“Take Nothing For Your Journey”

3 “Take nothing for your journey,” he instructed them. “Don’t take a walking stick, a traveler’s bag, food, money, or even a change of clothes.— Luke 9:3 NLT

Luke 9:1-6 NLT

The apostles spent somewhere between 2 and 3 years walking with Jesus. They learned about the Kingdom of God from His words and His actions. Over and over, they were amazed at the miracles He performed. And John tells us that if all the miracles that Jesus performed had been written down in books, the whole world would not be able to contain them. Wouldn’t it be great to have been an apostle with Jesus at that time? Maybe, maybe not. Re-read verses 3 and 4. Would we really jump at the chance to follow those instructions? I think most of us would not want to leave our comfort zones and go on such a mission. Salvation is free and simple. but walking out the whole plan is tough. “Lay down your life, take up your cross and follow me.” Do you hear the call?

Luke 9:23-26 NLT

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

Post 09-03-2019

“O God, You Are My God”

1 O God, you are my God;    I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you;
my whole body longs for you
in this parched and weary land
where there is no water. 
— Psalm 63:1

Psalm 63:1-6 NLT

Do we really believe that Jesus is available all the time? Do we really believe that He wants the absolute best for us all the time? Do we really believe that He is interested in our present welfare? Or do we believe that He is only interested in our eternity? Do we really believe that He loves us so much that He is interceding for us right now? Do we really believe that the King of Kings is praying for us this very moment?  Do we really believe that “if He gave us His Son, He will freely give us ALL things?  Do we really believe “that all things are possible to him who believes”? Do we really believe that we need to “hide God’s Word in our heart”?  Do we really believe that God’s Holy Spirit is a person and can be grieved?  Do we really believe that Jesus is God? Do we really believe that God’s Holy Spirit is God?  Do we really believe that God’s Holy Spirit searches our hearts and prays for us?  Do we really believe that God’s Spirit knows our hearts and the heart of God and that He is able to communicate our deepest desires to God and put God’s answers in our heart?  Does our lifestyle and daily walk reflect that we really believe  that the Bible is the inerrant, infallible, immutable word of God?  Do we constantly lean on Jesus or is He just our safety net?  Is He our constant friend or is He our EMT?  Is He first in our lives or just mixed in somewhere down the list?  Is a day without spending time with Him and in His word dark and gloomy?  Does our soul hunger and thirst after Him and His word just as much as our body hungers and thirsts after food and drink?

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

Post 05-24-2019

Plenty of Good Water

7 It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. — 1 Cor. 3:7 NLT

1 Corinthians 3:5-11 NLT

Paul  compares our salvation to a seed that is planted.  When a seed is planted in dry ground, it must be watered regularly and continually.  When we accept Jesus as our Savior, He plants a seed of His love in our heart. For that love to grow, it needs to be watered by the washing of the Word on a regular basis. The soil needs to be exposed to the sun so it will be warm enough for the seed to germinate.  The seed that is planted in us must be exposed to the Son for it to germinate. If we spend time in the Word, God the Holy Spirit will cause that love to grow.  Our hearts will become more tender toward God and our fellow human beings.  How fast this change takes place depends on how much time we spend taking in the food and the water of the Word. If God is the one who makes the seed sprout and grow, then doesn’t it make sense that the seed has to be exposed to God on a regular basis. We do that by spending time alone with God.  While the names of the people that we allow to plant and water the seed are not important, their words and messages are very important.  Be sure the seed is good (only the name of Jesus) and that the water does not contain impurities that will hurt the young plant.

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

Post 04-18-2019

“Our Journey Requires Spiritual Food”

7 Then the angel of the Lord came again and touched him and said, “Get up and eat some more, or the journey ahead will be too much for you.”— 1 Kings 19:7 NLT

1 KIngs 19:1-8 NLT

God had just used Elijah to defeat the 400 prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, after that, God had given Elijah supernatural physical strength so that Elijah could catch and outrun Ahab’s chariot to Jezreel.  Now, Jezebel had threatened his life.  She promised to kill him before twenty-four hours had passed.  After seeing the miracles God had just performed, how could any human being think that they could do anything to one of God’s chosen people?  Even worse, after all Elijah had experienced, how could he possibly believe that God could not protect him from the threats of Jezebel?  Is the God on the mountain not still God in the valley?  Yes, He is!  We want to spend our lives living mountain top experiences.  We should take notice that there is very little life on the mountains above the timberline.  The view is great and the atmosphere is exhilarating, but there is not enough dirt or oxygen to sustain life.  The life-giving elements are down in the valley and we need to spend some time there as well.  Elijah was having his valley experience, wallowing in self-pity, as we so often do.  God said “get up and eat”.   He was preparing Elijah for a journey that would take all of his strength.  When God calls us to do a work, He always provides everything we need to accomplish the task.  It is up to us to decide whether or not we are going to “eat” the spiritual food that will prepare us for the trip through the valley and to the next mountaintop. 
If  we don’t eat the spiritual food God provides, the road will be rough and the journey will be miserable.  But if we do eat and prepare, the road will seem to be smooth and the journey will be a joy as we experience the presence of Jesus leading us home.

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

Post 02-02-2019

Feed the Spirit Man

34 Then Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work. — John 4:34 NLT


John 4:31-36 NLT

The disciples knew that Jesus had been tired and weary because of the journey from Judea, so they were encouraging Him to eat physical food.  Jesus tells them that He has a food that they know nothing about. They don’t understand that He is referring to a Spiritual food that refreshes Him more than physical or natural food ever could.  It was hard for them and it is hard for us to understand that Jesus could become so involved in doing God’s work that nothing else matters.  The work of the Father was His very life and His sustenance.  Natural food has to be taken and eaten to give us refreshment and life, but Spiritual food must be given away to have the same effect on the giver and the receiver.  In the natural order of things, we have to plow, sow and wait to reap and eat the food and the fields can only be harvested at certain times of the year.  In the Kingdom of God, the spiritual food is always available with us doing no work to receive it. The fields are always white and ready for harvest.  Let each of us pray that the work of God becomes more important than food and water in our lives.  What good is there in sustaining the natural if the spiritual dies?  We can eat all the Spiritual food we can get.  It will fill us with Life but we should never be satisfied.

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

Post 01-06-2019

Healthy Food to Help the Spirit Grow

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5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.— 2 Peter 1:5-​7 NIV

We have accepted Christ as our Savior, what now? We are now new creatures in Christ Jesus and the new creature needs different food.  Our fleshly desires will want us to continue in the old ways consuming the same old garbage, but these ways will not satisfy the new spiritual man. There will be a hunger and a thirst that we have not known before and that hunger and thirst can only be satisfied by the goodness of the Word of God. We need to add some spiritual food to our daily diet. Here in these verses, Peter has made us a short list of what is to be included. The list ends with love, which holds all the others together and without love, the diet would be incomplete and ineffective. We have been saved by grace through faith, now we need to add goodness and the knowledge of God. This is done by studying and meditating on the Word of God. It also includes prayer and conversations with other Christians. God has called each of us to a work that He planned for us long ago. But, first we need some training because God will never send us where He has not prepared us to go. We are sent to make disciples, but first, we must become disciples.

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. — Romans 1:16 NIV
This verse must become alive in us and be the force that drives us to be a disciple. It can only be accomplished through “the power of God”.
 
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 04–09-2018

“The Joy of the Lord”

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15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.Romans 12:15 NIV

It appears that most of us do a decent job of mourning with others in times of the loss of life of a loved one.  We support them with cards, meals and our presence at the home or other places.  We even do a fair job of supporting those who lose their homes or jobs.  But, how do we score in rejoicing with others?  Are we as diligent in being available to celebrate the joyous times in their life? We get good scores on weddings and if it is close family, we do okay on birthdays. But, if you are like me, (and I hope that you aren’t), I can’t tell you a single date of a wedding anniversary of anyone in my family or any of my friends. In today’s society, maybe the divorce rate would be lower if we made a big deal of wedding anniversaries. When was the last time we sent a card or email congratulating someone on their new job or new home?
Or the most important time of all, when have we sent a note, card or email welcoming someone to the family of God?  Maybe we could make a huge deal out of celebrating our second birthday by giving gifts to others. If we don’t remember the date, we could just pick one and celebrate that date every year. I definitely need to work on rejoicing with others, maybe we all need to give it some thought. If we rejoiced more, perhaps. others would want what we have.–The joy of the Lord.
10 Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”–Nehemiah 8:10 NIV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 03-22-2018