“You Rightly Say That I AM”

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70 Then they all said, “Are You then the Son of God?”  So He said to them, “You rightly say that I am.” – Luke 22:70 NLT


Luke 22:66-71 NLT

When I read this verse, I often think, “How could these people be face to face with Jesus and refuse to believe?”.   But, then, I am reminded of how many times I was called by the Holy Spirit and refused to believe.  It is easy for us to assume that we would have acted differently than those people did then.  We let ourselves off easy thinking that we would have surely believed Jesus in this situation.  But, just as Abraham told the rich man who requested that he send Lazarus back to his home town to speak to his brothers, if they won’t believe Moses and the prophets, they won’t believe even if they saw someone return from the dead.  On the day that Jesus was crucified, there were prophets and holy people of old whose bodies were released from the grave and they walked the streets of Jerusalem, but not all of Jerusalem was saved.

Matthew 27:50-54 ISV

The point is this, people that have lived since the Holy Spirit was sent to call us, lead us and comfort us, have more reasons to believe than most of those people back then.  We can look back over history and see more of God’s promises fulfilled than they could and yet, there are many that still refuse to believe. We will hear the story multiple times more than most of them heard it, but not all will believe  Every person will hear the story and have the opportunity to receive Jesus as their Savior, yet not all will do so.   As time goes by, hearts grow harder and harder.  A few years ago, it was reported that we had to hear the story seven times before we accepted Jesus. Now, that number is reported to have risen to fourteen. Our work is to keep telling the story and we must keep telling it more and more, so those around us will have more opportunities.  But the results of our telling the story are in God’s hands.  Our work is to tell, His work is to confirm it in the hearts of those He has chosen.

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

“Chosen and Precious”

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4 As you come to him, the living stone who was rejected by people but was chosen and precious in God’s sight, – 1 Peter 2:4 ISV 

1 Peter 2:4-6 ISV

Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, was rejected by His own people.  He could do very few miracles in His own hometown because the people there thought of Him as just a carpenter, the son of Joseph and Mary.  We can expect to be rejected as well, the created should not expect better treatment than the Creator received. Just as Jesus was ridiculed and rejected by those who knew Him only as a human, so can we expect to be treated the same way.  This rejection did not keep Jesus from loving and ministering to those around Him who accepted the words that He spoke. Neither should ridicule or offensive remarks keep us from loving and witnessing to those around us.  Jesus was chosen by God to give up everything, come to earth and live among humans who would not welcome Him as the Son of the Creator.  We are chosen by God to give up nothing to receive everything and live among humans as holy priests.  Our sacrifice is spiritual, we speak the words that the Holy Spirit gives us.  This is acceptable to God.  The ultimate end of the earthly ministry of Jesus was not shame but glory.  If we trust in Him and remain faithful, our ultimate end will not be shame but an eternity in heaven praising Jesus because He was faithful and was chosen to rule the universe.

13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying:​“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb​ be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!” — Rev 5:13 NIV

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

“Through the Living and Enduring Word of God”

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23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. – 1 Peter 1:23 NIV

1 Peter 1:22-25 ISV

Having received Jesus Christ as our Savior, we are being purified by His grace and His love. He has placed His Spirit within us to teach us to love others as He loves us. This change will not come overnight, but it will come if we practice listening to and following the Holy Spirit. Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit to guide us and to teach us all truth.  As we obey that voice of truth that is within us, we will learn to appreciate the love that Jesus has for us and we will reciprocate by showing that love to others.  At first, it may just be words that we speak, but as we allow the Holy Spirit to be a bigger part of our life, we will find that we really do love and care for others.  With humility and patience, that love will evolve into something similar, but not nearly as great as the love that Jesus shows to us.  As John the Baptist said about Jesus “He must increase, I must decrease”. so, it must be true in our lives as well.  We must think of ourselves less and less and of Jesus and others more and more. The flesh perishes and decreases while the Spirit is imperishable and increases.  This is the Word that was preached to us and is alive and living in us.  Everything will perish except the Word of Jesus, it will stand forever. Just as Jesus was determined to go to the cross knowing that glory awaited Him on the other side, we need to be firm in our stand regardless of the personal cost knowing the hope that we have to spend an eternity with Him in His glory.

51 As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. — Luke 9:51 NIV

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

“Receive the Promised Holy Spirit”

14 Through Christ Jesus, God has blessed the Gentiles with the same blessing he promised to Abraham, so that we who are believers might receive the promised Holy Spirit through faith. – Gal. 3:14 NLT

Galatians 3:10-14 NLT

Paul continues to contrast living under the law as opposed to living under grace. For hundreds of years, all the Jews had known was the law plus all the man-made traditions that had been added by the priests and the religious leaders. That now there was a different way to please God was going to take a lot of “unteaching ” and “unlearning”. The law was not given to be a curse, but it became a curse because the flesh could not live up to its standards. It did not require faith, it was a law of works. It was meant to be a teacher showing “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”. We needed a change, but to have that change, we needed someone to remove us from under the curse of sin and the law. Jesus became a curse and a Redeemer for us. Through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, we can now receive the promise of the blessing of Abraham. We could not become the physical offspring of Abraham, but we could become the Spiritual descendants of the “seed” of Abraham. That “Seed” is Jesus Christ.

13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect —Romans 4:13,14 (NKJV)

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

“Because You Believe”

5 I ask you again, does God give you the Holy Spirit and work miracles among you because you obey the law? Of course not! It is because you believe the message you heard about Christ. – Gal.3:5 NLT

Gal. 3:1-5 NLT

There were religious leaders and teachers that were trying to convince the new converts that the Gospel was not true. They taught that you must still obey the law to please God. But the Good News is that we are now saved by grace through faith, not by works. Once we have accepted this truth, then the Holy Spirit comes to indwell us and lead us into all truth. The Holy Spirit could not be obtained by works or by obedience to the law. There is only one way to receive the Holy Spirit and that is by hearing the Word of grace and by faith, accepting Jesus as our Savior. Adding anything to God’s plan is nothing but vanity and man’s pride. We still have to answer the same question today. Are we saved by God who works miracles among us and provides us with His Holy Spirit? Yes, yes, we are! And once we accept Jesus, is there some great work we must do to be sure that we make it to heaven? The answer is no, works still cannot obtain our salvation. There are works that we should do, yes, but they do not add to our salvation. Our works are how we store up rewards in heaven.

26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.-Matt. ​-  16:26​-​27(NKJV)

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

“Again Peter Denied It”

27 Again Peter denied it. And immediately a rooster crowed. – John 18:27 NLT

Peter’s Denial

Have you ever promised God that you would not commit a certain sin and then you find that the next time the temptation comes up, you fail again? Every time we sin, we grieve God the Holy Spirit. Do you remember how you felt the last time you failed your parents, in particular, your Mother? I think if we can get that picture in our minds, we can start to understand how it hurts the Holy Spirit when we grieve Him by sinning. God the Holy Spirit is a person just as God the Father and God the Son are personages. We may not believe it or think it about much, but let’s look at what Paul writes:

And do not make the Holy Spirit sad. The Spirit is God’s proof that you belong to him. God gave you the Spirit to show that God will make you free when the final day comes.—Eph. 4:30 (NCV)

Did you realize that you could make God sad?

I believe the very moment that Peter denied Jesus the third time, he realizes that he could hurt and wound God, our Savior. John doesn’t elaborate on this event, but if we read what is written in Matthew, we see how this affected Peter.

74 Then Peter began to place a curse on himself and swear, “I don’t know the man.” At once, a rooster crowed. 75 And Peter remembered what Jesus had told him: “Before the rooster crows, you will say three times that you don’t know me.” Then Peter went outside and cried painfully.—Matt. 26:74, 75 (NCV)

When we realize that we have hurt God the Holy Spirit, we need to weep and confess our sins quickly. We need to keep a good relationship with the Holy Spirit because through Him is the way we communicate with God.

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

“Could This Be THE Christ?”

29 “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?”  – John 4:29 NKJV

“I AM”

For hundreds upon hundreds of years, generation after generation had heard the story, “Messiah is coming”. Could Jesus possibly be the long awaited Messiah? The woman hears all that Jesus said to her, but like so many today, she is not totally convinced. “Could he possibly be the Messiah?”
HE WAS–Jesus’ answer takes us all the way back to Exodus:

14 God replied to Moses, “I ​AM​ who ​I ​AM​. Say this to the people of Israel: I ​AM​ has sent me to you.​”​–Exodus 3:14 (NLT)

​He IS— Just as He came to this woman, His Holy Spirit comes to each of us today.
​HE ALWAYS WILL BE​—Just as the people back then waited for the Messiah, we wait for Him to return. There are still people that doubt the truthfulness of the Bible, but God has never failed to deliver on His promises. I stand firmly with Job when He said:

“But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and he will stand upon the earth at last.–Job 19:25 (NLT)

People get ready! Jesus is coming again!

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

Post 03-16-2020

“The Spirit Without Limit”

34 For he is sent by God. He speaks God’s words, for God gives him the Spirit without limit. – John 3:34 NLT

John 3:31-36

​John continues to explain to his disciples who Jesus is and why he must decrease as Jesus increases. John’s understanding of all of this is beyond human knowledge. He tells us that Jesus speaks God’s words because God gives Him “the Spirit without limit”. Jesus agrees with this statement:

So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the​ ​Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does.–John 5:19 (NLT)

John continues to explain that God has put everything into the hands of Jesus. Jesus also agrees with this statement:

18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth—Matt. 28:18 (NLT)

This is why Jesus could say “your sins are forgiven” and “this day, you will be with me in paradise”. When we accept this truth about Jesus, we are forgiven of our sins and on our way to heaven for eternity. But on the journey, we have a purpose and a work to do, just as John and Jesus did. The work could never get us to heaven, but it does get us rewarded when we get there. When God calls each of us to do a work, He enables us to do that work by the Holy Spirit. We have access to “the Spirit without limit”. How much of that we receive is up to us. Just as we could not be saved without asking for and reaching out to accept the forgiveness, we cannot access the power of the Holy Spirit without asking for it and reaching out to accept it. Can we do the works that John and Jesus did? Jesus says we can:

“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.—John 14:12 (NLT)

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

Post 03-11-2020

“Follow What Is Good”

11 Dear friend, don’t let this bad example influence you. Follow only what is good. Remember that those who do good prove that they are God’s children, and those who do evil prove that they do not know God – 3 John 11 NLT

3 John 1:9-12 NLT

The devil hates anything good. When he sees us showing love and compassion for others, his anger knows no bounds. That is why it is so important for us to show our love for others. We not only please God, but, at the same time, we frustrate satan. Showing our love by doing good is how we imitate Jesus.

38 And you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.—Acts 10:38 (NLT)

We are now the voice, the hands and the feet of the gospel. It is up to us to continue the work that Jesus started. He doesn’t need people with ability, He needs people that are available for Him to use. He could do it all without us, but He has chosen to use the foolish things of this world to confound the wise, so He uses those that make themselves available to Him. Show love and do good so that others can speak highly about you and you will lay up your rewards in heaven.

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

Post 02-17-2020

“And He In Us”

13 And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us. – 1 John 4:13 NLT

1 John 4:13-17 NLT

Before Jesus ascended to heaven, He told His disciples and us that He would send us a Comforter and that Comforter would teach us everything.

25 I am telling you these things now while I am still with you. 26 But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.—John 14:25,26 (NLT)

 ​The Holy Spirit abides in us and His job is to teach us everything, including how to love God and how to love others. The English language does not have words for different kinds of love. In the Greek, there are at least 6 words for love, Let’s look at four of those. We have philos or phileo (brotherly, friendly love), storge (natural or love for family) eros (sexual) love. These three can be accomplished to a degree in the natural and involve both parties loving and giving. The fourth word is agape (unconditional) love. This is the love that comes only from God, It is the love that only the Spirit can teach us. It is unilateral love, God loves us whether we return that love or not. The flesh can not love in that respect. This is the love that we are to be striving to show to others. But, as Paul said, we “must strive toward the mark”. We must keep practicing loving without expecting anything in return.

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

Post 02-11-2020