“Pursue Peace With All Men”

14 Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. — Hebrews 12:14 NASB

Hebrews 12:14-17 NASB

The test is this: How do we react when we are betrayed by someone that is close to us, whether it be a family member, friend, close associate or a stranger? Is your first thought, “I should pursue peace with all men”? Or does anger immediately fill you and your mind starts to think about ways to “get even”? What does “get even” mean and how do we know when we are “even”? Ignore the anger? No, iyou hold your anger, it will eventually become a “root of bitterness”. That root, as it grows, will push every good thing out of the way to manifest itself in your personality. Let God handle it for you. Jesus was betrayed by Judas, a “friend” who had been the treasurer of the disciples and a companion for the better part of 3 years. What was his reaction to that betrayal? He allowed Judas to carry out his work even though Jesus knew it would mean His death. Remember, because of our sins, we have all betrayed Jesus and yet, He died for us. Easier said than done, right? So, how do we allow God to do it? 

6 Then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel saying, ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.–Zechariah 4:6 (NASB)

We listen to the Spirit of the Living God and His Spirit directs us as to what we should say and/or do. Most likely, the only action for us will be to pray for the person who has offended us and prepare our hearts to forgive when we are asked and render assistance and encouragement when the offender needs it.

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

Post 08-05-2019

“Things That Are Excellent”

8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. — Phil. 4:8 NLT

Philippians 4:4-8

If we follow Paul’s advice, we will pray and be thankful for all things that God has done for us. We must continually guard our thoughts and the desires of our hearts. We need to focus on things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, excellent and worthy of praise. Then we will become God-conscious. Witnessing for Jesus will be a natural outflow of this kind of thinking. Our actions will be Christ-centered and people will know that we have something they don’t have. If we let our guard down, satan will rush in and have us thinking about the pleasures of the flesh. Then, satan will keep telling us about all the things we don’t have. After listening to that for a short while, we become sin-conscious. In that state of mind, we are of little use to God, ourselves or anyone else. Fight the good fight and stay focused on Jesus. Then we will enjoy God’s peace, joy will overflow and it will be completely natural for us to praise Him for His goodness.

Phil.2:1-5 NLT

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

Post 07-27-2019

Even In the Worst of Times

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name. — Psalm 100:4 NLT 

Psalm100 NLT

God inhabits the praises of His people, so we should enter His gates with thanksgiving in our hearts and enter His courts with praise. After we have praised Him, He also instructs us to ask and keep on asking. He is longing to bless us when we are obedient to Him. And never forget to be grateful for what He has done, is doing and will continue to do for you. Worry will not accomplish anything useful, so just rest in the arms of Jesus and enjoy the “now”. He gives us a peace that passes all understanding, even in the worst of times. Remember the times He has brought you through and be encouraged.  When we walk through the valley of tears, He is still God and He is still holding our hand

Valley of Tears

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

Post 07-11-2019

“Work At Living A Holy Life”

14 Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. – Hebrews 12:2

Hebrews 12:12-15 NLT

As Paul tells us in Romans 12, we should do everything that we can do to live in peace with our fellow man.  Add to that, the fact that we should strive to live a Holy life. God tells us to be Holy because He is Holy.  Once we are indwelt by God’s Holy Spirit, it should be our inclination to follow the example of Jesus in all that we do.  That requires us to not only seek peace and holiness, but to teach others so that no one fails to receive the gospel of Jesus Christ.  To do this, we must avoid gossip and rumor mongering.  If we practice those things, we hurt others instead of helping. Do this with humility and love so that no one can blame you.  When you are wrongfully blamed, quickly forgive the person.  Don’t hold grudges and allow a “root of bitterness” to grow in your heart. This will, first of all, destroy you and then those around you.

Romans 12:14-18 NLT

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

Post 07-05-2019

We Will Never Perish

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

Post 06-02-2019

“The Source of All Comfort”

3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. — 2 Cor. 1:3 NLT

2 Cor 1:3-7 NLT

God, in His great love for us, wants to relieve us of all of our grief and distress.  It is not His desire that we should suffer.  No parent wants to see his or her child suffer.  We want to reach out and comfort our children even when they may have caused their discomfort by a bad decision that they made.  Love says help them, but Godly compassion says that there are times when they and we must endure those times of distress and grief so that we learn not to repeat our mistakes.  As parents, we want to deliver our kids from the storm.  The lesson that we need to learn and that we need to teach our children is that God doesn’t always need to deliver us from the storm, He is able to comfort us in the storm.  Rough seas may come and destructive winds may blow but nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.  When God doesn’t immediately deliver us from the storm we must seek His comfort in the storm.  Then we will be able to pass that comfort, peace and joy on to those around us.

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

Post 05-07-2019

“Joy and Peace In Abundance”

7  And though you started with little,  you will end with much.. Job 8:7 NLT

Job 8:1-7 NLT

Bldad also wrongly assumes that Job has committed some transgression and God is disciplining Job for  that sin.  But Bildad is correct in the statement that he makes.  “But if you pray to God and seek the favor of the Almighty, and if you are pure and live with integrity, He will surely rise up and restore your happy home”.  And his statement in verse 7 above turns out to be a prophecy for Job.  Job definitely ends up with twice as much as he had in the beginning.  If we faithfully persevere in the times of testing, we will be blessed here on earth.  The greatest of these blessings is not material possessions or anything that money can buy.  It is the peace and the joy that comes from knowing that we are pleasing our heavenly Father. From my own personal experience, I can testify that there is a peace that each of us can access that is different from what the world knows as peace. It is a peace that will guard our hearts and our minds.  It is a peace that keeps from thinking those thoughts that satan would use to destroy us. It is a peace that assures us that we are not alone now and we will never be alone.  Although the peace you have now may be little, focus on Jesus and you will have abundant peace and joy that is truly unspeakable.

Phil. 4:4-8 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 02-19-2019