“Love Your Enemies”

44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! — Matt.5:44 NLT

Matt. 5:43-48 NLT

Jesus is the difference-maker.  Not just the fact that He is the only person ever resurrected to eternal life but in the way we think and live.  In every aspect of life, His view was diametrically opposed to the views of the world and of the flesh.  The law said to love your neighbor and hate your enemy. Jesus said to not only love our enemies but to show that love by praying for them.  How often do we fervently pray for our families, friends and neighbors, much less our enemies?  But I don’t have any enemies, you say. Even here, Jesus has a different view.  If the world and those that hold worldly views are not our enemies, then they are our friends and that makes us an enemy of God.  James 4: 4-7 NLT  The Holy Spirit that God has placed inside us does not agree with sin in any way.  Those around us that would tempt us to disobey God are our Spiritual enemies.  If we can’t resist the temptations they offer, they will lead us into destruction, That sounds like an enemy to me.  We must pray for them fervently and continuously and for ourselves to have the Spiritual strength to resist the devil, humble ourselves before God and accept His definition of sin and the enemy.

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

Post 05-09-2019

“Do Not Make the Holy Spirit Sad”

30 And do not make the Holy Spirit sad. The Spirit is God’s proof that you belong to him. God gave you the Spirit to show that God will make you free when the final day comes. — Eph. 4:30 NCV

Ephesians 4:25-30 NCV

Maybe because His name is Holy Spirit we tend not to think of Him as a person.  But the third person of the Trinity is just as much a person and just as much God as Jesus, the second person and God the first person.  Each has a different office and duty but they are One and the Same.  When we ignore God or reject Jesus, we are doing the same thing to the Holy Spirit.  When we grieve God, we cause sadness in the whole Godhead.  When we are obedient and faithful, we bring joy to the Trinity.  There is a person living inside of every Christian who feels grief, sadness, pain and joy just as we feel those things.  None of us like to be ignored, neither does He.  How long would a friendship last if we walked with a human friend 24/7 and never acknowledged his/her presence or spoke to them?  What if we never invited them to join in our conversations and our mealtimes?  What if, for all practical purposes, our words and actions denied that we had a friend with us?  Yet, hour after hour, we treat the Holy Spirit exactly this way.  We deny that He is within us by our actions but more often by our lack of actions.  How many times and places do we have an opportunity to introduce our Friend but we don’t?  How many times does He asks us to introduce Him by that little nudge we feel but we won’t?  If we say that we have never felt that nudge, what does that say about our relationship with our Friend?  Let us all pray that the next time we feel that nudge, we will have the boldness to introduce Him to our other friends and acquaintances.

“The closer I get to the end of my life, it seems the only question that matters, Is the life I am living pleasing to God?” – Ken Gire In “Sacred”

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

Post 03-02-2019

Giving It All Up For HIS Sheep

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Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep. – John 21:17a NLT
 

 

They had caught 153 fish in one haul, talk about an abundance! Jesus came that we might have abundant life (John 10:10). This was the third time they had seen Jesus since the Resurrection, so they knew who He was. Now, Jesus asks Peter a simple question. “Do you love me more than these?” Peter answers “Yes, Lord, you know I love you”. Jesus then said to Peter “take care of my sheep”. It is as if Jesus is saying to Peter, do you love me enough to leave these other disciples to go and feed my sheep. The third time Jesus asks He uses a different word for love that is asking Peter how deeply do you love me? Jesus says for the third time, “Feed my sheep”. The question for us then is this: Do we love Jesus enough to leave family, friends and home to feed His sheep? We come to the same question that we must ask ourselves everyday. Are we willing to give up everyone and everything to follow Jesus?
23 Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me. 24 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.—Luke 9:23, 24 (NLT)

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

Post 12-15-2017

Keep On Keeping On!

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“I have told you these things so that you won’t abandon your faith. – John 16:1 NLT
 

Jesus is warning His disciples and us that there will be times when the path will not be so smooth. There will be times when we are mistreated and offended for the Gospel’s sake, but we need to press on. Paul thought he was doing a service for God when he was persecuting and killing Christians. He was walking in darkness but he encountered a powerful Light that changed his life. As long as Jesus was here with the disciples He knew that He would be the target for all the abuse. But now that He was leaving, He knew that He had to reinforce the things He had been teaching them. We need that same encouragement every day in our lives. It is easy for us to become frustrated and want to give up, but we have a friend that sticks closer to us than a brother. He is always with us. As Paul learned after his life-changing event, we must suffer with Christ. There is a cross for each of us to bear. But we must remember and hang onto the conclusion that Paul came to in his journey.
18 The sufferings we have now are nothing compared to the great glory that will be shown to us. 19 Everything God made is waiting with excitement for God to show his children’s glory completely.Romans 8:18,19 NCV
6 God began doing a good work in you, and I am sure he will continue it until it is finished when Jesus Christ comes againPhilippians 1:6 NCV

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

Post 11-14-2017

Showing Our Love By Our Actions

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Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  – James 2:8 NLT
We are all familiar with the commandment that Jesus called the second most important commandment. We believe it, but how do we walk that out in our everyday lives? How do we show the world around us that we love Jesus and that we love them? Of course, we can see those in need physically, financially and materially. We should always fulfill those needs as much as we possibly can. But what about those with spiritual needs? If our neighbor had a deadly disease and we had the cure, would we withhold it? Yet, there are those in our families, our circle of friends, and in our neighborhood, who have a deadly disease called sin.
15 Your desire grows inside you until it results in sin. Then the sin grows bigger and bigger and finally ends in death–James 1:15 (ERV)
 

We have the cure for that disease, why don’t we share it with everyone who has not accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior? Remember, we were once infected with that disease and someone shared the cure with us. “Go and do likewise”.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Post 05-29-2017

Everyone, Everywhere, Every-time

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1 I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. — 1 Timothy 2:1 NLT

Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Paul instructs and encourages us to pray for all people continuously. We should intercede for family, friends, neighbors, and enemies that God would draw them to Himself through the Holy Spirit that they may be saved. We should especially pray for those in authority over us. Not just governmental authorities, but we should also pray for those in authority over us in our family, church, and workplace. Because it is God’s desire for everyone to be saved, it should also be our desire and our prayer. Jesus is the only Mediator between us and God because He loved us enough to be obedient, even to death on the Cross.This plan was put into place before the foundations of the world were laid. God was never surprised at the evil of humanity and knew even when He created us that He would have to give His only Son for our redemption. How magnificent and awesome is the love of God toward us! Our lips should be a source of constant praise for His goodness and mercy!

Psalm 63:1-5 NLT


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

Post 03-27-2017

Endless Love!

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19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
— Ephesians 3:19 NLT
God is the Creator of all things. Therefore, they are His to give as He desires. His resources, like His love, are unlimited.  Our tiny human minds cannot begin to imagine the depth. length, width, and height of God’s love.  There is only one force that is powerful enough to cause a Creator to create a creature knowing that He would someday have to die on a cross to redeem His creation from eternal death.  It is a love that certainly is too great for us to understand.  Now, we can only try to imagine that kind of love, but one day we will know the fullness of God’s love.  Today, we see in a glass darkly, but one day, we will see clearly.  His love is the power in us that causes us to want to love our friends and our enemies. There are three great motivators for humans: greed, fear, and love. Greed only lasts till the money runs out, fear is only effective as long as the boss is around, but love is endless and loyal at all times.
So give love graciously and abundantly, there is no end to the supply of love.
 
34 So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”   — John 13:34-35 NLT

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

Post 11-04-2016

Who Is My Enemy?

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44 But I say, love your enemies![r] Pray for those who persecute you! — Matt.5:44

Jesus is the difference-maker.  Not just the fact that He is the only person ever resurrected to eternal life but in the way we think and live.  In every aspect of life, His view was diametrically opposed to the views of the world and of the flesh.  The law said to love your neighbor and hate your enemy. Jesus said to not only love our enemies but to show that love by praying for them.  How often do we fervently pray for our families, friends and neighbors, much less our enemies?  But I don’t have any enemies, you say. Even here, Jesus has a different view.  If the world and those that hold worldly views are not our enemies, then they are our friends and that makes us an enemy of God.  James 4: 4-7 NLT  The Holy Spirit that God has placed inside us does not agree with sin in any way.  Those around us that would tempt us to disobey God are our Spiritual enemies.  If we can’t resist the temptations they offer, they will lead us into destruction,  That sounds like an enemy to me.  We must pray for them fervently and continuously and for ourselves to have the Spiritual strength to resist the devil, humble ourselves before God and accept His definition of sin and the enemy.

Post 09-11-2016

Gotta Tell Somebody!

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14 But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? — Romans 10:14 NLT
 
 
When we accepted Jesus as our Savior, we became a part of a family and took on the family name, Christian.  One of the biggest responsibilities that comes with the family name is telling others about our new family and inviting them to become a part of that family.   “Go and make disciples”  isn’t a suggestion, it is a command.  That doesn’t mean that we all have to lay down what we are doing and go to foreign countries but it does mean that wherever you are is your mission field.  “Go” to your family, your neighbor, your business associate, your friends and your enemies.  Telling others about Jesus should be considered a privilege and it should be a joy for us to do it.  When God called us to be His child, He had a plan and a purpose for us.  He has a part for each of us to play in building His Kingdom here on earth and in heaven.  Can we be Christians without “going and telling”?  Each of us should ask God that question and seek His answer diligently.  Can we be happy, joyful Christians without “going and telling”?   Since not telling is being disobedient, I seriously doubt it.  If you have never experienced the joy of leading someone to Christ, ask God to give you that opportunity today. 
Post 08-12-2016

We Can Never Be Alone

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21 I need someone to mediate between God and me, as a person mediates between friends.
22 For soon I must go down that road from which I will never return. — Job 16:21,22 NLT

 

Here and in other verses in this book, it is as if Job gets a glimpse of the future and the plan that God has in place to redeem fallen man.  Job realizes that it is useless for a man to argue with God.  We need a mediator and God had a plan in place to provide one for us.  We are certainly free to state our case in any situation.  When we are speaking to God, we should always be as honest as both Job and David.  They were not afraid to pour out their disappointments to God.  They did not blame God.  However, just as we do, they questioned why God allowed certain things to happen in the life of His children.  But when we do this, we must realize that we are in the presence of the Almighty God.  We can be bold but at the same time, we must be humble and ready to accept His answers.  God listens carefully, but He does not negotiate.  In the end, we, like Job and David, must come to the conclusion that God is God and He truly knows what is best for us. We all must go through the valleys and the dark nights.  But the key thing for us to remember is that we are going through, we are not going to be there forever.  For every valley, there are two mountains and for every dark night, there is light on both sides.   As the McKameys sing, “the God on the mountain is still God in the valley and the God of the daytime is still God in the night”.  Do not be discourage or dismayed, our God will never leave us alone and He will never forsake us.

Post 06-25-2016