“Salvation Has Come”

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9 Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” — Luke 19:9 NLT

Luke 19:1-9 ISV

Jesus temporarily gave up all of His glory in heaven for one reason. That reason was to come to earth, be born as a human, live a perfect, sinless life so that He would be sacrificed for our sins. Some of the people then, just as now, never understood that.  They were always trying to find fault with the things He did.  Jesus associated with and ate with sinners.  We must follow that example if we are to bring others to Christ.  Do we actively “seek” those who are lost or do we try to avoid situations where the Holy Spirit might nudge us to speak to sinners about Jesus and where they will spend eternity?  Do we hide behind the claim that we have not been called to be preachers or missionaries?  When we pray asking God to send workers into the fields of harvest, do we  exclude ourselves as being one of those who are subject to the call?   If we do, then are our prayers really sincere?  Since Jesus gave up everything to redeem us, what are we willing to give up to follow in His footsteps?  Is our attitude one of “save me and leave me alone” or “save me and use me to grow Your Kingdom here on earth and in eternity”?  To those that use the talents they have to expand the Kingdom, more is given, to those that refuse to use their talents to expand the Kingdom, what they have is taken away.

Luke 19:11-26 NLT

The talents that God has given to each of us are our Spiritual muscles, we either use them or we lose them.

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

“Let Patience Have Its Perfect Work”

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4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be [b]perfect and complete, lacking nothing. – James 1:4 NKJV
James 1:2-4 ISV

We love reading those verses that make us feel good, like Romans 8:28, Phil 4:13, John 10:10 and John 3:16.  Those are great verses that encourage us by letting us know that God is good and everything is going to be okay. But those verses can seem pretty hollow when we feel like God has deserted us and we are all alone in this evil world.  It is hard for us to understand how God, who is love, can allow bad things to happen to His children. When these times come, we need to remember that all we can see is “now”, but God sees and knows all about the future. He allows testing so that we can know where we are on our journey.  He already knows but we need to know so that we do not become puffed up and prideful.  Jesus warned us that in this world we would be offended and tested, so it should come as no surprise when we are. Our Lord and Savior was tested and tempted in every way possible. He understands our pain better than we do.  We should never deny that we are in pain or that we are sick and hurting.  We need to admit our weaknesses and ask God to bring us through this time of testing. We need to persevere so that we can become mature and complete, fulfilled in Christ Jesus. We don’t want to hear “count it all joy” while we are in the process, but after the test is concluded, we can look back on the experience and see that Jesus carried us through the whole process.  The joy comes from knowing who we serve and that He loves us so much that He will allow nothing in our lives that He doesn’t give us strength to overcome. We are to “count it all joy”, not because of the situation, but in spite of the situation. We can’t be overcomers and conquerors if we never face situations that require us to overcome or conquer.  

9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. — 2 Cor. 12:9, 10 NIV

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

“Something Better For Us”

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39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, 40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect. — Hebrews 11:39-40 NIV

The eleventh chapter of Hebrews is often referred to as “The Hall of Faith”. Under the leadership of the Holy Spirit the writer of Hebrews gives us a long list of people from the Bible who were faithful. They were jeered, flogged and persecuted in many ways, but they remained faithful, many of them even unto death. As we read through the chapter (which we need to do quite often) we are probably thinking that these people received some great earthly rewards for their obedience in the face of all this adversity.  But, we find that verse 39 makes a surprising statement; “none of them received what had been promised”.  So, had God lied to them?  No, of course not. What they understood and what we need to understand is that our rewards are in heaven, not here on earth. They fully believed God and carried inside themselves an eternal hope.  The same eternal hope that you and I have inside of us. Earthly blessings are nice but they are nothing compared to what is in store for those faithful ones from the past, for us and for those who will come after us.  The blessings we receive here will pass away and so will our natural bodies.  But the “promise”  will be fulfilled with an eternal reward and an eternity in heaven. We need to stay focused on Jesus and remain faithful and obedient to God and His Word. We must remain confident of what we believe and persevere just as our Savior and our ancestors did.

35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.  36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.Hebrews 10:35-36 

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

“Love Each Other”

17 This is my command: Love each other. – John 15:17 NLT

John 15:16-21 NLT

Are you getting the feeling that we are stuck on this “love” theme. Love the Father, love me, love each other? We are and we should be. After all, the author of the Bible is perfect, complete Love.

8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.–1 John 4:8 (NCV)

The world is full of hate. Those that walk in the flesh despise people that love. We have been chosen out of the world, but as long as we inhabit this fleshly tent, we will remain in the world. While we are here, it is our job to show the world love. Some of them will be drawn to Jesus through that, others will not be so kind. The name of Jesus is powerful. Every time a person hears that name, they have to make a decision. They will either be for Jesus or against Jesus. If they are against Jesus, they will offend and persecute us. We hear about it in the news every day. You can talk about religion all day and nobody cares, but just mention the Name of Jesus and there will be, there must be, a reaction. It gets personal because it is personal. It requires each of us to build a relationship with a living Savior that is founded on and built with LOVE!

“I Sacrifice It Voluntarily”

18 No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.” – John 10:18 NLT

John 10:17-21 NLT

The decision for Jesus to be the perfect Lamb sacrificed for our redemption was made long before the world was spoken into existence.

18 You know that in the past you were living in a worthless way, a way passed down from the people who lived before you. But you were saved from that useless life. You were bought, not with something that ruins like gold or silver, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, who was like a pure and perfect lamb. 20 Christ was chosen before the world was made, but he was shown to the world in these last times for your sake. —1 Peter 1:18-20 (NCV)

Jesus the human did not want to die on the cross any more than you or I would want to die such a cruel death. But Jesus as the second Person of the Trinity knew from time immemorial that He was going to do just that. Since Jesus was the Word and the Word was with God, Jesus was there when the decision was made and was in full agreement with the plan. So, He could truthfully say that He had the right to give His life and to take it back. Taking His life back was a reference to His resurrection that the Jews did not understand at that time. Being spiritually blind, they thought Jesus must be crazy or demon possessed. Before we accepted Jesus, we had no understanding of what Jesus was doing and why He was doing it. But, now that we know, it is our responsibility to carry the Good News to others. Let us freely give our time in spreading the Gospel so that others may have life eternal.

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

“As We Live In God”

17 And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. – 1 John 4:17a NLT

Perfect Love

Perfect Love!! That is our goal, this is what the Holy Spirit is wanting to teach us each day. If we could achieve perfect love, we would have no fear. Instead of looking forward to tomorrow with fears and worries, we would rest in Jesus, knowing that He is in control and everything is going to be okay. Over 365 times in the Scriptures, in one form or the other, we are told not to fear. Yet, we fear so many things in our lives and the sad part is that very few of those things are under our control anyway. There is no way we can change another person, so we fear their rejection. We worry about our health, our finances, our families, etc. All these worries and fears are from satan. Fear is the opposite of faith and is therefore sin. If we spent more of our time loving and thanking God, we would find our worries and fears disappearing. “God inhabits the praises of His people”. If we want to feel God close to us, then let’s spend time in praising Him.

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

Post 01-26-2020

“Don’t Slip Back Into Your Old Ways”

14 So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. – 1 Peter 1:14 NLT

1 Peter 1:13-16 NLT

When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we become a new Creation. Before that change, we were controlled by fleshly lusts. We did what “self” wanted to do without exercising self-control. Now that we are a new creation, we walk in the Spirit and do those things that are in obedience to Christ. Are we now perfect? No! But we are striving toward that mark. Will we fall short? Yes, but the blood of Jesus has covered those sins. Now that we know the right things to do, we must pursue them and not go back to our old ways. Our lifestyle should reflect our new destination. People who have known us should be able to see a difference in the way we walk and talk. The things that used to occupy the highest priorities in our lives should be further down the list. There are some things we should want to give up immediately and others need to be moved way down our list of priorities. We need to take an inventory and honestly find out where Jesus is on our list of priorities. Jesus is not in a contest with other “gods”. He will accept nothing less than the top shelf, He is either “Lord of all” or He is not “Lord at all” in our lives.

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

Post 01-09-2020

“Guilty” But Forgiven by Grace

10 For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws. — James 2:10

James 2:10-13 NLT

The law(s) were given to the children of Israel to show them that sin was in the world. Without the law there would have been no disobedience of the law and therefore they would not have understood sin. With the law, they understood sin and also understood that no human being could live up to the perfect standard required by the law. The law was their/our teacher to show them/us that we all need a Savior. This was no surprise to God. Before the foundations of the earth were laid, He had prepared a perfect Lamb to be our Savior. Because God is merciful, He sent His only Son into the world as the only perfect human. Jesus came to us knowing that He would be sacrificed for our sins, although He was sinless. Now we live under grace, the unmerited favor of God. We did nothing and can do nothing to earn grace and salvation. It is a free gift from God.

8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.–Ephesians 2:8,9 (NLT)

We should sing praises to God daily. He is a marvelous, amazing God. “What a wonderful Savior is Jesus our Lord”!!!!!!!

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

Post 12-23-2019

“Don’t Forget What You Have Heard”

25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. – James 1:25 NLT

James 1:19-25 NLT

Never say that someone or something made you mad. If you get angry, it is because you didn’t control your emotions. There certainly can be a righteous anger, but, we have to be honest because we know that most of our anger is from our pride. We also know that in our times of anger, we think and say things that we should not have said and those words are often very vile and evil. We must plant God’s Word in our hearts because it is out of the heart that the mouth speaks. Don’t just plant the Word, but water it and feed it everyday. That means that we have to spend time meditating on God’s Word so that we remember it and act accordingly. If we study, meditate and act according to that word, God can and will bless us.

Psalm 1:1-3 NLT

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

Post 12-19-2019

“Whatever Is Good and Perfect”

17 Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.— James 1:17 NLT

James 1;16-18 NLT

Every good and precious thing that we receive while we are on this earth is a gift from God. He never changes or even gives any indication the He is thinking about or considering change. God is good all the time because God is God all the time. He is the same yesterday, today, and will be the same tomorrow. He is the Solid Rock on which we can plant our feet and know we are protected. He is the Father who never changes, but is always there when we fail him and come humbly back to Him. He gave us a new birth by giving us His Word, both written and in the flesh. We are His possession because He bought us at the highest price anyone could pay. The death of His only Son. We must be faithful in following the example of His Son because of the price He paid for us.

16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave[g] his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. ​ — John 3:16 ​

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

Post 12-18-2019