“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”

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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

Believe and Speak In Faith

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28 She replied, “That’s true, Lord, but even the dogs under the table are allowed to eat the scraps from the children’s plates.”  29 “Good answer!” he said. “Now go home, for the demon has left your daughter.” 30 And when she arrived home, she found her little girl lying quietly in bed, and the demon was gone. — Mark 7:28-30 NLT

Hearing the words that Jesus had just spoken to her, it would have been understandable if this woman would have just crawled out of the room and left without receiving anything from Jesus.  But instead she suffered the humiliation and showed great humility by humbling herself before Jesus.  She told Jesus, I am not asking for the best, your leftovers will be more than sufficient to fulfill my needs.  Because of her humble response, Jesus answered her request and healed her daughter.  Is there a request in our lives that Jesus hasn’t fulfilled?   Is it possible that our “unanswered” prayers only appear to be unanswered because we refuse to humble ourselves before the Lord?   Is it possible that God can’t say “yes” because we refuse to say “yes” to His request?  Is it possible that we will only accept our preconceived notion as the answer and we miss what God is trying to do in our lives?  In this instance, Jesus first said “no” (which is an answer) but then because of her humbleness and persistence, He said “yes”.  God always answers every prayer, just because we don’t like the answer doesn’t mean He didn’t hear and answer us.  We need to be like the Phoenician woman, we need to be persistent but humble.  If we give God a good answer, He will give us a good answer.
 
So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. — 1 Peter 5:6, 7 NLT

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

Post 10-21-2018

Eat The Whole Thing

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 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 25 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.
 
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 10-11-2018

His Faith – Not Mine

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6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. — Eph. 2:6-9 NIV

This is a familiar passage to most Christians, yet I wonder if we really grasp everything it says to us.  It explains to us why God saved us and raised us up. It was not just for our benefit, though that would have been more than enough.  He did it so He could show to us and the world the “incomparable riches of His grace”.  The greatest expression of that grace was God allowing Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, to die on a cruel cross for our sins. It is that grace that has saved us, through faith.  Not our faith, His faith, His gift to us. That is why we can be sure that our salvation is eternal.  Thanks be to God that my salvation is not based on my faith, which is not always steadfast. It is based on His faith, which is steadfast and eternal.  If it were based on my faith, I could be saved today and lost tomorrow.  His faith is everlasting!

89 Your word, Lord, is eternal;  it stands firm in the heavens. 90 Your faithfulness continues through all generations;  you established the earth, and it endures. — Psalm 119:89, 90

15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! — 2 Cor. 9:15

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

Post 09-23-2018