“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

Living Free Under Grace

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1 So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.​ – Gal. 5:1 NLT

Paul keeps encouraging the new converts to go forward and not turn back to the old law and traditions. Since we now live under grace, we are no longer bound by the laws of the Old Testament. Why? Have they been destroyed or nullified by God? No, definitely not. Why, then? Because, as Jesus Himself said:
17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.—Matt. 5:17 (NIV)
Since Jesus fulfilled the law, we are no longer bound by that law. We live under the covenant of grace. If we believe keeping one point of the law is necessary for salvation, then we are bound by all the points of the law. If it were possible for man to fulfill every point of the law, then Jesus died a useless death on the cross. Our salvation comes only by “grace through faith” in His finished work at Calvary. Does this mean we just accept Jesus and do nothing? No, there is work for us to do, but the work does not add to our salvation.
For it is by grace you have been saved,through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.–Eph. 2:8-10 (NIV)
Jesus “paid it all” and we are the beneficiaries of His death.

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

Post 01-13-2018

From Bondage to Freedom

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31 So, dear brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman; we are children of the free woman.- Gal. 4:31 NLT
Just as Ishmael mocked Isaac, the crowds had mocked and persecuted Jesus. Both Isaac and Jesus were born to fulfill a promise. Isaac was the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham. Even though both Abraham and Sara were well past child-bearing age, Isaac was born to them. Even though, Mary had never known a man she conceived and brought forth a Son. Jesus was a fulfillment of the promise that God would provide a Redeemer for His people. He would also be a Redeemer and Savior for all who would call upon His Name and accept Him as Lord of their life. Because of that, we who have accepted Jesus are children of the promise. Accepting Jesus and turning from the world, (the slave woman) we are no longer slaves in bondage to our fleshly desires. Even though we sometimes fail, it should be our heart’s desire not to stay fallen and return to our old habits. Jesus died that we might be free from those entanglements.
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.–Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV)

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

Post 01-12-2018