“There Is Freedom”

17 For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. — 2 Cor. 3:17 NLT


2 Cor. 3:16-18 NLT

Before we accepted Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we lived in spiritual bondage and darkness.  Blinded by a veil of unbelief, we lived a lifestyle controlled by our fleshly desires.  We thought we had the freedom to make the decisions for our lives when, in fact, we were being controlled by lusts, greed, emotions and every evil thing.  We did not see those things as evil because we were spiritually blind.  They were veiled by our own ignorance and the subtleties of the devil.  Our daily lives were consumed by the great “I” , it was all about us.  We spent our time and resources chasing after temporary pleasures and desperately seeking the next “high”.  Those “highs’ could be the next drink, pill, sexual act or something as seemingly innocent as a shopping trip or a sports event.  Whatever it took to give us that temporary pleasure, we did and thought we were happy.  It was not until the Holy Spirit called us and opened our eyes to see the fallacy of short-term pleasures that we realized we needed and wanted something different.  The Holy Spirit gave us the freedom to choose a different way of life and freed us from the bondage of “self”.  He doesn’t ask us to change ourselves, He ask us for permission to allow Him to change us.  It is then and only then, that we realize how badly we were blinded and bound.  With the Spirit comes freedom.  Freedom to become everything God has planned for us.  Lead on, Holy Spirit, Lead on.

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

Post 05-08-2019

Don’t Just Stand There

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12 Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you realize you offended the Pharisees by what you just said?”  13 Jesus replied, “Every plant not planted by my heavenly Father will be uprooted, 14 so ignore them.  — Matt. 15:12-14a NLT
 
Pilate washed his hands and declared that he was innocent of the blood of Jesus.  He could have just as easily told the crowd that he would not allow them to take Jesus because he found nothing deserving of death in the actions of Jesus.  Without Pilate’s permission and without him furnishing the guard detail to carry out the crucifixion, the crowd would not have been able to crucify Jesus.  The Jews had no authority to sentence anyone to death or to carry out the death sentence. Though Pilate did not participate physically in the crucifixion, neither did he stop it from happening even though he had the authority to do so.  Pilate had worldly authority to do something.  We have a higher authority who has authorized us to speak out when the name of Jesus is being blasphemed and God’s name is being taken in vain.  Do we think that we can hide behind our fear of offending others and not speak out?  Do we think Jesus is pleased when we stand by and do or say nothing when injustices are taking place before our very eyes?  Jesus put His life on the line by offending the religious leaders and rulers of that day. He gave up His life so that we could have the authority to speak and act in His name. If we can trust Jesus to save us and keep our souls safe throughout eternity, surely we can trust Him to protect us when we follow His example and His commands.

10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.​ I will strengthen you and help you.  I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. — Isaiah 41:10 NLT

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

Post 09-18-2018

Walk It Out Before You Speak It Out

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11 Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor? — James 4:11, 12 NIV

If there is an area in the life of a Christian where we sin daily, and shall I dare say it, deliberately, it is in our thoughts and our words.  It is hard to look at someone and not immediately form some sort of opinion of that person before we even get to know them.  We are told over and over how important first impressions are in this world.  As Christians, we need to pray for discernment and patience before forming opinions of others.  We need to predetermine that we are going to love the people we meet every day. When we love someone, we usually give them the advantage of any doubts we have about their goodness.  We need to assume that they are good and show them the same respect we want them to show to us. We should look at every person, regardless of their station or situation, with the assumption that they are innocent until proven guilty. We should assume everyone is worthy of our love and affection until they prove by their words and actions that they are not.  We need to pray that we will see others with the eyes of Jesus, hear their words with the ears of Jesus and above all, filter every thought through the love of Jesus. 

 

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.  5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: — Phil. 2:3, 4 NIV

What a wonderful world it could be, if each of us, each day, strived to have the same attitude toward others that Jesus has for us.

 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 08-14-2018

Do Not Be Conceited

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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

Lead On

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17 For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
— 2 Cor. 3:17 NLT
Before we accepted Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we lived in spiritual bondage and darkness.  Blinded by a veil of unbelief, we lived a lifestyle controlled by our fleshly desires.  We thought we had the freedom to make the decisions for our lives when, in fact, we were being controlled by lusts, greed, emotions and every evil thing.  We did not see those things as evil because we were spiritually blind.  They were veiled by our own ignorance and the subtleties of the devil.  Our daily lives were consumed by the great “I” , it was all about us.  We spent our time and resources chasing after temporary pleasures and desperately seeking the next “high”.  Those “highs’ could be the next drink, pill, sexual act or something as seemingly innocent as a shopping trip or a sports event.  Whatever it took to give us that temporary pleasure, we did and thought we were happy.  It was not until the Holy Spirit called us and opened our eyes to see the fallacy of short-term pleasures that we realized we needed and wanted something different.  The Holy Spirit gave us the freedom to choose a different way of life and freed us from the bondage of “self”.  He doesn’t ask us to change ourselves, He ask us for permission to allow Him to change us.  It is then and only then, that we realize how badly we were blinded and bound.  With the Spirit comes freedom.  Freedom to become everything God has planned for us.  Lead on, Holy Spirit, Lead on.
Post 09-10-2016

Pray With Power

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The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. — James 5:16b NLT
 
As small tots and children, we were taught prayers word for word.  There were prayers to say before the meals we ate and prayers to say before we went to bed at night.  These are wonderful experiences and great memories. But just as we moved from the “Dick and Jane” books, there comes a time when our prayers should become more personal.  We are still presenting the same issues to God but now instead of rote memory, they should be from a heart that understands and knows that God not only hears our prayers but He answers them.  Most of us may have had more faith that God would answer our prayers then than we do now.  Those were prayers from innocent hearts and minds.  Now, we have a lifetime of sins and doubts to overcome.  But God is still the same God we prayed to when we were children and we must approach Him with that same childlike faith.  We must become as little children in the Kingdom of God.  Part of that process is to understand that all of our sins have been washed away by the blood of Jesus.  God sees each of us as the righteousness of Christ.  So, when we pray let us believe that we are righteous people, that God hears our prayers and  that our prayers do have great power.  Not because of us, but because of Jesus and His work that He finished at the cross.  We can know that our prayers have great power because Jesus is at the right hand of the Father praying with us and the Holy Spirit is praying through us and for us.
 
Post 06-26-2016

What A Wonderful World It Could Be!

even-smaller-bug-light111 Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor? — James 4:11, 12 NIV

​If there is an area in the life of a Christian where we sin daily, and shall I dare say it, deliberately, it is in our thoughts and our words.  It is hard to look at someone and not immediately form some sort of opinion of that person before we even get to know them.  We are told over and over how important first impressions are in this world.  As Chritsians, we need to pray for discernment and patience before forming opinions of others.  We need to predetermine that we are going to love the people we meet every day. When we love someone, we usually give them the advantage of any doubts we have about their goodness.  We need to assume that they are good and show them the same respect we want them to show to us. We should look at every person, regardless of their station or situation, with the assumption that they are innocent until proven guilty. We should assume everyone is worthy of our love and affection until they prove by their words and actions that they are not.  We need to pray that we will see others with the eyes of Jesus, hear their words with the ears of Jesus and above all, filter every thought through the love of Jesus. 
 

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.  5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: — Phil. 2:3, 4 NIV

What a wonderful world it could be, if each of us, each day, strived to have the same attitude toward others that Jesus has for us.

Post 12-03-2015

Twice Dead

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17 I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. 18 For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. 19 Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I rejoice because of you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil. 20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. — Romans 16:17-20 NIV

From the first century church until now, there have been those who use the Gospel for their own benefit. No matter what size the congregation, satan seems to always have one of his minions involved.  Whether they are misleading people for financial gain, power or popularity, the reason really doesn’t matter.  We must be aware of anyone whose message doesn’t quite align with the scriptures. Even more dangerous are those whose words ring true but their actions do not agree with what they say. These people are usually easy on the eyes and their speech is very eloquent. It is extremely hard for the flesh to resist them. But, as we have learned, following them leads to death. Sometimes spiritual death, other times both spiritual and physical death. We need to pray for discernment so that we will be aware of these deceivers. We are warned over and over in the Bible that these people will abound more and more as the second coming of our Lord and Savior grows ever nearer.

12 These people are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—twice dead. 13 They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever. — Jude 12

Post 08-13-2015

There Are No Qualified Stone-Throwers

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

1 This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed. 2 Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. 3 I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. 4 My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. 5 Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.—1 Cor. 4:1-5 NIV
​Paul is instructing the​ Corinthians in what their attitude toward Paul should be. But it is also instructions to us in how we should regard those in Spiritual authority over us. They have been placed over us at God’s direction and they have been entrusted with messages that we need to hear and obey. Those over us are required to be faithful in delivering the truth to us. Paul is so concerned about being faithful and obedient to His calling in Christ Jesus that it makes it appear as if he has no regard for other’s opinions of him. He can do this with a clear conscience since he is being judged by the Lord. Not judging someone does not mean that we throw away all reason and discernment. We are still responsible for deciding to whom and to what message we listen and adhere to. We must be very humble in assessing the value of another person since we know that we will be measured by the same standards we use. None of us can qualify as stone-throwers.
“Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” —John 8:7b NASB

Post–05-09-2015

God Loves A Cheerful Worker

God is waiting to show you the way.

God is waiting to show you the way.

14 Do everything without complaining and arguing, 15 so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. 16 Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless. 17 But I will rejoice even if I lose my life, pouring it out like a liquid offering to God, just like your faithful service is an offering to God. And I want all of you to share that joy. 18 Yes, you should rejoice, and I will share your joy.–Phil. 2;4-18 (NLT)
Joy is contagious and it attracts other people to us when we are joyful. No one wants to spend all day, every day, with a complainer. So, if we want to attract others to Jesus, we should serve with a heart full of joy. That joy should be as pure as the joy of a small child. It should have no pretense, people can easily see through that. We want to be bright lights leading others to Jesus. We should be the kind of lights that cause as much excitement and joy as a lighthouse on a shore that is being beaten by crashing sea waves causes when it is seen by the lookout on a ship. Our lights should warn people of the dangers of sin just as surely as the lighthouse warns sailors of the danger of rocks. Keep your lights trimmed and burning bright by studying and meditating on God’s Word daily. Spend time each day with just you and Jesus.
Post 04-29-14