“Bringing Salvation to All People”

11 For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. — Titus 2:11 NLT

Titus 2:11-15 NLT

Jesus gave His life so that we might live lives free of sin. He cleansed us and made us His very own. when we need more wisdom to accomplish His purpose, He freely gives it to us. We are covered and bathed in His righteousness. There are certainly days when we almost lose sight of the hope that we have in Christ Jesus. But because of all He has done and is doing for us, we should live lives that are devoted to Him holding on to the hope that we will see Him one day and we will spend an eternity with Him. We must not only hold on to this hope, but we must teach and encourage our Christian brothers and sisters to do the same.

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

Post 08-23-2019

“God Has Done This”

4 “After the Lord your God has done this for you, don’t say in your hearts, ‘The Lord has given us this land because we are such good people!’ No, it is because of the wickedness of the other nations that he is pushing them out of your way— Deuteronomy 9:4 NLT

Deut.9:4-6 NLT

We are blessed to live in a beautiful country where we are free to travel from the Pacific Coast to the Atlantic Coast without having to stop at any border stations. We are also free to work, play, and worship without police or military interruption. We are free to accomplish most anything we have the ability and the desire to do. But, just as the children of Israel became full and fat in the land of Canaan and forgot Who it was that gave them the land, we are guilty of the same sin. We have done absolutely nothing to merit being born and raised in a country established on Judeo-Christian principles. God established this nation and has maintained it because we have been a nation “under God”. When we, as a nation, depart from those ways and turn to wickedness, God will discipline us just as surely as He disciplined the Jewish people when they disobeyed. We have been blessed because we have always blessed Israel. If that doesn’t remain true, we will be a cursed nation. God’s Word is true and He will not be mocked.

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

Post 08-14-2019

“Teach These Truths”

 2 You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.– 2 Timothy 2:2 NLT

2 Timothy 2:14-20 NLT

In Paul’s second letter to Timothy, he is encouraging Timothy to continue his witnessing. He urges Timothy to avoid foolish arguments. We have all gotten into those discussions where no one is going to win and we are all worse off for our effort. As Benjamin Franklin put it: “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.” We need to study and be ready to witness to those God puts in our paths. 

As Paul tells Timothy later in 2 Timothy 4:2 (NCV)

2 Preach the Good News. Be ready at all times, and tell people what they need to do. Tell them when they are wrong. Encourage them with great patience and careful teaching,

We are not to be ashamed of the Gospel or change it to make it more acceptable. But every word we say must be spoken in love which will draw others to Christ and not push them away. Wrong or evil teaching will spread through the Church (body of Christ) just like a sickness spreads through the body.

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

Post 08-04-2019

Building Relationships

1  Blessed is the man  Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;– Psalm 1:1 NKJV

Psalm 1 NLT

Verse 1 of Psalm 1 shows a progression of acts;  walking, standing, sitting.  Isn’t this how we usually progress in making friends with people?  First, it is a casual meeting where a few words are exchanged.  If we find that enjoyable, the next encounter, we spend a little more time with them. After the casual greeting, we start a conversation about something that is of interest to both of us so we stand around and chat.  After a few of these sessions, we decide to have coffee (or whatever your preferred beverage is) and we sit together.  By this time, the relationship has developed to the point that our words and opinions are influencing the other person.  Either they are influencing us to agree with them or we are influencing them to agree with our opinions and beliefs.  We may do this without any conscious knowledge of it as it happens.  That is the warning in verse 1.  Don’t do these things with the wrong people.  As new Christians, we need to spend our time meditating on God’s Word so that we will be prepared to witness to sinners.  Once God has prepared us, then we can sit and talk with sinners for a while.  As we mature spiritually, there are still times that we need to withdraw from worldly conversations to pray and meditate, just as Jesus did on several occasions.  We need to refuel for the next encounter that God has planned for us. On this earth, there will never be a time that we are so mature spiritually that we can abandon the reading of God’s word.  It we think that we have reached that point, that is pride and we are headed for a fall.

“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 02-16-2019

A New Heart

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51 “You stubborn people! You are heathen at heart and deaf to the truth. Must you forever resist the Holy Spirit? That’s what your ancestors did, and so do you! — Acts 7:51 NLT
Stephen has just recited a short summary of all the things God had brought the Israelis through and the miracles He had performed in bringing them to the Promised Land.  Stephen also reminded them that God did this for them in spite of their unbelief and unfaithfulness.  He did it as a fulfillment of His covenant with their ancestors. Even though God was faithful, the Israelis were not, refusing to listen to Moses and any of the prophets God sent to them with messages warning them to repent and be obedient to God.  Instead they persecuted and murdered the prophets choosing to remain in their sinful ways and worship idols made by human hands.  The people Stephen was addressing were still following in their ancestor’s paths, choosing to kill the Messiah rather than to give up their worldly ways and repent.   If Stephen were here today, he could add the history of our country to his discourse and the accusation would still be true.  After all the years of God blessing this country with His abundance, we are still a “stubborn people, heathen at heart and deaf to the truth”.  More and more, as each day passes by, we become a more sinful nation.  We refuse to believe that God will punish us just as He punished the Israelis.  We must pray that God will have mercy on this nation of ours, that He will replace our hearts of stone with hearts of flesh and write His name upon our hearts.

Even though this was a promise God made to the Israelis, His chosen people, may He see fit to extend His mercies to us because, as Christians, we are a people chosen by Him as well.
 

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

Post 12-17-2018

Darkness Covered the Land

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33 At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. — Mark 15:33 NLT

3  I dress the skies in darkness, covering them with clothes of mourning.” — Isaiah 50:3 NLT
 

At noon on Friday, the sun was hidden as nature mourned the approaching death of our Lord and Savior.  At three o’clock on Friday afternoon, the Light of the world was extinguished.  It was a time of deep darkness and mourning for all of nature and the followers of Jesus.  It seemed that satan and his demons had won a great victory.  At three o’clock, the natural light reappeared.  Could this have been a sign that the Spiritual light would also reappear, that all was not as it seemed to be?  A heaviness lay over the people and the land.  Friday night, all day Saturday and Saturday night was a time of grieving and wondering.  Could they have been wrong about this man, Jesus?  Was He not really the Messiah?   A time of fear, could they be the next to die?  For a moment, imagine that you are one of the disciples at that very time.  Look at the situation through their eyes, not knowing the final outcome of this event.  Take the time to imagine the scene on the cross and mourn the death of your teacher and closest friend.  His promise that He would always be with them must have seemed pretty hollow about then. Would your faith have carried you through this event?  What would your reaction have been?  Would you have been able to remember and believe all the promises at this particular point?   Would you still believe that He would arise after three days? Now, back to the present.  Will our faith carry us through what God has in store for us now?  When temptation stares us in the face, will we give in?  Knowing the whole story, how will we respond to the times of darkness and mourning in our lives?  Will we remember that there is hope?  Will we remember that “joy comes in the morning”?

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

Post 11-20-2018

How May We Serve You?

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then you will have made false distinctions among yourselves and will have judged from evil motives, will you not? – James 2:4 ISV
 

If you google “verses concerning first impressions in the Bible”, you will only find verses that warn against using first impressions as a guide for measuring a person’s worth.  Yet, society teaches us that first impressions are all important and determine whether we will be accepted or rejected.  And certainly, that is the worldly view. How many of us use the way another person dresses, our opinion of whether they are beautiful or handsome, their popularity, talent or success as our criteria for selecting friends?  If this is really our criteria, then perhaps we should change the name of our church to “The Church of The Beautiful, Handsome,Talented, Successful and Well-Dressed”.  But, wait a minute, if we did that, we would have to be very egotistical and self-centered to think that we are qualified to attend and we all know that Christians are not egotistical and/or self-centered.  I, for one, am ecstatic that Jesus doesn’t use that criteria to determine who can be saved.  If you spend any time talking to those outside the church about why they don’t go to church, one of the reasons you will hear quite often is that “church people” make me feel uncomfortable or unwelcome. We can change our dress codes for churches (most churches have) but that will not solve the problem. Hurting people come to church to find relief and in most cases, they have come to the point in their life, that how we dress is not what attracts or deters them.  It is how we make them feel that is important.  Most people come to church for one of two reasons;  we were either raised to go to church or we came to the end of our rope and we haven’t found satisfactory answers to our problems anywhere else. We need to welcome guests and strangers in our church with the love, warmth and enthusiasm we would show a long lost brother or sister who has decided to come home.  Why? Because that is exactly how Jesus sees them and what they could become to us if we greet them and accept them as we should.

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

Post 08-02-2018