Purpose, Plan, Complete

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

Born to Die For You and For Me

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19 For when I tried to keep the law, it condemned me. So I died to the law—I stopped trying to meet all its requirements—so that I might live for God. 20 My old self has been crucified with Christ. – Gal. 2:19 NLT
Paul continues his case against the law. There were three items in the Ark of the Covenant:
4 having a golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden jar holding the manna, and Aaron’s rod which budded, and the tables of the covenant; 5 and above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat;–Hebrews 9:4,5 (NASB)
Each of these items represented the rebellion of man against God. The manna reminds us that men had rejected God’s provision, men wanted more. Aaron’s rod reminds us that man had rejected God’s authority and the Tablets of the Ten Commandments remind us that men had rejected God’s standard of living, His Law. All of these were hidden under the mercy seat of the Ark. That mercy seat was a shadow of the Cross where Jesus died and put all of our sins and rebellion under His mercy and grace. Paul is saying that if we resurrect the law then we become transgressors. Jesus died to fulfill the law and put us under grace. If the law had been sufficient to redeem us then Jesus did die needlessly. But men have constantly rebelled against the law and against God. Man is incapable of obeying every part of the law, therefore we need a Savior. And, at just the right time, God sent His Son who died that we might be reconciled to Him.
2 For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.–2 Cor. 6:2 (NLT)
Under the law, man was separated from God, with no hope. But under grace, mercy and forgiveness is available to each of us. No matter what you have done or thought about doing, no matter where you are or where you have been, Jesus is standing at the door of your heart knocking, open up and let Him come in.
20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with MeRev. 3:20 (NASB)

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

Post 12-29-2017

Fellowship Requires Obedience

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28 And now, dear children, remain in fellowship with Christ so that when he returns, you will be full of courage and not shrink back from him in shame. – 1 John 2:28 NLT

We need to remember that we are always in God’s presence. He is omnipresent, there is no escaping His eye as it roams to and fro over the earth. We must strive to live holy lives every day.

17 I see everything they do. They cannot hide from me the things they do; their sin is not hidden from my eyes–Jeremiah 16:17 (NCV)


While our sins are forgiven, any unconfessed sins in our lives temporarily breaks our fellowship with God. That was the reason for the prayer that Jesus prayed in Gethsemane. He knew that when all the sin of the world was put upon Him, His fellowship with Our Father would be temporarily broken. That would be the one and only time that would be true and it caused Him great anguish. We should feel that same anguish when we fail. When we fail, we should never let satan use that as a weapon to bring us down. What we should feel is not guilt or condemnation, but conviction that causes us to repent. But that is not the end of the story. Just as Jesus was restored to full fellowship with God, so will we be. When God looks at us, He sees us through the blood of Jesus. So, He sees us as righteous just as Christ is righteous. Hopefully, as we strive to live obedient lifestyles, we won’t have to suffer through many of those times of broken fellowship.


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

Post 07-07-2017

Open My Eyes, Lord!

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41 “If you were blind, you wouldn’t be guilty,” Jesus replied. “But you remain guilty because you claim you can see.” — John 9:41 NLT
Jesus had just healed this blind man by making mud with dirt and His own spit. Can you imagine anyone in today’s society allowing Jesus to put that compress on their eyes?  Can you imagine how many lawsuits Jesus would have been faced with because of His actions?  How many shots and vaccines would this man have been advised to take because the spit of Jesus had touched his skin? Even back then, Jesus and the once-blind man had to suffer rejection and persecution because Jesus did this good deed on the Sabbath.  It is not recorded that even one person besides the blind man himself, was excited and happy for him.  When called by the Pharisees, even his parents refused to stand up for him because they feared rejection themselves.  Isn’t still that way today?  When we see good things happen to people, don’t we question and doubt?  Don’t we try to tear down rather than build up?  Don’t we look for hidden reasons that this happened?  After all, it is just smoke and mirrors, right?  As long as we think we can see, we will not ask for sight.  As long as we trust our own intellignece, we will not ask for God’s wisdom.  We, like the Pharisees and religious leaders will remain blind and ignorant because we claim we can see and understand when we cannot even imagine what God has in store for us.  Not just in the sweet by and by in heaven, but right here and right now.  We must ask God to open our eyes to see and our hearts and minds to believe so that we can access all the power and wisdom that He wants to give us.
Post 05-20-2016

Heirs and Joint Heirs

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

23 Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 24 So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. 25 Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian. 26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female,​ ​for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.—Gal. 3:23-29 (NIV)
​Before​ the resurrection of Jesus Christ, man had lived in sin and bondage ever since Adam committed the original sin. For a few hundred years man lived without a tutor or guardian, the the law was given to teach us until the great mystery of the Good News was revealed.
25 Now to him who is able to establish you in accordance with my gospel, the message I proclaim about Jesus Christ, in keeping with the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, 26 but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all the Gentiles might come to the obedience that comes from faith— 27 to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.–Romans 16:25-27 (NIV)
​We are ​all saved by “grace through faith” and we are all one body, the body of Christ and are therefore the seed of Abraham. If we are the seed of Abraham, then we are heirs and members of the “heir force”. And one glorious day, we will all fly home to be with our Lord and Savior for eternity!

Post 03-31-2015

Gotta Tell Everybody!

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

12 So the soldiers, their commanding officer, and the Temple guards arrested Jesus and tied him up. 13 First they took him to Annas, since he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest at that time. 14 Caiaphas was the one who had told the other Jewish leaders, “It’s better that one man should die for the people.”—John 18:12-14 (NLT)
​Once Jesus has been arrested, He was tied up and taken to Annas, the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest. This was the same Caiaphas that had prophesied that it was better that one man should die than the whole nation. If Caiaphas had have fully understood the situation, he probably would have preferred that Jesus not die for the people. God was allowing satan to use the unbelief and stubbornness of the high priests and religious leaders to accomplish His plan. God’s plan has been in existence since before the world was spoken into existence. No thing or no one had or has the power to stop what God has decreed will be. The reason that Jesus had spoken in parables to the crowds and early in His ministry had told those He healed not to tell anyone was to accomplish the mission that God has sent Him here to do. If satan had figured it out, he would not have wanted Jesus to be crucified on the cross.
7 No, the wisdom we speak of is the mystery of God—his plan that was previously hidden, even though he made it for our ultimate glory before the world began. 8 But the rulers of this world have not understood it; if they had, they would not have crucified our glorious Lord–1 Cor.2:7,8 (NLT)
​Jesus said:
13 That is why I use these parables, For they look, but they don’t really see. They hear, but they don’t really listen or understand.—Matt. 13:13 (NLT)
​There are still those who look but don’t see and hear but they aren’t really listening. But since we aren’t able to know the minds and hearts of others, we cannot be selective in who we witness to. We are to tell everyone the Good News and let God be in charge of the results.
Post 02-25-2015

Whose Children Are We?

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

43 Why can’t you understand what I am saying? It is because you are unable to do so! 44 For you are the children of your father the Devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning and has always hated the truth. There is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 So when I tell the truth, you just naturally don’t believe me! 46 Which of you can truthfully accuse me of sin? And since I am telling you the truth, why don’t you believe me? 47 Anyone whose Father is God listens gladly to the words of God. Since you don’t, it proves you aren’t God’s children.”—John 8:43-47 (NLT)
​Jesus​ continues to have a conversation with the people present that day. They didn’t understand what He was saying because they were spiritually blind and deceived by satan. Lying, confusion and deception are all characteristics of the devil. Since the people there and we today were born in sin, we are easily misled and led astray. We are guilty of the same sins just as the father of all flesh, the devil, is guilty. Once the Holy Spirit calls us and we see the Light, then we can no longer use this as an excuse. When we are exposed to the truth of who Jesus really is, we always have to make a decision. Whether we accept or reject that truth will determine who our father will be. If we accept the truth of Jesus coming to earth to be our redeemer and His fulfilling that mission by dying on a cross, then our Father is God and we gladly listen and believe the words of Jesus. More than that, we should hunger and thirst after His words. We should hide them in our heart so that we will not sin against God.
10 I have tried hard to find you—
don’t let me wander from your commands.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you.
12 I praise you, O Lord;
teach me your decrees.—Psalm 119:10-12 (NLT)

Post 12-20-2014

“You Cannot Come Where I Am Going”

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

17 Your own law says that if two people agree about something, their witness is accepted as fact. 18 I am one witness, and my Father who sent me is the other.” 19 “Where is your father?” they asked. Jesus answered, “Since you don’t know who I am, you don’t know who my Father is. If you knew me, then you would know my Father, too.” 20​ ​Jesus made these statements while he was teaching in the section of the Temple known as the Treasury. But he was not arrested, because his time had not yet come. 21 Later Jesus said to them again, “I am going away. You will search for me and die in your sin. You cannot come where I am going.” 22 The Jewish leaders asked, “Is he planning to commit suicide? What does he mean, ‘You cannot come where I am going’?”—John 8:17-22 (NLT)
​Time after time, Jesus​ has tried to convince the religious leaders and Pharisees of His true identity. Even after seeing all the signs and works that Jesus had done in their midst, they refused to believe. How heart broken, Jesus must have been because of the rejection of His Jewish kinsman, the very people that He had come to save. They continued to deny that He was the Son of God, the Messiah that they were waiting to see. So, finally, He pronounces their death sentence to them. “You cannot come where I am going.” Jesus knew because of their hardness of heart, they would never accept the truth. They would remain in darkness because they refused the Light. Where Jesus was going and now is, there is no darkness. Darkness and light cannot be in the same space. Now, we are to bear witness of that Light, so that others will come to know Jesus as their Savior and Lord. Pray that neither we nor they will ever have to hear those sad words: “You cannot come where I am going”.​
14 “You are the light that gives light to the world. A city that is built on a hill cannot be hidden.—Matt. 5:14 (NCV)
Post 12-17-2014

Moving Toward Maturity

God is waiting to show you the way.

God is waiting to show you the way.

1 So let us stop going over the basic teachings about Christ again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don’t need to start again with the fundamental importance of repenting from evil deeds and placing our faith in God. 2 You don’t need further instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And so, God willing, we will move forward to further understanding.—Hebrews 6:1-3 (NLT)
​Paul​ is again emphasizing that even new Christians should understand that salvation requires repentance, which is more than turning away from sin, it is also turning to something new and that is Jesus. We are saved by grace through faith in God. We know that we should be baptized as an outward representation of what we believe in our hearts. It is symbolic of dying to sin and our fleshly desires and being resurrected to a new life in Jesus. We understand that after the resurrection, some will go on to eternal life with Jesus and others to eternal life in hell. What we need now is to understand what Jesus wants us to do until the time of our physical death. He wants us to follow His example and lead a lifestyle that draws others to Christ. He sent His Holy Spirit to lead us “into all truth”. We should be like the Psalmist
I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11 (NLT)
post 07-21-14

Suffering for His Glory

God is waiting to show you the way.

God is waiting to show you the way.

24 I am happy in my sufferings for you. There are things that Christ must still suffer through his body, the church. I am accepting, in my body, my part of these things that must be suffered. 25 I became a servant of the church because God gave me a special work to do that helps you, and that work is to tell fully the message of God. 26 This message is the secret that was hidden from everyone since the beginning of time, but now it is made known to God’s holy people. 27 God decided to let his people know this rich and glorious secret which he has for all people. This secret is Christ himself, who is in you. He is our only hope for glory. 28 So we continue to preach Christ to each person, using all wisdom to warn and to teach everyone, in order to bring each one into God’s presence as a mature person in Christ.29 To do this, I work and struggle, using Christ’s great strength that works so powerfully in me.–Col. 1:24-29 (New Century)
​Just​ as Jesus suffered, we, His followers must also suffer. All the disciples and early followers of Jesus were persecuted. Christ is still suffering through His body, the church. Just as Paul was given a special work to do in revealing the message of God to the Gentiles, God has given each of us a work to do in revealing His plan to those that are placed in our paths each day. The secret is not that Jesus would come as the Messiah; it wasn’t that Jesus would die on the cross, be buried and be resurrected after 3 days. Then He would ascend into heaven to remain in God’s presence interceding for us. All these things were prophesied and well-known. The secret was that He would abide in those who believed on Him. His Holy Spirit would dwell in us all the time. He ascended, yet He is here living in each of us, giving all believers that hope of eternal glory. This is what we are to teach in order to bring each Christian into maturity in Christ Jesus. Just as the Creator suffered, so will we suffer as we are faithful to spread the Good News. We will struggle, but we have access to the strength and power that resurrected Jesus from the dead. We are never alone.