“Not By Human Desires”

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 given 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 our hearts, “wash me”.

Isaiah 1:18. 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. 

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

Post 04-06-2020

"Life In Himself"

26 The Father has life in himself, and he has granted that same life-giving power to his Son.  ​– John 5:26 NLT

Power and Authority

God the Father has honored His Son by giving Him complete authority to judge us. It is the Father’s desire for us to honor His Son just as He has honored Him. If we dishonor the name of Jesus, we dishonor God our Father as well. God breathed life into us, when He created us, He is the source of our physical life, as well as our spiritual life. The Father has given this life-giving power to His Son. Because of His obedience, even unto death on the cross, Jesus has been given all authority in heaven and on earth.

18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.—Matt. 28:18 (NLT)

Now that we are in Christ and Christ is in us, we have access to the Name and the authority of the Name of Jesus. Just as Jesus only did what He saw the Father do and only said what the Father said, we must speak only those words that we hear Jesus speak and do only those deeds that the Holy Spirit leads us to do.

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

Post 03-22-2020

"I Tell You the Truth"

19 So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does. –John 5:19 NLT

John 5:16-21 NLT

Jesus used the healing of the man at the pool of Bethesda to get the attention of the people, especially the religious leaders, He wanted them to understand who He was and why He was there. But, like most of us, when we first encounter Jesus, the religious leaders looked for reasons not to accept the truth of who Jesus is. We find fault with how and why Jesus does the things He chooses to do. Here is a human being, who claims to be the Son of God. He is making these preposterous claims that He can heal, raise from the dead, and even forgive sins. In their eyes, this is blasphemy. What do we see, when we look at Jesus and His claims? Do we see the love of God and His great mercy or do we see what the religious leaders saw? If we are totally honest in our search for truth, we will be drawn to this man Jesus and His love for us. He will not force you to accept Him, but He is standing at your heart’s door asking you to invite Him into your heart and life. If you haven’t already done so, please take a moment and ask Him in now.

20 “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.  ​ – Rev. 3:20 NLT​

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

Post 03-21-2020

“This Is What God Has Testified”

11 And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. ​ – 1 John 5:11 NLT

God’s Testimony – NLT

God has given us the gift of eternal life. But like every gift that is offered to us, we have to accept it. To accept this gift, we must believe that what God has told us is true. What we must believe is that the Father, sent His only Son to redeem us from sin. If we accept the Son, then we have the truth of God abiding in us. Not only do we have the truth, we also have eternal life.

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.—John 14:6 (NLT)

The only way to receive the gift from the Father is to accept His Son, Jesus Christ. This is more than just turning away from our sins, We must turn to Jesus and accept all that He is. Then we must live a lifestyle that allows others to see Jesus in us. We can do this by holding steadfast to Jesus and allowing the Holy Spirit to lead us and guide us into all truth. That truth will draw others to Jesus and expand His Kingdom.

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

Post 02-13-2020

“We Know What Real Love Is”

16 We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. ​ — 1 John 3:16 NLT

1 John 3:11-17 NLT

As Christians, most of us, at sometime or other, have met other people and we sensed immediately that they were Christians. There was a kindred Spirit that we could easily identify. This Spirit is God’s Holy Spirit indwelling us and we can feel the love of the other person almost immediately. We must never feel hatred for those around us, whether they be Christian brothers and sisters or not. We must always reflect the love of Jesus by loving others. First, to our own household, then our church, and then those around us. We should never have the attitude of the expert in religious law that Jesus encountered in Luke 10. He asked Jesus, “who is my neighbor”? This was an effort on his part to get Jesus to identify specific people that he should help. This would limit his responsibilities to others. We are to help all those that Jesus puts in our path. It is not God’s will that any should perish. Therefore, it becomes our responsibility to lead as many as possible to Christ by showing them the love of Christ. Our lifestyles should show others that Christianity is not a bunch of “don’ts” and negativism, but that it is a positive relationship with a living Lord.

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

Post 02-06-2020

“Living In the Light”

10 Anyone who loves a fellow believer is living in the light and does not cause others to stumble. ​- 1 John 2:10 NLT

1 John 2:8-11 NLT

When we accept Jesus, each of us receives Life and Light at that very moment. From that moment on, we have access to all of the Light. However, we need more knowledge and understanding of God’s Word to be able to access more Light. None of us mature in God’s Word at the same rate because we have different levels of learning abilities. Also, some of us spend a lot more time in God’s Word than others so, there are different levels of knowledge and faith. Those that receive more Light have a greater responsibility to encourage and teach others. No gift from God is to be used to belittle or ridicule another person’s level of understanding. God gives the gifts to be used for His glory and the edification of the Church. How each of us interprets the Scriptures depends, to a certain extent, on our upbringing and our own personal life experiences. But, all of us receive enough Light to fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ, regardless of our denominations or doctrines. We should never use our share of the Light to illuminate faults in others. This only causes confusion in the Church and allows outsiders to find fault with our Lord and Savior. Our obligation is to use the amount of Light we have to dispel darkness where God has planted us. Use your Light as a beacon to bring others to Jesus.

Matt. 5:14-16 NLT

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

Post 01-28-2020

“By This We Know”

 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. – 1 John 2:5 NKJV

1 John 2:3-8 NLT

The religious leader asked Jesus: ” What is the greatest commandment?” Jesus answered with two commandments instead of one. Jesus said to love the Lord your God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself. He went on to say that all the law hinged on these two commandments. God has put His light in us to light the world and dispel darkness. The way we let our light shine is to obey these two commandments. We must spend time with Jesus to get to know Him better so we can love Him better, Then, by loving our neighbors, we demonstrate the love of God in our lives. When we accepted Jesus, we became aliens to this world and citizens of heaven. As ambassadors of heaven, we represent Jesus. It is our duty to reconcile others to Christ by giving them the Good News. We want to wait for some big thing to do, but we shouldn’t wait for grand opportunities. Start by doing a good deed today and you will give life and light to someone. As the old song says:

Do not wait until some deed of greatness you may do,
Do not wait to shed your light afar,
To the many duties ever near you now be true,
Brighten the corner where you are.

Ina D. Ogdon, 1913

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

Post 01-27-2020