“That They Might Have Abundant Life”

12  Does anyone want to live a life that is long and prosperous?  — Psalm 34:12 NLT

Psalm 34:11-18 NLT

When I read this verse, my first thought is this:  Is there anyone who doesn’t want to live long and prosper?  Our bodies were originally designed in God’s image to last forever.  Then sin entered the world bringing decay and death with it.  Now, our bodies wear out and decay because sin still exists here on earth.  God designed a garden where man could live forever and prosper.  Sin entered that garden, seduced humankind, so God had to remove man and never allowed him to re-enter.  So, living long and being prosperous has taken on a whole new meaning.  Actually, it has taken on two meanings.  One is defined from the worldly point of view and the other from the Godly point of view.  We are bombarded on a daily basis with how the world defines prosperity.  As Christians, we can be very prosperous in the Kingdom of God and the world will little know or pay any attention to the wealth we have built up in heaven.  But God knows where we are laying up our treasures and He also knows  that where our treasure is, there will our hearts be also.  What is worldly will perish in the fire, that which is Godly will last throughout eternity.  A worldly long life of a hundred years or more is nothing but a speck of dust compared to eternal life with God.  We, as Christians, shall all live long and prosper!  God has promised and so shall it be!  So, let us join in a praise of thanksgiving!

Come, everyone! Clap your hands! Shout to God with joyful praise! — Psalm 47:1

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

Post 03-18-2019

The Effect of Hearing the Gospel

20 So the message about the Lord spread widely and had a powerful effect. — Acts 19:20 NLT

Acts 19:11-20 NLT

We are told in verse one that “God gave Paul the power to perform unusual miracles.”  In verse twenty, we see the reason for this was to spread the Good News about Jesus and the redemption story.  The spreading of the Gospel always has a powerful effect on all those that hear.  To those that hear and believe, it brings new life.  To those who hear but refuse to believe, it brings death.  Anytime the name of Jesus is spoken those that hear it must make a decision right then and there.  Either they will believe the Good News and receive life or they will refuse to believe and earn their way to hell.  When the name of Jesus is spoken with the intent to glorify God, it contains all of the power that was present at the resurrection of Jesus.  But when the name of Jesus is spoken with the intention of self-glory or for the mere purpose of gaining wealth, the result is confusion and chaos. Just ask the seven sons of Sveca.  God is a God of miracles and miracles are still being performed today.  Not all of us are given the power to perform miracles as Paul was.  God gives different gifts to members of the body of Christ so that it can be whole and bring glory to Himself. God doesn’t perform miracles on a whim or on demand.  Each time we witness a miracle we know that God has a purpose and a plan that requires a miracle to complete the plan.  Miracles always affect more than one person.   The person receiving the miracle is not the only one touched.  Those seeing or listening that are already believers are encouraged and those who do not believe will be drawn to God.


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

Post 03-12-2019

Let Our Children See Your Glory

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16  Let Your work appear to Your servants, And Your glory to their children. – Psalm 90:16 
 
 
God has an abundant supply of Love and Mercy.  As we arise each morning and acknowledge Him as our Savior and Lord, His Spirit renews us and prepares us for the battles of the day.  Immediately, satan attacks our minds filling them with fearful thoughts of what the day will bring, reminding us of all the things we have failed to accomplish in the past. The devil, the father of lies, begins to tell us that we will not be able to make it through the day without some sort of catastrophe. The Holy Spirit speaks peace, love, and joy, telling us to lean on Jesus and He will fight our battles for us. We must learn which voice to listen to and heed.  Jesus said that His sheep know His voice, they follow Him and He gives them eternal life so that they will never perish.  If we listen to His voice, we will learn to live in peace.  He will restore all the things that satan has taken away from us and replace the evil with good.  Let us learn to listen and live the abundant life that Jesus died to give us.  Let us spend less time each day focused on the lies of the evil one and more time on the goodness of God. Those around us will see that and get a glimpse of the glory of God.

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

Post 11-16-2018

Mount Zion Brings Life

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2  “The Lord came from Mount Sinai and dawned upon us from Mount Seir;  he shone forth from Mount Paran and came from Meribah-kadesh with flaming fire at his right hand. 3  Indeed, he loves his people; all his holy ones are in his hands. They follow in his steps and accept his teaching.. — Deut. 33:2, 3 NLT

This is beginning of the last blessing that Moses gave to the children of Israel.  It was a reminder to the people of how God had chosen them and brought them through the desert to the Promised Land.  Because of His great love for the people, God remained faithful to His promise even though the people were often disobedient and ungrateful. It was also an admonition to continue to follow in the steps of their God and accept His teachings.  Moses blesses the tribes of Israel, then leaves them.  As God instructed, Moses climbs Mount Nebo up to Pisgah Peak where God allows him to view all of the Promised Land.  There, at 120 years of age, Moses passed away.  God came to the children of Israel from Mount Sinai, a mountain that was covered with smoke and fire, touching the mount brought death.

God comes to us from Mount Zion, “the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem”. (Hebrews 12:18-24)  Touching Mount Zion brings life and joy to those who love the Lord, to those who accept His teachings and follow in the steps of Jesus.  Today, spend some time in the presence of Jesus, just loving Him and marinating in His love.  If you do, you will touch Mount Zion and receive true life and an abundance of joy.

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

Post 11-10-2018

“This Is the Key To Your Life”

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19 “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! 20 You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. — Deut. 30:19, 20a NLT

This choice was given to the children of Israel under the old covenant.  They lived under the old covenant and the law.  We live under the new covenant and grace.  The covenants have changed but the choices are still the same, we can choose life or death. We can choose to accept the sacrifice of Jesus as our redeemer or we can reject that sacrifice and choose death.  We were born in sin into a sinful world, we choose death by continuing that lifestyle.  We choose life by accepting Jesus, loving God, obeying Him and committing ourselves firmly to Him. This choice is “the key to life”.  Choosing Jesus and life unlocks doors so that we can access the abundant life.  Life is more about “being” than about doing. We are called human beings not human doers.  Before we do anything, we need to be in the presence of God. To be in His presence means we spend time at His feet learning His teachings and allowing Him to disciple us.  Maybe that is why all the “blessed are” verses in Matthew 5 are called the “be-attitudes”.  We need to learn to have the same attitude that Jesus has so we can be like Him. If we spend enough time “being” in His presence, the “doing” will be a natural outflow of our “being”.  Then we can live the abundant, blessed life He desires to give us.

10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. — John 10:10 NLT

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

Post 11-09-2018

Does Our Walk Match Our Talk?

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For this reason, the Scriptures say, when the Messiah was about to come into the world:  “You did not want sacrifices and offerings, but you prepared a body for me.  6  In burnt offerings and sin offering you never took delight. – Hebrews 10:5-6 ISV

When Christ came into the world, He came with the full knowledge of what His mission was.  He was to give His body as a once-for-all times sacrifice.  No longer would God be pleased or accept burnt offerings or offerings of any other kind to take away sins.  All the old rituals are now worthless.  Remission of sin that required the shedding of blood was completely satisfied when Jesus gave up His blood and His life for us on the cross.  Belief in His free gift to us is the only way to salvation.  Once we have accepted Jesus and experienced the liberty in Him, there is no longer any requirement for anything to physically die to achieve salvation.  But we do need to offer our bodies as “a living sacrifice” to Jesus. This is the only sacrifice that is acceptable to God.  To do that, means we have to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.  This is a process that we go through on a daily basis.  Just as Jesus gave His life for us on a cross, we also must take up a cross and follow Him.  Our sacrifice is not to take away our sins, but it is to give God the glory for all that He has done for us.  Our focus is now changed from the physical to the Spiritual, from things temporal to things eternal. We must “bring every thought captive”.  This requires us to walk out the consequences of every word and action before we speak or act.  Will our words and actions create life or destroy life?

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

Poat 11-04-2018

“Whiter Than Snow”

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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
 
 
We may look at the list of things that pagans choose to do and with great relief, say “I never gave 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 thngs 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 09-09-2018