Even If It Means Suffering"

​21 For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps. – 1 Peter 2:21-25 NLT

1 Peter 2:21-25 NLT

As Christians, the only person we can use as our example is Jesus Christ. He is the standard that we should strive to live up to. We, of course, will never reach that standard but, as Paul said, we should continue to “press toward the mark”.

13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.–Phil. 3:13-14 (NLT)

Any cases of injustice and offenses should be left in the hands of God. He will deal with those that are unjust in His own way and in His own time. We were once as helpless as sheep and needed a Shepherd and a Guardian. Jesus came to fulfill every need we have and He has done so abundantly. We are to walk in His steps. We will fall and when we do, He will carry us just like a shepherd carries a helpless lamb. We can lean on His everlasting arms and rejoice evermore.

11 But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;​ let them sing joyful praises forever.  ​Spread your protection over them,​ that all who love your name may be filled with joy.​ 12 For you bless the godly, O Lord; you surround them with your shield of love.–Psalm 5:11-12 (NLT).

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

Post 01-18-2020

"According to What You Do"

17 And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do.— 1 Peter 1:17 NLT

1 Peter 1:17-21 NLT

We will all be judged for what we do and we will all be judged by the same standards. Jesus paid the exact same price for each of us. No one person is more valuable to Him than any other person. Because of the price He paid, we all owe Him everything. Giving Him everything does not even scratch the surface of what we owe Him. He paid a debt that we could never pay. While we were still leading those sinful lives filled with nothing, He loved us enough to shed His blood for us. Because of that and the example He set for us, we have come to trust in God. The God that has never broken a single promise and has never gone back on His Word. He is the Rock on which we can plant our feet and never be moved. He holds the future in His hands, therefore we have eternal hope because He raised Christ from the dead. He can also raise us from the dead and one day He will do just that. Without that hope, we of all people would be the most miserable. So let us continuously give Him praise and glory all day, every day!

15 Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name. 16 And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God. —Hebrews 13:15-16 NLT​

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

Post 01-10-2020

“The Mighty Power of God”

12 For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead. — Colossians 2:12 NLT

Colossians 2:6-13 NLT

The Old Testament circumcision was of the flesh as an outward symbol of a covenant relationship with God. Our circumcision is of the spirit removing our sinful nature and replacing it with God’s Holy Spirit. Our hearts and desires were changed and God wrote His Name upon our hearts. Our baptism is the outward symbol of being buried with Christ and raised again to a new life.

“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”-2 Cor. 5:17” Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.” – Eph. 4:24

We were spiritually dead in our sinful nature but now all things are made new. We are new creatures:

“Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”-Romans 6:4

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

Post 09-28-2019

Beautiful in His Eyes

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49 I don’t speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it. –John 12:49 NLT

Because of His great love and mercy, Jesus gives one more invitation to the crowd to believe in what He has said and who He is. He is telling them since you have seen and heard me, you have heard and seen the Father. Every word Jesus said and every act He committed came directly from the Father. On judgment day, the unbelievers will be judged by the words that Jesus was teaching. After all, Jesus was the Word Incarnate, the Living Word, the Word that was established in the beginning. In Jesus, there was life and that life was the light for all the people.
1 In the beginning there was the Word. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 All things were made by him, and nothing was made without him. 4 In him there was life, and that life was the light of all people. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overpowered it.—John 1:1-5 NCV)
Jesus is God, God is Jesus, Jesus is the Word and the Word is Jesus and in Him is life and light. God and Jesus are in perfect agreement and have been since the beginning. The Word that Jesus spoke was commanded by the Father and contained Life. It is the same Word that has saved us and will keep us until the day Jesus returns. The world needs to hear that Word today, so they can ask the Lord for help.
14 But before people can ask the Lord for help, they must believe in him; and before they can believe in him, they must hear about him; and for them to hear about the Lord, someone must tell them; 15 and before someone can go and tell them, that person must be sent. It is written, “How beautiful is the person who comes to bring good news.”–Romans 10″14,15 (NCV)

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

Post 10-25-2017

Today Is The Day!

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 2 For God says,  “At just the right time, I heard you.

    On the day of salvation, I helped you.”

Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.

— 2 Corinthians 6:2

Why God chooses to use ordinary people to spread His Word is one of the mysteries of Christianity.  Throughout the Bible, we find God choosing shepherds and other common folk to deliver His message to the people.  He takes those people and puts them through His training program and makes great leaders of them.  Moses was born to an Israelite woman, raised in an Egyptian culture as a prince but had to become nothing before God could use Him.  He learned to trust God in the wilderness. Joseph spent years in prison being trained for his position as the second most powerful man in the world.  David was the youngest in the family of Jesse.  He was not even allowed to go to war with his brothers.  God used the years that David spent as a shepherd for His training.  Each of these men and many more spent time in God’s training program preparing for the “one day” when they would lead Israel back to God’s protection again. For that “day of salvation”.  He raised up women as well, there is Deborah, Esther, Ruth and Mary.  Each just common ordinary folk until God touched them and prepared them for that “one day of salvation”.  Which one of us ordinary folk has God chosen to be the next messenger of salvation?  Which of us is in training at this very moment to lead our nation back to God to experience that “day of salvation”?  Are you that person and is today that day?  Every Christian is that person and today is the day.

Post 09-14-2016

The Third Person

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30 And do not make the Holy Spirit sad. The Spirit is God’s proof that you belong to him. God gave you the Spirit to show that God will make you free when the final day comes. — Eph. 4:30 NCV
 
 
Maybe because His name is Holy Spirit we tend not to think of Him as a person.  But the third person of the Trinity is just as much a person and just as much God as Jesus, the second person and God the first person.  Each has a different office and duty but they are One and the Same.  When we ignore God or reject Jesus, we are doing the same thing to the Holy Spirit.  When we grieve God, we cause sadness in the whole Godhead.  When we are obedient and faithful, we bring joy to the Trinity.  There is a person living inside of every Christian who feels grief, sadness, pain and joy just as we feel those things.  None of us like to be ignored, neither does He.  How long would a friendship last if we walked with a human friend 24/7 and never acknowledged his/her presence or spoke to them?  What if we never invited them to join in our conversations and our mealtimes?  What if, for all practical purposes, our words and actions denied that we had a friend with us?  Yet, hour after hour, we treat the Holy Spirit exactly this way.  We deny that He is within us by our actions but more often by our lack of actions.  How many times and places do we have an opportunity to introduce our Friend but we don’t?  How many times does He asks us to introduce Him by that little nudge we feel but we won’t?  If we say that we have never felt that nudge, what does that say about our relationship with our Friend?  Let us all pray that the next time we feel that nudge, we will have the boldness to introduce Him to our other friends and acquaintances.
07-04-2016

Shine and Speak

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God sent a man, John the Baptist, to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. — John 1:6, 7 NLT
God sent John the Baptist as a forerunner of Jesus.  The purpose and plan for John’s life was to tell the world about the Light that was coming.  John understood and accepted his mission wholeheartedly.  John spent his life in the wilderness living on locusts and honey, witnessing to those who came out to hear him.  He was not the Light but was a witness that the Light was coming.  John was so effective in his work that Jesus called him “the greatest man who ever lived”.
Yet,  Jesus said “even the least person in the Kingdom of God is greater than he is”.  How can this be that we could be greater than John the Baptist who lived his life for and utltimately gave his life for Jesus?  The word “greater” here is used in the same sense that the word “greater” is used when Jesus said that we would do even “greater” works than Jesus did when He walked here on the earth.  It is not meant to demean or lessen the value of the work that John and Jesus did, but to emphasize the greatness of the Kingdom of God itself.   It is not written to give us illusions of grandeur or self-importance, but to encourage us to work for the Kingdom of God.  It is not as individual Christains that we are greater or can do greater works but it is our inclusion in the Kingodm of God that is emphasized as being of utmost importance.  So, the work we do for the expansion of the Kingdom of God is greater in importance than anything that we do that the world considers great or important.  If we are to be “greater” then we must finish the work that John started.  John was the forerunner, Jesus was the reason and we are the witnesses for this and future generations.  We are here as Light and Life to a dark and dying world.  So, let your Light shine and speak the words of Life to those around you wherever you are and whenever you can. There is no “greater” work to be done.
Post 05-05-2016