“I Love to Tell the Story”

13  I will lift up the cup of salvation and praise the Lord’s name for saving me.  — Psalm 116:13 NLT

Psalm 116:5-14 NLT

If God never did another thing for us after giving us the gift of salvation, it would be more than sufficient reason for us to praise Him forever.  Yet, He just keeps on giving and giving.  Every breath is a gift. “Every good and every perfect gift is from above”.  Those gifts come from the Father in whom there is no variation.  He has always been a giver, He is a giver now and He has no plans to change.  He is the Solid Rock, whatever good there is comes from Him and that will not change.  Every day is a day that He has made just for us.  He doesn’t need day and night, they are a gift for frail humans whose minds are too small to grasp an eternity with no seams. He gives us “a time for all things”.   He is never more than a thought away from us.  He is our constant companion so that we are never alone.  If we were in heaven with Jesus, we would be praising Him constantly.  Yet, here on earth we live every day in His presence and spend little or no time praising Him and offering up thanks for all that He does.  We should praise the Lord daily for saving us and tell the world about our salvation.  Our tongues should be like the “pen of a ready writer” and tell the story over and over.  “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

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

Post 04-17-2019

The Effect of Hearing the Gospel

20 So the message about the Lord spread widely and had a powerful effect. — Acts 19:20 NLT

Acts 19:11-20 NLT

We are told in verse one that “God gave Paul the power to perform unusual miracles.”  In verse twenty, we see the reason for this was to spread the Good News about Jesus and the redemption story.  The spreading of the Gospel always has a powerful effect on all those that hear.  To those that hear and believe, it brings new life.  To those who hear but refuse to believe, it brings death.  Anytime the name of Jesus is spoken those that hear it must make a decision right then and there.  Either they will believe the Good News and receive life or they will refuse to believe and earn their way to hell.  When the name of Jesus is spoken with the intent to glorify God, it contains all of the power that was present at the resurrection of Jesus.  But when the name of Jesus is spoken with the intention of self-glory or for the mere purpose of gaining wealth, the result is confusion and chaos. Just ask the seven sons of Sveca.  God is a God of miracles and miracles are still being performed today.  Not all of us are given the power to perform miracles as Paul was.  God gives different gifts to members of the body of Christ so that it can be whole and bring glory to Himself. God doesn’t perform miracles on a whim or on demand.  Each time we witness a miracle we know that God has a purpose and a plan that requires a miracle to complete the plan.  Miracles always affect more than one person.   The person receiving the miracle is not the only one touched.  Those seeing or listening that are already believers are encouraged and those who do not believe will be drawn to God.


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

Post 03-12-2019

God Provides Abundantly

even-smaller-bug-light139 You will need 75 pounds of pure gold for the lampstand and its accessories.​ – Exodus 25:39 NLT​

Exodus 25:36-39 NLT

For those who think God has something against money, prosperity and being rich, here is something to think about. Seventy-five pounds of gold is 1200 ounces.  On today’s market, gold is listed at $1203.00 per ounce.  That means that in today’s world, the cost of the lampstand and all of its accessories would be $1,443,600.00 in US currency. Extravagant?  If you own all the gold in the world, does extravagant even have a meaning?  One could object that God took all this money from the poor, homeless Israelis.  Why would He do that?  But, we must remember when they were slaves in Egypt, they had nothing and when God called them out of Egypt, He caused the Egyptians to give the Israelis all of their jewelry and gold.  He was the reason they had the gold in the first place, they were just carrying it for Him.  The same is true of us today, anything that we have came from God and we are just carrying it for Him. The next time the offering plate is passed, we need to remember where our gold came from and give a goodly portion of it back.  When we  have an opportunity to share the bountiful gifts God has so freely given to us, let us share it with a joyful, thankful heart. Take a moment to remember and thank God for His extravagance in giving us His Son.  We will never be able to give to God more than He has given to us.  When we seriously think about it, God doesn’t really require much of us.

8  No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you:​ to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.  — Micah 6:8 NLT​

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

Post 09-27-2018

Gifts Are to be Used for God’s Glory

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11 Then the Lord asked Moses, “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.” — Exodus 4:11, 12 NLT

God has given each of us particular gifts and we use those gifts daily in our secular lives but when God asks us to use them for His work, we suddenly pretend we don’t have those abilities.  Take Moses, for instance, forty years earlier, Moses had no problem taking charge.  He killed an Egyptian who was beating a slave. The next day, he comes out and tells the slaves to quit fighting each other.  Those are characteristics of a leader. But, now after forty years of desert training, when God wants Him to use those same talents to free His people and lead them through the desert, Moses suddenly can’t.  If  you think God was happy with Moses, you are wrong.  In fact, He met Moses and was about to kill him and would have except for the actions of Zipporah.(Exodus 4:24-26)


In today’s world, think about the effectiveness of the church if:
Every school teacher volunteered to teach Sunday School
Every CEO or business leader volunteered for a leadership/mentoring position
Everyone who served others in any position served in the church
Whatever talent you have, you used that talent in the church

Just think about this:  The Creator of the universe, the Omniscient God would not ask us to do a job that He has not specifically given us the talent and the training to do.  If God knew someone else could do the job better than we could, then He would have called them instead of us!  The next time we feel that little nudge to volunteer, before we say “no”,  think about the results in the parable of the talents (Matt. 25:14-30).

 
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. 2:10 NLT​
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 09-20-2018

“Our God Is An Awesome God”

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17 Every generous act of giving and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father who made the heavenly lights, in whom there is no inconsistency or shifting shadow. – James 1:17 ISV
When God created the world, after each day’s work,we are told that “God saw that it was good” .
31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day ​– Genesis 1:​31 NIV
Everything in this world was created good and perfect to last forever and was given to man by God to enjoy and have dominion over it all. Then man sinned and decay and rot started in all of God’s creation. But God had a plan to fix all that even before He laid the foundations of the earth . So, He gave us “THE good and perfect gift”, Himself, to die on a cross to redeem all of creation.  He is still in the business of giving good gifts to us.  This very moment is called the “present” because it is a gift from God. The good earth we enjoy, the very air that we breathe, every particle of food that we eat are all gifts from God.  When He gives them, they are good gifts, but we have chosen to belittle and desecrate those gifts by refusing to give thanks to the Creator of all things.  Every second of our life is a gift from God and we need to give Him praise, glory and honor for those precious seconds. Our attitudes should always be an attitude of humility and thankfulness. We should stand in awe of our awesome God.
 
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 07-29-2018

Show God’s Love to Others

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If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. – 1 Cor. 13:3 NLT
 
Anyone can do good works and have good intentions. You can help people without getting involved in their lives. It seems that in today’s society, that is the preferred way to help. If we just throw some money at the issue, maybe it will go away. But, our example, Jesus, got involved. He knew and we are learning that money is not the cure for a sinful world. We can take vows of poverty and give away all we have, but if we don’t love, it is a useless endeavor. Our churches can exercise all the God-given gifts, but if we don’t show love, it will not bring others to Jesus. We tend to show others “love” when it is convenient and cost us very little in terms of investing time and touch. Before anyone can really show love, they must have the love of God in their hearts. True love comes only from God.16 We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love.​ God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. 17 And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect.  ​ – 1 John 4:16-17 NLT

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

Post 04-04-2018

“Let Love Be Your Highest Goal”

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31 Now eagerly desire the greater gifts.​ ​

1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.–1 Cor. 1​2:3​1-​1​3​:1 NIV

​In chapter 12, Paul has been explaining the importance of each individual in being part of the body of Christ. He ends chapter 12 with the instructions to desire the greater gifts. Before the translators came up with  divisions of chapters and verses, this would have been a continuation of Paul’s words without an interruption. Paul immediately launches into an elongated definition of love, giving us the “love” chapter of Corinthians 13. This is a pretty strong hint in what Paul considers to be the most important aspect of Christianity. Unless our words are backed up with actions of love, we are just making noise and creating much ado about nothing. Then Paul starts chapter 14 with this verse
 
Let love be your highest goal! But you should also desire the special abilities the Spirit gives—especially the ability to prophesy   –1 Cor. 14:1 NLT

Paul continues his letter with a discussion of gifts and their use in  the church.  Remember that Paul wrote these two letters to the Corinthians because they were having issues in the church about gifts and who was the most important. So, right in the middle of this discourse on the body of Christ and the gifts God has given us, he pauses to emphasize that none of this is about us.  It is about serving God in love and unity. Use your gift in love to edify others, but don’t think that it makes you any more important than anyone else in the congregation.

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

Post  04-03-2018