Do Good Because Someone Is Watching

6 But Peter said, “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!” — Acts 3:6 NLT

Acts 3:1-11 NLT

God has a plan for each of us and following that plan, we will intersect with the plans He has for others.  Every minute detail of every plan is laid out and weaved into the patterns of our lives.  The lame man was laid by the Temple gate every day.  No doubt, Peter, John and even Jesus had passed him before on their way to worship in the Temple.  Why did God choose this particular day to demonstrate His power?   We could say that we don’t know the specific reason and that would be true.  But we can assume without doing any injury to the Scriptures here that there was at least one person present in the crowd that day that needed to see this miracle occur.  Probably more, but at least one, needed to see a lame man made whole.  God doesn’t waste miracles.  He has His reasons for when, where, and why.  We have no idea of how big the impact of this particular miracle became as time passed.  When reading the Bible, it is important to remember that the acts we read about are only a small sampling of what was going on at the time.  One of the people in the crowd may very well have become a church founder or maybe just a missionary to his own family.  Either way, it was necessary for this miracle to happen at this exact moment on this day in front of this crowd.  God excels in doing the extraordinary in ordinary places and times.  Listen for the small, still voice.  He is asking some of us to allow Him to take our ordinary lives and do something extraordinary with them today. At least one of us, maybe more.And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. – Romans 12:1 NLT

“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 02-10-2019

Repent-Turn From-Turn To

31 Jesus answered, “So now you believe?— John 16:31 NCV

John 16:25-33 NCV
If Jesus asked us that question today, could we truthfully answer “Yes, Lord, I truly believe.”?  The disciples had spent the better part of three years with Jesus. They walked with Him, talked with Him, ate with Him and yet, it is only now that they confess that they believe that Jesus came from God. We might think this to be very strange.  Yet, how many times did we hear the story of Jesus from people that we believed and respected, yet we did not accept Him as our Savior?  In my teenage years, I went to the altar and had a very real emotional experience while I was kneeling there.  Yet, when I left that building, my thought patterns and lifestyle were unchanged.   Looking back at that experience years later, I realized that I had not truly accepted Jesus as my Savior and Lord.  It would be years later before I truly repented and turned to Jesus with all my heart.  True repentance will make a change in our thinking and in our lifestyle.  Will it keep us from ever sinning again?  No, the flesh will win some battles, but our response to the conviction of the Holy Spirit  will always be to turn back to Jesus and ask for His forgiveness.  And He will always be there with open arms, waiting to forgive us and restore to our salvation and His peace and joy.  

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

Post 01-29-2019

Mind Control

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12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. — Hebrews 4:12,13 NIV

Since God knows our every thought we need to be very careful of the thought patterns that we allow to develop. Of course, thoughts drift into our mind and that is beyond our control to a point.  But we do have control over whether or not we dwell on those thoughts.  In Corinthians, we are instructed to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ”.  We can also take some control of our thought patterns by making better decisions about the things we read, the things we see, the conversations that we have and the people we associate with daily.  We must be careful that our pride doesn’t lead us into believing that we are influencing others more than they are influencing us. The things and the people that we spend the most time with are the ones that influence us the most. Pride says “I would never” but we all have at some time or other done or said those things that we are not proud of later.  Those things that we did and the words that we spoke are results of thought patterns that we have developed over the years.  We need to ask the Holy Spirit to help us purify our hearts and minds. We can help by studying God’s Word and making it a bigger part of our daily thought patterns.

 11  I have hidden your word in my heart
    that I might not sin against you. — Psalm 119:11
 10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me. — Psalm 51:10 NIV

23 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus— Phil. 4:7 NIV23 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. — Proverbs 4:23 NIV

 

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

Post 05-07-2018

Praise! Pray! Rejoice! Rejoice! Rejoice!

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Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  – Phil. 4:5​ NIV

Rejoice!

Some of the things that Paul wrote are hard for us to understand. “rejoice in the Lord always” and “pray without ceasing” come to mind. In our busy society how does one spend 15 minutes a day rejoicing and praying, much less continually, and still get everything accomplished. I believe that what seems impossible is the key to how we accomplish Paul’s admonitions. Happiness is caused by externals and is temporary. We sometimes confuse that with joy, which is internal and eternal because it is given to us by God. “The joy of the Lord is my strength.”  What God gives to us cannot be taken away from us. We can lose our focus on the joy but it is still there all the time. Praying is a gift from God as well as an attitude, not a body position. we can mentally pray while doing anything else. Verse 8 is the key to being prayerful and joyful all the time. We need to change our thought patterns so that they focus on the goodness and mercies of God instead of the sin in the world around us.  Then we can enjoy the joy and thank God for it.


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

Post 03-27-2018

“Conquer Evil by Doing Good”

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21 Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good. – Romans 12:21 NLT
 
When we feel that we have been wronged by someone, usually the first thing we feel is anger. Where we go from there depends on the habit patterns we have developed. Our flesh rises up and demands retribution. It takes a lot of prayer and practice to learn to respond and not react.  Most of us will never get it completely right and certainly not all the time. Nevertheless, our commitment to Jesus Christ requires us to keep trying. We must learn to make every attempt to bring about a peaceful resolution to the issue.  If the other(s) involved won’t allow this, then we must pray for them.  Never, never, never hold a grudge which will eventually become a root of bitterness in your life. The longer the root is allowed to stay there, the harder it is to remove. Revenge is God’s business, not ours and He never fails to take care of His business. God, alone, is good and He is the only one that can completely overcome evil. Forgive immediately, pray for as long as it takes and trust God with the rest.


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

Post 03-24-2018

“Be Faithful In Prayer”

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12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.—Romans 12:12 NIV

Too often, we confuse pleasure and happiness with joy. Pleasure and happiness are temporary. They are based on feelings, external situations and how others treat us. Joy is internal and is a fruit of the Spirit. It is a gift from God and once we have received His joy, no one can take it from us. We can fail to access it, but it is always there. In those times of affliction, it strengthens us to carry on.
 

When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.—Psalm 94:19  NIV

We must be faithful in prayer.  As Paul says, “pray without ceasing”.  We are able to do that because prayer is dependent on our thought patterns and our attitude. We can pray all the time, in any situation. A prayer can be a thought that goes through your mind, It does not have to be spoken.


10 “I the Lord search the heart  and examine the mind,to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.—Jeremiah 17:10 NIV

A prayerful attitude keeps us focused on God and not on our problems or our situation. When we are focused on God, we are filled with joy because of the hope we have in Him.

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

Post 03-18-2018

“The Helmet of Salvation”

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17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God..—Ephesians 6:17 NLT

 
Since we don’t actually see the angels and the demons surrounding us, it is hard for us to stay aware of the continuous battle going on around us everyday.  But there are several examples of this in the Scriptures.  The example in Daniel 10 involves at least two demonic princes and two angelic princes.20 So he said, “Do you know why I have come to you? Soon I will return to fight against the prince of Persia, and when I go, the prince of Greece will come; 21 but first I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth. (No one supports me against them except Michael, your prince.–Daniel 10:20, 21 NIV

Just as Daniel was not physically involved in the battle, neither are we.  Our battlefield is our mind.  That is why our armor is not physical armor, it is invisible things that protect our thought patterns from being overwhelmed by evil. These weapons are truth, righteousness, readiness that comes from the gospel of peace, faith, salvation and the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. For us to be fully dressed in the armor God has provided for us takes time. It is not a piece of clothing that you can just throw in the corner and then grab when bad times come. It takes hours and hours of prayer, Bible study and meditation to get fully dressed.  satan knows where the holes in our armor are.  We must pray daily for the Holy Spirit to show us the holes and then spend whatever time it takes in prayer and Scripture study to mend those holes. While we reside in this old piece of decaying flesh, we will never be able to fill all the holes. That is why God has His angels encamped around us.

7 The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.—Psalm 34:7 NIV

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

Post 03-07-2018