“Don’t Handle! Don’t Taste! Don’t Touch!”

18 Don’t let anyone condemn you by insisting on pious self-denial or the worship of angels, saying they have had visions about these things. Their sinful minds have made them proud — Colossians 2:18

Colossians 2:16-23 NLT

Condemnation comes from satan and weighs us down with guilt for things that we have done in the past or things that we are doing now.  If satan can keep you feeling guilty, he has defeated you because you will not be able to do good works when you are weighed down with guilt.  Remember that there is no condemnation for those of us who are in Christ Jesus.  Condemnation is different from conviction.  God’s Holy Spirit will bring conviction upon us but it will lead us to repentance. Once we have repented, our relationship with Jesus is restored and we can again be effective working for Christ.  Man should not add any requirements for salvation to what God has already laid out in His Word. No matter what anyone tells you, we cannot be good enough to earn salvation or bad enough to lose our salvation.  Our salvation depends on Jesus and His shed blood. God tells us in Romans that nothing, absolutely nothing, can separate us from Him and His love. Why? Because it is a gift from God and gifts cannot be bought or earned. All the rules and precepts are shadows of what is coming.  It is our responsibility to use discernment and cross check what people say with the Holy Scriptures.  If the two do not agree, then we must always go with the Word.  Just as our physical bodies are controlled by our brains (head) and nourished by the blood flowing through it , so is the Spiritual body controlled by the head, who is Christ Jesus.  The whole body is held together by the power of His Word and is nourished by His Spirit flowing through us.

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

Post 06-17-2019

“There Is Freedom”

17 For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. — 2 Cor. 3:17 NLT


2 Cor. 3:16-18 NLT

Before we accepted Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we lived in spiritual bondage and darkness.  Blinded by a veil of unbelief, we lived a lifestyle controlled by our fleshly desires.  We thought we had the freedom to make the decisions for our lives when, in fact, we were being controlled by lusts, greed, emotions and every evil thing.  We did not see those things as evil because we were spiritually blind.  They were veiled by our own ignorance and the subtleties of the devil.  Our daily lives were consumed by the great “I” , it was all about us.  We spent our time and resources chasing after temporary pleasures and desperately seeking the next “high”.  Those “highs’ could be the next drink, pill, sexual act or something as seemingly innocent as a shopping trip or a sports event.  Whatever it took to give us that temporary pleasure, we did and thought we were happy.  It was not until the Holy Spirit called us and opened our eyes to see the fallacy of short-term pleasures that we realized we needed and wanted something different.  The Holy Spirit gave us the freedom to choose a different way of life and freed us from the bondage of “self”.  He doesn’t ask us to change ourselves, He ask us for permission to allow Him to change us.  It is then and only then, that we realize how badly we were blinded and bound.  With the Spirit comes freedom.  Freedom to become everything God has planned for us.  Lead on, Holy Spirit, Lead on.

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

Post 05-08-2019

“Be Holy”

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16 For it is written, “You must be holy, because I am holy.” – 1 Peter 1:16 ISV

1 Peter 1:13 -16 ISV

God has made each of us different, but there is one thing that every human has in common, we were all born in sin into a sinful world.  We have all succumbed to those fleshly desires that kept us from enjoying the freedom that Jesus died to purchase for us.  When we have those thoughts that we might be better than others we need to be reminded that there was a time when we lived in ignorance of the goodness and the graciousness of God. Paul warns us in Romans not to think of ourselves as better than others.

 
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. — Romans 12:3 NIV

In Philippians, Paul takes it a step further and advises us to put others and their interests above ourselves and our interests.

3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. –Phil. 2:3, 4 NIV

If we practice doing this instead of being judgmental, we will be following the example that Jesus set for us.  If we have this mindset and focus on the fact that the only difference in us and them is the grace that God has so generously given unto us, it will cause us to show those around us the same kind of grace and forgiveness that God has shown to us. That is a step toward being holy even as God is holy.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 08-20-2018

The Veil Has Been Removed

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17 For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. – 2 Cor. 3:17
 
Even though the veil was rent when Jesus died on the cross, there are those who who will hear the news and not accept it as truth.  Whether they claim to believe the law or not, their refusal of the offer of salvation leaves them under the law. Therefore, when the Old Testament is read, a veil covers their heart. They hear but they refuse to understand.  The veil is not removed from our eyes and hearts until we accept Jesus as our Savior. The law and the veil keep us in bondage and lead to death.  When we accept Jesus as our Savior, the veil is removed and the Holy Spirit comes to abide in us giving us freedom and life. At that moment, we are saved from the wrath of God and eternal punishment.  But, God wants us to have more than just salvation, He wants us to understand that now we are being sanctified or set apart for His service and for His glory. He wants us to get to know Him, to have a relationship with Him and participate in the abundant life. For that to happen, we must spend time contemplating and meditating on His Word. As we spend time with God, the Holy Spirit is transforming us into the image of God.2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3 All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. — 1 John 3:2, 3 NIV

 

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

Post 06-06-2018

“The Right To Do Anything”

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12 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. 13 You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. —1 Cor. 6:12,13 NIV

When we accepted Jesus as our Savior, we were set free from the bondage of sin. We no longer were bound to satan and the flesh. Just as our physical freedom has limits, so does our Spiritual freedom have limits.  The physical limits are set by the laws of the land.  Our Spiritual limits are set because of our love for our Lord and Savior. Free to do anything?  Yes, but would doing just anything the flesh wanted glorify our Lord? No, of course not.  The flesh is weak and if we give into fleshly desires, they will become our master. We are free to choose who we serve. We can serve Jesus and live or we can serve the flesh and die. We are free to give into temptations, but that doesn’t mean that we should. There are dire consequences to choosing a sinful lifestyle.

14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. 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 02-15-2018

One Message – Plain and Simple

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11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ. – 1 Cor. 3:11 NLT
​In our witnessing, there is only one message and that message is the foundation of Christianity. The message is this; Jesus died on the cross at Calvary to redeem us from our sinful nature. He was buried and three days later, He arose. That is the foundation upon which the church of Jesus Christ is built. We can build on that foundation by teaching others that the Bible is completely true. If we do this with understanding and wisdom from heaven, then we will be building with gold, silver and costly stones. This builder will receive his crowns and rewards in heaven. If we do it with only human understanding without the illumination of the Holy Spirit, we will be building with wood, hay or straw. This builder will narrowly make it to heaven, but suffer the loss of any rewards he thought he had earned.
22 Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh–Jude 22, 23 NIV

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

Post 02-01-2018

Love Jesus – Love Your Neighbor – Love Yourself

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13 For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. 14 For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”15 But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another. – Galatians 13-15 NLT

Those who choose Jesus are “free indeed”. Jesus died to set us free from the bondage of sin. But, we must never take that liberty as a license to live a lifestyle of sin and indulgence in sinful pleasures. Whereas, before our repentance, we were bound to do those things that the flesh desires, we are now free to do the things that the Spirit desires. True repentance means turning from one way of life to a new way of life. In our old lifestyle, there was no compulsion to forgive anyone for anything or to love any one. Now, with the love of God and His Holy Spirit living in us, we are compelled to forgive and love. It is impossible for man to do that without the leadership of the Holy Spirit. If we truly love Jesus, we keep His commandments. Those commandments require us to love and forgive. Loving and forgiveness are not products of our emotions, they are willful decisions that we make. If “loving your neighbor as yourself” takes you to the cross, are you willing to go?
Jesus was!

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

Post 01-16-2018