“I Wish That You Were One or the Other!”

15 “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other!  –Revelation 3:15 NLT 

Revelation 3:15-19 NLT

God wants each of us to be totally committed to Him. Our lifestyles should reflect that commitment.  We have to look inside ourselves and allow God’s Holy Spirit to show us where the problem lies.  What is keeping us from being totally committed to Jesus?  Are temporary physical pleasures more important than eternal life in heaven?  Eternal life with Jesus is a free gift, so earning more money is not going to get you there.  The only true peace and contentment we have is in Jesus.  He knows our hearts and He knows the solution to not only the sins we try to hide, but to any situation we are facing. He is waiting to share that information with You.

Stop!  Listen!

If you do, He will speak to You.

3 ‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’   — Jeremiah 33:3 NKJV

“…God’s Law Is Written in Their Hearts…”

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. 

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

“…And They Cannot Turn To Me…”


27 For the hearts of these people are hardened, and their ears cannot hear,
and they have closed their eyes—
so their eyes cannot see,
and their ears cannot hear,
and their hearts cannot understand,
and they cannot turn to me
and let me heal them.’ 
— Acts 28:27 NLT 

Acts 28:23-30 NLT

The Jewish leaders there in Rome had already heard the message of Jesus. They wanted to hear it again from Paul and to hear what he believed.  Any time and every time the name of Jesus is mentioned, it requires that we make a decision.  Whether we decide to reject Him, accept Him or to think about it, we make a decision.  Some of these leaders were persuaded to believe by what Paul said and others were not.  It is a mystery to us why all the people hear the same message but some respond positively and some respond negatively.  Did Paul quit preaching the Word because some refused to believe?  No!  For two years, Paul supported himself and continued to tell others about the Good News.  Paul understood that the results of his preaching the Word were not up to Him.  His part was to continue to be obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit.  We are to do the same thing.  Keep preaching and/or teaching and not be discouraged because we don’t see any results.  The results are up to the Lord and the Holy Spirit, not to us.  We will see the results when we get to heaven. Until then we just keep living out God’s plan for each of us and let Him handle the results.

Isaiah 55:8-11 NLT

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

“Why Are You Frightened?”

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38 “Why are you frightened?” he asked. “Why are your hearts filled with doubt?  — Luke 24:38 NLT

Luke 24:35-43

As the two men who had met Jesus on the road to Emmaus were sharing their story with the disciples, Jesus suddenly appeared among them.  Jesus spoke to them and said “Peace be with you”.  But they were startled and frightened, how could this be?   After three years of walking with Jesus and hearing His teachings on a daily basis, the disciples were still not convinced that Jesus would really be resurrected.  They thought they were looking at a ghost.  Jesus told them to look closely and see that it was really Him.  He invited them to touch Him and know that He was real.  Still, they were not fully convinced, so Jesus asked for something to eat.  We can wonder at the unbelief and lack of faith of the disciples but we show that same unbelief and lack of faith when we are fearful and worry about things.  We need to examine ourselves and ask ourselves the same questions that Jesus asked the disciples, “why are we frightened and why are our hearts filled with doubt”?  God has told us over 365 times in the Bible in one form or the other, :“DO NOT FEAR!”.  Yet, is there a day that goes by that we do not express fear and doubt with our words and/or actions?  Instead of accessing the peace and the joy that Jesus has promised and is waiting to give each of us so that we can enjoy today with Him, we obsess over what MIGHT happen tomorrow.  If we really believe that Jesus can and will provide our every need, then we should just rest in His arms and allow Him to do exactly what He said He would do.

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

“Why Are You Troubled?”

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 38 And He said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts?  – Luke 24:38 NKJV

Luke 24:36-40 ISV

All day Sunday and Sunday night, Jesus appeared to different people.  As He revealed to each who He was, they were frightened.  The truth of all the things that Jesus had told them had still not become a reality to them.  Though for the better part of three years, Jesus had taught them in an effort to prepare them for His death and resurrection, it was still hard to accept the truth–Jesus is alive!   Could this really be Jesus resurrected from the tomb?  Yes, it must be so!
Looking back from this side of the cross, it would be very easy for us to criticize the disciples for their slowness to accept the truth.  It would be very easy for us to say, “how could they not believe?”  Yet, today when Jesus reveals Himself to us through the Holy Spirit, aren’t we just as slow to accept the Gospel as the truth?  Aren’t we just as doubtful?  Could this story really be true?  Does such love exist?  We have an abundance of information, both Biblical and historical, that these events occurred just as they are recorded in the Gospels. We have three witnesses, one of which the disciples didn’t have at this time and would not have until after Jesus ascended.  Our mission is to spread the Good News knowing that the Holy Spirit will confirm it as the Truth.

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

“Always Have Hearts Like This”

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28 “The Lord heard the request you made to me. And he said, ‘I have heard what the people said to you, and they are right. 29 Oh, that they would always have hearts like this, that they might fear me and obey all my commands! If they did, they and their descendants would prosper forever. — Deut. 5:28-29 NLT

God chose the children of Israel to be His people and as long as they were obedient, He blessed them and provided for them.  But, oftentimes, they were disobedient and God had to discipline them.  He has chosen us to be His peculiar people in today’s world.  It is His heart’s desire to bless us daily and provide everything that we need to live Godly lives.  We, like the children of Israel, often require discipline.  Because of choices we make, a just God cannot bless us during our times of disobedience.  This does not mean that every rough patch we go through means we have sinned, some of those times, God allows so that we can grow spiritually.  God is not looking for times to discipline us, He is looking for times that He can pour out His blessings on us.  He is looking for those whose hearts are totally committed to Him.  As we read in verse 29, God says “Oh, that they would always have hearts like this, that they would fear me and keep all my commandments.”   If we have that kind of heart, then God promises us that we will prosper forever.  He is still looking for those with that kind of heart today, hearts that are fully committed to Him.

9 The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. — 2 Chronicles 16:9a NLT

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

“My Peace I Give You”

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27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. — John 14:27 NIV

In our daily lives, why do we not experience the peace that God has made available to us? Is there a secret to finding and holding onto that peace?  Is it necessary to do something special or quote a particular verse to access the peace that God has so freely given to us?  Is that peace for now or for some time in the future?  Is that peace even real?  If we could discover how to find and hold onto that peace, wouldn’t it be a great blessing to us and a great message to a world in chaos? Maybe, it starts with our definition of peace.  God’s peace isn’t the absence of troubles or violence or loss or storms.  It is learning to have peace while we live in and go through those times.  Jesus, as a man suffered rejection, ridicule, betrayal, and tremendous persecution, yet He did not sin by worrying or being afraid, but held onto the peace that the Father gave Him.  We say,”Yes, but Jesus was _______”  and you can fill in the blank.  The truth is that while He was on earth, Jesus was fully human.  He walked, talked, grew tired, rested, became hungry and ate common food. He was, in fact, just like us, except that He didn’t sin. He is our example that peace is not a lack of certain issues but a gift that we must learn to experience everyday.  When He was in the boat with the disciples in the midst of the storm, He slept.  The disciples became anxious and feared for their lives. Jesus spoke, the storm dissipated and peace was restored to the sea. Jesus is with us in the boat as we sail through life.  When the storms come, ask Him to speak to your storm and experience His peace. So, it is not some secret formula, it is complete faith in believing what Jesus said.

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

“Strengthen Your Hearts”

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8 You, too, must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, because the coming of the Lord is near. – James 5:8 ISV 

James 5:7-9 ISV

God has a plan and He reveals as much of that plan to us as we need to know to do His will. As Paul pointed out to us:

26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. — Colossians 1:26-27 NIV

For whatever reason, He has chosen to keep the timing of His return a secret from us at this time.  We could get into huge discussions about this, but it would be an ultimate waste of the time God has granted us to be here on this earth.  We need to spend the precious days that we have doing the good works that God has prepared for us to do.  We need to do that without accusing, grumbling or judging others.  We need to spend our time in praise, prayer, worship and leading others to Jesus.  This is the kind of work that will endure the fire when it is tested.  This is the kind of work that will earn us crowns in glory.  The more crowns we earn, the more we will have to cast at the feet of Jesus in honoring Him when we get to heaven.  Our concern is to be sure that we persevere and complete the work that God has planned for each of us. He will be the judge of all that is said and done.

36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For,  “In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.”  — Hebrews 10:36-37 NIV

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

“So We Could Know the Glory of God”

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6 For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. – 2 Cor. 4:6 NLT 

2 Cor. 4:3-7 NLT

When we allow God to use us as His witnesses, we may not see the results of our labors immediately.  It has been determined that it takes more than 7 “touches”  or exposures to the Good News for a person to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior.  Our God desires that everyone should be saved, but the “god of this age”, satan, has blinded many to the truth of the Gospel. They cannot see the Light because they are focused on the pleasures of this world and the desires of the flesh. Their refusal to see the Light does not alleviate us of the responsibility of being the Light of Jesus Christ shining in a world of darkness.  We have this Light of the knowledge of God’s glory shining in our hearts. God has placed His treasure, this knowledge of Him, in the hearts of human beings. These jars of clay are weak and decaying but the Light shining forth from them displays the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This power is from God and not from us.  That is why God has made us responsible for shining, but He has kept the responsibility for dispelling the darkness. We can be assured that if we do our part, He will faithfully do His part and souls will be added to the Kingdom.

9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.10 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, 11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. — Isaiah 55:9-11 NIV

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

“Peace of Mind and Heart”

27 “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. – John 14:27 NLT

Peace

God has sent the Holy Spirit to abide with us. He sent the Spirit in the name of Jesus. That is the Trinity of God — Father, Son,and Spirit. They are one and the same but with different functions. God created, Jesus redeemed and the Spirit calls us to accept Jesus and be a child of God. Jesus gives us the gift of peace. It is not peace that means there are no wars or violence or problems in our lives.That is what the world thinks of as peace. But true peace, the peace that Jesus gave us is the kind that keeps us calm in the middle of a storm, in the middle of medical emergencies, financial emergencies or any other bad situation that you can name. The peace of God is available to every child of God, but we have to decide to accept it and abide in that peace, just as we had to decide to accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord. We can accept the peace that Jesus offers us or we can hang onto our cares and worries and let the devil devour our peace and joy.

6 So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. 7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.8 Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.–1 Peter 5:6-8 (NLT)

Humbling ourselves under the hand of God means that we completely agree with Him that He can and will do exactly what He said He would do. To believe anything less than that is to deny the Omniscience, Omnipresence and the Omnipotence of the great God that we serve.

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

Post 06-04-2020