“Think About the Things of Heaven…”

2 Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.– Col. 3:2 NLT

Col. 3:1-8 GW

Paul tells us in Romans about the struggle he had with the flesh. He always wanted to do right, but found himself doing the wrong things. He knows what is right, but doesn’t always live up to that standard. We have the same struggle and as long as we are in this tent of flesh, we will always have it. We have to put to death our fleshly desires and focus on Jesus. The devil wants to keep us “sin-minded’”, but we need to follow God’s Holy Spirit and be “Christ-minded”. If we have the mind of Christ, His attitude, and if we always try to see things through His eyes, then we can focus on things above and those fleshly desires will become less and less important. This does not mean that we live in some fantasy world, but rather, that the things of Christ become more real to us as we mature in our journey with Him.

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

“But God Did Listen!”

19 But God did listen!  He paid attention to my prayer.— Psalm 66:19 NLT

Psalm 66:16-20 NLT

Even when we sin, God still loves us. He wants to bless us all the time. But He can’t bless us if we do not confess our sins. When our relationship with God is broken because of sins that we have not confessed, His heart is broken. He leaves the 99 sheep to bring back the 1 lost sheep when we confess. We are never alone, He hears our prayers and knows our situation, but He is limited in what He can do for us because of our sins. God is always faithful to forgive us when we confess and then our relationship with Him is restored and there is joy in heaven. What amazing grace and love that God would love sinners enough to die for us!

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

“His Unfailing Love…”

20 Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer or withdraw his unfailing love from me.— Psalm 66:20 NLT

Psalm 66:16-20 NLT

God wants to bless us all the time. He gave us His Son, so why would He withhold any good thing from us? For this to happen, we must stay “prayed up”, instantly repenting for any sin that we do, whether it be intentionally or unintentionally. When God’s Spirit brings conviction, we must agree with God that we have committed a sin and ask His forgiveness. He is always faithful to forgive us. Then we must thank Him and praise Him for that forgiveness. God inhabits the praises of His people. He is within us, with us, surrounding us. He will never leave us nor forsake us. His mercies are new every morning. Let your first words every morning be praise and thanksgiving. Your attitude will be sweeter and your day will go more smoothly.

Romans 8:32-34 NLT

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

“For It Is By Believing…”

10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved — Romans 10:10 NLT

Romans 10:9-15 NLT

We, who have been chosen by God and saved by His gift of Jesus dying on the cross, have a great responsibility to carry the message forward. We have received the commission and we must go forth. Not everyone will be glad to hear the Good News and not everyone will accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. But that does not relieve us of our responsibility to tell it everywhere we go. We are told that the angels in heaven rejoice greatly when a lost soul comes home. So, let’s make it our goal to keep the angels rejoicing continuously by leading people to Jesus Christ. Then when Jesus welcomes us home, we can just join in the festivities.

Luke 15:8-10 MSG

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

“And My Heart Responds…”

8  My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”  And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.” — Psalm 27:8 NLT 

Psalm 27:7-10 NLT

As Christians, we are bond servants of the Lord Jesus Christ.  We serve Him because we love Him. Our prayers should not be a “to do” list for God. Good morning, God, here is what I need for You to do for me today. Got it? Good, I will talk to You again soon, maybe tomorrow.  That is not prayer, my friend, that is what you might say to your employees, but not to God. Is He interested in your tiniest need?  Yes, He is, but He is also the King of Kings. He deserves our respect. As this verse from Psalms says: “Come and talk with me”,  with me not to me.  After you have talked, be silent and let God speak to you. He already knows your needs and He already knows His answer.  He doesn’t need to think about it overnight.  Just rest in His arms for a few minutes and God’s Holy Spirit will not only give you the answer but will help you understand the answer.

31 But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31 NKJV

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

“…For Their Own Conscience and Thoughts…”

15 They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right. — Romans 2:15 NLT 

Romans 2:10-16 NLT

It is said that on a dark night with no obstructions, the human eye can see the flickering flame of a candle up to a distance of thirty miles.  How is this possible?  Even the smallest of lights will dispel darkness.  This is true of that quality that we refer to as “good”.   Good dispels evil.  As Edmund Burke put it:  “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”  Even those who have never read God’s law or those that say there is no God know this is true.  All humans innately know the difference between good and evil.  For most humans, it is natural to choose to do good whether they believe in God or not.  That innate knowledge (we call it the conscience) that God has put in the heart of a human is what prevents total chaos from occurring on the earth. Even those who have never read the Bible or heard the Gospel know the difference between right and wrong.  That knowledge becomes more real and more powerful when we receive the Holy Spirit.  An atheist can only be an atheist because his/her beliefs are based on a wrong assumption.  If the foundation is faulty, then the whole house will crumble.  So, good men and women, let us build our house on a solid foundation of truth, light our candles and be a shining light in a world of darkness and evil.  Only God knows how much darkness each of our lights will penetrate, just let your light shine.

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

“Heathen at Heart and Deaf to the Truth”

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51 “You stubborn people! You are heathen at heart and deaf to the truth. Must you forever resist the Holy Spirit? That’s what your ancestors did, and so do you! — Acts 7:51 NLT

Acts 7:51-59

Stephen has just recited a short summary of all the things God had brought the Israelis through and the miracles He had performed in bringing them to the Promised Land.  Stephen also reminded them that God did this for them in spite of their unbelief and unfaithfulness.  He did it as a fulfillment of His covenant with their ancestors. Even though God was faithful, the Israelis were not, refusing to listen to Moses and any of the prophets God sent to them with messages warning them to repent and be obedient to God.  Instead they persecuted and murdered the prophets choosing to remain in their sinful ways and worship idols made by human hands.  The people Stephen was addressing were still following in their ancestor’s paths, choosing to kill the Messiah rather than to give up their worldly ways and repent.   If Stephen were here today, he could add the history of our country to his discourse and the accusation would still be true.  After all the years of God blessing this country with His abundance, we are still a “stubborn people, heathen at heart and deaf to the truth”. More and more, as each day passes by, we become a more sinful nation.  We refuse to believe that God will punish us just as He punished the Israelis.  We must pray that God will have mercy on this nation of ours, that He will replace our hearts of stone with hearts of flesh and write His name upon our hearts.

Ezekiel 36:25-27

Even though this was a promise God made to the Israelis, His chosen people, may He see fit to extend His mercies to us because, as Christians, we are a people chosen by Him as well.

1 Peter 2:9

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

“The Word Is Very Near You”

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14 No, the word is very near you—it’s within your mouth and heart for you to attain.” – Deut. 30:14 ISV

Deuteronomy 30:11-14 ISV


At this time, the Holy Spirit had not yet been given to us to remain on the earth until Jesus returns, so God gave the Israelis their instructions and commands through Moses.  In  the following chapters of Deuteronomy, we read that God instructed Moses to write all of these instructions in a Book.  That Book is now included as the first five books of the Bible.  Moses instructed the priests to keep the Book of Instructions beside the Ark of the Covenant at all times as a sign of remembrance to the Israelis of their covenant with God.  It would also serve as a witness against them in times of disobedience. It was to be read to the people, in its entirety, every seventh year during the Festival of Shelters.  God is a just God and never holds anyone accountable for things they can not know.  He can and does hold us responsible for those we could know but refuse to learn. Now, since Jesus has returned to Heaven, He has sent the Holy Spirit to abide in us and lead us into all truth.  We have no reason for our disobedience.  We may try to excuse ourselves because of a lack of knowledge, but that excuse won’t hold water since God has made the Holy Spirit available to be our Teacher. His love for us and our love for Him is more than sufficient reason to study, learn and obey as much as we possibly can.  The Lord, our God, is a jealous God and he is unhappy with anything less than a total commitment to our relationship with Him.

2 For I am jealous for you with the jealousy of God himself. I promised you as a pure bride to one husband—Christ.  ​ — 2 Cor. 11:2 NLT​

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

“Create In Me A Clean Heart”

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10  Create in me a clean heart, O God,And renew a steadfast spirit within me. — Psalm 51:10 NKJV

What is a clean heart, how do we get it and why is it important to be sure that we have clean hearts?  An unclean heart is a heart that contains bitterness, hatred, deceit, lust, envy, covetousness and the list goes on and on to include anything that would cause us to sin.  The opposite of that would be a heart that contains only love. It is impossible for us to clean our hearts.  We need the Holy Spirit, who is love, to do that for us.  We can make all the resolutions and follow all the self-help programs we can find, but in the end, without the Holy Spirit, we will still have unclean hearts.  Those programs may remove the filth from the heart but they will leave it empty.  An empty heart is what the evil spirits are searching for.

24 “When an evil spirit leaves a person, it goes into the desert, searching for rest. But when it finds none, it says, ‘I will return to the person I came from.’ 25 So it returns and finds that its former home is all swept and in order. 26 Then the spirit finds seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they all enter the person and live there. And so that person is worse off than before.”– Luke 11:24-26 NLT

Our hearts must be filled with love and that only comes from the Holy Spirit. Once we accept Jesus and His Spirit abides within us, He will keep our hearts clean, if we allow Him to do so.  Clean hearts are necessary because it is “out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks”.  It is also where our thoughts come from, so we must be sure that the source is clean or our thoughts, words and actions will be displeasing to God. 

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

“Led Astray”

13 As a result, other Jewish believers followed Peter’s hypocrisy, and even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. – Gal. 2:13 NLT

Gal. 2:11-14 NLT

Paul continues his crusade to help people to understand the freedom they now have since Jesus fulfilled the law. New converts then and now are not compelled to travel to Jerusalem and make sacrifices each year nor are we expected to meet any requirements of the law. We are required to love the Lord, our God, with all our heart, strength, mind and body. If we do this, we will see changes in our lifestyle. Not because of some written laws but because the love of God constrains us. We respond to the love of God. It is His love for us that keeps us.

2 ​ ​fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him​ endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.–Hebrews 12:2 (NASB)

6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.—Philippians 1:6 (NASB)

Our focus is not to be on requiring others to take communion as often as we do or if they worship more reverently or loudly than we do (I could go on but you get the picture). We should be focused on making disciples that obey Jesus because they love Him, not in making clones that worship and/or serve like we do.

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