Bring Others Into the Fold

18 And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him.  — 2 Cor. 5:18 NLT

2 Cor. 5:16-21 NLT

God’s plan of salvation is simple. If we believe that Jesus was born to a virgin, lived a sinless life, died on the cross for our sins, was buried, arose from the tomb three days later, ascended into heaven where He is today interceding in prayer for us, we are saved. Nothing more, nothing less. You have taken the first step on your journey to heaven. Once we have asked Jesus to forgive us of our sins, God’s Holy Spirit takes up residence and abides in us. This causes us to look at everyone and everything differently. We are now a new creation, our old life is gone and we are now in Christ Jesus. As we continue on our journey, we need to spend time talking with Jesus and meditating on God’s Holy Word. This is a free gift from God and we are now restored in our relationship with Jesus Christ. Now, we have become His ambassadors to the world. God is asking each of us to join His work in bringing others into reconciliation with Him. The more we practice this lifestyle, the sweeter our relationship with Jesus becomes. We find that He truly does “grow sweeter and sweeter as the days go by”.  Jesus becomes everything to us and provides everything for us.

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

Post 07-22-2019

“We Speak For Christ”

20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” — 2 Cor. 5:20 NLT


2 Cor. 5:18-21 NLT

What is an ambassador?  Dictionary.com defines ambassador as a diplomatic official of the highest rank, sent by one sovereign or state to another as its resident representative’.   Using that definition, we are citizens of heaven placed here on earth to represent Heaven and our King, Jesus Christ.  If we represent someone, we should strive to imitate that person and to show those around us what that person is like.  We also represent the country we are from and we want to paint a beautiful word picture of what life is like in our home country.  We certainly want to issue everyone an invitation to come and be with us in our country.  There are four words in this definition that caught my eye.  Those four words are “of the highest rank”.  That doesn’t leave much wiggle room for us to say that we can’t or that we don’t have the authority to do this or that.  What we are is what they will think our leader and our country is like.  Does our lifestyle make people want to know more about Jesus and an eternity in heaven or does it leave them thinking something else?

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

Post 05-10-2019

“God Can and Does Deliver On His Promises”

19 The king’s officer had replied, “That couldn’t happen even if the Lord opened the windows of heaven!” And the man of God had said, “You will see it happen with your own eyes, but you won’t be able to eat any of it!” 20 And so it was, for the people trampled him to death at the gate! –2 Kings 7:19, 20 NLT

 2 Kings 7:1-20 NLT

Everything that Elisha had prophesied about the famine and then the abundance of food came to pass.  Not one thing was left out.  God had defeated an army by confusing them until they fought each other and then the rest ran away leaving all of their supplies which included the abundance of food they had stored for their sustenance during the siege.  Israel did not fight the battle and they did not lose one single soldier in getting the supply that God had promised.  The only person lost was the king’s assistant and he was trampled by his own people before he could get a bite of food. Every detail was fulfilled.  God has made us many amazing promises in His Word. We can believe those promises, access them and enjoy the benefits of living in His presence or we can try to make it on our own and experience defeat and death.  God is not a man that He should lie and He is not slack concerning His promises.  There is no fine print or legalese to interrupt, just promises made in simple langauge that anyone can understand. Don’t be like Pharaoh and choose to live with the frogs one more night.  Just believe God’s Word and start enjoying the benefits of lving in His resurrection power today.

Psalm 103:1-5 NKJV

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

Post 01-08-2017

“Tell Your Family”

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19 But Jesus said, “No, go home to your family, and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been.” 20 So the man started off to visit the Ten Towns of that region and began to proclaim the great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed at what he told them. — Mark 5:19, 20 NLT

Do you remember the joy and the excitement that came into your life when you first accepted Jesus as your Savior?  Some of us felt great burdens lifted from us and immediately experienced freedom from some of our old habits.  Others just felt a peace that they had never had before.   Either way, most of us suddenly felt a great desire to tell somebody about what had just happened. Our lives were changed for the better.  It was the beginning of a journey with Jesus.  That journey has and will continue to take us through experiences and situations that will try us.   Each of these experiences will be an opportunity for us to grow closer to the Lord or a temptation for us to become bitter.  That choice is up to us.   If we choose correctly, we will find that we always come through those times a little stronger than we were before.  Our initial joy will be increased because of the victories that we have over these situations.  Those victories comes from Jesus Christ, just as our salvation came from His actions at Calvary.  Each of these experiences of overcoming temptation and suffering is another story we can use to tell people about Jesus.  They aren’t just for our benefit, they are to be shared so that others will come to know Jesus.  They are to be shared with those around us where we are right now.  It is not necessary to change your vocation.  When Jesus sent the disciples out, He instructed them to do tell others “as you go”.


 7 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.  — Matt. 10:7. 8 NIV

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

Post 1017-2018

Become Like A Child Again

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Therefore, whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom from heaven, – Matt. 18:4 ISV
As adults, we can become like children in two different ways. We can make decisions based on our wants and feelings with no knowledge or concern of what the consequences might be. This happens when we want to  exercise control or when we make decisions that are based on what we want and not what is good for ourselves and others.  An example is not sharing with others as we should and becoming angry when we are asked to do so.  Another example is being disobedient. This is being “childish”.  The other way we can become like children is to live our lives with the innocence of childhood, accepting others without question, being humble and being obedient to parents and authority figures.  This happens when we base our decisions on knowledge and when we consider the outcome of our decisions.  An example of this is to do what is best for the family and/or those around us regardless of what our desires and wants may be.  The best example is that of Jesus and that is to love without conditions and without expecting anything in return. This is being “childlike” and that is the attitude that Jesus says we must have to enter the Kingdom of God. If we are childish, we seek to satisfy our wants and we seek the approval and praise of men.  If we are childlike, we humble ourselves before God, do His work and seek His approval.

 
17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. —- 1 John 3:17, 18 NLT
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 09-22-2018

Press On Toward the Mark

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13 Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”  — 1 Peter 1:13-16 NIV

We are saved by grace though faith and that is the only way anyone can be saved. Good works and good intentions cannot save us, only the grace of God. That is our belief, that is our hope. That hope is eternal based on the mercy and grace of God. We will not know the fullness of His grace and mercy until Jesus Christ returns in all of His glory to receive us into heaven. The eternal hope that we have through the grace of God should fill us with so much love for Jesus that we choose to remain obedient to His teachings and example.  Our flesh desires to stay conformed to lusts and other evil desires.  But now that we know those are displeasing to our Savior, we should attempt to “abstain from the very appearance of evil”.  Is this a call for perfection? Yes. Will we attain perfection while we remain in this tent of flesh? No. But that does not excuse willful, deliberate sin nor is it an out for us to do whatever we desire and ask for forgiveness. Every moment of every day, we are making decisions. Those decisions will either lead us closer to Jesus or take us farther away from Jesus. Perfect? No.  Forgiven? Yes. But we must determine at every moment whether or not we will press on toward our goal.13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. ​ — Ph​il. 3:14,14 NIV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 04-13-2018

Aliens in This World – Citizens of Heaven

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26 But the other woman, Sarah, represents the heavenly Jerusalem. She is the free woman, and she is our mother. – Gal. 4:26 NLT

As we have seen in the earlier verses, the Jewish leaders have been trying to convince the new converts to return to the old Jewish traditions. Paul is making the point here that they need to consider the hardships and severity of the law before they turn back to it. He is using the birth of Issac and Ishmael to demonstrate the difference in natural and spiritual things. Those that return to worldly things (the natural Jerusalem) are still in slavery to those things. But since Issac was born to fulfill a divine promise, there is now a choice that we can make. We can follow the fleshly lineage and remain slaves or we can follow the divine lineage, accept Jesus and become citizens of the Jerusalem which is above.
20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ​, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.–Phil. 3:20 (NIV)
But one day, the New Jerusalem will come down to earth and all those that have chosen the divine lineage (Jesus) will be citizens of the New Jerusalem.
I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband—Rev.21:2 (NIV)

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

Post 01-11-2018