Life Or Death?

22 But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. — Romans 6:22 NLT

Romans 6:17-23 NLT

Romans 3:23 tells us that we have all sinned and our attempts to live without sin or to be like God have failed.  We were born as slaves to sin and the desires of the flesh.  We were in bondage to that kind of lifestyle. But the Trinity had laid a plan to free us from that bondage long before they laid the foundations of the earth.  That plan was for God Himself to come to earth clothed in a human body.  So, we see that the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus was not some johnny come lately plan nor was it a knee-jerk reaction to what satan was doing.  It was a secret, well-laid plan that the enemy could not defeat because he knew nothing about it.  God never had any thoughts about leaving His creation without a Redeemer.  Now the mystery of salvation has been revealed to all of us. We have a simple choice to make.  Accept Jesus and be freed from the bondage of sin.  Before we accepted Jesus, we had no choice about sin, now that we have accepted Him, we are free to chose to do right and live a holy lifestyle. We now have a new Master, one who gives us freedom to choose what we will do and how we will react to situations.  We can choose to work ourselves to death (the wages of sin are death) or we can reach out and accept that free gift of life today. 

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

Post -04-03-2019

“All My Guilt Is Gone”

5 Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt.  I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.”
And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. — Psalm 32:5 NLT 

Psalm 32:1-6 NLT

When we accept Jesus as our Savior we confess all of our sins up to that point.  But we still live in the flesh and all of the fleshly desires are not magically removed overnight. The Holy Spirit starts a process of sanctification in each of us.  This process is designed to change our hearts’ desires so that we no longer choose to live a lifestyle of sin.  However, there are times that we will fail and we will think, do or say something that is not pleasing to God.  Perhaps we will fail to do something that the Holy Spirit urges us to do.  Most of the sins that Christians are guilty of are sins of omission, not sins of commission.  We rebel against God in refusing to follow His leading in our lives.  The problem I have is agreeing with God that I am being rebellious and confessing it as sin.  But God does not negotiate, He will stand firm and I must agree with Him and confess.  We must get to the point the Psalmist got to — “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord” and He will forgive me.

1 John 1:5-10 NLT

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

Post 03-16-2019

Repent-Turn From-Turn To

31 Jesus answered, “So now you believe?— John 16:31 NCV

John 16:25-33 NCV
If Jesus asked us that question today, could we truthfully answer “Yes, Lord, I truly believe.”?  The disciples had spent the better part of three years with Jesus. They walked with Him, talked with Him, ate with Him and yet, it is only now that they confess that they believe that Jesus came from God. We might think this to be very strange.  Yet, how many times did we hear the story of Jesus from people that we believed and respected, yet we did not accept Him as our Savior?  In my teenage years, I went to the altar and had a very real emotional experience while I was kneeling there.  Yet, when I left that building, my thought patterns and lifestyle were unchanged.   Looking back at that experience years later, I realized that I had not truly accepted Jesus as my Savior and Lord.  It would be years later before I truly repented and turned to Jesus with all my heart.  True repentance will make a change in our thinking and in our lifestyle.  Will it keep us from ever sinning again?  No, the flesh will win some battles, but our response to the conviction of the Holy Spirit  will always be to turn back to Jesus and ask for His forgiveness.  And He will always be there with open arms, waiting to forgive us and restore to our salvation and His peace and joy.  

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

Post 01-29-2019

“Be You Holy”

16 Such people claim they know God, but they deny him by the way they live. They are detestable and disobedient, worthless for doing anything good. — Titus 1:16 NLT

Titus 1:10-16 NLT

Paul considered both Timothy and Titus to be his sons in the faith and as such, it was his joy and job to mentor them.  Even though he left them at different churches to carry on the work that he had started, he continued to do this by writing them letters.   In his 2nd letter to Timothy and here in this letter to Titus, Paul warns them about wasting their time in foolish talk and conversations.  This type of behavior usually leads to divisions in the body of Christ.  Crete was obviously well known for this type of activity since Paul quotes one of their own Cretan prophets as describing them as “liars, cruel animals and lazy gluttons”.  That’s harsh condemnation of one’s fellow countrymen.  However, it would not be hard to make that description fit a portion of our society today.  The point Paul wants to make to Titus is that he has a tough job ahead of him.  He is living among people who will make all sorts of claims and statements of their faith, but they don’t really know God and their lifestyles prove that they don’t.  When we hear the Gospel of Jesus, we accept it as truth because the Holy Spirit has purified and prepared our minds to accept it.  Those whose minds and consciences are corrupt will perceive all truth as being corrupt.  The task for Titus was to convince them of the truth of the Gospel by his lifestyle.   That is our task in our society today.

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

Post 01-20-2019

Talk It! Walk It! Love It! Live It!

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16  Let us, your servants, see you work again;
    let our children see your glory. 
— Psalm 90:16 NLT


Psalm 90

Lord, we live in a sinful world where evil is magnified on a daily basis.  Our children are daily tempted with overdoses of “me first” and sexual innuendos. They see riots in city after city where people get what they want by protesting and violence rather than working through the legal system. The America we live in now is not the America that most of us were raised in.  It is more like Macedonia when Paul arrived. There is violence on the outside everywhere we look and there are people all around us living in fear. 2 Cor. 7:5, 6   Our kids and grand-kids see good people struggling everyday to make it. They see parents working too many hours because the parents live in fear of not being able to give their kids everything they think they want.  First, help us as parents and grandparents to live lives totally dependent on you.  Let us be the examples that show the younger generations that possessions and busyness do not bring peace and lasting joy.  Remind us of that daily by helping us to observe the work that you are doing in our world right now, all around us.  Then, Lord, let our lifestyles be a beacon to others to point the glory you receive from our obedience.  Open our eyes to see that you are still a God who works miracles on a daily basis. Let our children see your glory and the beauty of worshiping the only true and living God.  As Pastor Jack Graham says 
“YOU CANNOT EXPECT YOUR CHILDREN TO LEAD DYNAMIC, SPIRIT-FILLED CHRISTIAN LIVES IF YOU AREN’T LIVING A VIBRANT, DYNAMIC, SPIRIT-FILLED CHRISTIAN LIFE YOURSELF”.
Help us to live lives totally dependent on You and the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Help us to talk the talk and walk the walk before them that they may catch hold of Who you are and what you desire for each of us.  Your desire is for us to be joyful and content no matter what our present situation may be.
Father, thank you for protecting our kids and grand kids.  First of all and most importantly of all, thank you for protecting them spiritually so that they will spend an eternity with you.  Then, thank you for protecting them physically, mentally and emotionally and for providing for their every need.  All praise and glory be to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 12-06-2018

What Do People See In Us?

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65 Awe fell upon the whole neighborhood, and the news of what had happened spread throughout the Judean hills. 66 Everyone who heard about it reflected on these events and asked, “What will this child turn out to be?” For the hand of the Lord was surely upon him in a special way. — Luke 1:65, 66 NLT

These are the words Luke wrote to describe the reactions of the people on hearing about the birth of John the Baptist.  It was a miraculous event that Elizabeth should give birth at such a late age in life.  They were also in wonder that Zechariah would allow his son to be named John since no one in the family had ever been named that.  In those days, the carrying on of traditional family names was extremely important.  Because of these two things, they knew that God was involved in a special way and that John must have a special purpose to fulfill.   Once Zechariah was able to speak again, he prophesies about what that purpose is (vv 67-79).

In its own way, every birth is a miracle and every child has a special purpose in life.  God has a plan for every life and every one has been given a particular gift to accomplish that purpose.  Not all of us will be involved in what we call “full-time” ministries, but all of us are involved in full time witnessing for the Lord.  Every word and every action reflects positively or negatively on the Kingdom of God.  What is our lifestyle today telling people about Jesus and His Kingdom?  If someone observed us for a month, what do you think they would say about what we think is important?  Does our attitude and our demeanor tell others that we live in fear or that we have faith in a God who can and does do the impossible?  

 
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 11-11-2018

Repent, Relax, Remember, Repeat

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29 “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill.30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. — Acts 17:29​, 30​ NIV

When we read scriptures about idol worship, we tend to think of those that worship statues or symbols of dead men or useless religions.  While we may not have an image of the dollar setting on the mantle of the fireplace, we can still be worshiping all the things that money can buy.  While we may not have statues of anyone in our homes or churches, we can still hold others in higher esteem than we hold Jesus. If someone asks you to do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable or violates your beliefs and you go ahead and do it, you have placed that person above Jesus. Our work here is to do the will of the Father, not the will of those around us.

 

38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.– John 6:38 NIV

We are not in a popularity contest.  Our goal should be to please our Father.  If we do that, He will take care of us.  If we are obedient and seek Jesus and His righteousness, He will handle all of the issues that satan puts in our way.

 

33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. — Matt. 6:33 NIV

“All these things” is everything that we need to live a Godly lifestyle. Everything means every thing.  Don’t stress out. Repent, Relax, Remember, Repeat.

 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 08-30-2018