“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

Talk It! Walk It! Love It! Live It!

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16  Let us, your servants, see you work again;
    let our children see your glory. 
— Psalm 90:16 NLT


Psalm 90

Lord, we live in a sinful world where evil is magnified on a daily basis.  Our children are daily tempted with overdoses of “me first” and sexual innuendos. They see riots in city after city where people get what they want by protesting and violence rather than working through the legal system. The America we live in now is not the America that most of us were raised in.  It is more like Macedonia when Paul arrived. There is violence on the outside everywhere we look and there are people all around us living in fear. 2 Cor. 7:5, 6   Our kids and grand-kids see good people struggling everyday to make it. They see parents working too many hours because the parents live in fear of not being able to give their kids everything they think they want.  First, help us as parents and grandparents to live lives totally dependent on you.  Let us be the examples that show the younger generations that possessions and busyness do not bring peace and lasting joy.  Remind us of that daily by helping us to observe the work that you are doing in our world right now, all around us.  Then, Lord, let our lifestyles be a beacon to others to point the glory you receive from our obedience.  Open our eyes to see that you are still a God who works miracles on a daily basis. Let our children see your glory and the beauty of worshiping the only true and living God.  As Pastor Jack Graham says 
“YOU CANNOT EXPECT YOUR CHILDREN TO LEAD DYNAMIC, SPIRIT-FILLED CHRISTIAN LIVES IF YOU AREN’T LIVING A VIBRANT, DYNAMIC, SPIRIT-FILLED CHRISTIAN LIFE YOURSELF”.
Help us to live lives totally dependent on You and the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Help us to talk the talk and walk the walk before them that they may catch hold of Who you are and what you desire for each of us.  Your desire is for us to be joyful and content no matter what our present situation may be.
Father, thank you for protecting our kids and grand kids.  First of all and most importantly of all, thank you for protecting them spiritually so that they will spend an eternity with you.  Then, thank you for protecting them physically, mentally and emotionally and for providing for their every need.  All praise and glory be to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 12-06-2018

Power Is For Witnessing, Not Wasting

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Do not get involved in foolish discussions about spiritual pedigrees or in quarrels and fights about obedience to Jewish laws. These things are useless and a waste of time. – Titus 3:9 NLT
Paul’s advice to Titus was given at a time when the discussion about the law was the single most divisive issue in the new church.  Did Jesus fulfill the law or abolish the law?  We have grace but don’t we still need to be circumcised? Even the apostles had differing opinions on some of these things. In today’s church, we get involved in foolish controversies over things not nearly as important as the law. Carpet colors, steeple or no steeple, immersion or sprinkling and the list goes on and on. Not one of these discussions will lead a soul to Christ but they may very well turn people away from the church altogether. They are definitely unprofitable and useless.  Jesus instructed us to “go and make disciples”.  He did not instruct us to go and make denominations, etc.  When we are in front of outsiders, our conversations and teachings should be limited to instructing people in how to be saved. All true Christians agree on the plan of salvation. That is the story Jesus wants us to tell. It is simple and powerful. Wherever we are or whomever we are speaking to, our sentiment must be the same as Paul’s:2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power. — 1 Cor. 2:2-5 NIV

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

Post 05-02-2018

Honor Your Leaders But Fear God

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15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. 16 Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. 17 Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.–1 Peter 2:15-17 NIV

Jesus instructed each of us to “render unto Caeser that which is Caeser’s” and that we must do. We need to pay our taxes in an attempt to keep our nation free. We need to obey the law to prevent chaos. But there is a line we cannot cross. It might have been legal for the money changers to conduct business in the Temple (at least, it was allowed by law), but it did not keep Jesus from chasing them out of the Temple.  
​Dr. James Dobson said:  “​We will render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s, but in no wise will we render unto Caesar that which belongs to God.​”
1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.–Gal. 5:1 NIV
This nation is on a path to become a slave to greed and lust. Whether it is an individual or a nation, that path is a dead end street.

15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.–James 1:15 NASB
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 03-19-2018

Overcoming Our Fears

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38 Afterward Joseph of Arimathea, who had been a secret disciple of Jesus (because he feared the Jewish leaders), asked Pilate for permission to take down Jesus’ body. When Pilate gave permission, Joseph came and took the body away. – John 19:38 NLT

After the death of Jesus, Joseph of Arimathea asked for permission to take the body and bury it. Joseph was a man wealthy enough to have his own tomb dug for him. He was also a member of the Sanhedrin, as was Nicodemus. Nicodemus was wealthy enough to purchase the hundred pounds of myrrh and aloes, both of which were very expensive items in that day. It would have taken someone influential and well-known to approach Pilate and ask for the body of Jesus. Though they were both influential and wealthy men, they were both secret disciples of Jesus because they feared both the Romans and the other Jewish leaders. They could have been imprisoned (as Joseph was in later years), beaten or sentenced to death. The question we need to ask ourselves today is this: “What are the fears that keep us from openly serving Jesus?” What keeps us from telling family, friends and neighbors about Jesus?

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

Post 12-12-2017

Who Do We Want to Please?

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43 For they loved human praise more than the praise of God. – John 12:43 NLT

John 12:37-43 NLT

 Isaiah had prophesied many years earlier that the people would not believe or receive Jesus. Because their traditions and praise from men had come to mean more to them than God’s law and God’s approval, God had chosen to blind their spiritual eyes and close their minds to spiritual understanding. Many of the people did believe in Jesus but were afraid to say so. They were fearful that they would be put out of the synagouge. If this happened they would be ridiculed and treated as outcasts in the villages. Their fleshly desires outweighed their faith that Jesus was who He said He was. Jesus had told the people earlier that they would have to confess Him before men.
32 “All those who stand before others and say they believe in me, I will say before my Father in heaven that they belong to me. 33 But all who stand before others and say they do not believe in me, I will say before my Father in heaven that they do not belong to me.—Matt. 10:32, 33 (NCV)
How many of us have felt that little nudge from the Holy Spirit to speak out but we have remained silent? We were afraid of being ridiculed by society and our flesh wanted acceptance from our little clique. How did you feel after that happened? Guilty? Don’t let satan beat you up because you failed. We can take a lesson from Peter. If we feel condemnation, it is from satan. If we feel conviction, it is from the Holy Spirit.
1 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.–Romans 8:1 (NLT)
God is still in the forgiving business no matter how many times we fail Him.
8 If we say we have no sin, we are fooling ourselves, and the truth is not in us.9 But if we confess our sins, he will forgive our sins, because we can trust God to do what is right. He will cleanse us from all the wrongs we have done.—1 John 1:8, 9 (NCV)

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

Post 10-24-2017

Mercy Mixed With Fear

even-smaller-bug-light123 Take others out of the fire, and save them. Show mercy mixed with fear to others, hating even their clothes which are dirty from sin. ​ – Jude 23 NCV

We live in the times Jude is describing in these verses. Everyday, we read more and more articles and hear more comments about people who either disrespect Christianity or refuse to believe in God. They are becoming much more militant in their actions each day, demanding more and more rights but at the same time wanting to limit the rights of others. They use all manner of deception and false claims that others are mistreating them. We must stand firm in our beliefs and refuse to compromise the truth that is laid out in the Scriptures. God has not changed His mind about what He knows to be sin. After all, does the Creator not know what actions will harm the creatures He so lovingly created? Which of us can say to the Creator, “hey, you made a mistake”? After all God is Omnipotent, Omnipresent, and Omniscient. We must encourage new believers to stand firm and grow in the faith. We do this with love and mercy, just as God has shown love and mercy to us. We “snatch others from the flames of judgment” by witnessing to them about Jesus. We must do this also with great love and mercy, not judging them for their sins, but showing them a different way of life. We must love the sinner and hate the sin just as God does. As we do this, we must be sure not to allow the sins to contaminate our lives​.


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

Post 07-28-2017

Seek Wisdom – Walk Wisely

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7 Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge,  but fools despise wisdom and discipline.  – Proverbs 1:7 NLT

We are born in sin into a world of sin. We are inundated hour after hour with violence and sexual innuendos. It seems more and more that billboards and commercials are using worldly, sinful things to get us to turn away from God. Along life’s way, we pick up a lot of bad habits. Not just drugs or violent actions, but gossip, off-color language, outbursts of anger, pride, idol worship and the list goes on and on. Some of our emotional outlets can become as addictive as drugs. How do we “fix” these things? Oh, sure, I can fix some of my problems temporarily, but where can I get a time-released, longer-lasting “fix”? Our flesh is weak, but God, in His omniscience has provided us with a “how to” book for humans. It’s called the Holy Bible. Specifically the book of Proverbs gives us guidance and wisdom for our daily living situations. Read it, meditate on it, and it will be in your heart when you need it. You can get help 24/7, the line is never busy and road service is free. He comes to where we are, no waiting, no charge.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Post 02-10-2017

Endless Love!

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19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
— Ephesians 3:19 NLT
God is the Creator of all things. Therefore, they are His to give as He desires. His resources, like His love, are unlimited.  Our tiny human minds cannot begin to imagine the depth. length, width, and height of God’s love.  There is only one force that is powerful enough to cause a Creator to create a creature knowing that He would someday have to die on a cross to redeem His creation from eternal death.  It is a love that certainly is too great for us to understand.  Now, we can only try to imagine that kind of love, but one day we will know the fullness of God’s love.  Today, we see in a glass darkly, but one day, we will see clearly.  His love is the power in us that causes us to want to love our friends and our enemies. There are three great motivators for humans: greed, fear, and love. Greed only lasts till the money runs out, fear is only effective as long as the boss is around, but love is endless and loyal at all times.
So give love graciously and abundantly, there is no end to the supply of love.
 
34 So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”   — John 13:34-35 NLT

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

Post 11-04-2016

Saved – Part 4 – Learning to Walk

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16 Here’s my instruction: walk in the Spirit, and let the Spirit bring order to your life. If you do, you will never give in to your selfish and sinful cravings. 
– Gal. 5:16 Voice
 
 
Once a baby learns to stand alone, then it is time for the baby to practice toddling. You know those first shaky, unsure, unsteady steps.  The baby will start, maybe make a couple of steps and fall.  The baby needs someone there to catch him/her so he/she is not harmed.  It is a struggle and it takes a patient parent to watch as the baby falls over and over.  A good parent realizes that if the child never falls, he/she will never learn to walk by themselves.  It is the same in our spiritual walk.  First we crawl, then we learn to stand and then we start to take a few, unsure steps.  But never fear, just like an earthly parent is there to catch the toddler, God the Holy Spirit is there to catch us.  But just like the toddler, we will never develop strong spiritual legs if we are not allowed to try and fail.  Just as the toddler must be encouraged and learn to keep their eyes on the goal and not on their feet, we too must keep our eyes on the goal and not on our failures.  We need to be Jesus conscious and not sin conscious. The Holy Spirit will always be there to catch us, encourage us and cheer us on in the rough times.  Just as a child takes time to learn to react to his senses so that he/she can stay balanced, we must learn to listen to the Holy Spirit to keep our lives balanced. He will keep us on the path and away from those things that would do us irreparable harm. 
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