Live As Obedient Children

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14 So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. – 1 Peter 1:14 NLT


When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we become a new Creation. Before that change, we were controlled by fleshly lusts. We did what “self” wanted to do without exercising self-control. Now that we are a new creation, we walk in the Spirit and do those things that are in obedience to Christ. Are we now perfect? No! But we are striving toward that mark. Will we fall short? Yes, but the blood of Jesus has covered those sins. Now that we know the right things to do, we must pursue them and not go back to our old ways. Our lifestyle should reflect our new destination. People who have known us should be able to see a difference in the way we walk and talk. The things that used to occupy the highest priorities in our lives should be further down the list. There are some things we should want to give up immediately and others need to be moved way down our list of priorities. We need to take an inventory and honestly find out where Jesus is on our list of priorities. Jesus is not in a contest with other “gods”. He will accept nothing less than the top shelf, He is either “Lord of all” or He is not “Lord at all” in our lives.


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

Post 06-15-2017

Christlike Lifestyle

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14 Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. — Hebrews 12:14 NLT

Our salvation is by grace through faith, not by works and it is a free gift. But living a holy, peaceful life requires diligence. We must stay in God’s Word and depend on the leadership of God’s Spirit. To accomplish this, we must be sure that we forgive others so that no root of bitterness springs up in our hearts and pushes out the love that we should have. We must look after each other and teach others to lead a Godly, moral life. This should be done humbly and modestly, not trying to bring glory to ourselves but focusing on Jesus. Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess, but we must encourage others to do it now and not wait until it is too late. God’s Spirit will not always strive with men. So, pray that others will accept the free gift before it is too late, at the same time, being sure that we don’t fall to temptation.

41 Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak! – Matt. 26:41 NLT

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

Post 05-15-2017

 

Privilege Carries Responsibility

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By God’s grace and mighty power, I have been given the privilege of serving him by spreading this Good News. — Ephesians 3:7 NLT

Paul tells us that God’s plan is a mystery and He reveals it as He chooses. God has a timeline that is hidden to all but the Father. Even Jesus said that He did not know when the end would come. Here Paul is referring to the mystery of the plan of salvation. The Old Testament and the prophets pointed forward to a Messiah. This Messiah would come into the world and be rejected by the Jews. Because of their rejection, the door is now open to all people to receive the free gift of salvation. Jews and Gentiles can now be redeemed and share in the inheritance of Jesus Christ. We, along with Paul, have been given the privilege and the responsibility to spread the Good News. How well are we able to explain the plan of salvation, being born again, and living a Holy life? There are people who have attended church services all their lives and don’t understand it. It is a mystery, but it has been revealed to us. We need to exercise our privilege and fulfill our responsibility on a daily basis.

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

Post 02-14-2017

Safe In God’s Love

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20 But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, 21 and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love.

— Jude 20-21 NLT


We can see the things that are spoken of here in these verses happening in our churches of today. We have church leaders who are leading their congregations astray by teaching them that they have the liberty to live their lives as they please. Their messages “tickle the ears” of the people. Instead of preaching purity and obedience, they are saying “live like you want to live”, fulfill the desires of the flesh, its okay. But God says we are to be holy because He is holy and we are to pattern our lives after Jesus. Do not be deceived by false teachers, we will reap what we sow. If we sow fleshly desires, we will reap the consequences of those acts. If we sow righteousness, peace, joy, patience, forgiveness and the fruits of the Spirit, we will reap the rewards of those actions. Love God and follow His commands daily. Then we will be safe in God’s love.

 

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

Post 01-27-2017

Seek Purity of Thought

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12 How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart?    Cleanse me from these hidden faults.

— Psalm 19:12 NLT


As Christians, we are not usually tempted to go out and do what the world normally perceives as sin.  No, satan has to be a little sneaky when he comes after us.  Every decision we make has a consequence, either for good or for bad. Do not be deceived, 
there is no neutral ground in spiritual warfare. How can we know when we have “missed the mark”?  God sent His Spirit to lead us into all truth and convict us when we have erred.  Our sins are usually those of the presumptive type. We presume to know answers to things that are too hard for us to know.  The reason presumption is a sin, is because it is a fruit of being prideful.  We would never be so bold as to say out loud that we can make decisions without the leadership of God’s Holy Spirit.  But, have you ever had that thought cross your mind or do you act out of habit without consulting God?  Jesus said if we consider the thought, we are guilty of the sin. Those thoughts lead to ideas which lead to actions and those lead to bad habits.  When this happens, sin is trying to get dominion over us.  We should ask God’s Holy Spirit to correct us and ask for forgiveness, so that we can be blameless and innocent of great transgression. We set alerts so that certain websites send us a notification if we are about to cross a line. Set an alert with God’s Holy Spirit and ask Him to notify You before You cross the line.

16 For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy. — 1 Peter 1:16

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

You Can’t Get Anymore Saved

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31 And there was great joy throughout the church that day as they read this encouraging message. — Acts 15:31 NLT
 
 
“There was great joy” when the people were told that they had done the one necessary thing they needed to do to be saved.  When we are first saved in today’s society, we need to be very careful who we listen to.  As Paul said, “if anyone, including an angel from heaven and/or me, comes to you and gives you some different message, that person should be cursed.”  Gal. 1:6 (my paraphrase}. The letter did go on to give the new converts some guidelines as to what they should or should not do. The letter did not claim that these guidelines had to be followed to complete their salvation.  It is still the same today, when we personally witness to someone who accepts Jesus as their Savior, we need to take a few minutes and give them some encouragement and guidelines as well.  We need to explain to them that satan will waste no time in trying to discourage them and make them doubt their salvation.  We need to encourage them to find a good Bible teaching church and a good mentor to help them along the way.  After the initial acceptance of Jesus as our Savior, we need someone to help us understand that the Holy Spirit will come alongside us and help us learn to “walk in paths of righteousness”.  
Post 07-06-2016

At Least One

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6 But Peter said, “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!” — Acts3:6 NLT
God has a plan for each of us and following that plan, we will intersect with the plans He has for others.  Every minute detail of every plan is laid out and weaved into the patterns of our lives.  The lame man was laid by the Temple gate every day.  No doubt, Peter, John and even Jesus had passed him before on their way to worship in the Temple.  Why did God choose this particular day to demonstrate His power?   We could say that we don’t know the specific reason and that would be true.  But we can assume without doing any injury to the Scriptures here that there was at least one person present in the crowd that day that needed to see this miracle occur.  Probably more, but at least one, needed to see a lame man made whole.  God doesn’t waste miracles.  He has His reasons for when, where, and why.  We have no idea of how big the impact of this particular miracle became as time passed.  When reading the Bible, it is important to remember that the acts we read about are only a small sampling of what was going on at the time.  One of the people in the crowd may very well have become a church founder or maybe just a missionary to his own family.  Either way, it was necessary for this miracle to happen at this exact moment on this day in front of this crowd.  God excels in doing the extraordinary in ordinary places and times.  Listen for the small, still voice.  He is asking some of us to allow Him to take our ordinary lives and do something extraordinary with them today. At least one of us, maybe more.
 
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. – Romans 12:1 NLT
Post 06-14-2016