Living Smart

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The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.​-2 Peter 1:8 NLT​
If we put in the time studying the Scriptures and following the leadership of the Holy Spirit, we will add all these things to our faith.  As we learn God’s Word, we will be able to access more and more Godly wisdom and power.  These attributes of Jesus will not only confirm our calling but will also makes us effective and productive disciples of Jesus. If we don’t spend the time we will never be able to see beyond our fleshly desires, thus appearing nearsighted and/or blind. Then we will not be able to lead others to Jesus Christ, which is the ultimate goal of any calling that God has placed on our lives. Unless we continue to study the Word, we will soon forget that we have been redeemed by the precious blood of the Lamb.
So, we need to be diligent and we need to be smart.
Study the Scriptures
Meditate on the Scriptures
Always pray for the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
Repeat the story and rehearse all the blessings God has given us
Tell others about Jesus and what He has done for us

Then others will say about us the same thing they said about Jesus.52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man. — Luke 2:52 NIV

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

Post 4-10-2018

Pure Joy

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Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.  – James 1:2 NLT​
 


Why do Christians have to endure trials and persecutions? I suppose people have been asking this question since the first century. The disciples never quite understood why Jesus had to suffer and die until after the Resurrection. God does not allow us to go through suffering so that He will know where we are on our journey, He allows it so that we will know. He allows it so that our “I can” will turn into “No, I can’t but God can”. “No pain, no gain” applies to spiritual growth as well as physical. Would understanding the “why” really make the pain any less real or painful?  I am sure that since Jesus was in on the plan of redemption, He understood the why, but that didn’t keep Him from asking His Father if there might not be another way. As he prayed in the garden of Gethsemane.

42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”–Matt. 26:42 NIV

It is not a sin to wonder or to question “why?”. It is only a sin when we take it to the point of being disobedient. We need to pray for wisdom, but when we pray for wisdom, we need to understand that acquiring wisdom requires experiencing a lot of things and some of them will be painful.

23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.–Luke 9:23 

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

Post 3-11-2018

We Are Only the Messenger

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34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. 36 You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.—Acts 10:34-36 NIV

Just as Peter had to be shown that Gentiles were not “unclean” in the sight of God, we sometimes need to be taught that same lesson.   We are all “unclean” in the sense that we are sinful, but the reference here is whether or not we are worthy of consideration for the gospel. Peter was speaking about nations, but let’s bring that down to groups and even further, let’s bring it down to individuals. How many times have we felt the nudge to speak to someone about the message of Jesus Christ and we have not been obedient?  Have we not, in that instance, said “No, Lord, they are unclean.”?  Reread verse 36, it says “through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all”.  God has already decided that He wants everyone to hear the gospel.

3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.–1 Timothy 2:3,4 NIV

We need to pray that God will release us from the fear of rejection and failure, so that we can witness to those He puts in our path each day. It helps to remember that we are not responsible for the outcome, we are only responsible to God to be obedient to the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Our success in witnessing is determined by our obedience, not by the final results. We obey, God takes care of the rest.

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

Post 03-10-2018

Love Rules

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But you must be careful so that your freedom does not cause others with a weaker conscience to stumble. ​- 1 Cor. 8:9 NLT


Paul continues his narrative on whether or not we, as Christians, are free to eat meat sacrificed to idols.  The point he is making is that when we exercise our liberty in Christ Jesus, we need to be sure that others are not offended or misled by watching us.  Though we have the knowledge that we have liberty because Jesus Christ died to set us free from the law and from sin, others do not have that knowledge.  They are accustomed to not eating meat sacrificed to idols because that is what the law has taught them. Just as some of the disciples still taught that you had to be circumcised because they did not yet have the understanding of their freedom in Christ. We, being the stronger, should then give up our freedom to do certain things.  Not because the action itself is a sin, but because it causes our brother or sister to stumble and we have sinned against them. Any sin against anyone is a sin against Christ. So we should use our knowledge, spoken in love, to edify our brothers and sisters and not to harm them.


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

Post 2-20-2018

” Puffed Up”

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10 Our dedication to Christ makes us look like fools, but you claim to be so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are so powerful! You are honored, but we are ridiculed. – 1 Cor. 4:10 NLT
Paul continues to admonish the Christians at Corinth about their attitude. They are boastful of their salvation as if they had done something to earn it. They have made assumptions and “gone beyond what is written”, even though they have no way of having knowledge that Paul, Apollo, and Peter would not have access to. They mistakenly think that because they are saved, they are already rich and powerful here on earth. Paul contrasts their attitude to the way he, Apollo and Peter think and act. They are mistreated, abused, imprisoned and “made spectacles” for the world and the angels to look upon. They have become fools for Christ’s sake, but the Corinthians are “puffed up”, thinking they are wise. Paul, Apollo, and Peter have become weak so that Jesus might show His strength through their weakness.  They have given up their honor for the sake of the glory of God.
They have come to understand what John the Baptist meant when he said:

30 He must become greater; I must become less.”–John 3:30 NIV
And we need to have that same attitude. We can do nothing of heavenly value without Christ but we can do all things through Christ.
13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.–Phil. 4:13 NIV


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

Post 02-07-2018

Seek Godly Wisdom

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19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God.  – 1 Cor 3:19a NLT

Compared to the wisdom of God, anything that we call wisdom here on earth is nothing but foolishness. Divine wisdom far exceeds anything we can think or imagine, not only in quality, but also in quantity. Men who think themselves wise and try to deceive others will be dealt with by God.
12 He ruins the plans of those who trick others so they have no success. 13 He catches the wise in their own clever traps and sweeps away the plans of those who try to trick others.—Job 5:12 NCV
Admitting that our wisdom is useless for getting into heaven is part of the humbling process. It is also one of the objections that worldly wise people have to becoming a Christian. That is why so many of us do not accept Jesus until He has allowed us to get to the end of our resources, then we will turn to Him. We can see Job as an example of this. He lost everything here on earth and was advised by His wife to curse God and die, Job refused and his “wise” friends tried to counsel him. but it took a confrontation with God himself for Job to humble himself and be redeemed.
25 “As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth.” Job 19:25 NASB

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

Post 02-03-2018

“A Message of Wisdom”

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6 We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.7 No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.—1 Cor. 2:6-9 (NIV)
God’s plan has never changed. It existed in eternity and before time as we know it. Eternity was, is and always will be. God was, God is and God ever more will be. He knew our finite, human minds would be unable to grasp and understand eternity and endless space. So, He spoke the earth into existence somewhere in space and some time in eternity. By doing so, He divided space and time into small chunks of universes and days. This allowed humans to have something finite that we could grasp and understand. This is wisdom beyond our understanding. Then He created us and breathed life into us. Then we rebelled against God by doubting His love and provisions for us. This was no surprise to Him. He had already made provision to redeem us before we ever fell. The how and the when was a mystery until Jesus came and died for us on the Cross. It was prophesied over and over throughout history but people refused to see and /or believe. Had satan and his demons understood the plan and the time, they would not have crucified Jesus on the Cross. But God was, is and always will be in control. Jesus helped to design the plan of salvation and He finished it at Calvary.
2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.–Hebrews 12:2 NKJV

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

Post 01-28-2018