Saved – Part 3 – Learning to Stand

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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
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.
Post 07-07-2016

God or Man?

even-smaller-bug-light112 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 collecters and disreputable sinners.  The Pharisess 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.  W​ith w​ho​m​ 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 authoirty 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 gainng 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

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Loss is Gain

even-smaller-bug-light11 So when we could stand it no longer, we thought it best to be left by ourselves in Athens. 2 We sent Timothy, who is our brother and co-worker in God’s service in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith, 3 so that no one would be unsettled by these trials. For you know quite well that we are destined for them. 4 In fact, when we were with you, we kept telling you that we would be persecuted. And it turned out that way, as you well know. 5 For this reason, when I could stand it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith. I was afraid that in some way the tempter had tempted you and that our labors might have been in vain. — 1 Thess. 3:1-5 NIV

Paul continues to show his love and concern for the new converts in all the places he has been preaching and teaching. He does this not only by sending letters to several of the churches with instructions to share them with others, but also, by sending Timothy and others back to encourage them and check on their welfare.  It seems to have become a tendency for us to only talk about the love of God for us.  Unlike Paul, we do not stress the fact that the road is not always smooth.  In our lives as Christians, we will experience difficulties of various sorts and we will be offended, We need to be sure that new converts understand this while assuring them of the love of Jesus.  We will be tempted over and over but God always provides a way out. Jesus promised us that we would have troubles, but at the same time, He reminded us that He had overcome the world.
33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” — John 16:33
Not only did Jesus overcome the world, but he made it possible for us to be conquerors and overcomers as well.  
4 You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. — 1 John 4:4
After we have taught new converts John 3:16, let us not forget to also teach them another verse, so when duty calls they will be ready to answer.

23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. — Luke 9:23, 24 NIV

Post 10-26-2015

Faith–The Evidence of Things Not Seen

God is waiting to show you the way.

God is waiting to show you the way.

23 Faith led Moses’ parents to hide him for three months after he was born. They did this because they saw that Moses was a beautiful baby and they were not afraid to disobey the king’s order.​ 24 When Moses grew up, faith led him to refuse to be known as a son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to suffer with God’s people rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a little while. 26 He thought that being insulted for Christ would be better than having the treasures of Egypt. He was looking ahead to his reward.​ 27 Faith led Moses to leave Egypt without being afraid of the king’s anger. Moses didn’t give up but continued as if he could actually see the invisible God.–Hebrews 11:23-27 (GW)
​Pharaoh​ had ordered the midwives to kill all the male children at birth, but Moses’ parents had faith that God would take care of their son so they hid him for three months. Then, by faith, they put in a basket in the Nile so that he might be discovered by the Egyptians. Pharaoh’s daughter probably never realized that she had been chosen by God to play a huge part in the deliverance of God’s children from Egypt. Moses was taken care of very well by the Egyptians. Later, by faith, he refused to carry on the masquerade, but rather chose to suffer with his Hebrew brethren. By faith, he realized that being offended for God was better than anything the world had to offer him. By faith, Moses stood against Pharaoh and without fear, he led the Israelites out of Egypt taking tons of their wealth with them. By faith, He followed the instructions of an invisible God and went out looking for a city not made by hands, his heavenly reward. By faith, Moses understood that
No one can please God without faith.​ Whoever goes to God must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who seek him.–Hebrews 11:6 (GW)
​We must remain faithful even when we can’t see the end result with our human eyes. We must press on knowing that we shall receive our rewards.
Post 08-01-14

Don’t Lose Your Confidence

God is waiting to show you the way.

God is waiting to show you the way.

32 Remember the past, when you first learned the truth. You endured a lot of hardship and pain. 33 At times you were publicly insulted and mistreated. At times you associated with people who were treated this way. 34 You suffered with prisoners. You were cheerful even though your possessions were stolen, since you know that you have a better and more permanent possession. 35 So don’t lose your confidence. It will bring you a great reward. 36 You need endurance so that after you have done what God wants you to do, you can receive what he has promised.–Hebrews 10:32-36 (GW)
Early Christians had to suffer various kinds of persecution. They were beaten, imprisoned and insulted. They were also dressed in animal skins and used as prey for the dogs in the Coliseum to entertain the ruling class in Roman society. Eleven of the twelve disciples were martyred. We here in America know little or nothing about being persecuted for our beliefs. Until recently, we have enjoyed true freedom of worship and religious expression. That is changing now, Christians are being forced out of their jobs because they refuse to accept immoral principles that are in direct conflict with our Biblical beliefs. We need to stay in prayer, studying God’s Word and encouraging one another. Jesus told us that the time was coming when we would be tested.
9 “Then they will hand you over to those who will torture and kill you. All nations will hate you because you are committed to me. 10 Then many will lose faith. They will betray and hate each other. 11 Many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.–Matthew 24:9-11 (GW)
​We al​ready see this happening in many parts of the world. But remember what Paul said to encourage us.
37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.
38 For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.–Romans 8:37-39 (KJV21)

​If​ we remain faithful. God is faithful to do what He has promised.