling Pilate about His kingdom and His servants. He explains that His kingdom is in another place. Pilate responds with “So you are a King!” What is our response today? We may say, “Of course, Jesus is the King of the Jews!” But that answer avoids the real question: “Is Jesus the King in our lives here and now?” He is Lord of all or He is not Lord at all. He will not accept being the Number One God in our lives, He will only accept being the only God in our lives. Jesus died for our sins, how could we offer Him anything less than everything we have and everything we are?

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

Post 12-04-2017

Every Day Is Thanksgiving Day

even-smaller-bug-light1

20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, – Ephesians​ 5:20 ESV


God knows that we have work to do and relationships to maintain, so how can we “always” be giving thanks? I think we have to put this verse with the verse in 1 Thess. 5:17 where Paul tells us to “pray without ceasing”. To give God thanks always and to pray without ceasing are not commands for us to go around orally praying and giving thanks at all times. Neither do our prayers and thanksgiving have to be with lots of fancy words. One of my favorite prayers in the Bible is Peter’s prayer when he takes his eyes off Jesus and starts to sink in the sea. “Lord, save me”. That prayer was very short and effective. Our lifestyle, which is determined by our thought patterns, should always be one that is ready to pray and give thanks. We should be as quick to say “Thank you, Lord” in the good times as we are to say “Save me, Lord” in the rough times.

​1. ​I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.–Psalm 34:1 (ESV)
3 Because your steadfast love is better than life,​ my lips will praise you.
4 So I will bless you as long as I live;​ in your name I will lift up my hands.
5 My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,–Psalm 63:3-5 (ESV)
8 Bless our God, O peoples;​ let the sound of his praise be heard–Psalm 66:8 (ESV)

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

Post 11-23-2017

 

No Favorites

even-smaller-bug-light1

17 And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. — 1 Peter 1:17 NLT

1 Peter 1:17-21 NLT

We will all be judged for what we do and we will all be judged by the same standards. Jesus paid the exact same price for each of us. No one person is more valuable to Him than any other person. Because of the price He paid, we all owe Him everything. Giving Him everything does not even scratch the surface of what we owe Him. He paid a debt that we could never pay. While we were still leading those sinful lives filled with nothing, He loved us enough to shed His blood for us. Because of that and the example He set for us, we have come to trust in God. The God that has never broken a single promise and has never gone back on His Word. He is the Rock on which we can plant our feet and never be moved. He holds the future in His hands, therefore we have eternal hope because He raised Christ from the dead. He can also raise us from the dead and one day He will do just that. Without that hope, we of all people would be the most miserable. So let us continuously give Him praise and glory all day, every day!

15 Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name. 16 And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God. —Hebrews 13;15-16 NLT

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

Post 06-16-2017

Trust in God Alone

even-smaller-bug-light1

 18 Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. – 1 Timothy 6:18 NLT
 

We should never put our trust in money, men, or any earthly thing or person. We should trust in God alone. He gives us everything we need.
3 As we know Jesus better, his divine power gives us everything we need for living a godly life. He has called us to receive his own glory and goodness!—2 Peter 1:3 (NLT)
We should use those resources to do good works and help our neighbors and others who are in need. Using God’s blessings to help others is laying up rewards in heaven. We should guard (use wisely) every gift and resource God puts at our disposal. If we spend our time studying God’s Word and doing good as Jesus did, we will find it is much easier to avoid foolish discussions and quarrels with those around us.
And now, dear brothers and sisters, we give you this command in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Stay away from all believers who live idle lives and don’t follow the tradition they received from us.–2 Thessalonians 3:6 (NLT)

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

Post 04-03-2017

God Answers Every Prayer!

even-smaller-bug-light1

13 And I will also give you what you did not ask for—riches and fame! No other king in all the world will be compared to you for the rest of your life!  — 1 Kings 3:13 NLT
It has been said that when we get to heaven, if we should ask God why He didn’t answer our prayers, He will show us a list of all the prayers we have ever prayed and His answer to each one.  Then, He will show us a list of all the prayers we should have prayed but didn’t and His answer to all of those.  The list that we prayed will be in the thousands and the list we should have prayed will be in the tens or hundreds of thousands.  Why are we so hesitant to ask God for everything that we need?  No, He isn’t some heavenly Santa needing a list of our needs, but He does want us to ask.  We need to realize that every breath we take is an answer to prayer.  God owes us nothing, but He wants to give us everythng.  The old expression that “God helps those who help themselves” is not Biblical.  God wants us to be totally dependent on Him for our needs.  As long as we think that we can do it ourselves, He will allow us to struggle.  We must reach the same point that Solomon reached and admit to God, that we can’t.  As Solomon asked, “how can one man do this?”,  we need to admit to God that we can do nothing without Him and that we believe with all of our hearts that we can do all things through Him.  It is at this point of need and full realization that we are helpless, that God can move in and use the full force of heaven to accomplish what needs to be done.  When we feel that God has not answered our prayers, He has either said “No” or “Wait for my timing”.  That is the two answers we don’t want to hear, so we just say that God hasn’t answered.  Instead of rebeling and complaining, we need to use that time of waiting to prepare for what God is going to give us that we didn’t ask for.  After all, He gave us the most precious and expensive gift He could give when He gave us His Son, why would He withhold anything else?
32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? — Romans 8:32 NLT
Post 04-28-2016