“Become Like Little Children”

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
Matt. 18:1-6 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.

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

Post 05-04-2019

“Pray Without Ceasing”

12 Because Rehoboam humbled himself, the Lord’s anger was turned away, and he did not destroy him completely. There were still some good things in the land of Judah.— 2 Chronicles 12:12 NLT

2 Chronicles 12:5-12 NLT

God is so good and merciful.  He gives us opportunity after opportunity to repent and return to worshiping Him and Him alone.  He had blessed all of Israel with forty years of peace and wealth beyond measure.  Yet, here they were, back to worshiping idols.  God had split the kingdom into Israel, the northern kingdom and Judah, the southern kingdom because of the iniquities of the people.  Rehoboam, the son of Solomon was the king of the southern kingdom and reigned in Judah from Jerusalem.  For a while, he was faithful to God, but then, he returned to idol worship and God sent Shishak and the Egyptian army to destroy Judah.  After Shishak had taken the fortified towns in Judah, he advanced on Jerusalem.  The king and the leaders of the people in Jerusalem humbled themselves so God did not allow Shishak to destroy Jerusalem, but He did allow Shishak to take all the wealth from Jerusalem and made the inhabitants his servants.  God saw that there were still some good things in the land of Judah, so He relented.  We need to pray that God will see that there are still some good things in our country and not destroy us yet.  We need to pray that we and our leaders will humble ourselves under the mighty hand of the one true and Almighty God.  We have had our warnings, let us pray fervently that God continues to show His great mercy and compassion on this nation.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 01-25-2019

More of Jesus, Less of Me

30 He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less. — John 3:30 NLT


John 3:27-36 NLT


John’s disciples came to tell him about Jesus baptizing people and how everyone was going to Jesus and not coming to John.  John explains to his disciples that this is how things should be.  Using the wedding analogy, John explains to them how he is the friend of the bridegroom and Jesus is really the bridegroom. John also tells them that he is filled with joy at the success that Jesus is having in baptizing the people.  John knows that Jesus must become greater and greater and that he, John, must become of lesser importance.  All of us should pray that we see and understand God’s plan for us as clearly as John saw and understood God’s purpose for his life.  John knew the importance of being where and doing exactly what God had planned for him. John had no desire to be anything less or anything more than what God had planned for him.  How many ministries, large and small, have failed because their leaders decided they had become so important they no longer needed to be obedient to God’s plan?  How many of us have failed because we reached the point that we thought we had a better plan than God or we thought we were no longer required to do things God’s way?  How many of us have fallen because we thought we were above giving into temptations?  Let us pray that God will keep us humble and that we do not succumb to the temptation to be God in our little corner of the world.  Those of us who are thinking “that could never happen to me” are in the most danger.  Pride is the main ingredient in the recipe for failure

.1 Thess. 5:20-25 NLT

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

Post 01-04-2018

We Need Workplace Witnesses

even-smaller-bug-light1

12 May the Lord greatly increase your love for each other and for all people, just as we love you. -1 Thess. 3:12 
Paul’s love and concern for the new converts that he and his companions have led to Christ is a great example for us to follow.  We may never be missionaries in  a faraway land, but we are missionaries in a land that is not our home. We are aliens and strangers wherever we are on this earth. Therefore, we need to have the same concern for those new converts in our own churches. Every church body needs Barnabases and Timothys to encourage and teach new and older converts. We need Esthers and Priscillas to teach self-sacrifice, humbleness and obedience.

 15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16 “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.” 
–Esther 4:15, 16

We need Ezras to teach leadership, fasting, praying and complete reliance on God.

21 There, by the Ahava Canal, I proclaimed a fast, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask him for a safe journey for us and our children, with all our possessions. 22 I was ashamed to ask the king for soldiers and horsemen to protect us from enemies on the road, because we had told the king, “The gracious hand of our God is on everyone who looks to him, but his great anger is against all who forsake him.” 23 So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer. 
— Ezra 8;21-23
We need workplace ministers like Paul who witnessed while carrying on his occupation as a tentmaker and Lydias to encourage, support and provide for those laboring in God’s fields.
14 One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. 15 When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us. — Acts 16:14, 15
We are all servants in God’s army and God needs us to serve and stand firm wherever we are and complete the tasks He has called us to do, whatever that may be.He has a plan and a purpose for everyone He calls.

Have you discovered your purpose in the Kingdom?  If not, talk to Him today about it and get started.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 07-14-18

“He Will Lift You Up”

even-smaller-bug-light1

So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. 1 Peter 5:6 NLT
 
In today’s “me first” society, we are fed a steady diet of “it’s all about me”. Everything from billboards, ads, commercials, to the design of the clothing we wear screams “look at me”.  This worldly diet leads to death, not life.  If we can get past all the nonsense about atheism and “Jesus was just a good man, not a Messiah” arguments, we find that the real problem people have with Christianity is that it requires submission to a higher power. That word “submit” lights a fire under those who are proud and haughty. “I have come this far by myself, why should I submit to anyone?”  There is not one single vocation or avocation that does not require us to submit to someone sometime. Retailers submit to the demands of their customers. Designers submit to the whelms of modern society. In a peaceful society, we all submit to one another to some degree. Spouses and parents submit to each other and to the wants and desires of their children. Jesus submitted to death on a cross, the most painful and shameful way to die. Jesus humbled Himself, giving up all His glory in heaven to experience everything a human being experiences and He did so without sinning. His humbleness and humility defeated sin and satan and God exalted His Son above everything and every being, giving Him all authority in heaven and earth.  If we want to have great power in our lives, we must go through the valleys of humbleness and meekness. If it weren’t for the valleys, we wouldn’t have any mountains.

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

Post 04-21-2018

Do Not Be Conceited

even-smaller-bug-light1

16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited..—Romans 12:16 NIV

To live in harmony or peace requires us to put the needs of others above ours. To develop and maintain a relationship requires giving from both sides. It isn’t give and take, it is give and then give some more. To do this requires each of us to be humble, not just with those close to us, but with the strangers we meet on the street. We should never presume that we are better or of higher position than those that God brings across our path. Our birth and our address do not give us, as Christians, any right to feel or act better than others.  In fact, it requires us to do just the opposite. It requires us to love the “unlovable” and to touch the “untouchables”, just as Jesus did. If ever, we should meet someone and presume that we are of higher or better position than they are, it is pride that makes us feel that way.  Presumption and pride are sins.12  People cannot see their own mistakes. Forgive me for my secret sins.
13 Keep me from the sins of pride; don’t let them rule me. Then I can be pure
and innocent of the greatest of sins. 
Psalm 19:12,13 NCV

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

Post 03-23-2018

We Must Humble Ourselves

even-smaller-bug-light1

“No,” Peter protested, “you will never ever wash my feet!”  Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.” – John 13:8 NLT

Not Just My Feet

Jesus showed us example after example of His humbleness. From the time He laid aside His glory in heaven to come to earth clothed in the flesh of a lowly human. Jesus was the perfect example of supreme power under control. He could have lashed out at any time and wiped out village after village. But He chose to be a servant to the people. Serving them by teaching and healing every disease. Now, Jesus was preparing to perform an act that in that time and place was performed only by servants. To wash another person’s feet showed complete meekness and humbleness. The disciples knew that and that is why Peter said “No, you will never wash my feet”. Peter could not imagine Jesus, His Lord and Master, stooping so low as to do that. But when Jesus explained to Peter that He could not be one of His disciples if Peter didn’t allow Him to wash his feet, Peter said “”Lord, then wash not only my feet, but wash my hands and my head, too!” Peter would later understand that Jesus was doing this as an example of how humble we, as Christians, must be. Maybe we all need to participate in a good old fashioned foot washing ceremony. Would we be willing to do that for our brothers and sisters?

 

So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.​ – 1 Peter 5:6 NLT​

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

Post 10-27-2017

Never Alone

even-smaller-bug-light1

14 I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” — Luke 18:14 NLT
When we stand before a mighty and just God to petition Him for forgivenss of our sins, we must humble ourselves before Him.  Outwardly, we may appear to be doing good deeds that do not require forgiveness. But, inwardly, before God cleans us up, we are a filthy mess. God already knows that, so we must be completely honest with Him. We may smile and say nice things to those around us, but God knows whether we are being serious or being hypocritical.  We cannot come before the Lord with the attitude of the Pharisee.  God doesn’t use other people, their actions or their words to determine our guilt or innocence. No, He uses a much higher standard.  He is the standard and that is a standard that we can never live up to.  That is exactly why He gave His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins.  A perfect gift for an imperfect world. The blood of a spotless Lamb to wash away the filthiness of our sin.  The righteousness of the One who had never sinned to cover our sinfulness.  The death of His Son to pay a debt that He didn’t owe and we couldn’t pay. Once we accept this truth, those sins are never mentioned by God again.  Nothing we have done, can do or will ever do can replace that sacrifice.  So, yes, come boldly, but bow humbly, before the King of Kings and receive not only forgiveness, but peace and joy that the world can never know.  Come with faith and stay until you are filled with His Spirit and clothed in His righteousness. From that moment on, you will never have to be concerned about leaving His presence, because truly, He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you”.
Post 0417-2016

“Our King is Coming”!!

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

12 The next day a great crowd who had come to Jerusalem for the Passover Feast heard that Jesus was coming there. 13​ ​So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Jesus, shouting, “Praise God! God bless the King of Israel!” 14 Jesus found a colt and sat on it. This was as the Scripture says, 15″Don’t be afraid, people of Jerusalem! Your king is coming, sitting on the colt of a donkey.” 16 The followers of Jesus did not understand this at first. But after Jesus was raised to glory, they remembered that this had been written about him and that they had done these things to him.—John 12:12-16 (NCV)
​The​ crowd heard that Jesus was coming so they took palm branches and went out to greet Jesus. In those days, it was common for the people to lay branches out for a king or a great leader to walk on or ride on as he entered the town. A conquering king would normally enter riding on a horse trained for war. A king that was coming in peace would ride in on a colt to show his humbleness. Jesus was a King who came in peace and riding on a colt also fulfilled prophecy.
9 Rejoice, O people of Zion!​ Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem!​ Look, your king is coming to you.​ He is righteous and victorious,​ yet he is humble, riding on a donkey—​ riding on a donkey’s colt.—Zechariah 9:9 (NLT)
​Jesus​ came first as a suffering servant and a peacemaker but His next entrance will be as a conquering King on a horse prepared for war.
11 Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse was standing there. Its rider was named Faithful and True, for he judges fairly and wages a righteous war.12 His eyes were like flames of fire, and on his head were many crowns.–Revelation 19:11-12a (NLT)

Chorus to “The King is Coming” by Bill G​aither
The King is coming, the King is coming
I just heard the trumpet sounding and soon His face I’ll see
The King is coming, the King is coming
Praise God, He’s coming for me​!​

http://www.allthelyrics.com/lyrics/gaither_vocal_band/the_king_is_coming-lyrics-960973.html#ixzz3OqJPKPdQ

​We should be able to sing this chorus with joy unspeakable and hearts full of anticipation!
Post 01-15-2015

Living A Holy Life is A Process–#4

God is waiting to show you the way.

God is waiting to show you the way.

10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it.11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.12 Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. 14 If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.–1 Cor. 3:10-15 (NASB)
​Continuing our thoughts on building God’s Temple, when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, the foundation is laid, because He is the foundation. If we try to build on any other foundation, the storms and stresses of life will bring the house down. We must be careful in selecting the material we use to build on the foundation. If we build with world philosophies and religions, they will not stand and the work will be destroyed. But if we allow God’s Spirit to show us the materials and how to use them, then our work will stand. The gold, silver, and precious stones of our building will be faith, hope, and love. These three will abide forever. Anything less will not stand the test of time. If we build with these materials, the Temple will be decorated with the fruits of the Spirit:
22 But the Spirit produces the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. There is no law that says these things are wrong. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their own sinful selves. They have given up their old selfish feelings and the evil things they wanted to do. 25 We get our new life from the Spirit, so we should follow the Spirit. 26 We must not be proud or make trouble with each other or be jealous of each other.​–Galatians 5:22-26 (NCV)​
If we build with wood, hay, and straw, these would be such things as pride, greed, and hate, they will not stand the test of fire. The soul will be saved but it will be as if were snatched from the very jaws of death, barely escaping the fires of hell. Let us choose to live and walk after God’s Spirit and the example set by Jesus Christ.
Post 02-24-14