“Be Of One Mind, Live In Peace”

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11 Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.12 Greet one another with a holy kiss. 13 All God’s people here send their greetings. 14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. — 2 Cor. 13:11-14 NIV​

Rejoice!  Isn’t it amazing that after all Paul has gone through and was still going through at this time, that he could say rejoice?  Through all the persecutions, beatings, attempts on his life and bearing the burden of wayward people in the churches he had established, Paul was still rejoicing and encouraging others to continue in faithfulness. One of our highest priorities as Christians should be to pray for and encourage others. Compared to what Paul went through and what our brothers and sisters in other countries are going through today, anything we have to suffer through is certainly “a light affliction”. Yet, some of us are so focused on our own problems that we walk around like Eeyore in Winnie the Pooh thinking “Woe is me.”.  All of us need more encouragement and more reminding of who we are in Christ Jesus. We need to “zoom out” on our lives and look at the whole panorama that God has given us. The more time we spend focused on Jesus and others, the less time we will have to focus on our own issues. When we take time to fellowship with the Holy Spirit, we find that our spirits are lifted and we can truly rejoice.

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.– Phil. 4:4-7

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

“Reaffirm Your Love for Him”

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8 So I urge you now to reaffirm your love for him. – 2 Cor. 2:8

2 Cor. 2:5-11 NLT

It appears that someone in the church at Corinth had done something that was deserving of discipline by the church body. Whatever the action was, it had caused a great deal of grief in the church.  Paul is writing to tell them that the discipline has been sufficient and now it is time for the church to move on and let the healing begin.  The church now needs to restore that one to their fellowship and reaffirm their love for him or he could be completely overwhelmed. In every family, whether it be our church or our physical family, there are disagreements, some severe enough to be deserving of corrective action.  But once that action has been taken, it is time to restore and reaffirm our love for each other.

1 Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. — Galatians 6:1 NIV

The restoration is not a favor to the perpetrator, but a necessary step in the forgiving process that brings glory to God.  True forgiveness releases all anger and resentment against that person and allows us to enjoy the freedom we have in God’s forgiveness of our sins.  It also defeats satan’s schemes since it will keep us from allowing a root of bitterness to grow in us, which will steal our joy.

14 Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many– Hebrews 12:14-15 NIV

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

“We Can Know By Experience”

​20 And we know that the Son of God has made our understanding come alive so that we can know by experience the One who is true. And we are in him who is true, God’s Son, Jesus Christ—the true God and eternal life! – 1 John 5:20 TPT

1 John 5:18-21 NLT

Once we have received Jesus Christ as our Savior, we are a new creation. We aren’t the old creation painted over, we are changed from the inside out. Will we still sin? Yes, as long as we are in these tabernacles of flesh, we will fail. But we will not adopt a lifestyle of sin. If we say that we have no sin then we make God a liar and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, Jesus is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins. It is not our faith or our holding on to Jesus that makes us secure, it is His faith and His holding onto us. No one can take us out of His hand. This is the fellowship and relationship that we have with Him and in Him. Being saved is a rational decision, not an emotional reaction. Once we make that decision, God places His Holy Spirit within us. Where there is Light, there can be no darkness. So our commitment to Jesus is that He is all we need, but we need all of Him. God doesn’t want to be in first place, he wants to be the only one in the race!!!! Let us keep our hearts pure and our eyes focused on Jesus!!!

14 You must worship no other gods, for the Lord, whose very name is Jealous, is a God who is jealous about his relationship with you. ​ – Exodus 34:14 NLT​

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

Post 02-14-2020

“Remain In Fellowship With Christ”

28 And now, dear children, remain in fellowship with Christ so that when he returns, you will be full of courage and not shrink back from him in shame. – 1 John 2:28 NLT

i John 2:26-29 NLT

We need to remember that we are always in God’s presence. He is omnipresent, there is no escaping His eye as it roams to and fro over the earth. We must strive to live holy lives every day.

17 I see everything they do. They cannot hide from me the things they do; their sin is not hidden from my eyes–Jeremiah 16:17 (NCV)

While our sins are forgiven, any unconfessed sins in our lives temporarily breaks our fellowship with God. That was the reason for the prayer that Jesus prayed in Gethsemane. He knew that when all the sin of the world was put upon Him, His fellowship with Our Father would be temporarily broken. That would be the one and only time that would be true and it caused Him great anguish. We should feel that same anguish when we fail. When we fail, we should never let satan use that as a weapon to bring us down. What we should feel is not guilt or condemnation, but conviction that causes us to repent. But that is not the end of the story. Just as Jesus was restored to full fellowship with God, so will we be. When God looks at us, He sees us through the blood of Jesus. So, He sees us as righteous just as Christ is righteous. Hopefully, as we strive to live obedient lifestyles, we won’t have to suffer through many of those times of broken fellowship.

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

Post 02-02-2020

“Living In the Light”

10 Anyone who loves a fellow believer is living in the light and does not cause others to stumble. ​- 1 John 2:10 NLT

1 John 2:8-11 NLT

When we accept Jesus, each of us receives Life and Light at that very moment. From that moment on, we have access to all of the Light. However, we need more knowledge and understanding of God’s Word to be able to access more Light. None of us mature in God’s Word at the same rate because we have different levels of learning abilities. Also, some of us spend a lot more time in God’s Word than others so, there are different levels of knowledge and faith. Those that receive more Light have a greater responsibility to encourage and teach others. No gift from God is to be used to belittle or ridicule another person’s level of understanding. God gives the gifts to be used for His glory and the edification of the Church. How each of us interprets the Scriptures depends, to a certain extent, on our upbringing and our own personal life experiences. But, all of us receive enough Light to fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ, regardless of our denominations or doctrines. We should never use our share of the Light to illuminate faults in others. This only causes confusion in the Church and allows outsiders to find fault with our Lord and Savior. Our obligation is to use the amount of Light we have to dispel darkness where God has planted us. Use your Light as a beacon to bring others to Jesus.

Matt. 5:14-16 NLT

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

Post 01-28-2020

“But If We Are Living In the Light”

7 But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. – 1 John 1:7 NLT

1 John 1:5-10 NLT

To live in the light means to be obedient to God by allowing His Spirit to lead us into all truth. Does this mean that we never sin? No, if it were possible for us to live sinless lives, then Jesus died in vain. It means that we do not choose a lifestyle that constantly repeats the same sins. All humans fall to temptation, but we should not allow the devil to use those failures to beat us up and keep us depressed. Do our failures send us to hell? No, but they do break our relationship with Jesus Christ. So what do we do? John tells us in verse 9, when we fail and we will, then we must confess our sins and allow God to cleanse us from our sins. Then our relationship is restored and we can rejoice in His goodness and mercy.

John 1:1-5 NLT

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

Post 09-01-2019

“God’s Very Own Possession”

9 But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. — 1 Peter 2:9 NLT 

1 Peter 2:9-16 NLT

What was/is God’s purpose in choosing us, making us royal priests, holy and special? God doesn’t need our abilities to accomplish His purpose. But He desires our availability to work with Him in bringing His plans to fulfillment. Could He do it without us? Yes, but He wants to fellowship with each of us. So, He paid the full price of our redemption. He sent Light into this world to push back the darkness. That Light was Jesus Christ. When we were in slavery to sin, we were nobodies, we were not a people. But God, in His great mercy chose us, picked us up, cleaned us inside and out and put His marvelous Light inside us. Once we become a child of God, we are no longer citizens of this world, we are aliens and foreigners here. But we still have to live here for a while. As long as we are here, our flesh will be tempted to do wrong. But we are to live a lifestyle that reflects the life of Jesus Christ so that He will receive glory. We are free from the flesh, but bound by God’s Holy Spirit.  We will have troubles here but our response should be to rejoice forevermore. This will cause others to ask us what is the hope that lies in us and causes our joy. We should always have a ready answer for that question. That answer should always give glory to God and magnify the name of Jesus.

16 Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.  — 1 Thess. 5:16-18 NLT

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

Post 06-18-2019

Fellowship Requires Obedience

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28 And now, dear children, remain in fellowship with Christ so that when he returns, you will be full of courage and not shrink back from him in shame. – 1 John 2:28 NLT

We need to remember that we are always in God’s presence. He is omnipresent, there is no escaping His eye as it roams to and fro over the earth. We must strive to live holy lives every day.

17 I see everything they do. They cannot hide from me the things they do; their sin is not hidden from my eyes–Jeremiah 16:17 (NCV)


While our sins are forgiven, any unconfessed sins in our lives temporarily breaks our fellowship with God. That was the reason for the prayer that Jesus prayed in Gethsemane. He knew that when all the sin of the world was put upon Him, His fellowship with Our Father would be temporarily broken. That would be the one and only time that would be true and it caused Him great anguish. We should feel that same anguish when we fail. When we fail, we should never let satan use that as a weapon to bring us down. What we should feel is not guilt or condemnation, but conviction that causes us to repent. But that is not the end of the story. Just as Jesus was restored to full fellowship with God, so will we be. When God looks at us, He sees us through the blood of Jesus. So, He sees us as righteous just as Christ is righteous. Hopefully, as we strive to live obedient lifestyles, we won’t have to suffer through many of those times of broken fellowship.


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

Post 07-07-2017

Turn On the Light!

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So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. — 1 John 1:6
On the first day of creation, God spoke the natural light into existence. He created the light to dispel the darkness. He called the light day and the darkness night. Later, He created the sun for light in the day and the moon and stars for light at night.

But God is greater than natural light, He is the spiritual light that illuminates the darkness of our hearts and exposes our sins. He does not do this to embarrass us, but to show us that we are unable to dispel the darkness for ourselves. Just as we need fire, electricity, or batteries to dispel the natural darkness, we need help dispelling the spiritual darkness in our hearts. He is that Light and He has come to do that for us. Once, we have been made aware of our spiritual darkness and the fact that Jesus can provide us Light, we must make a choice to walk in God’s Light or continue to walk in the darkness. After the exposure, if we say that we are not in darkness. we are liars and only fooling ourselves. God has provided the Light, but we must decide to turn on the switch. It is not a decision that can be delayed. Refusing to turn on the Light is a decision and it will lead to deeper darkness.

12 Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”
— John 8:12 NLT

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

Post 11-06-2016

Marinate in His Presence

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7 “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as the Gentiles do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. — Matt. 6:7 NLT
 


Lots of us often have trouble putting into words what we want to say to God in our prayer times. It helps me to think of it as a conversation that a small child would have with their parents. I can tellGod  anything that is on my heart in any respectful words that I choose and He will listen patiently. He desires that time of fellowship with us. He already knows what we want to ask and He already knows His answer. The purpose of the prayer is to let us know what He already knows. How does He do that, if we just put our list of “wants/needs” before Him and go  our way?  Remember prayer is not a speech, it is a conversation and God has something to say to you. He doesn’t need to think about it over night, He already has the answer.and understands it perfectly. Spend some time just marinating in His presence and God will reveal His answer in His own time.  Lean on Jesus and know that He will never leave you nor forsake you.

Post 09-22-2016