“Pursue Peace With All Men”

14 Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. — Hebrews 12:14 NASB

Hebrews 12:14-17 NASB

The test is this: How do we react when we are betrayed by someone that is close to us, whether it be a family member, friend, close associate or a stranger? Is your first thought, “I should pursue peace with all men”? Or does anger immediately fill you and your mind starts to think about ways to “get even”? What does “get even” mean and how do we know when we are “even”? Ignore the anger? No, iyou hold your anger, it will eventually become a “root of bitterness”. That root, as it grows, will push every good thing out of the way to manifest itself in your personality. Let God handle it for you. Jesus was betrayed by Judas, a “friend” who had been the treasurer of the disciples and a companion for the better part of 3 years. What was his reaction to that betrayal? He allowed Judas to carry out his work even though Jesus knew it would mean His death. Remember, because of our sins, we have all betrayed Jesus and yet, He died for us. Easier said than done, right? So, how do we allow God to do it? 

6 Then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel saying, ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.–Zechariah 4:6 (NASB)

We listen to the Spirit of the Living God and His Spirit directs us as to what we should say and/or do. Most likely, the only action for us will be to pray for the person who has offended us and prepare our hearts to forgive when we are asked and render assistance and encouragement when the offender needs it.

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

Post 08-05-2019

Best Friend Ever!

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1 I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart;  I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done. 2 I will be filled with joy because of you.  I will sing praises to your name, O Most High. — Psalm 9:1, 2 NLT
 
 

As we tell and retell the Gospel story and talk about all the marvelous things God has done for us, we are filled with joy. The more we tell the old, old story, the more sure our hope becomes and the more joy we have to help us get through each day.  That old liar, satan, comes around every day telling us how bad things are and pointing out all the things we don’t have.  But all we need to do is stop and consider all the things with which God has blessed us. Then we need to thank Him and praise Him for all that He has done, is doing and will continue to do for us. We need to remind ourselves and satan about Paul’s admonition to us in Philippians on the things we need to focus on in our daily thought patterns.


Philippians 4:8, 9

God tells over and over that we should not worry, fear or be discouraged, yet, we spend more time considering what we are going to do when bad things happen than we do praising God for what He has done, is doing and will continue to do for us.  Just as we don’t want to hear our kids complaining about what they don’t have all the time, neither does God want to hear our murmurs and complaining every day.  It was this kind of behavior by God’s chosen people that caused Him to be angry with them on their trek through the desert. Do we want best friends who only tell us about their problems or those who share their concerns and their victories with us?  God is our best friend, let us treat Him like we would our best friend.  Talk with Him, not just to Him every day and praise Him for all of His goodness, then we will be filled with His peace and His joy, which is His gift to us.

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

Post 12-19-2018

Chosen, Called, Befriended

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17 It was by faith that Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice when God was testing him.
– Hebrews 11:17A NLT
Abraham had lived for years waiting on the fulfillment of God’s promise of a son through which he would become the father of many nations. The son, Isaac, finally came when both Abraham and Sarah were well past normal child-bearing age.  Now, after a few short years with Isaac, God is asking Abraham to kill the dream. How could this possibly be?  Surely, Abraham had misunderstood what God said.  But, no, Abraham had completely understood what God said.  God knew how much Abraham trusted Him but Abraham needed to know that as well. If God has given any of us a vision or a dream in the past and it has not yet happened, do we trust God enough to let it die? Do we trust Him to bring that vision back to life, even if it takes a miracle?  The birth of Isaac was a miracle and the ram being caught in the bush was a miracle. Ah, you say, but Abraham was a chosen person, a friend of God’s.  God might do that for Abraham but not for me.  But, you would be wrong.  We are all chosen by God and we are all friends of God. God has not changed and He is still doing miraculous things on this earth.  If it takes a miracle for God to fulfill His promises to us, there are plenty of miracles left and more than sufficient power to make those miracles happen. We must believe. God does not always respond to every need, but He always responds to faith.

 

9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. — 1 Peter 2:9

24 One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. — Prov. 18:24
2​8 When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them,“Do you believe that I am able to do this?” ​ ​“Yes, Lord,” they replied. 29 Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you” — Matt. 9:28, 29

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

Post 05-17-2018

Divine Guidance

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13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. – John 16:13 NLT
 
Jesus had been a Friend, Teacher, Mentor, and Guide for the disciples for the better part of 3 years. Now in In preparing His disciples for His departure, Jesus tells them He is leaving for their good. What could possible be better than walking with Jesus?  Who would lead them in His absence?  Who would talk with them? Who would strengthen and encourage them now?  Jesus told them there is an Advocate coming to do all this for them. The Spirit of Truth that would guide them into all truth. Just as Jesus had said about Himself, He also says about the Holy Spirit.

19 Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.–John 5:19 NIV

Why would this be better? As a human, Jesus could only be in one place at one time. He could only teach those within the sound of His voice. The Holy Spirit is not bound by human restraints. He lives inside of each of us and can be everywhere at once.  Just think of it, God’s Powerful Spirit (GPS, if you will) with His own network that reaches everywhere and is never out of contact with you or His home station. Powerful enough to direct every human on earth at one time. So, if you are feeling lost, confused or needing encouragement, just stop and listen to the GPS inside you

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

Post 03-12-2018

Love So Amazing!

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31 “Then take him away and judge him by your own law,” Pilate told them. “Only the Romans are permitted to execute someone,” the Jewish leaders replied. – John 18:28-32

John 18:28-32 NLT

We humans are a mess! Look at these religious leaders! Here they are participating in a mockery of justice and falsely accusing Jesus of being a criminal of some sort. Yet, they would not go inside the Roman governor’s palace lest they become defiled and unclean. Then they would not be able to eat the Passover meal. The Jews had the authority to hold court and try their own people, so that is what Pilate tells them to do. But they wanted Jesus to be put to death and they did not have the authority to administer that kind of punishment. We, too, can be as hypocritical as these religious leaders. We judge unfairly and gossip about others, even our own Christian brothers and sisters. We can go to church every day of the week, but if we don’t love our neighbor, we are just as guilty as these people. Remember, every word of gossip grieves the Holy Spirit who is living inside us. As I write this, I am convinced that the Holy Spirit is guiding me because I need to be the first to hear this admonition. Thank you, Holy Spirit, my friend and my guide, for loving me enough to take the time to teach me again and again and again. Thank you for forgiving me even though you know I will fail and grieve you again. Amazing love!! Amazing grace that saved a wretch like me!!!


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

Post 12-03-2017

A Friend of the World is an Enemy of God

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You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. – James 4:4 NLT

The Greek word (moi-kho’s) that is translated as adulterers has more than just a sexual connotation. It is anyone committing an act of infidelity or unfaithfulness to God. These actions are what depict us as “friends” of the world. If we live a lifestyle that is filled with these kind of actions, then we show by our actions that we are “enemies” of God. Our flesh is constantly warring against the Spirit that God has placed inside us. We need to be guided by God’s Holy Spirit not by our fleshly desires.

16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil​l​ the lust of the flesh.

17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.–Gal. 5:16,17 (KJV)
We cannot win the war by ourselves, the flesh is too strong. But God gives us grace and mercy. He is made strong in our weaknesses. If we are faithful to walk “in the Spirit”, God will fight and win every battle for us.

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

Post 06-06-2017

Father Knows Best

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 12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. — John 1:12 NLT
 

Anytime of any day is a good time to bring our requests before the Lord, He is always awake and waiting to hear from us. No, more than waiting, He is waiting expectantly wanting to hear from each of His children.  We have such a great honor bestowed upon us to be called “the children of God”. We should never be hesitant to talk with Him about any subject that is on our mind. After all, He already knows what we are thinking, but He created us for companionship and worship. We should talk with Him daily. Morning is the best time to talk with God because our minds are not yet cluttered with all the worldly stuff. It is truly amazing how smooth a day goes when we start it with directions from our Father, our King, and our Friend. We have plans, but they might not be the same plans He has for us. His will be much higher and better than ours. Before you leave home today, spend some time with our best Friend.

Psalm 5:1-3 NLT

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

Post 11-14-2016