“Amazing Grace”

19 For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, — Col. 1:19 NLT


Col. 1:15-22 NLT

What an  amazing God and what amazing grace!  He made a creature that He knew He would have to die to redeem from sin.  He gave up all of His glory and chose to live among such lowly, filthy creatures.  Creatures consumed by sin and fleshly lusts.  He suffered persecution, bore our sins in His sinless body and endured beatings so that by His stripes we could be healed.  He could have stopped there but He didn’t.  He died a shameful death on a cross for our sins, was resurrected and lives in heaven interceding for us there at the right hand of God.  He could have stopped there but He didn’t.  He came back as a Spirit to abide inside of us so that we who chose to accept Him as our Savior would never be alone.

27 For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory. — Col. 1:27 NLT

GOD IN CHRIST AND CHRIST IN US!  AMAZING GRACE!

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

Post 06-08-2019

“I Will Praise You”

4 I will praise you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer. — Psalm 63:4 NLT

Psalm 63:1-8 NLT

God made each of us a little different from everyone else.  These differences are not just physical, they continue through every part of us.  Each of us has a different learning capacity and we react to things and situations differently.  Some of us are much more vocal and enthusiastic in expressing our joy and excitement.  Some of us see great things happen and we are awestruck and quiet in our observations while others may scream loudly or talk unceasingly trying to describe or explain what is happening.  Praising God is necessary for Christians whether we do it quietly or with loud exclamations of joy and praise.  We can become so overpowered by the presence of God that we fall to our knees and just weep.  God understands it all and accepts it graciously.  He made us different so that our praise to Him would be like listening to an orchestra play a great masterpiece.  While that may be just noise to some people, others are thrilled and uplifted.  So, however we choose to do it,  let’s just praise God continually for all of His love, goodness, mercy and grace. 

Psalm 150 NKJV

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

Post 05-05-2019

“Become Like Little Children”

3 Then he said,“I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. — Matt. 18:3 NLT
Matt. 18:1-6 NLT

When some hear this passage, they think of the innocence of a little child who has not yet learned the difference between right and wrong.  Perhaps that’s what Jesus was referring to but I am not so sure.  I think in the context of His remark about humility, He may very well have been referring to something deeper than that.  After all, small children who truly do not know the difference in right and wrong would not need forgiveness, would they?  No, I believe Jesus is referring to us becoming as dependent on Him for everything we need as a small child is dependent on his/her parent for everything they need to survive.  We have to come to Jesus in such humbleness and humility because we realize that we can do nothing about our situation. We are lost and will stay lost without his mercy and grace. But I believe He is reaching even deeper than that. We must humble ourselves to the point that we really and truly understand that we can do nothing in any situation without Him.  Just like a little child comes to us and says “Daddy, tie my shoestrings because I can’t”,  so must we humble ourselves before our Daddy and confess that we can’t.

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

Post 05-04-2019

Fill Us With Your Love

39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. — Romans 8:39 NLT 

Romans 8:35-39 NLT
The love of God is perfect and is far too great for the human mind to grasp in its entirety.   How could the Creator of the universe and everything in it stoop to loving us?  Why does He bother Himself to listen to and answer every prayer that we pray?  At our worst, we are wretched sinners and even at our best, we fall so short of being what you created us to be. We can only bow our heads and say with the Psalmist, “what are human beings that you should care for them”?  Yet, you gave up all of your glory in heaven, put on a human body and lived among us.  You revealed your love to us in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Such matchless mercy, such generous grace and such limitless love is more than we can even imagine.  With our sins, we crucify you afresh every day, yet, you continue to forgive us and love us back to you.  Help us, Lord, to love you enough to be channels of your love to those around us.  Even though it may be painful at times, Lord, stretch us and fill us with your love until we overflow, until your love breaks forth from us and washes over those around us bringing them into “the healing stream that flows from Calvary’s mountain”. Amen.

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

Post 04-07-2019

“By Grace Through Faith”- Nothing Added

8 God knows people’s hearts, and he confirmed that he accepts Gentiles by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he did to us. 9 He made no distinction between us and them, for he cleansed their hearts through faith.  — Acts 15:8, 9 NLT

Acts 15:3-11 NLT
 
The  believers of the sect of the Pharisees wanted to require that all of the new believers who had not been circumcised must do so.  Peter stated that that was a requirement under the law and the law had been too heavy a burden for the Jews to bear.  So, he asked, knowing this, why would you lay this same unbearable burden on the new believers?   Throughout the history of the church, there have always been those who wanted to add requirements to God’s simple plan of salvation.  God says that “we are saved by grace through faith”  There is nothing else that is acceptable in His sight.  Nothing less and nothing more. That’s it.  When the thief on the cross asked Jesus to remember him, Jesus assured him that they would be together in paradise.  Nothing less, nothing more.  That is the key that unlocks the gates to heaven.  Once that step is taken, there are things that need to be done to enjoy the abundant life that Jesus said He brought to us. Those things do not add to the salvation plan, they just make for a more purposeful, abundant lifestyle here on earth and more rewards when you get to heaven.

“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 03-03-2019


“Do Unto Others”

10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman,“Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” — John 8:10 NLT

John 8:1-11 NLT

In this short passage of Scripture, we get to look at sin from all four sides.  There is sin as the devil sees it, a tool for death and destruction.  There is sin from the human viewpoint as seen by the accusers.  There is sin from the viewpoint of the one who committed the sin.  Then there is sin from the viewpoint of Jesus, a wrong that demands forgiveness.  The accusers had caught this woman in the very act of adultery, how this happened we are not told and we don’t need to know.  Under the law, the woman was guilty and deserving of death.  Jesus had come to change all of that.  He was bringing a new way of looking at and treating the guilty party.   From the reaction of the accusers when Jesus questioned them, we know that, at some point, all of them had transgressed the law.  In Jesus’s way of thinking, regardless of what they had done, they were as worthy of death as the woman was.  Under the law, there was big sin and little sin.  Under grace, there is just sin, liars are lumped right in there with murderers.  We may often find ourselves in the position of the accusers or in position of the woman who committed the sin.  Jesus was using this situation to teach a two-fold lesson. First, He was teaching them the Golden Rule: “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.  If we were caught in this situation, would we want others to show us mercy?   Then we must show mercy.  The second and most important lesson is that sin is forgivable and that is the road we should choose.
To receive God’s forgiveness, we are required to forgive others of their sins.

MATTHEW 6:7-14 NLT

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

Post 01-12-2019

“Your Grace Has Brought Me Safe Thus Far”

even-smaller-bug-light1

So the men did as Joshua had commanded them. They took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan River, one for each tribe, just as the Lord had told Joshua. They carried them to the place where they camped for the night and constructed the memorial there. — Joshua 4:8 NLT

Often when a major event had occurred in the lives of the children of Israel, God would instruct them to set up stones or build an altar.  These stones or altars were built or erected as a token of remembrance for God’s help in bringing them safely this far. It was also a reminder to tell future generations about the goodness and the mercies of God. They were unique in that they were always built with natural, uncut stones.  Crossing the Jordan into the Promised Land for the first time was a once-in-a-lifetime major event. The Israelis put twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan to mark the spot of the crossing and carried twelve stones to Gilgal and erected them there to mark the spot of their first encampment in their new homeland.  We need to be aware of the major events in our lives and construct mental and/or physical landmarks as a way to remember these events.  We need to point out these times to our future generations as a remembrance of what God has done for us.  When Samuel erected the stone between Mizpah and Jeshanah (1 Samuel 7:12) to mark the spot where God had defeated the Philistines for the Israelis, he named it “Ebenezer” which means a stone of help.  It is by the help of God that we have come this far safely.  Let us stop, set up an Ebenezer, pray, worship and celebrate God’s goodness and mercies in our lives.

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

Post 11-12-2018