“Openly Declaring Your Faith”

10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved — Romans 10:10 NLT

Romans 10:9-15 NLT

We, who have been chosen by God and saved by His gift of Jesus dying on the cross, have a great responsibility to carry the message forward. We have received the commission and we must go forth. Not everyone will be glad to hear the Good News and not everyone will accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. But that does not relieve us of our responsibility to tell it everywhere we go. We are told that the angels in heaven rejoice greatly when a lost soul comes home. So, let’s make it our goal to keep the angels rejoicing continuously by leading people to Jesus Christ. Then when Jesus welcomes us home, we can just join in the festivities.

Luke 15:8-10 MSG

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

Post 07-16-2019

“When Your Faith Is Tested”

3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. — James 1:3 NLT

James 1:2-5 NLT

Some people seem to believe that God allows us to be tempted to prove something to Him.  He never tempts us. (James 1:13)  He does, however, allow us to be tested by situations.  The testing that He allows in our lives is for our benefit.  God already knows what our response will be, but the tests allow us to know where we are in our journey with God.  If we wallow in self-pity in the testing, our flesh allows the tests to turn into temptations.  When we are tested, we have to make a decision to trust God with the outcome or try to fix it ourselves.  If we fix it, it is always a temporary fix and we soon find ourselves back in the same old situation. If we allow God to deliver us from our troubles, we will grow in our walk with Him and He can trust us with bigger things.  We are His creation and it is His right to allow the tests. The tests are always for our benefit and the outcome makes us stronger. The most fertile ground is in the lowest valley, that is where faith is put to the test. We are His prized possessions and He would never do anything to harm us. A baby will never learn to crawl or walk if we carry it all the time. Thank God that He trusts us enough to allow the tests. The testing God allows is to make us stronger and wiser.  As we mature, God is able to use us more effectively in growing His Kingdom here on earth. If we don’t take care of the little things, He cannot trust us with bigger things.

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

Post 07-02-2019

“Why Are You Afraid?”

38 Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown? — Mark 4:38 NLT

Mark 4:35-41 NLT

I wonder how many sermons we have heard preached on this passage of scripture from Mark.
Some emphasize how frightened the disciples are, others question why Jesus would sleep during the storm or how He could sleep during the storm.  We have heard that when we are in the storm, God will calm the storm or He will calm us.  But I wonder if we are missing the real point of this story. Look at what Jesus said to His disciples:

“Why are you  afraid? Do you still have no  faith?”

I wonder if what Jesus really wanted to know was if the disciples had enough faith in Him to take care of them in the storm, no matter how high the waves.  In our lives, do we trust God to take care of us when the wind is blowing hard against our sails and the waves threaten to sink our boat?  Does it matter how strong the waves are when we are anchored in the SOLID ROCK? If God chooses not to calm our present storm, He will deliver us in the storm or through the storm. We just need to keep your eyes and thoughts focused on Jesus, not on the storm.  Peter was able to walk on the water as long as He was focused on Jesus but he begin to sink when he focused on the wind and the strong waves.  

Matt. 14:24-31 NLT

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

Post 06-12-2019

“I AM Present With You”

30 There is only one God, and he makes people right with himself only by faith, whether they are Jews or Gentiles. — Romans 3:30 NLT
Romans 3:23-31 NLT 
“There is only one God”, the great “I AM that I AM”, Yahweh.  Yahweh is the third person form of the Hebrew root word, haya.  It actually could be translated as “I am present with you”.  God has been with us in one way or another ever since He created us.  No religion can make that claim about the god they serve regardless of what name they call their deity.  We come to know our God through Jesus Christ.  We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.  Jesus said there is only one way to the Father and that was through Him.  Jesus also said that to know Him was to know the Father as well.  John 14:6, 7 NLT  The Holy Spirit calls all of us regardless of what we may call ourselves here on earth.  He calls us to come to Jesus, accept Jesus and become one of the family of God.  Once we have done this, the Holy Spirit abides within us.  Though we sometimes may feel lonely because of a lack of being with those we love, we can never truly be alone again.  We are a new creation, we have a new family and we have a new friend who is with us constantly.  This new friend is unique in many ways. He is really three friends in one.  He is our Father, our Brother and our constant Companion.  If we allow Him to do so, He can fill every void in our heart.

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

Post 03-31-2019

“Prayer That Pleases Him”

14 And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. 15 And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.  — 1 John 5:14, 15 NLT

I believe God has obligated Himself to answer every prayer that a Christian prays.  I also believe that He does answer every prayer in one of four ways: Yes, No, Wait or gives a completely different answer than we expected and we don’t recognize the event(s) as the answer.  It would be foolish to think that God would give a positive answer to any request that required Him to violate His own Word or to give us something that would not be the best for us.  Just as parents, we realize that our kids often ask for things that aren’t good for them and we have to say “no”,  how much better does our heavenly Father understand and know what is best for us.  His great love for us requires Him to only give us His best.  The words we use or the format of the prayer are not the important things.  What is important is whether or not we have un-confessed sin in our lives.  Sin separates us from God and moves us from His umbrella of protection.  How much faith is required?  I believe that if we have enough faith to ask God for something, that is enough faith.  God has made precious promises to His children and He has never failed in doing exactly what He said He would do.  The fulfillment of those promises is based on His faithfulness, not ours.

32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?  — Romans 8:32 NIV

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

Post 03-08-2019

“By Grace Through Faith”- Nothing Added

8 God knows people’s hearts, and he confirmed that he accepts Gentiles by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he did to us. 9 He made no distinction between us and them, for he cleansed their hearts through faith.  — Acts 15:8, 9 NLT

Acts 15:3-11 NLT
 
The  believers of the sect of the Pharisees wanted to require that all of the new believers who had not been circumcised must do so.  Peter stated that that was a requirement under the law and the law had been too heavy a burden for the Jews to bear.  So, he asked, knowing this, why would you lay this same unbearable burden on the new believers?   Throughout the history of the church, there have always been those who wanted to add requirements to God’s simple plan of salvation.  God says that “we are saved by grace through faith”  There is nothing else that is acceptable in His sight.  Nothing less and nothing more. That’s it.  When the thief on the cross asked Jesus to remember him, Jesus assured him that they would be together in paradise.  Nothing less, nothing more.  That is the key that unlocks the gates to heaven.  Once that step is taken, there are things that need to be done to enjoy the abundant life that Jesus said He brought to us. Those things do not add to the salvation plan, they just make for a more purposeful, abundant lifestyle here on earth and more rewards when you get to heaven.

“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 03-03-2019


“To God Be the Glory”

even-smaller-bug-light1

29 “The Lord our God has secrets known to no one. We are not accountable for them, but we and our children are accountable forever for all that he has revealed to us, so that we may obey all the terms of these instructions. — Deut 29:29 NLT

Mark Twain once said “It ain’t those parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.”.  How true!  We are accountable for everything we understand about the Bible and we are accountable to learn and understand everything we can about the Bible.  We are also accountable to teach those truths to our children.  God has given us the Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth.  As Paul directed Timothy, we are to study and work hard so we can present ourselves to God for His approval.

 
15 Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth. — 2 Tim. 2:15 NLT
Ephesians 1:9 tells us that God has revealed to us “His mysterious plan regarding Christ” and in 2 Timothy 3, He tells us what that mystery is:

16 Without question, this is the great mystery of our faith:  Christ was revealed in a human body and vindicated by the Spirit. He was seen by angels and announced to the nations. He was believed in throughout the world and taken to heaven in glory. – 2 Timothy 3:16

 

There are still mysteries to be revealed at a later date, but there is enough revelation available to us now to keep us busy learning, understanding and telling it to the world.  That is what we will be held accountable for and that is our mission. If we do this, God will get the glory and that is our purpose in the world — to give God the glory.

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

Post 11-07-2018