“And We Saw His Glory”

14 And the Word became flesh, and [k]dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of [l]the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.  -John 1:14 NASB

Rejected

All through the Old Testament God sent prophet after prophet to warn His chosen people of the disasters that were coming if they did not repent and stay obedient to His precepts and laws.Instead they rejected and killed the prophets and returned to their unfaithful ways, worshiping idols instead of the living God.

30 Then you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would never have joined them in killing the prophets.​” ​31 “But in saying that, you testify against yourselves that you are indeed the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Go ahead and finish what your ancestors started.33 Snakes! Sons of vipers! How will you escape the judgment of hell?–Matt. 23:30-33 (NLT)

Now, God has implemented His plan to redeem the fallen world. He sends John the Baptist to prepare the way for His Son, Jesus. He came to this world to save the creatures that He had created. Jesus was Love and Light and completely obedient to His Father. There was no sin in Him. But His own chosen people rejected Him and sent Him to a cross. To those that did believe and receive Him, He has given the right to be called the children of God. If we remain faithful and carry out our mission, we will see Him in His full glory restored and reigning as King of Kings. Wherever we go, we are witnesses and our actions should reflect the honesty and truthfulness of our words.

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

“Full of Grace and Truth”

14 And the Word became flesh, and [k]dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of [l]the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.  -John 1:14 NASB

Rejected

All through the Old Testament God sent prophet after prophet to warn His chosen people of the disasters that were coming if they did not repent and stay obedient to His precepts and laws.Instead they rejected and killed the prophets and returned to their unfaithful ways, worshiping idols instead of the living God.

30 Then you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would never have joined them in killing the prophets.​” ​31 “But in saying that, you testify against yourselves that you are indeed the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Go ahead and finish what your ancestors started.33 Snakes! Sons of vipers! How will you escape the judgment of hell?–Matt. 23:30-33 (NLT)

Now, God has implemented His plan to redeem the fallen world. He sends John the Baptist to prepare the way for His Son, Jesus. He came to this world to save the creatures that He had created. Jesus was Love and Light and completely obedient to His Father. There was no sin in Him. But His own chosen people rejected Him and sent Him to a cross. To those that did believe and receive Him, He has given the right to be called the children of God. If we remain faithful and carry out our mission, we will see Him in His full glory restored and reigning as King of Kings. Wherever we go, we are witnesses and our actions should reflect the honesty and truthfulness of our words.

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

“God the Father Knew You…”

2 God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. — 1 Peter 1:2 NLT

1 Peter 1:1-5 NLT

It has always been God’s plan to send Jesus into the world to redeem us from sin. We are His chosen people, called and cleansed by His Holy Spirit. We are saved by grace and as we walk in obedience to God, He gives more and more of His grace and peace. We have been bought with a price that we could not pay and now we have a priceless inheritance in heaven. We are joint-heirs with Jesus. Because we are saved by grace through faith, God is protecting us until we receive the final step of our salvation, which comes after His re-appearing. That is the hope that we have and we know that we are secure in that hope. God will finish the work He has started in us.

Romans 1:16-17 NLT

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

“What Good Does That Do?”

16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?– James 2:16 NLT

James 2:14-17 NLT

We know that we are saved “by grace through faith, not by works, lest any man should boast”. We also know that everything we receive while we are here on earth is a free gift from God. So, what is the purpose of “good works” and why are they important? Well, there are at least two good reasons and probably more if you want to break them down. The first is this; now, that we are Christians, Jesus is our example and He went about doing good works.

38 And you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.–Acts 10:38 (NLT)

The second reason is this; doing good works here on earth is how we store our rewards or treasures in heaven.

20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.–Matt 6:20-21 (NLT)

If we do good works for these two reasons, it will keep our hearts and minds focused on Jesus and our final reward of living an eternity with Him. If we focus on that, it will make the burdens lighter and we can walk the path with joy and thanksgiving in our hearts and a song of praise on our lips!

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

“He Will Not Forget”

10 For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do.— Hebrews 3:10 NLT

Hebrews 6:7-12 NLT

This passage should not be interpreted to mean that we must work for our salvation. That would be in direct conflict with other passages that clearly state that we are saved by ”grace through faith”. What the writer of Hebrews is saying is that doing good works after we are saved is how we lay up rewards in heaven. This should encourage us to help our neighbors and others that we see in need of food, housing, clothing, etc. God gave Adam and Eve the job of tending the Garden of Eden. Work in and of itself is not a curse. God expects each of us to be busy doing good works. We are instructed to “redeem the time”. James tells us that we show our faith in Jesus by doing good works. If we want to enter into the rest mentioned earlier in Hebrews, we must continue in faith and be patient. The day will come soon enough when we will receive our rewards.

Matt. 6:19-21 NLT

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

“Because of His Mercy”

4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. – Titus 3: 4-5 NIV

Titus 3:4-11 NIV

It is because of what Jesus did for us on the cross, that God has given us His Holy Spirit to abide in us. The Holy Spirit’s role is to teach us and guide us “into all truth”. He is also the earnest that seals us so that we can be assured of everlasting life with Jesus. Therefore, because of that, we can be secure in our salvation. Knowing this, we can focus on leading a Holy lifestyle and setting an example for others to follow. We need to stay away from foolish and frivolous arguments. This is not a call to separate ourselves from sinners. We need to associate with them (being careful not to fall into temptations ourselves) and build bridges with them so we can witness to them. We must embrace the value of every human, though, sometimes we will not be able to embrace their values. Seize every opportunity to witness to the unbelievers.

Mark 2:13-17 NLT

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

“By God’s Grace and Mighty Power…”

7 By God’s grace and mighty power, I have been given the privilege of serving him by spreading this Good News.— Ephesians 3:7 NLT

Ephesians 3:2-9 NLT

Paul tells us that God’s plan is a mystery and He reveals it as He chooses. God has a timeline that is hidden to all but the Father. Even Jesus said that He did not know when the end would come. Here Paul is referring to the mystery of the plan of salvation. The Old Testament and the prophets pointed forward to a Messiah. This Messiah would come into the world and be rejected by the Jews. Because of their rejection, the door is now open to all people to receive the free gift of salvation. Jews and Gentiles can now be redeemed and share in the inheritance of Jesus Christ. We, along with Paul, have been given the privilege and the responsibility to spread the Good News. How well are we able to explain the plan of salvation, being born again, and living a Holy life? There are people who have attended church services all their lives and don’t understand it. It is a mystery, but it has been revealed to us. We need to exercise our privilege and fulfill our responsibility on a daily basis.

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

“No Bitter Root Grows Up…”

 15 See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. – Hebrews 12:15 NIV

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

“For By Grace You Have Been Saved…”

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.– Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV 

Ephesians 2:4-10 NKJV

Our salvation is a gift from God, we didn’t earn it by works and we didn’t purchase it with favor or money.  It was God’s plan before the foundations of the earth were laid.  As Paul said, if we boast, we must boast in Christ Jesus alone.  Does this negate works?  Not at all, we are saved to work, not by our works.  Just as it was God’s plan to send Jesus to purchase our redemption with His blood, it was always God’s plan that we would have a part in His kingdom work here on earth.  God has gifted each of us with a spiritual gift to be used in His work.  Some of us are preachers, others are teachers, others encourage, others have gifts of help.  The list of gifts is lengthy, because we all have a part in God’s plan and purpose.  Make a commitment today to ask God about your gift and how to use it in His plan.

1 Peter 4:7-11 NKJV

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

“It Is the Gift of God”

even-smaller-bug-light1

6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. — Eph. 2:6-9 NIV

This is a familiar passage to most Christians, yet I wonder if we really grasp everything it says to us.  It explains to us why God saved us and raised us up. It was not just for our benefit, though that would have been more than enough.  He did it so He could show to us and the world the “incomparable riches of His grace”.  The greatest expression of that grace was God allowing Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, to die on a cruel cross for our sins. It is that grace that has saved us, through faith.  Not our faith, His faith, His gift to us. That is why we can be sure that our salvation is eternal.  Thanks be to God that my salvation is not based on my faith, which is not always steadfast. It is based on His faith, which is steadfast and eternal.  If it were based on my faith, I could be saved today and lost tomorrow.  His faith is everlasting!

89 Your word, Lord, is eternal;  it stands firm in the heavens. 90 Your faithfulness continues through all generations;  you established the earth, and it endures. — Psalm 119:89-90

15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! — 2 Cor. 9:15

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