“Live In Complete Harmony”

5 May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus — Romans 14:5 NLT

Romans 13:1-7 NLT

As the years pass, the percentage of people attending church on a regular basis declines.  Instead of growing stronger and influencing the society around us, the body of Christ grows weaker and weaker.  Jesus warned us that a house divided could not stand.  Yet, we have allowed satan to come in and use the differences in our denominations to divide us rather than focusing on our common ground and encouraging each other.  Paul told us over and over how important it is for Christians to stand together as one body, the body of Christ.  We are no longer able to stand because we refuse to stand together.  Instead, the body of Christ is ripped apart from the inside because of our lack of love for Christ and each other.  When we disparage and discourage our brothers and sisters, we violate the two greatest commands.  The commands to love our Lord with all our hearts, mind, and strength and our neighbors as ourselves.  Is it any wonder that the outsiders look at the Church and decide not to become a part of the family?  We must show the world the love of Jesus and the peace and the joy that comes with that love rather than the image of a torn and decaying body.  We get enough of that from the society around us.  As long as the foundation is the name of Jesus, Jesus alone, no other name and no other way, the houses can be different and still compliment each other.

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

Post 04-14-2019

“For You Have Been Born Again”

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23 For you have been born again-1 Peter 1:23a ISV
Having received Jesus Christ as our Savior, we are being purif

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ed by His grace and His love. He has placed His Spirit within us to teach us to love others as He loves us.  This change will not come overnight, but it will come if we practice listening to and following the Holy Spirit.  Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit to guide us and to teach us all truth.  As we obey that voice of truth that is within us, we will learn to appreciate the love that Jesus has for us and we will reciprocate by showing that love to others.  At first, it may just be words that we speak, but as we allow the Holy Spirit to be a bigger part of our life, we will find that we really do love and care for others.  With humility and patience, that love will evolve into something similar, but not nearly as great as the love that Jesus shows to us.  As John the Baptist said about Jesus “He must increase, I must decrease”. so, it must be true in our lives as well.  We must think of ourselves less and less and of Jesus and others more and more. The flesh perishes and decreases while the Spirit is imperishable and increases.  This is the Word that was preached to us and is alive and living in us.  Everything will perish except the Word of Jesus, it will stand forever. Just as Jesus was determined to go to the cross knowing that glory awaited Him on the other side, we need to be firm in our stand regardless of the personal cost knowing the hope that we have to spend an eternity with Him in His glory.

 

51 As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. — Luke 9:51 NIV

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

Post 08-21-2018

Does My Love Reach the Mark?

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Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. – 1 Cor. 13:7 NLT
 
What if our every thought had to pass a test before it could be converted to spoken words or to actions?
Does this thought show others that I have patience?
Does it show kindness?
Is it truthful?
Does it show concern?
Does it reflect my trust in God?
Does it show the hope I have in Jesus?
Will it help me or those around me to endure trials and persevere?

All the above should be answered with a “Yes”
All the below should be answered with a “No” 

Is it boastful? 
Does it make me appear to be envious?
Does it disrespect or harm others?
Is it just for my benefit?
Is it a knee jerk response to something that has angered me?
Is it a resentment caused by past actions?
If it fails in any area, we need to reconsider before we speak or act.

26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” ​ –​- Matt. 19:26 NIV

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

Post 04-05-2018

Follow-Up on New Converts

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17 Those false teachers are so eager to win your favor, but their intentions are not good. They are trying to shut you off from me so that you will pay attention only to them. – Gal. 4:17 NLT

When Paul came to a new town, it was usually his practice to preach first to the Jews, if any were living there, and then to the Gentiles. This was the case in Galatia. Of course, the newly converted Jews would be under pressure from the religious leaders to turn back to the law and the old covenant. The newly converted Gentiles would be pressured by the local leaders to turn back to their practice of worshiping idols. The leaders were zealous in trying to turn the people back to these old ways but for the wrong reason. Both the religious leaders and the local leaders were dependent on the people for their livelihood. Paul says it is good to be zealous for the right reasons, but they must be strong enough to stand even when he is not with them. Since they were not able to stand alone, he must now treat them again as babies in Christ. Today, we have the same situation because we “go and make converts” and then we leave them to fend for themselves.Jesus said to “go and make disciples”. Receiving Jesus as your Savior without any further instructions is not likely to make many disciples. Mentoring others takes a lot of love, patience, kindness, and time.

Matt. 28:18-20 NLT


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

Post 01-10-2018

Wait!

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38 “What is truth?” Pilate asked. Then he went out again to the people and told them, “He is not guilty of any crime. – John 18:38 NLT

Jesus states that the purpose of His being born and coming into the world was to tell people the truth. Now, Pilate asks the ages-old question–“What is truth?”
(Maybe this is where the old cliche comes from–“You wouldn’t recognize the truth if it was standing right in front of you.) Before Jesus answers this question, Pilate turns to leave and goes out to the crowd again. Does this remind you of anything that we do on a regular basis? We pray and earnestly seek God, then we get up and go about our business without giving Him time to answer our prayers. When we get to heaven, we will find out that Jesus answered all of our prayers, we just didn’t hang around to hear the answer. How rude of us! What if we were having a serious conversation with someone and just when we were getting to our point, they just got up and walked out of the room. We do it to Jesus all the time. Instead of being in such a hurry, take the advice of the Psalmist.

13 Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living.​ 14 ​Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.—Psalm 27:13, 14 (NLT)
Don’t talk to God, talk with God. The first few minutes after talking with God, we need to just “be still and know that He is God”.

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

Post 12-05-2017

The Same Joy as Jesus!

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11 I have told you these things so that you can have the same joy I have and so that your joy will be the fullest possible joy. – John 15:11 NCV
 

Jesus wants each of us to know the same joy that He knew because of His relationship with the Father. Because of the Holy Spirit, we have access to that same joy. Happiness is temporary and fleeting but the joy that we have is a fruit of the Spirit. Since the Spirit never leaves us, we always have access to that joy.
22 But the Spirit produces the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness–Gal. 5:22 (NCV)
We also have access to the same love and the same knowledge. As we learn to love Jesus, obedience becomes an act of adoration and not an act of obligation. One of the results of loving Jesus is that we will also love those around us and it will be easy to show them that we love them thus making it easier to obey the command that we should love each other. The Holy Spirit produces love and joy all the time. The question for us is this: If we are not full of love and joy, why not? Maybe we need to check our connection to the flow of the Spirit. Or as Zig Ziglar said (and I paraphrase here) We need a “checkup from the neck up to get rid of stinking thinking and replace it with an attitude of gratitude”.

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

Post 11-10-2017

God’s Perfect Timing

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You go on. I’m not going to this festival, because my time has not yet come.” ​ – John 7:8 NLT


Jesus knew that He would be going down to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Tabernacles. It was one of the three festivals that required all Jews to go to Jerusalem to celebrate. He also knew that He could not take a large entourage with Him to attract attention to Himself. If Jesus was discovered in Judea (the region between Galilee and Jerusalem), He knew He would be detained and possibly killed. If He were murdered by those hired by the religious leaders before His time and in the wrong manner, then He would not be able to fulfill all prophecy concerning His death. How many times have we missed God’s best plan for us because we ran ahead and did a “good” thing? God has a specific plan and a specific timing for all of us to accomplish His plan. If we miss it, someone else can do our job, but no one else was, is, or ever will be qualified to take the place of Jesus. Between “good” and “God” , there is only one little “o” of difference. But, OH! what a difference it makes. Not in God’s eternal plan which will be accomplished whether we cooperate or not. The difference is in how God can use us here and, more importantly, in the rewards we lay up in heaven.


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

Post 09-12-2017