“Look! There Is the Lamb of God!”

36 As Jesus walked by, John looked at him and declared, “Look! There is the Lamb of God!” – John 1:36 NLT

Come and See

Do you ever sit and think about the time you answered the call of the Holy Spirit to “come and see”? Come and see the forgiveness of God, come and see the goodness of God, come and see the love of God. Come and see with your spiritual eyes, the One Who gave His life for you on a cross? Do you remember that experience? Do you remember when you invited Jesus into your heart? Do you remember the peace you felt? Do you remember just wanting to stay in His presence. just as the men “remained with Jesus all that day”? When times are tough and the going is rough, I would like to invite you to sit and remember that experience. Just sit in the presence of Jesus, loving Him and allowing Him to love you. The most amazing thing about knowing Jesus is that every day, we can “come and see”. Or as the Psalmist said, “taste and see”;

8 Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!—Psalm 34:8 (NLT)

And when we do that, we find that His mercies are new every morning. Today, once again, take the time “to come and see”.


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

Post 03-01-2020

“More and More Mercy”

2 May God give you more and more mercy, peace, and love.

Jude 1-4 NLT

Jude opens his letter with great humility. He identifies himself as a slave of Jesus Christ, which is how we should all feel. His heart is to deliver a message of salvation to the unknown community of people that he is addressing. But, because some false teachers had started teaching that God’s grace allows us to go on sinning as much and as often as we want to, he feels it is much more important to rebuke these teachers and correct their teaching. These teachers had not had a real experience of salvation that changed them from their sinful ways, they were not “new creatures” in Christ Jesus. While forgiveness and grace are certainly there for those of us who fall, it is not meant to allow us to live a sinful lifestyle. This would be in direct conflict with Romans 6:

1​ Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? 2 Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? 3 Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? 4 For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.–Romans 6:1-4​ ​(NLT)

Those who do these sinful things and teach this false doctrine are making a mockery of God’s grace that He has shown to us. As we are told in Galatians 6:

7 Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. 8 Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.– Gal. 6:7-8 (NLT)

So we must stand firm in what we know to be the truth. When we accept Jesus, we are no longer slaves to the flesh, we are “New creations” and now we are slaves to Christ Jesus and we walk in the Spirit. Do not be deceived by every “new” philosophy that comes along. Stand on the Rock and teach the Truth, even though it is no longer popular to do the right thing.

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

Post 02-18-2020

“Come Boldly”

16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. — Hebrews 4:16 NLT

Hebrews 4:14-16 NLT

In the Old Testament, the priests were chosen from the tribe of Levi, but Jesus is from the lineage of the tribe of Judah. The Levitical priests gave temporary sacrifices that had to be repeated over and over. They even gave sacrifices for “unknown” sins, just in case somebody had missed one. But Jesus came into our world and suffered the same temptations we go through. He did this without sinning, but having suffered through those, he can empathize with our weaknesses. He became the perfect and last sacrifice necessary for sin. After suffering death on the cross, He was made our High Priest and now stands at the right hand of God interceding for us. No more sacrifice is necessary, we just need to accept His forgiveness and live a life modeled after His life here on earth. We will stumble and fall, but He is there to ​ intercede for us, encourage us and​ pick us up.

Romans 8:31-34 NLT

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

Post 11-17-2019

“Do Not Bring Sorrow”

30 And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. — Ephesians 4:30 NLT

Ephesians 4:29 -32 NLT

God created the world with the spoken Word. It is held in place by the Power of His Word. Our words have power, they can be words of life or words of death. When we speak words of death and live disobedient lives, we grieve God’s Holy Spirit. It pleases God for us to walk right and talk right. If we hold resentment and anger in our hearts, it becomes a root of bitterness. That root grows because the flesh feeds it and soon it pushes out all forgiveness and love. Being kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving kills the root and we follow after the example of Jesus, our Lord and Savior. You can’t please God and the flesh, you must choose which it will be.

James 3:7-12 NLT

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

Post 09-15-2019

“He Gave Us Life”

5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) – Ephesians 2:5 NLT

Eph. 2:1-7 NLT

We are saved by God’s amazing grace. There is nothing we can do to earn salvation. It was bought and paid for at the cross on Calvary. Jesus paid for every sin that man has ever committed, past, present and future. His redeeming work is finished, He will not be going back to the cross. So, when we sin, and we all do, just remember that the blood of Jesus spilled at Calvary has already cleansed us. Our part is to ask for and accept that cleansing and forgiveness. He comes to us wherever we are, picks us up, cleans us, and restores us to Himself. It is all for His glory! So, we should give Him honor, praise, and glory every day of our lives.

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

Post 09-06-2019

“He Is Faithful and Just”

9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 1 John 1:9

1 John 1:5-10 NLT

Once we have accepted Jesus as our Savior, God’s Spirit comes to abide within us. He will lead us in the path God has chosen for each of us,if we are willing to follow. But, we are not going to become sinless over night and we shall never become perfect in this world. There will always be a struggle between our flesh and our Spirit. Nevertheless, our salvation is secure. Does this mean we won’t fail? No, of course not. If we could do this on our own then Jesus would not have had to die on the cross. God knew even before He redeemed us that we would fail, He is not surprised by anything we do, because He is omniscient. But, because He loves us so much, He is waiting with open arms for us to repent and return to Him. He is always faithful and just to forgive us when we ask. He cleanses us and restores us over and over and over again. We are His children and He cares deeply for each of us.

John 12:35-36 NLT

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

Post 08-24-2019

“All My Guilt Is Gone”

5 Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt.  I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.”
And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. — Psalm 32:5 NLT 

Psalm 32:1-6 NLT

When we accept Jesus as our Savior we confess all of our sins up to that point.  But we still live in the flesh and all of the fleshly desires are not magically removed overnight. The Holy Spirit starts a process of sanctification in each of us.  This process is designed to change our hearts’ desires so that we no longer choose to live a lifestyle of sin.  However, there are times that we will fail and we will think, do or say something that is not pleasing to God.  Perhaps we will fail to do something that the Holy Spirit urges us to do.  Most of the sins that Christians are guilty of are sins of omission, not sins of commission.  We rebel against God in refusing to follow His leading in our lives.  The problem I have is agreeing with God that I am being rebellious and confessing it as sin.  But God does not negotiate, He will stand firm and I must agree with Him and confess.  We must get to the point the Psalmist got to — “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord” and He will forgive me.

1 John 1:5-10 NLT

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

Post 03-16-2019

“Do Unto Others”

10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman,“Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” — John 8:10 NLT

John 8:1-11 NLT

In this short passage of Scripture, we get to look at sin from all four sides.  There is sin as the devil sees it, a tool for death and destruction.  There is sin from the human viewpoint as seen by the accusers.  There is sin from the viewpoint of the one who committed the sin.  Then there is sin from the viewpoint of Jesus, a wrong that demands forgiveness.  The accusers had caught this woman in the very act of adultery, how this happened we are not told and we don’t need to know.  Under the law, the woman was guilty and deserving of death.  Jesus had come to change all of that.  He was bringing a new way of looking at and treating the guilty party.   From the reaction of the accusers when Jesus questioned them, we know that, at some point, all of them had transgressed the law.  In Jesus’s way of thinking, regardless of what they had done, they were as worthy of death as the woman was.  Under the law, there was big sin and little sin.  Under grace, there is just sin, liars are lumped right in there with murderers.  We may often find ourselves in the position of the accusers or in position of the woman who committed the sin.  Jesus was using this situation to teach a two-fold lesson. First, He was teaching them the Golden Rule: “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.  If we were caught in this situation, would we want others to show us mercy?   Then we must show mercy.  The second and most important lesson is that sin is forgivable and that is the road we should choose.
To receive God’s forgiveness, we are required to forgive others of their sins.

MATTHEW 6:7-14 NLT

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

Post 01-12-2019

“Like Autumn Leaves”

even-smaller-bug-light1

6  We are all infected and impure with sin.  When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall,
    and our sins sweep us away like the wind.
7  Yet no one calls on your name or pleads with you for mercy. Therefore, you have turned away from us and turned us over to  our sins.
 — Isaiah 64:6, 7 NLT

We were born in sin into a sinful world and as long as we live in this flesh, we will be affected by sin.  In the flesh, we can do good deeds, but those good deeds will not get us into heaven.  We can wash and clean the exterior but only the righteousness of Jesus Christ can cleanse the inside.  Doing good deeds without Godly direction can be compared to painting a wooden house without repairing the rotten areas.  It looks good to the world but soon the house will fall.  When we look at our nation, there are still a lot of good things that we can observe but there are fewer and fewer God things.  We have been blessed abundantly for so long that we have become comfortable and complacent in who we are.  To worship means to honor and to honor requires obedience.  When we aren’t obedient to God, we are putting ourselves in His place and trying to do His job.  When we put other things above God and his commands, He cannot be Lord of our lives.  Our God is a jealous God, He will be Lord of all or He will not be Lord at all.  He has not and will not change.  He does not negotiate nor bargain with us.  But when we come to the end of the rope, if we reach out for His hand, He is always there to take our hand and carry us to safety.  Let us examine our positions and agree with God.  When we do, we will fall on our faces and plead for His forgiveness and mercy.

 
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 10-07-2018

To Be Forgiven, Forgive Others

even-smaller-bug-light1

25  “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more. — Isaiah 43:25 NLT

God forgives us of our sins and chooses not to remember them or hold them against us.  No where in the Bible are we instructed to “forgive and forget”.  Like many sayings attributed to the Bible, this one is not in there.  While it is a beautiful expression and idea, I am not sure that humans are capable of forgetting those transgressions,  either the ones we have committed against God or those that have been committed against us.  While we may not be capable of forgetting, we are charged over and over with the responsibility of forgiving.  That we can do, because it is an act of the will, it is a decision that we make.  God has certainly told us that His forgiveness of our sins requires us to forgive others

32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.  — Eph. 4:32​

 
There are many other verses emphasizing the fact that we must forgive.  These verses also show us how our relationship with the Father is affected by a lack of forgiveness. (Matt. 6:15)  They also show us how a lack of forgiveness causes us to become bitter (Hebrews 12) and how un-forgiveness will cause us to lose our reward (2 John).
The “forgetting” part means that we should be so sure and certain about our decision to forgive that the transgression no longer affects our relationship with the person committing the act.  It is no longer a part of any discussion we have or any decision that we make.  It means that just as God has justified our standing with Him, we do the same for the transgressor.  It is as if we had “forgotten” or as if that incident had never happened. Notice in the passage from Isaiah that God said He would forgive them for His sake which indicates there are some good things that come to those who do the forgiving as well as to those who are forgiven.  So,  if for no other reason, we need to forgive for our own sake.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 09-21-2018