“I Am The Way…..”

12 There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” — Acts 4:12 NLT

Acts 4:5-12 NLT

Jesus Christ died on the Cross at Calvary for every single person who has lived, is living and will ever live.  Those who accept that fact as the absolute truth will make it to heaven, those who don’t won’t.  It is a simple, plain message that even a child can understand and accept.  Yet, there are those who refuse to believe it.  They have their own god(s) and become very angry when they hear the name of Jesus.  Why?  Because every time the name of Jesus is heard, those hearing it have to make a decision.  Some will say “Oh, I will decide later” not understanding that this statement is a decision not to accept Him.  They want us to water down the message and allow for other ways to get to heaven. But there is only one way.  “Have you accepted Jesus as the only way into heaven?”  There is no negotiation, the deal has been sealed and everyone comes on the same terms.  The foot of the cross is level ground, everyone comes just as they are and accepts Jesus the same way. The rich, the famous and the powerful must meet Jesus the same way as the poor, the unknown and the common man.  The only way is to go empty-handed, humble and obedient.  It isn’t a man’s plan that can be altered, it is the infallible, immutable plan of God. 

6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” – John 14:6 NLT

“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

Fire and Money

10  You have tested us, O God;    you have purified us like silver.  — Psalm 66:10 NLT

Psalm 66:8-12 NLT

There are two things in life that we use on just about a daily basis and both of those things can be good or evil depending on our attitude toward them and our use of them.   One is fire, though we don’t actually build fires every day, we use things that are formed and molded as a result of heat and fire.  Fire is necessary in refining processes that allow us to have jewelry, coins and other valuable items.   But that fire, uncontrolled, can be very destructive.  Each year thousands of lives and homes and acres of forest are lost to fires.  The trials we go through are compared to fires that refine us.  We can use those times of refining to draw closer to God or we can use them as a reason to revel against God.   The other, of course, is money. Money can become our idol, our master, when we spend too much time focused on earning it and using it for the wrong reasons.   Or it can serve us well when we have the proper balance of work versus worship.   We can use it to spread the KIngdom of God here on earth in multiple ways or we can use to purchase useless items. Both fire and money can be great servants or destructive masters.  The choice is ours.

24 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money. — Matt. 6:24 NLT

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

Post 01-17-2019

“The Gift That Keeps On Giving”

even-smaller-bug-light1

6 For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. – Isaiah 9:6-7 NSRV


This prophecy was fulfilled in Luke 2 when the virgin Mary gave birth to the baby Jesus. God would keep His covenant with David that a member of David’s household would always occupy the throne of Israel. Jesus would not establish His earthly kingdom at that time, but it will be completely fulfilled when the new Jerusalem is established. It will be an eternal kingdom with Jesus as the last king. Jesus is the Prince of Peace, Mighty God, and the everlasting Father. We can celebrate the birth of Jesus because it is another assurance that God never fails to keep His covenants and His promises. He is an awesome, amazing God who holds us in the palm of His hand and we can never be separated from Him. He inhabits the praises of His people, so praise Him continually and “forget not all His benefits”.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 12-25-2018

Only One God Delivers On Every Promise!

even-smaller-bug-light1

2 When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.
 — Isaiah 43:2 NLT

 

These are not idle words with no meaning or no power to back them up.  In fact, in the past, the Israelis walked through the Red Sea and across the Jordan without even getting their feet wet.  Elijah and Elisha would one day cross the Jordan on dry ground and Elisha would cross back over the Jordan on dry ground.


2 Kings 2:7-13

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego would one day walk in a fiery furnace and come out alive, un-burned and without even the smell of the smoke on their clothes.

 

Anything that our God promises, He is able to bring to pass. Just because we know the stories of these miracles and the miracles in the New Testament well, they should not become so familiar to us that they lose their meaning. Every time we read them or hear them, it should be a reminder that we serve a loving and a faithful God. The One and Only God who is able to do exactly what He says He will do in His own timing.  He has proved His love for us over and over with the ultimate proof being that He sent His Son Jesus to die on a cross for our sins. He has proven over and over that anytime He asks anyone to do something for the Kingdom, He supplies everything they need to accomplish the task.  The next time and every time that we feel the nudge of the Holy Spirit asking us to speak or act, our hearts should jump with joy that God has chosen us.  Our minds and our bodies should jump to the task.  If we are obedient in taking the first step of faith, we can be assured that God will finish the work.  He has never failed and He never will.  No other human or so-called god has predicted, promised or performed without failing.

The Lord, our God, is one God and He alone is worthy to be praised!

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

Post 12-05-2018

“Like A Mother Cares For Her Child”

even-smaller-bug-light1

Instead, we were gentle[ among you, like a nursing mother tenderly caring for her own children. – 2 Thess. 2:7b ISV
 
Paul sets a great example for us to follow when we are witnessing to others. We should be doing this because our hearts’ desire is to show others the love that we have for them. We have this love for them because of the love Jesus has for us. No other motive is needed, not money, not fame, not popularity.  Even while spending his life as a missionary, Paul worked as a tentmaker, so that his presence would not be a financial burden on those to whom he was speaking. He and his companions did their best to mirror the lifestyle of Jesus, their Lord and Savior. Because Jesus cared enough to die for us, Paul spent his life in caring for others, just like a Mother cares for her children.  Not only was he concerned about their physical welfare, but he cared even more about their spiritual welfare. He didn’t just preach the Gospel message and leave them, he spent time in explaining the scriptures to them and living an obedient lifestyle while he was there with them.  He encouraged, comforted and urged them to live lives worthy of God. In other words, he was “making disciples”, teaching them how to grow in the word and not leaving them as babies without food and no one to feed them. He exemplified God’s love even more by writing letters to them after he had left as well as sending some of his companions back to check on them at times. Jesus’ command was not to “love them and leave them” or to “save them and send them’, it was to make disciples.
 

19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” — Matt. 28:19, 20 NIV

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

Post 07-12-2018

Eat and Drink the Word

even-smaller-bug-light1

Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong. – Hebrews 5:14 NLT
 
Jesus is the bread of life and the Scriptures are food for the redeemed of God. As babes in Christ, we need the milk of the Word, the verses that explain to us about our salvation. As we grow and mature (hopefully) , we need to dig deeper and learn about our responsibilities as followers of Christ.  Just as there are natural foods that we don’t care to eat, there are Scripture passages we don’t want to learn and adhere to.  Just as the natural man suffers without the proper nutrients, the Spiritual man suffers without a daily serving of different kinds of Scriptures.  We need scriptures that encourage us to study, meditate, pray, praise and teach us to be thankful for every second of our lives. Yes, it is hard to praise in distressful times, but it is necessary if the Spirit man inside us is going to grow. Just as we keep milk in our natural diet as we grow, we need to keep the “milk of the Word”, which is salvation, in our spiritual diets.  But the natural body needs more than milk and the Spiritual body needs to know that Jesus is more than just our Redeemer. He is our example, our righteousness, our shield, our rock, our strength, our healing, our Savior and He wants to be our Lord. To paraphrase Hebrews 5:14: “But solid food is for the mature, who by constantly eating the Word have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.”

6  Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. – Matt. 5:6 NIV

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

Post -05-09-2018

Healthy Food to Help the Spirit Grow

even-smaller-bug-light1

5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.— 2 Peter 1:5-​7 NIV

We have accepted Christ as our Savior, what now? We are now new creatures in Christ Jesus and the new creature needs different food.  Our fleshly desires will want us to continue in the old ways consuming the same old garbage, but these ways will not satisfy the new spiritual man. There will be a hunger and a thirst that we have not known before and that hunger and thirst can only be satisfied by the goodness of the Word of God. We need to add some spiritual food to our daily diet. Here in these verses, Peter has made us a short list of what is to be included. The list ends with love, which holds all the others together and without love, the diet would be incomplete and ineffective. We have been saved by grace through faith, now we need to add goodness and the knowledge of God. This is done by studying and meditating on the Word of God. It also includes prayer and conversations with other Christians. God has called each of us to a work that He planned for us long ago. But, first we need some training because God will never send us where He has not prepared us to go. We are sent to make disciples, but first, we must become disciples.

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. — Romans 1:16 NIV
This verse must become alive in us and be the force that drives us to be a disciple. It can only be accomplished through “the power of God”.
 
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 04–09-2018