Armed and Ready for Battle

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11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.  — Eph. 6:11 NLT

Every day we are involved in spiritual warfare. This warfare will not be won by flesh and blood because our enemy is not flesh and blood. The enemy may very well come to us dressed in human form and looking beautiful enough to entice us into fighting the battle on his terms and his territory. We cannot and must not allow him to do that. The battle is not ours, it is the Lord’s and we must allow Him to fight the battle through us and for us. Evil rulers, spirits, and authorities in the unseen world are stronger than we are. But they are no match for the One who lives in us. Do not fear the enemy unless you are not prepared to meet the enemy. Be prepared at all times.
God has prepared the armor for us to wear when we are in battle and the battle rages 24/7. There is never a second when we are not engaged in spiritual warfare. The devil never rests, so we must always be on alert. Our belt is the truth of the Gospel and our breastplate is the righteousness of God. Our feet are shod with the peace of God, faith is our shield, salvation is our helmet, and the sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. Immerse all this armor in prayer without ceasing and we will be well able to resist the enemy and able to stand firm in any battle.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Post 02-23-2017

Shine and Speak

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God sent a man, John the Baptist, to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. — John 1:6, 7 NLT
God sent John the Baptist as a forerunner of Jesus.  The purpose and plan for John’s life was to tell the world about the Light that was coming.  John understood and accepted his mission wholeheartedly.  John spent his life in the wilderness living on locusts and honey, witnessing to those who came out to hear him.  He was not the Light but was a witness that the Light was coming.  John was so effective in his work that Jesus called him “the greatest man who ever lived”.
Yet,  Jesus said “even the least person in the Kingdom of God is greater than he is”.  How can this be that we could be greater than John the Baptist who lived his life for and utltimately gave his life for Jesus?  The word “greater” here is used in the same sense that the word “greater” is used when Jesus said that we would do even “greater” works than Jesus did when He walked here on the earth.  It is not meant to demean or lessen the value of the work that John and Jesus did, but to emphasize the greatness of the Kingdom of God itself.   It is not written to give us illusions of grandeur or self-importance, but to encourage us to work for the Kingdom of God.  It is not as individual Christains that we are greater or can do greater works but it is our inclusion in the Kingodm of God that is emphasized as being of utmost importance.  So, the work we do for the expansion of the Kingdom of God is greater in importance than anything that we do that the world considers great or important.  If we are to be “greater” then we must finish the work that John started.  John was the forerunner, Jesus was the reason and we are the witnesses for this and future generations.  We are here as Light and Life to a dark and dying world.  So, let your Light shine and speak the words of Life to those around you wherever you are and whenever you can. There is no “greater” work to be done.
Post 05-05-2016

Doubt Defeated

even-smaller-bug-light118  John’s disciples told him about all these things. Calling two of them, 19  he sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”  20 When the men came to Jesus, they said, “John the Baptist sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?’” — Luke 7:18-20 NIV

John the Baptist is the one who had announced that Jesus was the Son of God and had baptized Jesus in the Jordan River.  He saw the dove come down and heard the voice from on high saying “this is my Son in whom I am well pleased”.  Yet, sometime later, when John was in prison, he began to wonder about this man, Jesus. “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” When things are out of whack and it seems like God isn’t in control, I read these verses and I am encouraged.  After the questions, Jesus had this to say about John and us:

28 I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” — Luke 7:28 NIV

And there was Thomas who is remembered for doubting.  He was not rebuked by the Lord but was allowed to touch Him and confirm that Jesus was Jesus.  I have never been quite sure why Thomas was pointed out since all of the group had expressed doubt by their actions or lack thereof.  And what did Jesus have to say to Thomas?

29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” — John 20:29 NIV

Those that had been with Jesus had doubts and Jesus reassured them with tenderness and love.  We have Jesus in the form of the Holy Spirit.  He reassures us with that same tenderness and love.  Ask, if you must, but believe that it is true. Jesus quoted the Old Testament which should remove any dobut about its authenticity.  If He accepts it as truth, we can be confident in doing the same thing.

11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. — John 14:11 NIV

Post 01-07-2016

Take Heart

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

​2​9 Then his disciples said, “At last you are speaking plainly and not figuratively.30 Now we understand that you know everything, and there’s no need to question you. From this we believe that you came from God.”​ ​ 31 Jesus asked, “Do you finally believe? 32 But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when you will be scattered, each one going his own way, leaving me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. 33 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”—John 16:29-33 (NLT)
​As Jesus spoke plainly to His disciples, they found it easier to understand the things He was telling them. Now they understood and believed that Jesus was the
Son of God. Now Jesus tells them that each one of them will abandon Him in His time of suffering. But He assures them that He will not be alone, even when they all leave Him. Jesus explains to them that they will have trials and sorrows in this world, but they can still have peace because He has overcome the world. We will have our times of trials as well. But we have someone now that the disciples didn’t have until later. When Jesus left, the Holy Spirit came to take His place. The Holy Spirit is not another god, He is the same God in a different form to perform a different function. We should not fear the trials and temptations that will come our way, because we have someone inside us who is more powerful than anything in the world.
4 But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.—1 John 4:4 (NLT)
​How can we be called “over-comers” and “more than conquerors”, if we never have any pro​blems to overcome or battles to win?
Post 02-16-2015

Chosen by Love to Love

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

16 You did not choose me; I chose you. And I gave you this work: to go and produce fruit, fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you anything you ask for in my name. 17 This is my command: Love each other. 18 “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as it loves its own. But I have chosen you out of the world, so you don’t belong to it. That is why the world hates you. 20​ ​Remember what I told you: A servant is not greater than his master. If people did wrong to me, they will do wrong to you, too. And if they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours, too. 21 They will do all this to you on account of me, because they do not know the One who sent me.–John 15:16-21 (NCV)
​Are you ​getting the feeling that we are stuck on this “love” theme. Love the Father, love me, love each other? We are and we should be. After all, the author of the Bible is perfect, complete Love.
8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.–1 John 4:8 (NCV)
​The world is full of hate. Those that walk in the flesh despise people that love. We have been chosen out of the world, but as long as we inhabit this fleshly tent, we will remain in the world. While we are here, it is our job to show the world love. Some of them will be drawn to Jesus through that, others will not be so kind. The name of Jesus is powerful. Every time a person hears that name, they have to make a decision. They will either be for Jesus or against Jesus. If they are against Jesus, they will offend and persecute us. We hear about it in the news every day. You can talk about religion all day and nobody cares, but just mention the Name of Jesus and there will be, there must be, a reaction. It gets personal because it is personal. It requires each of us to build a relationship with a living Savior that is founded on and built with LOVE!
Post 02-07-2015

We Set the Limits For What God Can Do For and Through Us!!

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

12 I tell you the truth, whoever believes in me will do the same things that I do. Those who believe will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And if you ask for anything in my name, I will do it for you so that the Father’s glory will be shown through the Son. 14 If you ask me for anything in my name, I will do it. 15 “If you love me, you will obey my commands. 16 I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper to be with you forever– 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it does not see him or know him. But you know him, because he lives with you and he will be in you.—John 14:12-17 (NCV)
​It is hard to imagine doing greater things than Jesus.I don’t know of a greater miracle than raising someone from the dead, so Jesus must have been talking about “greater” in quantity, not “greater” in quality. He could only be in one place physically while He was here on earth, now that the Holy Spirit abides in each of us, He can be all over the world at the same time. We now have access to the same power that Jesus had. If we ask for and believe that we receive it, we can actually have it. I once asked a Pastor since this is true, why do we not see more miracles today? He answered that it was because we don’t love like Jesus loved. While that is true, I think it is because we don’t believe like Jesus believed. If we truly believed that we had access to the same power that Jesus had when He was here and has now in heaven, we would ask for and receive it.
6 The Lord said, “If your faith were the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Dig yourself up and plant yourself in the sea,’ and it would obey you.–Luke 17:6 (NCV)

​We, like the Israelites in the desert, have limited what God can do for us and through us.

40 How often they provoked Him in the wilderness,And grieved Him in the desert! 41 Yes, again and again they tempted God, And limited the Holy One of Israel. 42 They did not remember His power:—Psalm 78:40-42a (NKJV)
Post 01-31-2015

“Go Tell It On the Mountains, Over the Fields, and Everywhere”

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

16 I tell you the truth, a servant is not greater than his master. A messenger is not greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, you will be happy if you do them. 18 “I am not talking about all of you. I know those I have chosen. But this is to bring about what the Scripture said: ‘The man who ate at my table has turned against me.’ 19 I am telling you this now before it happens so that when it happens, you will believe that I am he. 20 I tell you the truth, whoever accepts anyone I send also accepts me. And whoever accepts me also accepts the One who sent me.” 21 After Jesus said this, he was very troubled. He said openly, “I tell you the truth, one of you will turn against me.” 22​ ​The followers all looked at each other, because they did not know whom Jesus was talking about.—John 13:16-22 (NCV)
​When​ we accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we are freed from the bondage of sin, but if we are serious about our repentance, we become bond servants to Jesus Christ. A bond servant is not a slave, he is one who chooses to serve his master because of his love for the master. We should serve Jesus not out of bondage or fear, but simply because we love the One who chose to give His life for our redemption from sin. Jesus had set the example of being a servant to those around Him. He expects us to follow that example because a servant is not greater than His master. It should give us joy unspeakable to serve a risen Savior. Again, Jesus lets us know that He is aware that He will be betrayed and that He knows which one will betray Him. The disciples could not imagine that one of them was the betrayer. If we accept Jesus then we accept the one who sent Him and that is God the Father. He was also telling the disciples and us that we will be accepted when we are sent out by Him. Jesus fulfilled His mission, the disciples fulfilled their mission and the Church has carried on since then. Now, it is our turn. Let us not be the generation that fails to continue to spread the Word of God. When Jesus sends us out, He has already prepared the way. We might not get to see the results, but God’s Word never fails.
10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;​ 11 So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.—Isaiah 55:10, 11 (NASB)
Post 01-25-2105

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

The Spirit Without Limit

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

31 “He has come from above and is greater than anyone else. We are of the earth, and we speak of earthly things, but he has come from heaven and is greater than anyone else.​ ​32 He testifies about what he has seen and heard, but how few believe what he tells them!​ ​33 Anyone who accepts his testimony can affirm that God is true. 34 For he is sent by God. He speaks God’s words, for God gives him the Spirit without limit. 35 The Father loves his Son and has put everything into his hands. 36 And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment.”—-John 3:31-36 (NLT)
​John​ continues to explain to his disciples who Jesus is and why he must decrease as Jesus increases. John’s understanding of all of this is beyond human knowledge. He tells us that Jesus speaks God’s words because God gives Him “the Spirit without limit”. Jesus agrees with this statement:
So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the​ ​Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does.–John 5:19 (NLT)
​John continues to explain that God has put everything into the hands of Jesus. Jesus also agrees with this statement:
18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth—Matt. 28:18 (NLT)
​This​ is why Jesus could say “your sins are forgiven” and “this day, you will be with me in paradise”. When we accept this truth about Jesus, we are forgiven of our sins and on our way to heaven for eternity. But on the journey, we have a purpose and a work to do, just as John and Jesus did. The work could never get us to heaven, but it does get us rewarded when we get there. When God calls each of us to do a work, He enables us to do that work by the Holy Spirit. We have access to “the Spirit without limit”. How much of that we receive is up to us. Just as we could not be saved without asking for and reaching out to accept the forgiveness, we cannot access the power of the Holy Spirit without asking for it and reaching out to accept it. Can we do the works that John and Jesus did? Jesus says we can:
“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.—John 14:12 (NLT)
Post 11-06-14

Filled With Joy

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

27 John replied, “No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven. 28 You yourselves know how plainly I told you, ‘I am not the Messiah. I am only here to prepare the way for him.’ 29 It is the bridegroom who marries the bride, and the best man is simply glad to stand with him and hear his vows. Therefore, I am filled with joy at his success. 30 He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.—John 3: 27-29 (NLT)
​Over​ and over in Chapter 3, we are reminded of John’s faithfulness and steadfastness in following the plan that God had laid out for Him. In today’s society, with all of it’s “me first” attitudes, we need this constant reminder. We, like John, need to know our place in God’s plan and be faithful in carrying out that plan. God’s plan is for us to teach and preach the “foolishness” of the gospel. God has gifted each of us with a special gift that He wants us to use in spreading His Word. What is our gift and how are we using it to further the Kingdom of God here on earth? There is not one job in God’s Kingdom that is not important. Every part of the body has to function well for the Church to work as God planned it. Do we do our job with gratitude that God has chosen us to help Him? Are we filled with joy when those that have more visible jobs are successful? Do we honestly and fervently pray for those in authority over us? Are we “filled with joy” when those around us are promoted to a position over us? In our hearts and minds, we must see ourselves as less important and Jesus as Lord or as Paul puts it, we must mortify the flesh and follow after the Spirit.
Post 11-05-14