“By Our Testimony”

11 And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb  and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die. — The Revelation 12:11 NLT

The Revelation 12:7-12 NLT

Oftentimes when I read this verse, I am reminded of summer revivals out in the country.  The revival services were usually scheduled for a week but would often times run longer because there would be a move of the Holy Spirit and God kept adding people to His Kingdom.  The thing that I remember most about these revivals were the testimonies of the good people that came. There was a testimony service every night of the revival. Since the people usually gave pretty much the same testimony, I wondered why they did this night after night.  Now I know there were at least three good reasons.  First of all, it is very encouraging to other Christians to hear a brother or sister testify about the saving grace of Jesus and all of its benefits.  Secondly, it is good practice for learning to talk to others about Jesus in a public setting.  Thirdly and most importantly, our testimonies, not just the spoken ones but the way we live every day, are a huge part of our overcoming satan and his demons.  We defeat satan by reminding Him daily that Jesus shed His blood for our redemption and we do that with the spoken word and our actions.  Brothers and sisters, you may have never stood up all by yourself in a public setting and declared your love for Jesus and thank Him for all that He has done for you.  But, believe this, we testify to what we believe every day.  The outsiders are watching and they see our testimony every where we go every time we go.

“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 02-27-2019

God Does Not Tempt Us

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13 When someone is tempted, he should not say, “I am being tempted by God,” because God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone.  – James 1:13 ISV
When we were born physically, we were born into a sinful world. We live in bodies of flesh that have carnal desires.  Because sin is still in the world and we are all infected and affected by it, we follow(ed) after those fleshly, carnal desires. The lifestyles that we live(d) are/were not pleasing to God. Jesus sent His Son to redeem us from this fallen state.  When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we are born again spiritually, we become new creations in Christ Jesus. We get a new heart with new desires but, the flesh does not just automatically and instantly give up and die.  The old desires are still there and it is a constant, second by second battle to defeat the desires of the flesh.  To kill those fleshly desires, we not only need open heart surgery, but we need major brain surgery.  Our mindset and our attitudes have to be changed. When carnal, evil, unkind, sinful thoughts “pop up” in our minds, we can be sure that those thoughts do not come from God, but, rather from satan and his minions. We must always remember that they are liars and they are here only to destroy us.

8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. — 1 Peter 5:8

We are tempted by these evil thoughts.  If we allow ourselves to be enticed and follow those fleshly desires, they lead us to sin and sin eventually leads to death.
But we have a way out, we have a redeemer and a High Priest who has suffered those same temptations and understands our weaknesses. He defeated satan at the cross, so that we could live full, abundant lives.

 
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 07-28-2018

Watch for the Exit Sign

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14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.—Romans 12:14 NIV

Praying for and blessing those who persecute us is hard.  The flesh wants to scream, strike back and get revenge. Paul tells us this is a constant battle and we know from our own experiences that that is true. Why? Because the flesh wants what it wants and it doesn’t give up easily.
 
18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.–Romans 7:18,19 NIV
 
We were born in sin into a sinful world. We are constantly tempted by the things we see, hear and read. That old father of liars, satan, knows where the chinks in our armor are and he pokes at us through those holes continuously. We are taught the “it’s all about me” philosophy on a daily basis. “You’re okay, I’m okay”  is a lie from the pits of hell. No one is okay without Jesus and no one can do Godly things without the leadership of the Holy Spirit. As long as we live in this old decaying tent of flesh, we will be tempted and we will have to fight a daily battle against those temptations. But, God has not left us alone to do this, He has made provisions for us. There is always a way out.
 

12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.–1 Cor. 10:12,13 NIV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 03-21-2018

“For the Glory of God”

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But when Jesus heard about it he said, “Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.”  – John 11:4 NLT

Lazarus and his sisters were dear friends of Jesus. Mary and Martha sent a messenger to tell Jesus that Lazarus was sick. The messenger and the disciples must have been very surprised at what Jesus said when he heard the message. “This sickness will not end in death, it is for the glory of God”. How could sickness be for the glory of God? They, like us today, look at things from the human standpoint. Why should a friend of Jesus, the Great Physician, or a child of God have to suffer? A better question might be, “Why don’t wretched sinners like us have to suffer more than we do now?” Sin came into the world when man disobeyed God and it will remain in the world until Jesus comes back to establish His Kingdom here on earth. Until that time of restoration comes, we remain under the curse of sin. God gets glory by overcoming the curse of sin. While Jesus was here on earth, He overcame the curse of sin one act at a time. Yes, Jesus could have just spoken a word right where He was when He heard the message or He could have left immediately and gone to Lazarus. He chose not to do either of those things, but waited for 2 days before He left to go to Lazarus. God’s timing is not our timing and His answer is not always what we want to hear, but they are always exactly what is necessary to bring glory to Himself.
8 The Lord says, “My thoughts are not like your thoughts.Your ways are not like my ways. 9 Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts–Jeremiah 55:8, 9 (NCV)
Now we aren’t able to see and understand these things, but one day we will know and understand.
12 It is the same with us. Now we see a dim reflection, as if we were looking into a mirror, but then we shall see clearly. Now I know only a part, but then I will know fully, as God has known me.—1 Cor. 13:12 (NCV)
Until then, we can be comforted with God’s promises and the many gifts He gives each day, 

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

Post 10-10-2017

Testify!

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11 And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb    and by their testimony.
And they did not love their lives so much
that they were afraid to die. — The Revelation 12:11 NLT

 
 

Oftentimes when I read this verse, I am reminded of summer revivals out in the country.  The revival services were usually scheduled for a week but would often times run longer because there would be a move of the Holy Spirit and God kept adding people to His Kingdom.  The thing that I remember most about these revivals were the testimonies of the good people that came. There was a testimony service every night of the revival. Since the people usually gave pretty much the same testimony, I wondered why they did this night after night.  Now I know there were at least three good reasons.  First of all, it is very encouraging to other Christians to hear a brother or sister testify about the saving grace of Jesus and all of its benefits.  Secondly, it is good practice for learning to talk to others about Jesus in a public setting.  Thirdly and most importantly, our testimonies, not just the spoken ones but the way we live every day, are a huge part of our overcoming satan and his demons.  We defeat satan by reminding Him daily that Jesus shed His blood for our redemption and we do that with the spoken word and our actions.  Brothers and sisters, you may have never stood up all by yourself in a public setting and declared your love for Jesus and thank Him for all that He has done for you.  But, believe this, we testify to what we believe every day.  The outsiders are watching and they see our testimony every where we go every time we go.

Post 07-01-2016