To Live or to Die?

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21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died. – John 11:21 NLT

As Jesus traveled toward Bethany, He learned that Lazarus had been buried four days ago. Many had already come out to comfort Mary and Martha about the loss of their brother. Martha heard that Jesus was coming and ran out to meet Him, but Mary stayed home. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” She had no idea that this death would be used for the glory of God. But Jesus assured her that Lazarus would live again. Martha, still not understanding, thought Jesus was referring to the final resurrection. But Jesus told her that those that believe in Him will never die. Jesus asked Martha if she believed this. She said, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ…. “. But her answer did not acknowledge what Jesus had asked her. If she truly believed, would she have thought that Lazarus died just because Jesus wasn’t physically present?
The Holy Spirit had not yet been sent to remain on the earth and would not be here until Jesus ascended, so we can understand how Martha and the others might have thought that Jesus had to be physically present to heal Lazarus. But, thank God, we have His promise that Christ, in the form of the Holy Spirit, abides in us and that we are in Christ Jesus. We are never without Jesus. He will never leave us or forsake us.

20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.—1 John 5:20 (NASB)
If we truly believe this, why do we worry and fret? Isn’t dying for and in Christ to be much more desired than living in this sinful world? As Paul said:

To Live or to Die


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

Post 10-12-2017

“River Run Deep”

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 38 Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’” – John 7:38 NLT
 

 

Jesus tells the crowd the same thing He had told the Samaritan woman at the well. There is water which we can drink and never be thirsty again. This water is the living water which is the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity. The One that takes up His abode in us, so that we are always being filled and refilled, so that we could never be thirsty. Just as the woman at the well had accepted this message, so did some of the crowd here in Jerusalem. They said “this man surely is the prophet”. But others said He can’t be, the Messiah will not come from Galilee. There will always be people who refuse to believe regardless of the signs or the situation. But, instead of being puzzled as to why they don’t believe, we should remember our own history before we accepted Jesus as our Savior and Lord.
3 For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit—Titus ​3​:3-5 (NLT)
Because we have been redeemed by God’s grace and mercy, we should remember to always be thankful and pray that others will accept this free gift of God’s mercy and grace. That is the work that God has given us to do as laborers in His harvest.


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

Post 09-19-2017

True Food and True Drink

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55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.  –John 6:55 NLT


Earthly food sustains the natural, fleshly body. Just as earthly food rots away, so does the fleshly body grow old and die, But if we partake of the living bread that came down from heaven and drink the blood of Jesus, we will have eternal life. Jesus is, of course, not talking about cannabilism. He is talking about us hearing and accepting His Word, which is the Bread of Heaven and receiving the Holy Spirit, which is the well that will never run dry. This is why we can say that we have Jesus abiding in us. Jesus lives because the Father who sent Him to us lives. He is the Creator of everything and breathed His life into us at our Creation. The fleshly tents we live in now will die and decay, but we, who have accepted Jesus as our Savior and Lord, will live forever. As the Holy Spirit, Jesus lives in us and we are in Christ Jesus by His doing
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30 But​ ​by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption—1 Cor. 1:30 (NASB)


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

Post 09-09-2017

“Give Me This Water”

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15 “Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.” — John 4:15

”Give me this water!” Do you feel the urgency in this woman’s voice as she asks Jesus for the living water? She didn’t quite understand what Jesus was saying, but she knew she wanted some of whatever it was that He had. Do you remember when you reached the point that you had to have a drink of the living water? Right now, where you are, there are hundreds upon hundreds of people still crying out for this living water. They, too, want something, but they are not sure of what it is they want. But you and I know there is only one thing that is going to fill that emptiness inside of them. We have the Living Water flowing in us, will we be kind enough to offer them a drink? Will we take the time to tell them about Jesus?


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

Post 8-17-2017

“Where He Leads Me, I Will Follow”

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43 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Come, follow me.” – John 1:43 NLT
 

Once we answer the call to “come and see” and we have “tasted and seen” that the Lord is good, our next step is to follow the Lord. While the plan of salvation is simple and free, following the example that Jesus set for us is not easy and it is not free. He gave up His glory in heaven, came to earth and died for us. Should the created expect to do less than that for His Creator? From the worldly point of view, this is asking a lot, but from God’s point of view, it is the best thing that you can do. The only way to save your life is to let it go.

33 If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it—Luke 17:33 (NLT)


For our sake, Jesus laid down His life, so that He could take it up again to be our Redeemer and Lord. So, we must lay down our lives for His sake.


23 Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me. 24 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. 25 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but are yourself lost or destroyed?—Luke 9:23-25 (NLT)


”Come, follow me”! When we decide to this for Jesus, we find a life that is truly worth living.


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

Post 08-04-2017

Christlike Lifestyle

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14 Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. — Hebrews 12:14 NLT

Our salvation is by grace through faith, not by works and it is a free gift. But living a holy, peaceful life requires diligence. We must stay in God’s Word and depend on the leadership of God’s Spirit. To accomplish this, we must be sure that we forgive others so that no root of bitterness springs up in our hearts and pushes out the love that we should have. We must look after each other and teach others to lead a Godly, moral life. This should be done humbly and modestly, not trying to bring glory to ourselves but focusing on Jesus. Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess, but we must encourage others to do it now and not wait until it is too late. God’s Spirit will not always strive with men. So, pray that others will accept the free gift before it is too late, at the same time, being sure that we don’t fall to temptation.

41 Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak! – Matt. 26:41 NLT

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

Post 05-15-2017

 

Faithful Talk and a Faithful Walk!

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16 Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you. – 1 Tim. 4:16 NLT

We should not only teach the Word, we should live the Word, so that those around us will want to know Jesus. Our age, be it young or old chronologically, should not be a handicap to our living a Holy lifestyle. There are people who accept Jesus Christ as their Savior but they make little or no progress from that point. We are to focus on studying the Scriptures and using the spiritual gifts that God has given to each one of us. If any of us refuse to do our part as a member of Christ’s body, then the body is not whole and it is weak. As Paul told Timothy “give your complete attention to these things and throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see our growth”. For our own sake and the sake of those around us, we must stay true to what we know to be the truth. Our walk and our talk should be holy. As Francis of Assisi said “Preach the Gospel, even if you have to use words.”

James 1:22-25 NLT


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

Post 03-29-2017

Prayer, Praise, Thanksgiving

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27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. — Romans 8:27 NLT

Living out the love of God in our lives effectively requires us to spend time in prayer. There are times when we know that we need to pray but we just don’t quite know how to approach God about it. Just start a simple prayer and we find that suddenly we are praying about someone or something that we had not planned. There are times when we may be so compassionate about something that we just run out of words to pray. Just remain quietly in the attitude of prayer and God’s Holy Spirit will search your heart and communicate the words to God. While all this is going on, remember that we have an advocate (Jesus) with the Father who is also praying for us. Our simple prayers become effective prayers because the Trinity is praying with us and for us, separately and in unity. This should cause us to pray believing that God will answer us in his own time.  Because we believe He will answer we should always include praise and thanksgiving in our prayers. We can never thank him enough or too often for sending His Son Jesus to redeem us from our sins

Luke 1:68-70 NLT


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

Post 12-22-2016

Show Them That We Care

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Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. — Philippians 2:4
If we have the same mindset as Christ Jesus, we will always show the love that we have for others. We must always put Jesus first, then others next.  The only way the world will know that we love Jesus is if we show that love to them and to each other.  Jesus loved us to the point of laying down His life for us, even while we were still sinners.  How much of your life are you willing to lay down to witness to your neighbors?  Laying down our lives for others is about more than just taking time to talk to them, it is also about living a Holy life before them.  Jesus has commanded us and He has also given us the power to speak words of life to those that He puts in our paths.  But they won’t listen to us, if our walk doesn’t reflect our talk.  As the saying goes, people don’t care what we know until they know that we care.  Let each of us show how much we care by showing compassion in every situation. 
 
Post 10-05-2016

Why?

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27 For the hearts of these people are hardened,    and their ears cannot hear,
and they have closed their eyes—
so their eyes cannot see,
and their ears cannot hear,
and their hearts cannot understand,
and they cannot turn to me
and let me heal them.’ — Acts 28:27 NLT
 
 
The Jewish leaders there in Rome had already heard the message of Jesus. They wanted to hear it again from Paul and to hear what he believed.  Any time and every time the name of Jesus is mentioned, it requires that we make a decision.  Whether we decide to reject Him, accept Him or to think about it, we make a decision.  Some of these leaders were persuaded to believe by what Paul said and others were not.  It is a mystery to us why all the people hear the same message but some respond positively and some respond negatively.  Did Paul quit preaching the Word because some refused to believe?  No!  For two years, Paul supported himself and continued to tell others about the Good News.  Paul understood that the results of his preaching the Word were not up to Him.  His part was to continue to be obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit.  We are to do the same thing.  Keep preaching and/or teaching and not be discouraged because we don’t see any results.  The results are up to the Lord and the Holy Spirit, not to us.  We will see the results when we get to heaven. Until then we just keep living out God’s plan for each of us and let Him handle the results.
 
Post 07-31-2016