“A Chosen People”

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9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. — 1 Peter 2:9 NIV

Think back to a time in your life when there was a particular group that you wanted to be chosen to be a part of.  Do you remember the joy and exhilaration that you felt when you saw your name on the list or heard it called out?  Multiply that feeling by a zillion zillions and you won’t even be close to the joy that we should feel every day because God has chosen us.  Knowing that we are God’s special possession should fill our hearts to overflowing and cause us to shout praises from the mountaintops or in the deepest valleys.  In the best and the worst of times, we, the chosen, can proclaim:

31 If God is for us, who can be against us? — Romans 8:31​b​

Think back to the time when you were a child and you were afraid of the darkness and how great it felt when Mom or Dad walked into the room, turned on a night light and took time to comfort and encourage you.  Or as they stayed, held you and you drifted peacefully off to sleep.  Multiply that feeling and that peace by a zillion zillions and you won’t even be close to the feeling of peace and the brightness of the light that comes when we answer the call of Jesus to come out of the darkness into His wonderful light.  And think of this, they left the room when you drifted off to sleep, but we have the added assurance that God will never leave us nor forsake us.  He is here to comfort and protect us all day and night, every day and night.

8 The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” — Deut. 31:8 NIV

No matter what circumstances are surrounding us or what situation we find ourselves in, we should be filled with joy because we serve a God who has been there, is there now, and will always be there.

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. — Phil. 4:4-5 NIV

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

“So We Could Know the Glory of God”

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6 For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. – 2 Cor. 4:6 NLT 

2 Cor. 4:3-7 NLT

When we allow God to use us as His witnesses, we may not see the results of our labors immediately.  It has been determined that it takes more than 7 “touches”  or exposures to the Good News for a person to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior.  Our God desires that everyone should be saved, but the “god of this age”, satan, has blinded many to the truth of the Gospel. They cannot see the Light because they are focused on the pleasures of this world and the desires of the flesh. Their refusal to see the Light does not alleviate us of the responsibility of being the Light of Jesus Christ shining in a world of darkness.  We have this Light of the knowledge of God’s glory shining in our hearts. God has placed His treasure, this knowledge of Him, in the hearts of human beings. These jars of clay are weak and decaying but the Light shining forth from them displays the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This power is from God and not from us.  That is why God has made us responsible for shining, but He has kept the responsibility for dispelling the darkness. We can be assured that if we do our part, He will faithfully do His part and souls will be added to the Kingdom.

9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.10 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, 11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. — Isaiah 55:9-11 NIV

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

“Into His Wonderful Light”

9 But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. – 1 Peter 2:9 NLT 

Strangers NLT

We were born in sin into a world filled with the darkness of sin. Some of us spent more years than others stumbling through the darkness thinking we could make it on our own.  Then the Holy Spirit called us out of darkness and into the wonderful light of Jesus Christ. It was then and only then, that we realized our inability to even walk upright without God’s help.  As new creations, we realized that we were foreigners and aliens in this world. Our fleshly desires had held us in bonds and chains, now we are free to live the good lives that God has called us to live. It should be our heart’s desire to please God in every way, every day. We are in a war and there is no neutral ground.  There is no standing still, if we aren’t making progress everyday, we are regressing. When we are in love with someone, we want to spend time alone with them. God is in love with each of us and He is overjoyed when we choose to spend time alone with Him. The time we spend with Jesus is the way we get the strength to wage the war. If we don’t spend time preparing for the battle, we will be defeated daily, even though the war was won at the Cross. Spend a minute with God right now and often throughout the day. He will give you peace in the middle of the chaos and strength to wage the war.

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

“Whatever the Father Tells Me”

50 And I know his commands lead to eternal life; so I say whatever the Father tells me to say.”  –John 12:50 NLT

John 12:44-50 NLT

Because of His great love and mercy, Jesus gives one more invitation to the crowd to believe in what He has said and who He is. He is telling them since you have seen and heard me, you have heard and seen the Father. Every word Jesus said and every act He committed came directly from the Father. On judgment day, the unbelievers will be judged by the words that Jesus was teaching. After all, Jesus was the Word Incarnate, the Living Word, the Word that was established in the beginning. In Jesus, there was life and that life was the light for all the people.

1 In the beginning there was the Word. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 All things were made by him, and nothing was made without him. 4 In him there was life, and that life was the light of all people. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overpowered it.—John 1:1-5 NCV)

Jesus is God, God is Jesus, Jesus is the Word and the Word is Jesus and in Him is life and light. God and Jesus are in perfect agreement and have been since the beginning. The Word that Jesus spoke was commanded by the Father and contained Life. It is the same Word that has saved us and will keep us until the day Jesus returns. The world needs to hear that Word today, so they can ask the Lord for help.

14 But before people can ask the Lord for help, they must believe in him; and before they can believe in him, they must hear about him; and for them to hear about the Lord, someone must tell them; 15 and before someone can go and tell them, that person must be sent. It is written, “How beautiful is the person who comes to bring good news.”–Romans 10:14-15 (NCV)

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

“Walk In the Light”

35 Jesus replied, “My light will shine for you just a little longer. Walk in the light while you can, so the darkness will not overtake you. Those who walk in the darkness cannot see where they are going. – John 12:35

John 12:32-36 NLT

When ​Jesus​ used the words “if I b​e lifted up” the people seemed to understand that He meant He would have to die. They immediately respond that they thought that the Christ would live forever. So, to them if He were going to die, He couldn’t be the Messiah for whom they had been looking . They do not grasp the concept of the resurrection and eternal life.

1 In the beginning there was the Word. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 All things were made by him, and nothing was made without him. 4 In him there was life, and that life was the light of all people. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overpowered​ ​it.—John 1:1-4 (NCV)

After the resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit, we now have the light living inside of us and we are the light of the world. The Holy Spirit leads us into all truth as we study the word of God. So, we have the light internally with the Holy Spirit and we have the light externally with God’s Word.

105 Your word is like a lamp for my feet​ and a light for my path.—Psalm 119:105 (NCV)

There is no reason for us to walk in darkness. Every where we go, we should dispel the darkness.

“You are the light that gives light to the world. A city that is built on a hill cannot be hidden.—Matt. 5:14 (NCV)

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

Post 05-20-2020

“But NOW I Will Go”

11 Then he said, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but now I will go and wake him up.” John 11:11 NLT

John 11:7-16 NLT

The followers of Jesus asked a reasonable question, one that we would most likely ask had we have been there. Why would anyone want to return to a place where the people had tried to kill him? While the question shows their love for Jesus it also shows again their lack of faith in His ability to protect them and Himself. Had they not just walked away before? How quickly we forget the goodness and mercy of God when danger seems to lurk at our next step. Jesus uses the illustration of natural sunlight, but the followers had much more than that to watch over them. They had the Light of the world leading them. Jesus knew that Lazarus was dead and the purpose for which Lazarus had died. “And I am glad for your sakes”! Think of it, the followers are concerned, but Jesus is rejoicing! They will see the miracle of a friend being raised from the dead and their faith will be strengthened. Walking in the Light of Jesus, we are always safe from harm. If we live, He walks with us and if we die, we walk with Him. We should rejoice and be glad! Jesus does all things well and in His timing.

36 You must hold on, so you can do what God wants and receive what he has promised. 37 For in a very short time,​ “The One who is coming will come​ and will not be delayed.​ ​—Hebrews 10:36-3​7​ (NCV)

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

Post 05-09-2020

“You Who Are God’s Children”

12 I am writing to you who are God’s children because your sins have been forgiven through Jesus. — 1 John 2:12 NLT

1 John 2:12-14 NLT

John is reminding each group of people of who they were, who they are now, and how each of us got here. Now that we have been redeemed and cleansed by the blood of Jesus, we need to be walking in the Light and our lifestyle should reflect the example that Jesus set for us to follow. When we are tempted to think that we might be just a little better than our neighbors or when we start to wonder; “how could Jesus save a person like that?” ,we need to remember who we used to be and the kind of lifestyle we used to lead. Just as Isaiah told the children of Israel, remember that we were all cut from the same stone, we are all born sinners.

The Lord says, “Listen to me,
those of you who try to live right and follow the Lord.
Look at the rock from which you were cut;
look at the stone quarry from which you were dug.–Isaiah 51:1 (NCV)

We have done nothing to desire God’s mercy and grace, it is a free gift that is available to all. Thus, the old saying: “Except for the grace of God, there goes you and ​I,

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

Post 01-29-2020

“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

“The Darkness Can Never Extinguish It”

5  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it​. – John 1:5 NLT

John 1:4-10 NLT

At first, this might seem like a strange comparison from a Christian perspective. Bear with me and let’s see if we can make it fit our discussion. If we think of Jesus looking over the earth to find sinners and compare that to us walking through a pumpkin patch to find a pumpkin to carve for our fall festival, we can go from there. We find the pumpkin we want, we pick it up out of the dirty field, clean it up, carve away the parts we don’t want and fill it with light. Jesus does the same thing to us, He finds us in our sinful condition, reaches down and lifts us up and washes us with His blood. Then He starts the process of carving away the thoughts and attitudes of which He doesn’t approve. Little by little His Light starts to shine through us and the world around us gets a glimpse of Jesus. Just like the original Irish carving of a turnip (there weren’t any pumpkins in Ireland), the light was put inside to chase away evil spirits. So do we, as we allow God’s light to shine through us and all around us. We were once dirty and walked in darkness, but now that we have Jesus inside us, we are the vessels that carry His Light into the world. Keep the vessel clean, inside and outside, so the Light can shine through and dispel the darkness.

****Not an original idea, I just don’t know who to give credit for the comparison

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

Post 01-24-2020