“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

“We Must Be Saved!”

12 There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”  — Acts 4: 12 NLT

Acts 4:8-13 NLT

This verse is probably one of the best known verses in the Bible.  It may be very well-known but we had best not get complacent about it.  Do we believe what this verse says?  Is there really only one Name under heaven whereby we can be saved?  Would you stake your life on it?  In today’s society with its anti-Christian bent, we had better be sure we believe it if we are going to stand up for Jesus because there are thousands of our brothers and sisters around the world who are doing just that–giving their lives for Jesus.  If we believe then why do we get so mealy-mouthed around the religious people of the world? There is not one religion that makes this claim, only Christianity. Our beliefs had better be rooted in Jesus and our lives built on Him.  Otherwise, when the storms come and the winds of doubt and fear start beating us up, we will fall.  If you read the full passage above, then you will know that verse thirteen says that the council of leaders knew that Peter and John “had been with Jesus”.  Isn’t  that what we want others to see in us?  Enough of the likeness of Jesus that they will know that we have spent some time with Jesus.  Jesus died for all sinners, we owe it to Him to let the whole world know.  Are we ready to stand up, speak up and die if we have to?  Let us all pray that if that time comes in our lives that we will be ready to meet the challenge and joyfully go home to be with Jesus.

“The closer I get to the end of my life, it seems the only question that matters is, Is the life I am living pleasing to God?” – Ken Gire In “Sacred”

“We Have a Great High Priest…”

14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.— Hebrews 4:14 NIV

Hebrews 4:12-16 NIV

There are many times in our journey that we fall short of the mark. There will always be those times as long as we remain in these human bodies. When it comes to being tempted, we are very weak. Because Jesus went through the same temptations when He walked on this earth, He understands our failures. The devil will take those failures and beat us up over and over, telling us how we are no longer a child of God because we failed. But don’t let those failures stop you from repenting. Just remember that guilt and condemnation come from the devil, who is a thief and a liar. Conviction comes from the Holy Spirit and calls us to the throne room of God where we can ask for and receive His forgiveness. We can be very sure that we will receive mercy and grace from our Father. We will receive this not because we have done anything to earn it, but simply because of what Jesus did for us at the Cross. Even right now, Jesus is at the right hand of the Father interceding for us. The Father will not refuse anything that the Son asks from Him. So, hold on and press on because Jesus has paid the price.

Romans 8:1-4 NIV

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

“Store Your Treasures In Heaven…”

20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.— Matthew 6:20 NLT

Matthew 6:19-21 NLT

A lot of people spend most of their lives making money. It is true that we need to work to take care of ourselves and our families. But when making money becomes our obsession and our goal, we need to step back and take a long, hard look at our lifestyles. When we spend too much of our time making money that we don’t need for our livelihood, perhaps we are laying up treasures in the wrong place. It might be time to spend more time with our families and with God. Since God has blessed you with money and most likely a good family, shouldn’t you stop to give Him thanks every day? Remember that everything belongs to God. He allows it to rain on the just and the unjust alike. He can also stop the rain if He so desires. You could be a millionaire today and a pauper tomorrow. So, don’t spend all of your time laying up treasures that will fade away, spend some time laying up treasures in heaven and those treasures will last forever. As you practice this, you will find that the desires of your heart change from an earthly, material, temporary focus to a heavenly, eternal one.

Colossians 3:1-4 NLT

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

“Think About the Things of Heaven,”

2 Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.  — Colossians 3:2 NLT

Col. 3:1-6 NLT

Before we accepted Jesus as our Savior and Lord, our thoughts were fixed on the things of this world.  Our focus was on ourselves and our fleshly desires.  What things can I do or indulge in that will make my life here more pleasurable?  What will I do tomorrow and the next day?  We gave little or no thought to the afterlife or where our souls would spend eternity.  After we accepted Jesus, our focus started (or should have started) to change.  We started to realize that there is more to life than possessions.  We slowly began to understand that we are not the center of the universe.  We felt our desires changing.  The invisible became more important than the visible. Did we change ourselves?  Of course not, if we could change ourselves, then Christ died in vain.  God has placed Himself as the Holy Spirit inside of us and it is He that is making those changes in and for us.  We are being transformed not by our own power but by the resurrection power of the Holy Spirit.  Each of us should pray that we will have a teachable spirit and allow that process to continue until we are transformed into His image.

Romans 12:1-2 NLT

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

“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

“And the Word Was God”

1 In the beginning the Word already existed.
    The Word was with God,
    and the Word was God.
2 He existed in the beginning with God.-
John 1:1-2 NLT

John 1:1-5 NLT

He was, He is and He always shall be.  The Trinity, the Triune God was, is and ever shall be. They were, They are and They always shall be. They existed before time as we know it, They are alive today and They always shall be.  Two are in heaven, One abides in us. Together, They planned what was, what is and what is to come.  God’s spoken and written words are infallible, inerrant and immutable.  Their plans are unchangeable. They are the Author and the Finisher of our faith.  As it is written, so it was, so it is and so it will be.  What we believe does not and cannot change what was, what is and what will be. What we believe will only determine our part in it and where we spend our eternity.  They are immovable and unstoppable. They are coming back and nothing or no one can stop them.  Our part is to believe Their story, tell Their story and live rejoicing every day because of Their story.  We, as Christians, have the one and the only true story and true hope. History has confirmed the truth of Their story over and over.

8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega—the beginning and the end,” says the Lord God. “I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come—the Almighty One.”  – –The Revelation of Jesus Christ to John the Baptist 1:8 NLT

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

“Think About the Things of Heaven”

even-smaller-bug-light1

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

Col. 3:1-5 NLT ​

When we accept Christ as our Savior it should change the way we assess the things we see and hear.  There should be external evidence of what has taken place inside of us.  Our thoughts and our hearts’ desires should be focused on things above and not on earthly things.  If we find that we are still worried about the things happening around us, particularly those that we can’t control, we need to get into the Scriptures and allow the presence of the Holy Spirit to assure us of God’s omnipotence and omnipresence.  If we find that most of our thoughts are still on the same things that we thought about before, we need to be sure that we have repented.  True repentance will cause a change of some of our habits and our thought patterns. It will cause us to re-prioritize the things in our lives. Before, we evaluated things according to worldly standards, now we should be evaluating them according to God’s standards.  We have died and are now hidden in Christ. The flesh does not like this new us. It is a constant battle to put to death all those fleshly desires and satan will surely be coming around to remind you of how much “fun” you were having when you were serving Him. We have to put these fleshly things to death in our minds, while they are still in the idea or thought stage. If we allow them to take root in our mind, we have lost the battle. We cannot do this alone, we have to allow God to accomplish it through and for us.

3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.-2 Cor. 10:3-5

“You Must Continue to Follow Him”

even-smaller-bug-light1

6 And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. – Col. 2:6 NLT

Col. 2:6-10 NLT

The words that Paul wrote to encourage the Church at Colossae are just as true today as then.  Receiving Christ as our Savior is the first step in our journey to heaven. The next steps are allowing Him to be Lord of our lives as well. When we were saved, we received the Holy Spirit as an earnest of the fulfillment of the promises God has made to His children. He lives in us, therefore we live in Him. We need to become rooted in His word so that our lifestyles will reflect His examples and give Him glory.  We need to study His word and meditate on it daily. We need to spend time talking WITH Him, not just to Him. After we have thanked Him, given Him praise and laid our petitions before Him, we need to sit quietly in His presence and see what He has to say to us. There is always a word from the Lord, if we listen for it. We need this time in His presence early in the day to prepare ourselves for the spiritual battlefield.  Jesus gave up His place in glory and lived as all man to set the example for us. He set the example of spending time alone with the Father so that He would be strengthened for the battle. He lived a perfect life and has been restored to all His glory and made ruler over all things.  We can’t be perfect but we can have a full and true life if we follow His example on a daily basis.

41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. — Luke 22:41-43 NIV

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

“I Am Going Away”

28 Remember what I told you: I am going away, but I will come back to you again. If you really loved me, you would be happy that I am going to the Father, who is greater than I am. – John 14:28 NLT

I Am Going Away

Jesus is telling the disciples and us that He must leave but He will return one day. If Jesus doesn’t go to the Father, then the Holy Spirit will not come to abide with us. Jesus knew and understood that the time was swiftly approaching when He would not be able to see and talk to all the people that needed to hear the Good News. But the Father already had a plan in place, His Spirit would come and abide in each of us, so that none of us would ever be alone again. The Holy Spirit will teach us, lead us and prepare us for the return of our soon coming King. Jesus is also telling the disciples and us that satan is not defeating Him, but still, He must do what He must do. It has been the plan since eternity that He would be the perfect, sacrificial Lamb that would redeem fallen man. The time was quickly approaching for Jesus to complete His mission here on earth. He needed to return to the Father because He had work to do in heaven.

24 But because Jesus lives forever, his priesthood lasts forever. 25 Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.—Hebrews 7:2​4​​-​2​5​ (NLT)

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