“Once We, Too, Were Foolish”

3 Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other. — Titus 3:3 NLT

Titus 3:3-7 NLT


We should always remember that all of us were once sinners and slaves to sin.  We lived ungodly lives satisfying the ungodly desires of our flesh.  We wasted our lives chasing after earthly pleasures that fade away with the dark of night. But, Jesus Christ, through His mercy died for us and we have been justified by His grace. We could not and can not do anything to save ourselves. So, we need to keep those thoughts in mind and always live our life remembering that we owe a debt of love that we can never repay.  We need to thank God may times every day for all that He  has done and is doing for each of us.  We can show our gratitude by telling the old, old story that is still true today. We were born in sin and needed a Savior. Jesus is our Savior and our Lord. The story never changes. Tell it to those God puts in your path today. And tell it with love.  Let our thoughts, words and actions lift up Jesus.  We live in a fallen world filled with lost people looking for an answer to their feelings of loneliness and worthlessness. Our lifestyles should show them that there is only one answer and that is Jesus.

John 3:14-17 NLT

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

Post 06-13-2019

Life Or Death?

22 But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. — Romans 6:22 NLT

Romans 6:17-23 NLT

Romans 3:23 tells us that we have all sinned and our attempts to live without sin or to be like God have failed.  We were born as slaves to sin and the desires of the flesh.  We were in bondage to that kind of lifestyle. But the Trinity had laid a plan to free us from that bondage long before they laid the foundations of the earth.  That plan was for God Himself to come to earth clothed in a human body.  So, we see that the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus was not some johnny come lately plan nor was it a knee-jerk reaction to what satan was doing.  It was a secret, well-laid plan that the enemy could not defeat because he knew nothing about it.  God never had any thoughts about leaving His creation without a Redeemer.  Now the mystery of salvation has been revealed to all of us. We have a simple choice to make.  Accept Jesus and be freed from the bondage of sin.  Before we accepted Jesus, we had no choice about sin, now that we have accepted Him, we are free to chose to do right and live a holy lifestyle. We now have a new Master, one who gives us freedom to choose what we will do and how we will react to situations.  We can choose to work ourselves to death (the wages of sin are death) or we can reach out and accept that free gift of life today. 

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

Post -04-03-2019

“A New Spirit In Us”

9 “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked.  Who really knows how bad it is? — Jeremiah 17:9 NLT

We are all very familiar with this verse from Jeremiah.  Since this verse is true and God says that He will give us the desires of our hearts, how do we reconcile the two verses?  As is usual, there are very few verses in the Bible that stand alone and these verses are examples of this.  The verse from Jeremiah is describing the heart that we are born with. Those hearts belong to the master of sin and only desire those things that please the flesh.  So, to reconcile these verses, we need to have a change of heart. We find a clue to God’s solution to the enigma in a passage in Ezekiel. This is an Old Testament verse that points to a future event.

26 And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations. — Ezekiel 36:26, 27 NLT

Before Jesus died, He made a promise to us to send a Comforter and a guide to lead us into all truth. After He arose and ascended, He sent us His Spirit as promised in Ezekiel and by Jesus Himself.  Once we receive Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we receive the Holy Spirit into our hearts.  It is at that point, that the reformation of the heart begins.  We now bow to a new Master, Jesus Christ. Our heart is changed so that the desires of our hearts are now pleasing to God.  First, He gives us a new heart with new desires and then He can give us what our hearts desire.  The heart is new, but the reformation does not come overnight. It takes a lifetime of mortifying the flesh and when we come to the end of our life as a human, we will still be fighting that battle.  

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

Post 03-10-2019

“Follow the Lord Completely”

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In this way, Solomon did what was evil in the Lord’s sight; he refused to follow the Lord completely, as his father, David, had done. — 1 Kings 11:6 NLT
Just in case, we should think that we are capable of handling great wealth easily, look at what happened to Solomon in his old age.  The wisest man in the world turned from the God who had blessed him abundantly with worldly goods, wisdom, power and fame.  If he couldn’t handle it, then we need to be very careful in our walk in this world.  Sure, Solomon still had plenty of money, after all, what was there to buy or to do with all that cash?  Even with all of his wisdom, he was still, somehow, not fulfilled. We can’t imagine his abundance but with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we can see that his failure was due to the desires of the flesh. Notice that in verse 4, it reads “they turned his heart to worship other gods”. Solomon came to the point that pleasing his wives was more important to him than being obedient to the God of Israel.  In all of his wisdom, Solomon forgot that God had said that the king must not take many wives or buy many horses. And the king must not accumulate large amounts of wealth for himself. But, the king must copy the scriptures and study them daily.
We have to wonder if Solomon had kept up the practice of reading God’s Word daily. It is only when we keep the Word of God first in our lives that we can overcome the desires of the flesh.  His Word must be our light, our guide and our advisor. Without His Word as a constant reminder of who He is and who we are, the flesh will dominate and we will end up in the same situation in which Solomon found himself in his old age. Daily, diligent meditation on His Word is our only hope for deliverance from evil.
“​The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 12-28-2018

A New Heart

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51 “You stubborn people! You are heathen at heart and deaf to the truth. Must you forever resist the Holy Spirit? That’s what your ancestors did, and so do you! — Acts 7:51 NLT
Stephen has just recited a short summary of all the things God had brought the Israelis through and the miracles He had performed in bringing them to the Promised Land.  Stephen also reminded them that God did this for them in spite of their unbelief and unfaithfulness.  He did it as a fulfillment of His covenant with their ancestors. Even though God was faithful, the Israelis were not, refusing to listen to Moses and any of the prophets God sent to them with messages warning them to repent and be obedient to God.  Instead they persecuted and murdered the prophets choosing to remain in their sinful ways and worship idols made by human hands.  The people Stephen was addressing were still following in their ancestor’s paths, choosing to kill the Messiah rather than to give up their worldly ways and repent.   If Stephen were here today, he could add the history of our country to his discourse and the accusation would still be true.  After all the years of God blessing this country with His abundance, we are still a “stubborn people, heathen at heart and deaf to the truth”.  More and more, as each day passes by, we become a more sinful nation.  We refuse to believe that God will punish us just as He punished the Israelis.  We must pray that God will have mercy on this nation of ours, that He will replace our hearts of stone with hearts of flesh and write His name upon our hearts.

Even though this was a promise God made to the Israelis, His chosen people, may He see fit to extend His mercies to us because, as Christians, we are a people chosen by Him as well.
 

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

Post 12-17-2018

Accepting Others

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4 Who are you to judge someone else’s servant?  ​- Romans 14:4a ISV​
The Scriptures caution us over and over to watch out so that we will not be deceived. We should pray for discernment, so that we are not swept away by every new and foolish doctrine that comes along.  But we also need to be careful that in our discerning, we don’t give in to a habit of criticism and judgment. It is very easy for our righteousness to turn into self-righteousness.  If God had wanted one person to corner the market on all of His truth, our New Testament would contain only one book. The Scriptures and the truths that they present to us never change. but, thank God, that as we mature, our perception of the Scriptures does change. As we follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit and meditate on God’s word, He opens up new meanings for us. We must be very sure that our discernment is not clouded by our flesh but that it is guided by the Holy Spirit. God made each of us different in many ways, then He did a wonderful, amazing thing — He died on a cross so that we all could become like Him.

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

Post 12-01-2018

Live Free!

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34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, I tell all of you emphatically, that everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin. The slave does not remain in the household forever, but the son does remain forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed!” – John 8:34-36
Our lives are divided into times and seasons.  Since our finite minds cannot grasp infinite, eternal things in their fullness, God has divided time into seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years and lifetimes.  There are good times and bad times, rough patches and smooth sailing, times of need and times of abundance, times of sickness and times of good health.  There are valleys of despair and there are mountains of joy.  This is true because we live in a sinful world and it will remain true until the Perfect One returns and restores us and all of nature to a perfect state.  James tells us that when sin has conceived, it brings forth death.  James 1:14, 15   There are more deaths than physical and spiritual that are brought on when we give into temptation and allow sin to rule in our lives.  There is financial death when we spend foolishly.  There is the death of abundance when we waste.  There is the death of relationships when we are unfaithful to God and/or others. But not all death is bad.  There is the death of anger and bitterness when we accept God’s forgiveness and forgive others.  There is the death of guilt and condemnation when we accept Jesus as our Savior.  That death frees us to live again.  To really live as we have never lived before!  Jesus showed us how to live free.  He put everyone in heaven and earth above Himself and His desires and He died to set us free!  Because He chose to do this, God has exalted Him above everyone and everything in heaven and on earth.  Have we killed our fleshly desires and allowed our spirits to be free?
Today would be a good day to deny all of our “self” and allow God to heal every hurt, pain and all the bitterness in our lives so that we can soar like eagles and live free!  I know, I know, we can’t.  But God can!

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

Post 11-30-2018