“You Were Running the Race So Well”

7 You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth? 8 It certainly isn’t God, for he is the one who called you to freedom.– Galatians 5:7-8 NLT

The new converts had started off “on fire” but now they were being hampered by those around them. Let each of us think back to the time that we accepted Jesus as our Savior and Lord. Now, let each of us compare our enthusiasm and boldness for telling others about Jesus then and our enthusiasm and boldness for doing that now. Who or what “cut in on us” or kept us from spreading the Good News about salvation. Was it the mocking of “friends” or the cares of this world that hampered us? Are we more concerned about other people’s opinions of us than we are about what Jesus thinks about us? Does it even matter if we tell others about Jesus and His mercy? Do we think that Jesus isn’t watching? Or do we do the things we do and act the way we act because we know that Jesus will forgive us but our family, friends and neighbors might not? That kind of thinking does not come from the Holy Spirit.

1​ ​Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us​.​–Hebrews 12:1​ (​NIV)

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

“Purify Your Hearts”

8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.– James 4:8-10 NLT

James 4:7-10 NLT

We need to make up our minds — are we for the Lord or are we for the world? How long will we waver between two opinions? This was the recurring problem that the children of Israel had.

21 Then Elijah stood in front of them and said, “How much longer will you waver, hobbling between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him! But if Baal is God, then follow h​​im!” But the people were completely silent.–1 Kings 18:21 (NLT)

Since we know that God is God, we need to allow Him to be Lord of every part of our life. He will accept nothing less. We need to repent of our sins and God will restore us. God does not wink at sin and He doesn’t have a list that ranges from “little” sin to the “biggest” sin. He puts liars in the same category with thieves and murderers. We need to allow Him to “create in us a clean heart and renew a right Spirit within us”. Unconfessed sin in our lives breaks our relationship with God. We are still saved but until we repent, God is unable to bless us the way He longs to. We need to humble ourselves before Him and allow Him to cleanse us and revive us again.

So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.–1 Peter 5:6 (NLT)

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

Post 01-01-2020

Building Relationships

1  Blessed is the man  Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;– Psalm 1:1 NKJV

Psalm 1 NLT

Verse 1 of Psalm 1 shows a progression of acts;  walking, standing, sitting.  Isn’t this how we usually progress in making friends with people?  First, it is a casual meeting where a few words are exchanged.  If we find that enjoyable, the next encounter, we spend a little more time with them. After the casual greeting, we start a conversation about something that is of interest to both of us so we stand around and chat.  After a few of these sessions, we decide to have coffee (or whatever your preferred beverage is) and we sit together.  By this time, the relationship has developed to the point that our words and opinions are influencing the other person.  Either they are influencing us to agree with them or we are influencing them to agree with our opinions and beliefs.  We may do this without any conscious knowledge of it as it happens.  That is the warning in verse 1.  Don’t do these things with the wrong people.  As new Christians, we need to spend our time meditating on God’s Word so that we will be prepared to witness to sinners.  Once God has prepared us, then we can sit and talk with sinners for a while.  As we mature spiritually, there are still times that we need to withdraw from worldly conversations to pray and meditate, just as Jesus did on several occasions.  We need to refuel for the next encounter that God has planned for us. On this earth, there will never be a time that we are so mature spiritually that we can abandon the reading of God’s word.  It we think that we have reached that point, that is pride and we are headed for a fall.

“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”

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

Post 02-16-2019

Agree With One Another

even-smaller-bug-light1

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

Post 01-23-2018