“Be Made Complete”

19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. — Ephesians 3:19 NLT

Eph. 3:14-21 NLT

God is love and everything that we experience is designed to show us His love.  In the rough patches, we don’t feel that that statement is true because we don’t and never will understand the greatness of His love.  God wants us to strive to get to the point that we realize His only motivation is His love for us.  He wants us to be like Christ whose only motivation for dying on the cross for our sins was love.  Not every lesson we learn will be enjoyable.  I am sure that being persecuted, beaten and hung on a cross was not an enjoyable experience for Jesus but it was necessary to show God’s marvelous love for us.  Learning to love the “unlovable” and those that mistreat us is a necessary lesson, not only for our completeness but to show others the immeasurable love of God.  Jesus showed His love for us by giving His life for all of us while we were still sinners.  We must show that same kind of love to those around us each day.  As Paul says in the passage above (and I paraphrase) God places the Holy Spirit in our hearts and our roots must grow down into God’s love which will enable us to show that love in every situation.

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

Post 05-25-2019

“Now You Are My Friends”

15 I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. — John 15:15 NLT

John 15:9-17 NLT


What an honor to be called friends by God, the Creator of the universe. What a great privilege to be chosen to join Him in His work to expand His Kingdom here on earth.  If we accept Him and His call, we will spend an eternity with Him and each other.  As friends of God, we are to learn from Him and bear fruit worthy of that friendship.  As Jesus said, we must do what the Father does.  We can know what the Father does by studying the lifestyle of Jesus because He only did what He saw the Father do and only said what He heard the Father say. If we believe in Him as our Savior then we will love each other.   We will go about doing good because He has “called us out of darkness into His marvelous light”.  We will trust the Holy Spirit completely to lead us into His truth.

1 Peter 2:7-10 NLT

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

Post 05-17-2019

Cleaning the Church

12 It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. — 1 Cor. 5:12

1 Corinthians 5:6-13 NLT

A few generations ago, when someone in the church membership was known to be living a lifestyle of sin and that fact was affirmed by two or three witnesses, that person was first warned and counseled by the leaders of the church.  If he/she refused to change their ways, they were brought before the congregation for disciplining.  When they were found guilty and refused to repent, they were asked to leave the church.  It is not only scriptural for us to do that but it is our responsibility to do it.  First, we must make sure that there is no yeast in ourselves and then we can judge those of the household of faith.  It is not our responsibility or business to judge non-Christians, that is God’s business and He will take care of it in His own time.  A church body with sin in it is a weak body and it will not attract unbelievers to Christ.  In fact, outsiders will turn away from that body because of the hypocrisy.  We, as church bodies, don’t do this much anymore.  I believe that is one of the biggest reasons for the decline in church memberships and that fewer people attend church.  Let us be sure that we are not living a lifestyle of sin ourselves and then make sure that any yeast or leaven is removed from the church body.  No one wants to be around a body that is going through the process of putrefaction.  We need to clean it up and shine for our Lord and Savior, that light will attract others to Christ.

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

Post 04-20-2019

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