“Perfectly United”

10 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.11 My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12 What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.”—1 Cor. 1:10-12 (NIV)

The only way the church at Corinth or any church can be in unity is through the leadership of the Holy Spirit. As long as we follow after fleshly desires, we will each have our own opinion about every little thing. The world sees these things going on in the church and wonders, rightly, what we have that they don’t have. Before two or three people or a group of any size can be united, each individual has to be willing to give up their “rights”. When we go to church or to any group for that matter, we need to leave our egos at the door. As Christians, we do not receive a “bill of rights”. Our leader, Jesus Christ, modeled an attitude of service and good works. If our focus is on what Jesus wants and not what our flesh wants, we will be united in our worship and our service to the community. If we set this example, the world will want what we have.

28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.—Matt. 20:28 (NIV)


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

“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

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

“Pray Without Ceasing”

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Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.

— Col. 4:2 NLT
There seems to be as many opinions on when, what, where, and how to pray as there are people that pray. Paul tell us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17). Jesus admonishes us to ask and keep on asking. Jesus set the example of praying by going off by Himself on several occasions and praying for hours, sometimes all night. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed so long and fervently that He sweat drops of blood. (Doctors say that it is possible for the body to be so stressed that that could happen). When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, He gave them what we call “The Lord’s Prayer”. It is an example of prayer, but the prayer that Jesus prayed for His disciples and us is in John 17. Prayer is not a magic wand that we wave over a problem that arises in our life. Prayer should be something that we do everyday, several times a day. You can pray anywhere, anytime, it is an attitude. It can be as simple as talking with a friend or as formal as you want it to be. It should come from the heart with the expectation that God will hear and answer. Perhaps, in today’s world, we could just think of it as a text message to God. With the added benefit that you can do it while you are driving.


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

Post 03-13-2017

Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.

— Col. 4:2 NLT

There seems to be as many opinions on when, what, where, and how to pray as there are people that pray. Paul tell us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17). Jesus admonishes us to ask and keep on asking. Jesus set the example of praying by going off by Himself on several occasions and praying for hours, sometimes all night. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed so long and fervently that He sweat drops of blood. (Doctors say that it is possible for the body to be so stressed that that could happen). When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, He gave them what we call “The Lord’s Prayer”. It is an example of prayer, but the prayer that Jesus prayed for His disciples and us is in John 17. Prayer is not a magic wand that we wave over a problem that arises in our life. Prayer should be something that we do everyday, several times a day. You can pray anywhere, anytime, it is an attitude. It can be as simple as talking with a friend or as formal as you want it to be. It should come from the heart with the expectation that God will hear and answer. Perhaps, in today’s world, we could just think of it as a text message to God. With the added benefit that you can do it while you are driving

.

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

Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.

— Col. 4:2 NLT

There seems to be as many opinions on when, what, where, and how to pray as there are people that pray. Paul tell us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17). Jesus admonishes us to ask and keep on asking. Jesus set the example of praying by going off by Himself on several occasions and praying for hours, sometimes all night. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed so long and fervently that He sweat drops of blood. (Doctors say that it is possible for the body to be so stressed that that could happen). When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, He gave them what we call “The Lord’s Prayer”. It is an example of prayer, but the prayer that Jesus prayed for His disciples and us is in John 17. Prayer is not a magic wand that we wave over a problem that arises in our life. Prayer should be something that we do everyday, several times a day. You can pray anywhere, anytime, it is an attitude. It can be as simple as talking with a friend or as formal as you want it to be. It should come from the heart with the expectation that God will hear and answer. Perhaps, in today’s world, we could just think of it as a text message to God. With the added benefit that you can do it while you are driving

.

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

Press On!

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14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. — Phil. 3:14 NLT


None of us will achieve perfection while we are clothed in this tent of flesh. However, we can never use that as an excuse for not trying to do better every day. We must keep our eyes and mind focused on Jesus. We must keep pressing onward and upward. Jesus tells us that once we have started the journey with Him, we should never look back Luke 9;61-62 NLT. Forget the past or
satan will use it to beat you up mentally and spiritually every day. God has already forgotten our sinful past. When we grow weary, we should pray and wait upon the Lord, He will give us renewed strength to press on.

Psalm 40:28-31 NLT


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

2-27-2017

Healing Stream

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39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. — Romans 8:39 NLT
 
 
The love of God is perfect and is far too great for the human mind to grasp in its entirety.   How could the Creator of the universe and everything in it stoop to loving us?  Why does He bother Himself to listen to and answer every prayer that we pray?  At our worst, we are wretched sinners and even at our best, we fall so short of being what you created us to be. We can only bow our heads and say with the Psalmist, “what are human beings that you should care for them”?  Yet, you gave up all of your glory in heaven, put on a human body and lived among us.  You revealed your love to us in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Such matchless mercy, such generous grace and such limitless love is more than we can even imagine.  With our sins, we crucify you afresh every day, yet, you continue to forgive us and love us back to you.  Help us, Lord, to love you enough to be channels of your love to those around us.  Even though it may be painful at times, Lord, stretch us and fill us with your love until we overflow, until your love breaks forth from us and washes over those around us bringing them into “the healing stream that flows from Calvary’s mountain”. Amen.
Post 08-10-2016

All For The Glory of God

even-smaller-bug-light115 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16  keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. — 1 Peter 3:1​5, 16 NIV

In the Old and New Testament, the word “heart” refers not to the physical organ, but to the center of all of our life processes.  The “heart” is the seat of our minds, emotions, and wills. ​Therefore, it refers to our thought patterns, our attitudes and our desires. Our thoughts become actions which beome habits which become our lifestyle. The things and/or people that we spend the most time thinking about, in reality, are the things that control our lives.  This is characterized by the following verse:

45 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. — Luke 6:45 NIV
​Revere can be defined as “honor, look up to, or  put on a pedestal”.  A throne is a pedestal and our “hearts” are the center of our lives.  So, if we revere God, we honor Him by putting Him on the throne of our hearts and make Him the center of our lives.  Our decisions and thus, our lifestyles, will be examples of the Person we love and admire the most.  We will want others to follow our Leader.  In light of all this, we need to spend the majority of our time thinking about our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.  If we do this, we will “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”  We need to do this with love, gentleness and respect.  Just as our checkbooks show the patterns of our physical lifestyles, so our conversations show the patterns of our thought life and our spiritual lives. It is a law unto itself:
 

5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. — Romans 8:5 NIV

​So, let us, along with the Psalmist, ask God to create a clean heart in each of us. We need clean hearts if we are going to fulfill the sole purpose for which we were created and that is to glorify God.​
 
31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. — 1 Cor. 10:31 NKJV

No Turning Back

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12 See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end. —- Hebrews 3:12-14 
When Jesus was still here on earth, He warned His disciples about being fooled by false prophets that would arise. These false prophets would claim that Jesus is coming this year or they may even claim to have seen Jesus.
 23 At that time, someone might say to you, ‘Look, there is the Christ!’ Or another person might say, ‘There he is!’ But don’t believe them. 24 False Christs and false prophets will come and perform great wonders and miracles. They will try to fool even the people God has chosen, if that is possible. 25 Now I have warned you about this before it happens. — Matthew 24:23-25 NIV
We have been forewarned of the danger of taking our salvation lightly.  We need to study the Word, pray and meditate on it daily.  Our flesh is weak and can be easily tempted to return to its old sinful ways.  It is up to us to “put on the full armor of God” every day.  The armor of God is designed to fight the spiritual battle that goes on in our minds all day long, every day.  

3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.  — 2 Cor. 10:3-5 NIV

Each day, we need to encourage each other and support each other with our prayers, so that we can persevere.

36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. — Hebrews 10:35 NIV

Post 08-20-2015

Be Alert and Sober

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11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. — Titus 2:11-14 NIV

​When we repented of our sins and received God’s forgiveness, it was the first step of a journey that will eventually take us to heaven to spend an eternity with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Our salvation is secure because we are clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. The change in us, at this point, is internal. Unless that change in our hearts’ desires is manifested externally those around us may not know that we have accepted Jesus. True repentance changes our hearts and our minds. Jesus set the example of what our lifestyle should be. The Holy Spirit, which now dwells in us, inspired the writers of the New Testament to write verse after verse telling us how our lives should change. We now say “no” to those fleshly desires that were once our way of life. Now we say “yes” to the Holy Spirit. Every day is a battle between evil (our flesh) and good (the Spirit). We are in a war and there is no neutral ground. If we aren’t moving forward, then we are losing ground. So, every day, we must arm ourselves with the full armor of God and fight the good fight. 
8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong,firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen — 1 Peter 5:8-11 NIV
Post 08-14-2015

Stay Humble and Faithful

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1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. 3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.–Romans 12:1-3 NIV
​When Paul says “bodies” here, he is talking about more than just the physical body that we see.The Greek word is “soma” which can mean “a sound whole” In other words, Paul is referring to the same things that Jesus listed in Luke 10:27, when He said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind“.  We. like David, need a “heart after God’s heart” and we need “the mind of Christ”  If we have these two things, then we can be sure that our soul is secure in Jesus Christ and it will be our desire to worship God with all of our strength.  Our heart’s desire will be to daily ask God to “create a clean Heart” and “renew a right Spirit” within us. If we do this, our minds will be continually renewed by the Holy Spirit. If we stay in communion with the Holy Spirit who stays in communion with the Father, then we will know God’s will for our lives for this moment. And when you think about it, that is probably all we can handle. We won’t need to know what tomorrow is going to bring, if we don’t make it through today. Stay humble and walk in faith. 

8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you?  To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.—Micah 6:8 NIV

Post 06-28-2015