“I Once Was Lost in Sin…”

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Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other.

— Titus 3:3 NLT


We all know that we once lived disobedient lives. We did foolish things and our minds were filled with covetous and unkind thoughts. We were envious of others and always complaining about our 
situations. We were convinced that others had it so much better than we did. Satan tries to get us to remember, so that we feel condemned, but God wants us to remember so that we stay humble. So, God revealed Himself to us through His Spirit, we were convicted and repented of our sins. He washed away our sins with the blood of Jesus. Not because of some wonderful, powerful act that we did, but simply because of His mercy and grace. We should ask God to fill us with the same kind of compassion that Jesus had for others and gently lead them to Christ. We must remember to remain humble because we were once in that same sinful condition.

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

Post 071-17-2017

In His Service

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 43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, — Mark 10:43 NIV
 

Jesus left His honor and glory in heaven and became a man. Not just any man, but the perfect man, a man without sin. He spent His time here serving others and humbled Himself, even to the point of allowing Himself to be crucified on a cross. A sinless man dying for the sins of a corrupt human race. Yet, He did it without complaint. If our Creator and Redeemer humbled Himself to that degree, how should we respond to that act of love? We are to follow His example and humble ourselves. We should consider it an honor to be ridiculed for righteousness sake. Because of His obedience, God exalted Jesus to the highest position and put everything under His feet. If we humble ourselves and stay obedient in serving others, God will exalt us in due time.

1 Peter 4:7-10 NLT


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

Post 01-15-2017

What is Good?

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8 No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. — Micah 6:8 NLT
 
These three requirements seem fairly simple. When we read them, we probably think that we already do these. And perhaps, to some extent, we do. Justice and kindness are things that we do naturally, right? What about the thoughts and the words that we speak when others are not around, are they just and kind? When someone wrongs you, are your thoughts of mercy or revenge? When you see others being mistreated, are you willing to get involved, regardless of the personal cost (Think of the Good Samaritan)? Walk humbly is the really tough one. Are we humble enough to give of our resources, of ourselves, of our abundance and of our time to help others? Even to the point of dying for them? And, if we do these things, are they to show others how righteous we are? Every good gift comes down from the Father above. When we share those gifts with others, we are laying up rewards in heaven.
Walk humbly with our God? Help me to do that, Jesus!

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

Post 12-09-2016

“Daddy, Tie My Shoestrings”

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3 Then he said,“I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. — Matt. 18:3 NLT
When some hear this passage, they think of the innocence of a little child who has not yet learned the difference between right and wrong.  Perhaps that’s what Jesus was referring to but I am not so sure.  I think in the context of His remark about humility, He may very well have been referring to something deeper than that.  After all, small children who truly do not know the difference in right and wrong would not need forgiveness, would they?  No, I believe Jesus is referring to us becoming as dependent on Him for everything we need as a small child is dependent on his/her parent for everything they need to survive.  We have to come to Jesus in such humbleness and humility because we realize that we can do nothing about our situation. We are lost and will stay lost without his mercy and grace. But I believe He is reaching even deeper than that. We must humble ourselves to the point that we really and truly understand that we can do nothing in any situation without Him.  Just like a little child comes to us and says “Daddy, tie my shoestrings because I can’t”,  so must we humble ourselves before our Daddy and confess that we can’t.
Post 09-06-2016

Restoration

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7 Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean;    wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
— Psalm 51:7 NLT
 
 

David was chosen by God to rule over His people Israel.  God had brought him from the lowly position of shepherd to the highest position in the land. He had watched over and protected David from all of the enemies of Israel and had given him victory after victory. Springtime was when all of the kings went out to war.  Whatever David’s reasons were for staying home in the spring we will never know.   Instead of going out to lead his army as he should have, he sent the army out to fight while he stayed home living a life of leisure and idleness. As the trite old saying goes, “an idle mind is the devil’s workshop”.   David got caught in that trap and fell into sin.  His sin led him to adultery and finally to murder.  As we are told in the book of James, sin brings death.  It brought the death of a marriage, a husband and finally, the death of David’s son.  When Nathan confronted David about his sins, David became humble and repentant.  God forgave him but there were still the consequences of his sin that he had to face.  We must be careful to stay on course and not deviate from what God has called us to do. If we stop and stay idle before the job is finished, we put ourselves in jeopardy. When God shows us our sins, we need to have the same heart David had and react the same way.  God is not looking for ways to punish us but to forgive us and restore us.

1 John 1:5-10 NLT

Post 07-27-2016

 

Keep On Praying!

even-smaller-bug-light123 “As for me, I will certainly not sin against the Lord by ending my prayers for you. And I will continue to teach you what is good and right. 24 But be sure to fear the Lord and faithfully serve him. Think of all the wonderful things he has done for you. 25 But if you continue to sin, you and your king will be swept away.” — 1 Samuel 12: 23-25 NLT

I would like to urge and encourage each of us to keep on praying for our nation.  Pray that our current leaders will lead us in paths of righteousness so that we can return to being “one nation” instead of a nation divided by greed, selfishness and ethnic differences.  Pray that we will stop being Americans separated by hyphens.  That we will all just be Americans.  A nation divided cannot stand.  Pray that the voters will be led by the Holy Spirit and vote for those that will continue to lead us back to God.  Pray that there will be a great renewal that starts in each of our hearts and spreads throughout our communities and our country.
Let each of us remember the many great blessings that God has poured out on this country and teach those things to future generations.  If we refuse to humble ourselves before God, as individuals and as a nation, we and our country will be swept away.  Pray that God will be merciful to us just as He was to the Israelis.

44 You will know that I am the Lord, O people of Israel, when I have honored my name by treating you mercifully in spite of your wickedness. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!” — Ezekiel 20:44​

Post 03-12-2016

Good Answer!

even-smaller-bug-light128 She replied, “That’s true, Lord, but even the dogs under the table are allowed to eat the scraps from the children’s plates.”

29 “Good answer!” he said. “Now go home, for the demon has left your daughter.” 30 And when she arrived home, she found her little girl lying quietly in bed, and the demon was gone. — Mark 7:28-30 NLT

Hearing the words that Jesus had just spoken to her, it would have been understandable if this woman would have just crawled out of the room and left without receiving anything from Jesus.  But instead she suffered the humiliation and showed great humility by humbling herself before Jesus.  She told Jesus, I am not asking for the best, your leftovers will be more than sufficient to fulfill my needs.  Because of her humble response, Jesus answered her request and healed her daughter.  Is there a request in our lives that Jesus hasn’t fulfilled?   Is it possible that our “unanswered” prayers only appear to be unanswered because we refuse to humble ourselves before the Lord?   Is it possible that God can’t say “yes” because we refuse to say “yes” to His request?  Is it possible that we will only accept our preconceived notion as the answer and we miss what God is trying to do in our lives?  In this instance, Jesus first said “no” (which is an answer) but then because of her humbleness and persistence, He said “yes”.  God always answers every prayer, just because we don’t like the answer doesn’t mean He didn’t hear and answer us.  We need to be like the Phoenician woman, we need to be persistent but humble.  If we give God a good answer, He will give us a good answer.

So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. — 1 Peter 5:6, 7 NLT

 

Post 02-25-2016

Childish or Childlike?

even-smaller-bug-light12 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said:“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. — Matt. 18:2-5 NLT

As adults, we can become like children in two different ways.  We can make decisions based on our wants and feelings with no knowledge or concern of what the consequences might be.  This happens when we want to  exercise control or when we make decisions that are based on what we wantt and not what is good for ourselves and others.  An example is not sharing with others as we should and beoming angry when we are asked to do so.  Another example is being disobedient. This is being “childish”.  The other way we can become like chiildren is to live our lives with the innocence of childhood, accepting others without question, being humble and being obedient to parents and authority figures.  This happens when we base our decisions on knowledge and when we consider the outcome of our decisions.  An example of this is to do what is best for the family and/or those around us regardless of what our desires and wants may be.  The best example is that of Jesus and that is to love without conditions and without expecting anything in return. This is being “childlike” and that is the attitude that Jesus says we must have to enter the Kingdom of God. If we are childish, we seek to satisfy our wants and we seek the approval and praise of men.  If we are childlike, we humble ourselves before God, do His work and seek His approval.
17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. —- 1 John 3:17, 18 NLT
Post 01-25-2016

Somebody’s Watching!!!!!

even-smaller-bug-light18 Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult.On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For,
“Whoever would love life
and see good days
must keep their tongue from evil
and their lips from deceitful speech.
11 They must turn from evil and do good;
they must seek peace and pursue it. — 1 Peter 3:8​-11 NIV

After the fact that Christmas is a celebration of the birth of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, the next best thing is the acts of love and kindness that we see this time of year.​​ I would imagine that there is more compassion shown in the days from Thanksgiving through Christmas than there is in the other eleven months total.  There are more smiles in the malls and more greetings spoken than at any other time of the year. It is a time of remembering old friends and family. Through this season, we can even tolerate those we would normally find abrasive.  Everyone, even those who don’t profess to be Christians, is affected by and participate in the charitable acts and greetings.  Perhaps, if we lived this lifestyle all year round, we might attract more unbelievers to Jesus.  Maybe, this year, our gift to Jesus on His birthday should be a covenant to show His love all year long, to seek peace and pursue it on a personal level as well as “world peace”.   After all it isn’t Santa who is watching us all the time!
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
and his ears are attentive to their prayer,
but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” ​ — 1 Peter 3:12 NIV
Post 12-17-2015

Alert and Fully Sober

even-smaller-bug-light113 Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” — 1 Peter 1:13-16 NIV

God has made each of us different, but there is one thing that every human has in common, we were all born in sin into a sinful world. We have all succumbed to those fleshly desires that kept us from enjoying the freedom that Jesus died to purchase for us.  When we have those thoughts that we might be better than others we need to be reminded that there was a time when we lived in ignorance of the goodness and the graciousness of God. ​ Paul warns us in Romans not to think of ourselves as better than others.
 
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. — Romans 12:3 NIV
In Philippians, Paul takes it a step further and advises us to put others and their interests above ourselves and our interests. 
3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. –Phil. 2:3, 4 NIV
If we practice doing this instead of being judgmental, we will be following the example that Jesus set for us.  If we have this mindset and focus on the fact that the only difference in us and them is the grace that God has so generously given unto us, it will cause us to show those around us the same kind of grace and forgiveness that God has shown to us. That is a step toward being holy even as God is holy. 
Post 12-10-2015