“But By the Will of God”

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2 so that he can live the rest of his mortal life guided, not by human desires, but by the will of God.– 1 Peter 4:2 ISV 

1 Peter 4:1-13 ISV

We may look at the list of things that pagans choose to do and with great relief, say “I never gave in to any of those things.”.  But let’s take another look.  A synonym for debauchery is decadence which is defined as excessive self-indulgence. How much time and money do we spend on things that benefit no one but ourselves?  At what point do our “needs” actually become only our “wants”?   Then there is lust, usually taken in the sexual connotation, but let’s spread that out a little further.  How about the desire to control and to have a high position?  Or the desire for things? And then there is that ugly word, idolatry.  No statues or figurines in the house? How about things that we spend inordinate amounts of time and money trying to acquire?  How about persons on whom we spend inordinate amounts of time and money trying to please and/or appease?  How about things and events that we spend way, way too much time talking about?  If there is anything or any person in our lives that we feel so strongly about that those feelings would cause us to be unkind to and/or hurt others, those are idols. If we are guilty of any of these things and suffer in any area whether it be financially, emotionally, or spiritually, then we are not suffering for Christ, we are suffering from bad decisions and there is no reward for ourselves and no glory for God.  We need to decide that we are done with sin, commit to doing God’s will and then when we suffer for His sake, Christ will receive the glory and we will receive the reward in heaven. We have all seen those dirty cars where someone has written on them “Wash Me”.  When our lives become so cluttered and covered with things and issues, maybe we need someone to write on our hearts, “wash me”.

18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. – Isaiah 1:18. 

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

“Human Help Is Worthless”

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10  Is it not you, God, you who have now rejected us and no longer go out with our armies?
11  Give us aid against the enemy, for human help is worthless.
12  With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies.  — Psalm 60:10-12 NIV

God had temporarily rejected the nation of Israel because of their continued disobedience and refusal to repent.  His rejection of Israel was not total nor permanent because of His covenant to them.  As Christians we can be sure that God will always have a remnant of believers to carry on His work.  However, God has made no covenant with our nation that requires Him to allow it to stand.  It has stood for over two hundred years because of God’s mercy in spite of our rebellion and disobedience. It appears to us that God has rejected us, but it is we who have rejected Him. We, just as Israel, have turned from God to our own wisdom and to humans to help.  Human wisdom and human help is worthless. But, it is not too late for us, if we, as a nation, will repent and turn back to God. Let us commit, together, to spend three minutes a day praying that our nation will repent, so that God can continue to show us His mercy.  Three minutes; one minute praising God for Who He is, one minute thanking God for what He has done, and one minute petitioning God not to withdraw His mercies.

1 First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. 3 This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior– 1 Timothy 2:1-3 NASB

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

“A New Life Has Begun”

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17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!– 2 Cor. 5:17 NLT​

2 Cor. 5:14-17 NLT

Our human, finite minds cannot fully grasp the height, depth and width of the kind of love that would cause God to send His only Son to die on a cross for our sins.  But, when we accept Jesus as our Savior, we are allowed  a glimpse into the depth of that love.  If we are truly convinced of that love, it should be more than enough to compel us to share His love and His story with others. He died for all of us and was raised again for our salvation.  If we truly believe this, then we no longer see others through our eyes but through the eyes of Christ. Once, before we accepted Jesus as our Lord, we saw Him as the world sees Him, just a good man and teacher, but when we received the Holy Spirit, we began to see Jesus in a whole new way. Everything and everyone around us looks different because we are or should be looking at those around us just as Jesus sees them.  As C S Lewis said:  “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it, I see everything else.”   Thus everything has become “new” to us.  But, in reality, what has become truly new is us. We are a new creation!  

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

So, let us turn from our old, wicked ways and walk in the newness of life led by the Holy Spirit! 

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

“Made Like Them”

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17 For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, – Hebrews 2:17a NIV

Hebrews 2:14-18 NIV

Sometimes when I am reading about one of the great miracles that Jesus did when He was here on earth, I forget that He was a man just as we are. I want to attribute those miracles to someone with access to more power than we have access to. If I could truthfully do that then I would be relieved of trying to live up to His example. But, woe is me, because to do that would be to deny His full humanity and therefore, it would be a lie. So, I must agree with Jesus that I have access to the power that enables me to do “greater things than these”.

12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. — John 14:12 NIV

I recognize the sins that I commit and I ask forgiveness for them. But how many times have I sinned by omitting or not doing what the Holy Spirit has asked me to do and used the excuse “I can’t”?  God is not a man that He should lie and He says that we can through His power. To believe anything less is to believe a lie.So, today, right now,  Father, I ask your forgiveness for those times when I could’ve and I should’ve but I didn’t.  Make me more aware when those situations arise again and arouse in me the boldness and power to do what you have asked me to do. Thank you for your forgiveness, your mercy and your love. I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen

8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us. — 1 John 1:8-10 NI​V​

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

“Human Effort Accomplishes Nothing”

63 The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.  ​ – John 6:63 NLT

Spirit and Life

Many of the people who had followed Jesus and had become His disciples were offended at the words of Jesus when He said you must eat my flesh and drink my blood. They complained that His words were too hard to understand. In today’s society, we have the same thing happening. There are people who go to church, hear the Gospel of Jesus and leave offended. Because they don’t understand, they think that Christianity is a negative, bloody religion. It is only when the Holy Spirit calls us and we come to Jesus and believe His words that we can understand the message. The Spirit leads us into all truth and gives life to the words of Jesus. It is then that we can understand that the spoken words become the living Word, Jesus.

14 So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.—John 1:14 (NLT)

Once we accept this truth, we become the Children of the Living God.


We are Spirit-bred John 3:5

We are Spirit-led  John 16:13

We are Spirit-fed John 21:15-17

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

Post 04-07-2020

“Fully Human”

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17 For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, – Hebrews 2:17a NIV
Sometimes when I am reading about one of the great miracles that Jesus did when He was here on earth, I forget that He was a man just as we are. I want to attribute those miracles to someone with access to more power than we have access to. If I could truthfully do that then I would be relieved of trying to live up to His example. But, woe is me, because to do that would be to deny His full humanity and therefore, it would be a lie. So, I must agree with Jesus that I have access to the power that enables me to do “greater things than these”.

12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. — John 14:12 NIV

I recognize the sins that I commit and I ask forgiveness for them. But how many times have I sinned by omitting or not doing what the Holy Spirit has asked me to do and used the excuse “I can’t”?  God is not a man that He should lie and He says that we can through His power. To believe anything less is to believe a lie.  

So, today, right now,  Father, I ask your forgiveness for those times when I could’ve and I should’ve but I didn’t.  Make me more aware when those situations arise again and arouse in me the boldness and power to do what you have asked me to do. Thank you for your forgiveness, your mercy and your love. I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen

8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us. — 1 John 1:8-10 NI​V​

 

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

Post 05-05-2018

The Living Word

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2 He existed in the beginning with God. John 1:2

John 1:1-5 NLT

The Word existed in the beginning. The Word was with God and the Word was God. This Word of Life was revealed to us in human form as Jesus Christ, the Messiah. Hundreds, no, even thousands witnessed His walk here on earth. Biblically and historically, there is no doubt that a man named Jesus lived and walked on this earth approximately 2,000 years ago. He was seen, He was heard and we have read the reports. It is now up to each individual to accept or reject this truth. Those who accept it can have a real relationship with the Living Word. The Word is God is Light is life is Jesus is the Holy Spirit. If we have one, we have Them all. We cannot choose to have One without accepting them altogether. How much of each we access and the effect they have on our lives is up to each of us. The fullness of our joy and the absence of fear in our lives is the measure of how much of All of Them we have accepted. Walk in the Light and there can be no darkness, walk in Love and there is no fear.
 
 

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

Post 06-28-2017

All God Yet All Man

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14 Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. — Hebrews 2:14a NLT

Jesus took on flesh and blood and became human just as we are. He became like us so that He could experience the same things we experience. Because Jesus was willing to do that, He knows our feelings and our weaknesses. He understands the situations we go through and the temptations we face. The difference is that He went through these same things without sinning. Because He is perfect, He is more than qualified to serve as the sacrificial Lamb for our sins. His perfection also qualified Him to be our chief Priest. It also qualifies Him to judge us and correct us when we sin. God made Him a little lower than the angels and then restored Him to His glory in heaven, where He is, even now, interceding for us when we fall to temptations.

Hebrews 4:14-16 NLT

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

Post 04-20-2017

The Message is True

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For the message God delivered through angels has always stood firm, and every violation of the law and every act of disobedience was punished.  — Hebrews 2:1 NLT


Since so many people heard the message that Jesus brought into the world, we have more than sufficient evidence to confirm His birth and His life. In John 1, we are told “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us”. Jesus, the second Person of the Trinity became a living human being in every aspect except sin. The angels brought this message to the shepherds and it was confirmed by the many signs and wonders that Jesus did while here on earth. Then at the crucifixion of Jesus every sin ever committed or that ever will be committed was poured into Him. Those sins were properly punished by His death as His blood poured out from His body. After the Resurrection, Jesus was seen by many people and then His message was again confirmed by miraculous acts from God. The believers spoke the words given to them by the Holy Spirit. Amazing, awesome things happened as the disciples spoke the truth and thousands upon thousands were saved. That same miracle-working power is still available to us today. God has given each of us a spiritual gift that we are to use for His glory and the edification of His church. Our lack of faith and refusal to believe that God is the “same yesterday, today, and tomorrow” has limited God in what He can do now, just as the children of Israel limited what He could do in their wilderness journey.
 
Psalm 78:40-42 NKJV


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

Post 07-18-2014

God IS Love!

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11 Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.
— 1 John 4:11
 

God revealed His love for us when He sent Jesus, His only Son, into the world to live as a human. Jesus revealed His love for the Father and for us by being obedient, even to a cruel death on a cross. We can never attain to that kind of perfect love, but we can allow God to show His love to others through us. We are instructed to love and pray for our enemies and those that persecute us. As humans, we are not capable of such love, we must be willing to allow God to love through us. No matter, what we have to go through, we have the hope and faith that His love will sustain us and we can live victorious lives. Through Jesus Christ, we can be overcomers and conquerors.

Galatians 5:22-26 NLT

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

Post 02-06-2017