We Plant – He Gives The Increase

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During the forty days after he suffered and died, he appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. And he talked to them about the Kingdom of God. Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” — Acts 1:3-5 NLT

Jesus spent forty days on earth after His resurrection.  He would often appear to the apostles and talk with them, giving them further instructions about what they should do and how they should do it.  The most important instruction was not to leave Jerusalem until they had been baptized with the Holy Spirit.  That instruction is still just as important to God’s children today.  When God calls us to do something specific for the Kingdom, we should immerse ourselves in prayer and wait for the moving of the Holy Spirit before we attempt anything.  The reason for this is that we are merely mouths, hands and feet for God, He will accomplish the work to be done.  What God speaks to us, we speak to others.  We take the message wherever He instructs us to take it and we minister to those who He puts in our path.  That is how the message gets to the ends of the world.  We are carriers, He is the activator.  The results are not in our hands, they are in His hands.  We are to be concerned about being obedient and God will take care of the results.

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

Post 11-23-2018

Show Mercy

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12 When Jesus heard this, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.” 13 Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” — Matt. 9:12, 13 NLT

This statement by Jesus is in answer to the Pharisees who were complaining about Jesus and His disciples eating with sinners. Jesus had just called Matthew to come and follow Him.  Matthew had  invited Jesus and His disciples to his home to have dinner with him and some other tax collectors and disreputable sinners.  The Pharisees had referred to the group as scum (verse 11).
Jesus knew that the Pharisees would not accept Him and His teachings because they thought they were righteous already.  With whom do we spend our time outside the church building?  Do we, as the disciples of Jesus, spend all of our time with other Christians or do we seek the lost and minister to them?  Do we have a missionary mentality or is it “We four and no more”? Jesus was sent to seek and to save the lost.  Because He did that, He was rejected, offended, persecuted and eventually hung on a cross.  He commanded us to do the same and gave us the authority to do just that.  When we do that, we stand the chance of being rejected, offended and criticized for “eating with scum”?  Suffering these things puts us in the same group with Jesus and God is pleased with us.  Which is better, to live a lifestyle that pleases God and lay up eternal rewards or to live a lifestyle that pleases men gaining worldly rewards but losing our own souls?

20 Of course, you get no credit for being patient if you are beaten for doing wrong. But if you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you.
21 For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps. 
— 1 Peter 2:20,21 NLT
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 09-25-2018

“Like A Mother Cares For Her Child”

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Instead, we were gentle[ among you, like a nursing mother tenderly caring for her own children. – 2 Thess. 2:7b ISV
 
Paul sets a great example for us to follow when we are witnessing to others. We should be doing this because our hearts’ desire is to show others the love that we have for them. We have this love for them because of the love Jesus has for us. No other motive is needed, not money, not fame, not popularity.  Even while spending his life as a missionary, Paul worked as a tentmaker, so that his presence would not be a financial burden on those to whom he was speaking. He and his companions did their best to mirror the lifestyle of Jesus, their Lord and Savior. Because Jesus cared enough to die for us, Paul spent his life in caring for others, just like a Mother cares for her children.  Not only was he concerned about their physical welfare, but he cared even more about their spiritual welfare. He didn’t just preach the Gospel message and leave them, he spent time in explaining the scriptures to them and living an obedient lifestyle while he was there with them.  He encouraged, comforted and urged them to live lives worthy of God. In other words, he was “making disciples”, teaching them how to grow in the word and not leaving them as babies without food and no one to feed them. He exemplified God’s love even more by writing letters to them after he had left as well as sending some of his companions back to check on them at times. Jesus’ command was not to “love them and leave them” or to “save them and send them’, it was to make disciples.
 

19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” — Matt. 28:19, 20 NIV

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

Post 07-12-2018

Living the New Life

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Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.– Col. 3:2 
 
When we accept Christ as our Savior it should change the way we assess the things we see and hear.  There should be external evidence of what has taken place inside of us.  Our thoughts and our hearts’ desires should be focused on things above and not on earthly things.  If we find that we are still worried about the things happening around us, particularly those that we can’t control, we need to get into the Scriptures and allow the presence of the Holy Spirit to assure us of God’s omnipotence and omnipresence.  If we find that most of our thoughts are still on the same things that we thought about before, we need to be sure that we have repented.  True repentance will cause a change of some of our habits and our thought patterns. It will cause us to reprioritize the things in our lives. Before, we evaluated things according to worldly standards, now we should be evaluating them according to God’s standards.  We have died and are now hidden in Christ. The flesh does not like this new us. It is a constant battle to put to death all those fleshly desires and satan will surely be coming around to remind you of how much “fun” you were having when you were serving Him. We have to put these fleshly things to death in our minds, while they are still in the idea or thought stage. If we allow them to take root in our mind, we have lost the battle. We cannot do this alone, we have to allow God to accomplish it through and for us.
 
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
Post 07-03-2018

Freely Received, Freely Give

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15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!  ​- 2 Cor. 9:15 NLT​
God doesn’t need our tithes, giving back to God and helping others is how we express our love for Him for all the wonderful things He has done and continues to do for us.  Jesus went about doing good and He expects us to do the same. We should give cheerfully expecting nothing in return.  Our acts of kindness in a world where lifestyles are based on greed will attract others to Jesus .  God doesn’t need any proof of who we are or where we are in our relationship with Him, we do these things to prove to ourselves and those around us that we are true, obedient followers of Jesus. This will show those around us that Jesus makes a difference in how we live and respond to others. We can only do this through the generosity of the grace God has shown to us  Acts of kindness will cause others to praise God and bring us joy. We should continually show forth the praises of God because of the indescribable gift He has given us. The gift of giving. Having received this gift of grace and mercy, we should pass it on to others for the glory of God.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. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. — 1 Peter 2:9, 10 NI​V

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

Post 06-19-2018

Today Is The Day

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1 As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. 2 For he says,‘In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.”I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. — 2 Cor. 6:1​-​2 NIV

Now is the time!  We are not promised the rest of today, much less tomorrow. As we go through our day, let’s take the time to look around..  As we look at each person God puts in our path, we should ask ourself this question:  Should I speak to this person about Jesus?  If we feel that little nudge from the Holy Spirit, don’t hesitate. Speak!  Buts, what ifs, and all those negative thoughts come from the devil. There is no guarantee that they will accept what we are saying, never has been, never will be  We are not responsible for the results of our witnessing. It is our duty to be obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit. There is a guarantee that God’s word will do exactly what it is supposed to do.
 

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 55:10, 11 NIV​

We are sent to rescue the perishing.  Sometimes that requires talking with them

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20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins. — James 5:20 NIV
Post 06-15-18

“Who, Me?”

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12 The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, “Mighty hero, the Lord is with you!” – Judges 6:12

Judges 6:12-16 NLT

We serve a mighty God who is always surprising us by doing things a different way and with the most unlikely  people.  Most of those people say no when they first hear of God’s plan to use them. They have a few things they need help to overcome before they will actually accomplish what God has called them to do. Moses couldn’t talk, Jeremiah was too young and the list goes on and on.  And then of course, there is Jonah who just didn’t want to go to Nineveh because God was too merciful and would end up forgiving the Ninevites. When the Holy Spirit nudges us to do something for the Lord, what is our response?  Are we the not me, Lord, you got the wrong person type? Remember God formed us and He knows exactly what we are capable of, it isn’t so much that He needs us, it is more that He loves us and wants to have an opportunity to bless us.  He can only do that, if we are obedient to His requests.

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

Post 06-02-2018