“Are You the King?”

33 Then Pilate went back into his headquarters and called for Jesus to be brought to him. “Are you the king of the Jews?” he asked him. – John 18:33 NLT

John 18:33-37 NLT

”Are you the King of the Jews?” The question that Pilate asked or similar questions are still being debated today. Jesus answers with a question of His own. “Is that your question or did others tell you about me?” It is almost as if Jesus is asking Pilate, “do you care or are you just curious because others have asked that question?” Do you really want to know who I am? Pilate avoids answering the question by saying he is not one of the Jews and asks Jesus another question. “What have you done wrong?” Jesus answers by telling Pilate about His kingdom and His servants. He explains that His kingdom is in another place. Pilate responds with “So you are a King!” What is our response today? We may say, “Of course, Jesus is the King of the Jews!” But that answer avoids the real question: “Is Jesus the King in our lives here and now?” He is Lord of all or He is not Lord at all. He will not accept being the Number One God in our lives, He will only accept being the only God in our lives. Jesus died for our sins, how could we offer Him anything less than everything we have and everything we are?

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

“…Decided to Kill Lazarus, Too”

10 Then the leading priests decided to kill Lazarus, too, – John 12:10 NLT

John 12:9-11 NLT

Sin always takes us further than we want to go. The leaders had planned to kill Jesus and now they would have to kill Lazarus as well. How many others would have to die before the movement was stopped? We don’t know because Christians are still being killed today for their faithfulness to Jesus. The persecuted church of today will tell you that it is much harder to live for Jesus than it is to die for Him. Would we suffer and die for Jesus? Jesus said that we must be willing to do that.

34 Then Jesus called the crowd to him, along with his followers. He said, “If people want to follow me, they must give up the things they want. They must be willing even to give up their lives to follow me. 35 Those who want to save their lives will give up true life. But those who give up their lives for me and for the Good News will have true life.–Mark 8:34-35 (NCV)

Have we made that commitment? Can we say along with Paul:

10 I want to know Christ and the power that raised him from the dead. I want to share in his sufferings and become like him in his death.11 Then I have hope that I myself will be raised from the dead.–Philippians 3:10, 11 (NCV)

The great thing is that for us, it is a win-win situation. Paul put it this way:

21 For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better.–Philippians 1: 21 (NLT)

“Could This Be THE Christ?”

29 “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?”  – John 4:29 NKJV

“I AM”

For hundreds upon hundreds of years, generation after generation had heard the story, “Messiah is coming”. Could Jesus possibly be the long awaited Messiah? The woman hears all that Jesus said to her, but like so many today, she is not totally convinced. “Could he possibly be the Messiah?”
HE WAS–Jesus’ answer takes us all the way back to Exodus:

14 God replied to Moses, “I ​AM​ who ​I ​AM​. Say this to the people of Israel: I ​AM​ has sent me to you.​”​–Exodus 3:14 (NLT)

​He IS— Just as He came to this woman, His Holy Spirit comes to each of us today.
​HE ALWAYS WILL BE​—Just as the people back then waited for the Messiah, we wait for Him to return. There are still people that doubt the truthfulness of the Bible, but God has never failed to deliver on His promises. I stand firmly with Job when He said:

“But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and he will stand upon the earth at last.–Job 19:25 (NLT)

People get ready! Jesus is coming again!

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

Post 03-16-2020

“Show God’s Love”

 5 May the Lord direct your lives as you show God’s love and Christ’s endurance. — 2 Thess. 3:5 GW

2 Thess; 3:1-5 NLT

None of us have reached perfection and we won’t as long as we inhabit these tents of flesh. Therefore, we need the prayers of our Christian brothers and sisters just as they need us to pray for them. We need Spiritual and physical strength to carry on God’s Kingdom work here on earth. “The harvest is great, but the workers are few” so we need to pray and ask God to send laborers into the fields.(Matt 9:37,38 paraphrased). We need to ask God to guard our thoughts because the mind is the spiritual battlefield where our personal battles are won or lost. The Lord is faithful. He has promised that we will not be tempted above our ability to resist and that He will always provide a way out for us. We don’t always find the way out because the flesh gets great pleasure from wallowing in its old sinful ways. We need to pray for each other that we will continue to do the things that God has commanded us to do. When we practice doing the right things, we receive more understanding and patience which allows us to better show sinners the greatness of God’s love toward us and them.

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

Post 10-16-2019

“Leaning On Jesus”

11 You will teach me how to live a holy life.  Being with you will fill me with joy; at your right hand I will find pleasure forever.   — Psalm 16:11 NCV

Psalm 16:5 -11 NCV

Just as we would never leave physical babies alone to fend for themselves, neither should we leave Spiritual babies alone to fend off satan all by themselves. The great commission of Matthew 28 says to “go and make disciples”.  Making disciples or teaching a new baby in Christ to walk requires us to give up our most valuable non-renewable possession – time. We need to give of our time to teach new converts the value of daily prayer and meditating on the Scriptures.  We need to spend time with them teaching them that being saved does not mean that we will never be offended or that we will never fail.  We need to spend enough time with them to be sure that they understand that those offenses and failures does not mean that God does not love them.  God is, in fact, right there with them all of the time. He never sleeps nor slumbers and He never leaves us alone. Every time we fall, He is there to pick us up, clean us up, wrap His arms around us and love us until the pain goes away.  Most of all, we must teach them that their Helper lives right inside of them and is always there to teach, lead and guide  and help them to stand.

“The closer I get to the end of my life, it seems the only question that matters, Is the life I am living pleasing to God?” – Ken Gire In “Sacred”J

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

Post 03-05-2019

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

Giving Our All to Jesus

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17 “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. 18 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”–John 10:17,18 (NIV)
The Holy Spirit has been given to us as our guide, but He will never make us do anything against our own will. We have the power and the authority to make the same decision that Jesus made. We can decide to hold onto our earthly, physical lives if that is what we want or we can decide to put our lives on the cross that Jesus gives us to bear. We will never do this as long as our own pride and other people’s opinions of us are more important than pleasing God. There is one funeral that we all need to attend and that is the death and burial of our fleshly desires. Anything that we put above our love and obedience for God has to be removed. It is a decision that Jesus had to make and so must we. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus ended His prayer with “not My will but thine be done”. So should our prayer be as well.
44 Now it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. 45 Then the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two. 46 And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.’” Having said this, He breathed His last.–Luke 23:44-46 (NIV)
Are we ready to commit our whole lives, mind, soul, body, and spirit into the hands of God? The way of the cross leads home, but we have to go through the cross, the blood and the darkness to get there.

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

Post 01-08-2018

God Remains Faithful

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13 If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful,
    for he cannot deny who he is. — 2 Tim. 2:13 NLT
 
We are told in Isaiah 55:11 that God’s Word will not return to Him void but it will accomplish that which He has sent it out to do. Therefore, no matter in what situation we find ourselves, we should always be witnessing. If we listen to our Christian brothers and sisters in such places as Eritrea, China, Korea, and other countries where they are being persecuted, it seems that perhaps, the worse the situation, the more effective is God’s Word. These brothers and sisters consider it an honor to be chosen to bear the Cross of Jesus, even unto death. We need to reach that point in our spiritual walk that we would give our lives rather than deny Jesus. Paul said this:

21 To me the only important thing about living is Christ, and dying would be profit for me.–Philippians 1:21 (NCV)

We should understand that Jesus’s faithfulness brought Him to death on the cross. Should the created expected to be treated better than the Creator?

 

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

Post 04-06-2017

Dead, Yet Alive With Christ!

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And God will use this persecution to show his justice and to make you worthy of his Kingdom, for which you are suffering. — 2 Thess. 1:5 NLT

Most Christians in the Western World have not experienced the kind of persecution to which Paul is referring. Probably the worst persecution that we receive is losing (temporarily, hopefully) the friendship of someone close to us because of our belief in the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Here, Paul is talking about those early Christians who gave their lives for the Gospel. I would guess that most of us have wondered, at some time or other, how far we would go for the Gospel. Would I really lay down my life for Jesus?  Paul tells us that we should consider our physical bodies as dead already. 

For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. – Col. 3:3 NKJV

Since this is true, we should consider our physical bodies already dead. But our Spirit will always be alive because of what Jesus did for us at Calvary. So, if we are attempting to live the lifestyle that Jesus wants us to, isn’t the decision already made? We agreed to die with Christ and mortify (put to death) our fleshly desires so that we will be raised with Christ in our new immortal bodies. It is all about faith and trust. Will God do what He said or not? The answer is “Yes, of course, He will.” In His mercy, He will protect and perfect us and in His justice, He will repay the persecutors


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

Post 03-22-2017

Christ Lives In Us!

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 Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us  — Col. 3:11b NLT

As Christ becomes more real to us, and as we learn to be obedient to the urging of His Spirit abiding in us, we realize more and more, the weaknesses we have and our inability to control them. Until we can say “I can’t but Jesus can”, we will always have these temptations of the flesh. We have to allow Jesus to control our urges and desires. The more we allow Him to do so, that much more of our sinful nature is stripped away and we put on more of His nature. It doesn’t matter what your ethnicity or your past is. The only thing that matters is Christ in us. Since we are God’s holy people, we must clothe ourselves with His characteristics. Love, mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience is what Jesus looks like. What about us, what do people see when they look at us?

Gal. 5:22-26 NLT


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

Post 03-10-2017