“Called To Be His People”

1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,​ 2 To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called​ ​to be his holy people, together with all those everywhere who call on the name​ ​of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours:​ 3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.—1 Cor. 1:1-3 (NIV)

Paul founded the Church at Corinth on his second missionary journey in A.D. 50 -51. While he was in Ephesus on his 3rd missionary journey, he received some negative reports concerning the morality of the believers there. He immediately sent Timothy to correct the situation at Corinth. He also wrote this letter to the church, probably thinking that it would arrive before Timothy got there. The members of the church were starting to return to the old ways of idol worship. In particular, the immorality with the temple prostitutes and overindulgence in both food and drink. But, if we read verse 2 very carefully, we find that under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Paul wrote this letter to me and you. It reads: “to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be his holy people, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours.” That includes us and we should take it as a stern warning not to go back to our old ways. While we may not have shrines where all types of immoral acts are carried out, we have more than enough idols of our own making. Each one of us needs to take a few minutes and ask God the Holy Spirit to reveal to us the idol(s) that are standing between us and our God.

8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.1 John 1:8-10 (NIV)

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

“By Jesus Christ Himself”

1 This letter is from Paul, an apostle. I was not appointed by any group of people or any human authority, but by Jesus Christ himself and by God the Father, who raised Jesus from the dead. – Galatians 1:1 NLT

Galatians 1:1-5 NLT

Paul reminds the Galatians and us that he is an apostle sent by Jesus Christ and God the Father. Paul did not, in his own flesh, decide to be an apostle to the Gentiles. He was chosen by God for this specific task.

I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I take pride in my ministry—Romans 11:13 (NIV)

Then Paul goes on to remind them and us that we have grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Encouraging each other is something we should practice everyday until it becomes a habit. In the turbulent society that we live in today, we all need encouragement and a reminder that there is a safe harbor for us to come to when we need rest and peace.

8 In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.—Psalm 4:7 (NIV)

10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.​—1 Thess. 5:10-11 (NIV)

Peace and rest are just two of the gifts we receive because we are joint heirs with Jesus. His obedience to death on the cross brought glory to the Father. Our obedience in living for Jesus will bring more glory to the Father forever and ever.

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

“Jesus Told Him”

18 “I tell you the truth, when you were young, you were able to do as you liked; you dressed yourself and went wherever you wanted to go. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others will dress you and take you where you don’t want to go.” 19 Jesus said this to let him know by what kind of death he would glorify God. Then Jesus told him, “Follow me.”—John 21:18-19 (NLT)

Jesus is prophesying to Peter about how he would die. Peter was led to the cross by others and was crucified upside down at his request. Peter felt unworthy to be executed in the same method that Jesus was executed. At least eight of the twelve apostles died as martyrs with two, Peter and Andrew, being crucified. There are some leaders that teach that life as a Christian is free of stress and problems. This is not validated by a study of the Scriptures. In fact, just the opposite is taught.

33 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”–John 16:33 (NLT)

Jesus tells us in this verse that we will have trials and sorrows. Not just the normal troubles of those in the world, but more because we love and obey Him. But He also tells us that we can have total peace in Him. His peace is not a lack of trouble or violence, it is peace that we can access in the midst of all that. Jesus has overcome the world and we are overcomers through Him. We can’t be conquerors and overcomers if there are no problems to overcome or no mountains to conquer.

Conquerors

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

“Peace of Mind and Heart”

27 “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. – John 14:27 NLT

Peace

God has sent the Holy Spirit to abide with us. He sent the Spirit in the name of Jesus. That is the Trinity of God — Father, Son,and Spirit. They are one and the same but with different functions. God created, Jesus redeemed and the Spirit calls us to accept Jesus and be a child of God. Jesus gives us the gift of peace. It is not peace that means there are no wars or violence or problems in our lives.That is what the world thinks of as peace. But true peace, the peace that Jesus gave us is the kind that keeps us calm in the middle of a storm, in the middle of medical emergencies, financial emergencies or any other bad situation that you can name. The peace of God is available to every child of God, but we have to decide to accept it and abide in that peace, just as we had to decide to accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord. We can accept the peace that Jesus offers us or we can hang onto our cares and worries and let the devil devour our peace and joy.

6 So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. 7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.8 Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.–1 Peter 5:6-8 (NLT)

Humbling ourselves under the hand of God means that we completely agree with Him that He can and will do exactly what He said He would do. To believe anything less than that is to deny the Omniscience, Omnipresence and the Omnipotence of the great God that we serve.

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

Post 06-04-2020

“I Give Them Eternal Life”

28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me – John 10:28 NLT

Never Perish

What a tremendous, magnificent, awesome promise!!! They will never die! And that promise is still in effect today. These old bodies that we wear around will one day give out, but we, our soul, will never die! Once we have accepted Jesus and the Holy Spirit abides in us, we are assured that we will never die. Guaranteed!!

13 So it is with you. When you heard the true teaching—the Good News about your salvation—you believed in Christ. And in Christ, God put his special mark of ownership on you by giving you the Holy Spirit that he had promised. 14 That Holy Spirit is the guarantee that we will receive what God promised for his people until God gives full freedom to those who are his—to bring praise to God’s glory—Ephesians 1:13, 14 (NCV)

No person or no thing can take us out of the hands of Jesus because God is greater than all and no one can defeat Him or His purpose. We will have new bodies and live forever with Christ Jesus, our Savior and Lord.

16 From this time on we do not think of anyone as the world does. In the past we thought of Christ as the world thinks, but we no longer think of him in that way. 17 If anyone belongs to Christ, there is a new creation. The old things have gone; everything is made new! 18 All this is from God. Through Christ, God made peace between us and himself, and God gave us the work of telling everyone about the peace we can have with him​.—1 Cor. 5:16-18 (NCV)

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

“Don’t Be So Concerned About ….”

27 But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval.” – John 6:27 NLT

John 6:22-27 NLT

The people that Jesus had fed the day before came looking for Jesus. Perhaps they thought Jesus would feed them again or perform other miracles for them. But just as we are today, they were concerned about physical welfare and “now”, rather than Spiritual things and eternity. They missed the lesson that Jesus was trying to teach them because of their concerns. Jesus is still trying to teach us this lesson today. But, we are so busy trying to make a “living” that we miss the true life that Jesus wants us to have. Huge crowds still gather to see miracles today. People run here and there to see or participate in revivals and “spiritual movements”. Jesus tells us in John 10:10, that He came that we “might have life more abundantly”. That abundant life is not necessarily a life without problems or a life overflowing with money, It is a life of abundant joy and peace that we can have now in any situation, if we “cast our cares” on Him. Since our Father owns everything and give us the best gifts, there is no reason for us to stress over anything. After all, He has given us everything we need.

3 By his divine power the Lord has given us everything we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of the one who called us by his own honor and glory–1 Peter 1:3 (CEB)

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

Post 04-01-2020

“Look! There Is the Lamb of God!”

36 As Jesus walked by, John looked at him and declared, “Look! There is the Lamb of God!” – John 1:36 NLT

Come and See

Do you ever sit and think about the time you answered the call of the Holy Spirit to “come and see”? Come and see the forgiveness of God, come and see the goodness of God, come and see the love of God. Come and see with your spiritual eyes, the One Who gave His life for you on a cross? Do you remember that experience? Do you remember when you invited Jesus into your heart? Do you remember the peace you felt? Do you remember just wanting to stay in His presence. just as the men “remained with Jesus all that day”? When times are tough and the going is rough, I would like to invite you to sit and remember that experience. Just sit in the presence of Jesus, loving Him and allowing Him to love you. The most amazing thing about knowing Jesus is that every day, we can “come and see”. Or as the Psalmist said, “taste and see”;

8 Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!—Psalm 34:8 (NLT)

And when we do that, we find that His mercies are new every morning. Today, once again, take the time “to come and see”.


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

Post 03-01-2020

“More and More Mercy”

2 May God give you more and more mercy, peace, and love.

Jude 1-4 NLT

Jude opens his letter with great humility. He identifies himself as a slave of Jesus Christ, which is how we should all feel. His heart is to deliver a message of salvation to the unknown community of people that he is addressing. But, because some false teachers had started teaching that God’s grace allows us to go on sinning as much and as often as we want to, he feels it is much more important to rebuke these teachers and correct their teaching. These teachers had not had a real experience of salvation that changed them from their sinful ways, they were not “new creatures” in Christ Jesus. While forgiveness and grace are certainly there for those of us who fall, it is not meant to allow us to live a sinful lifestyle. This would be in direct conflict with Romans 6:

1​ Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? 2 Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? 3 Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? 4 For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.–Romans 6:1-4​ ​(NLT)

Those who do these sinful things and teach this false doctrine are making a mockery of God’s grace that He has shown to us. As we are told in Galatians 6:

7 Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. 8 Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.– Gal. 6:7-8 (NLT)

So we must stand firm in what we know to be the truth. When we accept Jesus, we are no longer slaves to the flesh, we are “New creations” and now we are slaves to Christ Jesus and we walk in the Spirit. Do not be deceived by every “new” philosophy that comes along. Stand on the Rock and teach the Truth, even though it is no longer popular to do the right thing.

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

Post 02-18-2020

Take the “U” Out!

For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for life;
Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning. – Psalm 30:5

Are you going through a rough patch? Mourning the loss of a friend? the loss of a child? a parent? a home? Feeling lost with no direction? If you can check one or all of the boxes, you are not alone. And like most, you are wondering when it will end or if will it ever end. Will the memories ever go away? No, I pray that the good memories will never go away. There is a way to lessen the impact of these events on the rest of your life. And listen carefully, I can check all the above boxes, so I know whereof I speak. The first step is to take the “u” out and you will see that moUrning turns into MORNING and a new day begins. Regardless of all the worldly do it yourself projects and rehab programs, study after study shows that we cannot fix ourselves. The best we can do, all by ourselves, is temporary relief. There is no band-aid for the heart, but there is a permanent fix, free and available to everyone of us. Now that morning has come, listen to what God has to say, “Arise, shine, for your light has come and the glory of the Lord is risen upon you” (Isaiah 60:1). Nothing is hidden from the One that loves you so much that He died to save you. Hope and joy have a Name and that Name is Jesus, Accept Him today as your Savior and your Lord.

1For this is how much God loved the world—he gave his one and only, unique Son as a gift. So now everyone who believes in him will never perish but experience everlasting life. – John 3:16 TPT

He can fill every void and provide for every need. Not just physical needs, but those deep down in your soul spiritual needs. The healing will begin and the joy will come. Your new day is here, full of His joy and peace, reach out, grab it and never, ever let it go.

Post 01-12-2020

“His Spirit Has Made You Holy”

2 God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. — 1 Peter 1:2 NLT

1 Peter 1:1-5 NLT

It has always been God’s plan to send Jesus into the world to redeem us from sin. We are His chosen people, called and cleansed by His Holy Spirit. We are saved by grace and as we walk in obedience to God, He gives more and more of His grace and peace. We have been bought with a price that we could not pay and now we have a priceless inheritance in heaven. We are joint-heirs with Jesus. Because we are saved by grace through faith, God is protecting us until we receive the final step of our salvation, which comes after His re-appearing. That is the hope that we have and we know that we are secure in that hope. God will finish the work He has started in us.

Romans 1:16-17 NLT

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

Post 01-06-2020