Open Wide the Gates

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11  Teach me your ways, O Lord,    that I may live according to your truth!
Grant me purity of heart,
so that I may honor you. — Psalm 86:11 NLT
 
 

Our purpose while we are here on earth is to honor and glorify God.  As sinners, we had neither the knowledge, ability or desire to do that.  It was only after we accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior that we came to realize how weak and foolish we were.  As Christians, our knowledge and ability are still limited.  That is why we must daily call upon the Holy Spirit to teach us God’s ways.   Our flesh will rebel, so we need the power of the Holy Spirit to overcome those desires and to change the desires of our hearts.  He is waiting to guide us into all truth and to give us pure hearts that yearn for fellowship with Jesus.  There is an old hymn with these words that we should make a daily prayer: “Just a closer walk with thee, grant it, Jesus, let it be.”  Our hearts should long for Jesus more than anything else in this world.  Any day spent without a conversation with Jesus is a dark, lonely and misspent day.  Just as the sun rises in the east every morning to dispel the darkness, so must we allow the Son to arise in us each morning to dispel the darkness of evil that surrounds us. “Open wide the gates and let the King of glory come in”.

Psalm 118:19-21 NKJV

Post 08-11-2016

 

What Sins?

even-smaller-bug-light15 Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? 6 And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test. 7 Now we pray to God that you will not do anything wrong—not so that people will see that we have stood the test but so that you will do what is right even though we may seem to have failed. 8 For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. 9 We are glad whenever we are weak but you are strong; and our prayer is that you may be fully restored. – 2 Cor. 13:5-9

Each of us needs to make it a habit to go back over our actions of today to see if we have added any new sins. This is not for condemnation, it is for confession and forgiveness. Every day, we are tempted and tested.  Since we are humans with fleshly desires, it is impossible for us to make it through a day without an impure or unkind thought of some kind.  satan makes sure that we have plenty of opportunities. Since we have Christ Jesus dwelling in us, it is not possible for us to fail the test, but we will miss a few answers on the test. Those missed answers remind us that we are not and never will be perfect.  But God has already taken care of those wrong answers by covering them with the blood of Jesus.  When we see and confess the errors, they are immediately redacted from our record.  God doesn’t keep score, the sins are all wiped away. All He sees is the righteousness of Jesus Christ. We are weak and helpless but God is waiting to strengthen and restore us. Whatever happens, the end result is to glorify God. His grace is sufficient, His power is perfect.
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. — 2 Cor. 12:9, 10
​As long as we remain in these tents of flesh, we will fail some of the time. But because all things are possible through and in Christ, we are not failures. We are conquerors and overcomers because His blood and His power perfect and protect us.

But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.
— Romans 8:37

Post 10-07-2015

No One is “Too Bad” or “Good Enough”

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

20 (Now in what I am writing to you, I assure you before God that I am not lying.) 21 Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. 22 I was still unknown by sight to the churches of Judea which were in Christ; 23 but only, they kept hearing, “He who once persecuted us is now preaching the faith which he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they were glorifying God because of me.—Gal. 1:20-24 (NASB)
Paul assures those to whom he is speaking then and us, with God as his witness, that what he is saying is true. He leaves Jerusalem and goes into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. He was very successful in his early ministry and the people rejoiced that God was being glorified because of the work of one who had been persecuting the Christians. Sometime after this, Barnabas found Paul and took him to Antioch to teach and convert the Greeks. Soon after this, Paul and Barnabas are sent out on their first missionary journey. We know that from this beginning, Paul became one of, if not the, greatest missionary in history.This is a great example to those who think that God won’t or can’t save them because they have been “too bad”. The blood of Jesus can make the vilest sinner clean. To those who think they have been “too bad” and also to those who think they have been “good enough”, we have to get the message out that everyone needs Jesus. He is the only way to heaven.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.—John 14:6 (NASB)
Post 03-20-2015

Glorify God in All That We Do

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

​1​ After saying all these things, Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son so he can give glory back to you. 2 For you have given him authority over everyone. He gives eternal life to each one you have given him. 3 And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth. 4 I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. 5 Now, Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began—John 17:1-5 (NLT)
Jesus had given up all His glory when He left heaven to become our Redeemer. That mission was soon to be completed. He had not lost a single soul that the Father had given Him. (Yes, Judas was lost, but he obviously was never a true believer) Now, Jesus is asking His Father to bring Him back home to be returned to that glory. He will have accomplished everything that they had planned before the earth was formed. He, once again, tells us the way to eternal life is to ​know ​Himself and His Father, the only true God.​ Now, it is our turn to bring glory to​ the Father by living the same lifestyle that Jesus lived.
35 Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages of that area, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And he healed every kind of disease and illness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.—Matt. 9:35, 36 (NLT)
​As we go,​ we should always be telling the Good News about the Kingdom, but there are those that Jesus puts in our path that He wants us to talk to about Him. Our lifestyle and actions should be such that people notice a difference between us and the world. If we allow the Holy Spirit that abides in us to do His work through us then we will produce the fruits of the Spirit and that will draw people to Jesus.
Post 02-17-2015

“It Was Right For Her”

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

1 Six days before the Passover Feast, Jesus went to Bethany, where Lazarus lived. (Lazarus is the man Jesus raised from the dead.) 2 There they had a dinner for Jesus. Martha served the food, and Lazarus was one of the people eating with Jesus. 3 Mary brought in a pint of very expensive perfume made from pure nard. She poured the perfume on Jesus’ feet, and then she wiped his feet with her hair. And the sweet smell from the perfume filled the whole house. 4 Judas Iscariot, one of Jesus’ followers who would later turn against him, was there. Judas said, 5 “This perfume was worth three hundred coins. Why wasn’t it sold and the money given to the poor?” 6​ ​But Judas did not really care about the poor; he said this because he was a thief. He was the one who kept the money box, and he often stole from it. 7 Jesus answered, “Leave her alone. It was right for her to save this perfume for today, the day for me to be prepared for burial. 8 You will always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me.”–John 12:1-8 (NCV)
​The​ purpose of every human is to glorify God. On an earlier occasion, Martha had complained about Mary setting at the feet of Jesus while she cooked and served the people. Now, Judas is complaining about Mary “wasting” the expensive perfume to anoint the feet of Jesus. God has gifted each of us with different talents to achieve His glory. Martha was a worker and a helper. She knew how to get things done. Mary had the gifts of giving and encouraging. Some of us are vessels of gold and silver while others are vessels of wood and earth. Sometimes we try to do things outside of our gifting and calling. Those are the times that cause problems in the body of Christ. If you haven’t already, ask God to show you the gift He has given you to glorify Him. The body of Christ needs each of us to fulfill our calling, God needs each of us to exercise our gift so that the body will be complete. Once you discover “what is right” for you, you will find the joy and peace that God wants to give each of His children every day.
Post 01-13-2015

Speak the Truth and Honor God

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

14 Then, midway through the festival, Jesus went up to the Temple and began to teach. 15 The people were surprised when they heard him. “How does he know so much when he hasn’t been trained?” they asked. 16 So Jesus told them, “My message is not my own; it comes from God who sent me. 17 Anyone who wants to do the will of God will know whether my teaching is from God or is merely my own. 18 Those who speak for themselves want glory only for themselves, but a person who seeks to honor the one who sent him speaks truth, not lies. 19 Moses gave you the law, but none of you obey it! In fact, you are trying to kill me.”—John 7:14-19 (NLT)
​It doesn’t seem to matter how many miracles Jesus had performed or how many times He had spoken, the people were always surprised when they heard Him. Jesus told them that the message He was giving them was not His own but it came from God the Father who had sent Him. Jesus reminded them that they had Moses law which said “Thou shalt not kill” but the leaders were determined to have Him killed, thus disobeying the law handed down by Moses. In today’s world, we must follow the example Jesus set. We must deliver a message based on truth as given to us by the Holy Scriptures. Our message should not glorify us, but it should glorify our Father, who is in heaven. As John the Baptist said:
30 He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.–John 3:30 (NLT)
​When we​ speak the truth as it is given to us by the Holy Spirit to speak and that message is rejected, it is not us that is being rejected, but, rather, it is Jesus that is being rejected. So, don’t be concerned about being offended, just speak the truth in love and God will take care of the results.
Post 12-07-14

Work For The Night is Coming

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

14 Therefore, dear friends, with this to look forward to, make every effort to have him find you at peace, without spiritual stains or blemishes. 15 Think of our Lord’s patience as an opportunity for us to be saved. This is what our dear brother Paul wrote to you about, using the wisdom God gave him. 16 He talks about this subject in all his letters. Some things in his letters are hard to understand. Ignorant people and people who aren’t sure of what they believe distort what Paul says in his letters the same way they distort the rest of the Scriptures. These people will be destroyed. 17 Dear friends, you already know these things. So be on your guard not to be carried away by the deception of people who have no principles. Then you won’t fall from your firm position. 18 But grow in the good will and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Glory belongs to him now and for that eternal day! Amen.—2 Peter 3:14-17 (GW)
​We should​ thank God daily for delaying the return of Jesus. Each day gives us a new opportunity to witness to those in our families, neighborhoods and those that God puts in our path. Each new day is a new opportunity to labor in the fields that “are white with harvest” and bring more sinners to Christ.
19 Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back,​ ​20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul​ ​from death and cover a multitude of sins.–James 5:19, 20 (NKJV)
​To spread​ the Gospel, we need to know the Gospel. So we need to spend more time each day in the Word. Not just reading, but meditating on the Word and asking God to open our eyes to see more of His truth. Then our words and our deeds will bring more glory to Christ Jesus our Savior and Lord. This will fulfill our purpose here on earth, which is to glorify God in all that we do.
Post 09-18-14

Created For Him

God is waiting to show you the way.

God is waiting to show you the way.

13 God has rescued us from the power of darkness and has brought us into the kingdom of his Son, whom he loves. 14 His Son paid the price to free us, which means that our sins are forgiven. 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 He created all things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible. Whether they are kings or lords, rulers or powers—everything has been created through him and for him.–Col 1:13-16 (GW)
​We​ were born with a sinful nature and born into a sinful world. But God, because of His omnipotence, omniscience, and His great love already had a plan in place to rescue us. The plan called for His Son, Jesus, to be born sinless, live a perfect life, and die a horrible death on a cross to redeem and reconcile us to Himself. When we accept this plan, our sins are forgiven and we are placed in right standing with God. Jesus was resurrected from the grave as the firstborn of all creation to live eternally. Everything was created through Him and for Him. Without Him, nothing exists or can exist. He raises up leaders and kings and He brings down those leaders and kings for His own purpose. We are created to glorify God and to one day be raised in His image, changed from mortals to immortals, from corruption to incorruption, to worship and praise Him throughout eternity.
Post 05-05-14