Christlike Love

even-smaller-bug-light1

22 You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart.​ – 1 Peter 1:22 NLT


The only way we can show our love for Jesus is by showing that love to others. Before we were cleansed from our sins, we only knew how to love the way the world loves. When we showed our love we expected love in return, it was a conditional love. I will love you if you love me. I will do things for you if you will do things for me in return. That is not the way Jesus loves us. His love is unconditional. He always loves us regardless of what we do or whether we ever return that love to Him. That is deep, heartfelt love. It is an eternal love that cannot be destroyed because its foundation is the love of Jesus Christ. Physically, we will all pass away unless the Lord comes back before that happens. Just as we see plants wither away every year, so will our physical bodies, but the love of Jesus and His Word are eternal. We have received and believed that Word, so we will be raised again to enjoy eternal life and love with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. While we wait, let us show sincere love for each other, not only in our words, but in our actions
​.

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

Post 06-17-2017

Pray and Keep On Praying!

even-smaller-bug-light1

1 Finally, dear brothers and sisters,[a] we ask you to pray for us. Pray that the Lord’s message will spread rapidly and be honored wherever it goes, just as when it came to you
— 2 Thess. 3:1 NLT

None of us have reached perfection and we won’t as long as we inhabit these tents of flesh. Therefore, we need the prayers of our Christian brothers and sisters just as they need us to pray for them. We need Spiritual and physical strength to carry on God’s Kingdom work here on earth. “The harvest is great, but the workers are few” so we need to pray and ask God to send laborers into the fields.(Matt 9:37,38 paraphrased). We need to ask God to guard our thoughts because the mind is the spiritual battlefield where our personal battles are won or lost. The Lord is faithful. He has promised that we will not be tempted above our ability to resist and that He will always provide a way out for us. We don’t always find the way out because the flesh gets great pleasure from wallowing in its old sinful ways. We need to pray for each other that we will continue to do the things that God has commanded us to do. When we practice doing the right things, we receive more understanding and patience which allows us to better show sinners the greatness of God’s love toward us and them.

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

Post 03-24-2017

Dead, Yet Alive With Christ!

even-smaller-bug-light1

And God will use this persecution to show his justice and to make you worthy of his Kingdom, for which you are suffering. — 2 Thess. 1:5 NLT

Most Christians in the Western World have not experienced the kind of persecution to which Paul is referring. Probably the worst persecution that we receive is losing (temporarily, hopefully) the friendship of someone close to us because of our belief in the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Here, Paul is talking about those early Christians who gave their lives for the Gospel. I would guess that most of us have wondered, at some time or other, how far we would go for the Gospel. Would I really lay down my life for Jesus?  Paul tells us that we should consider our physical bodies as dead already. 

For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. – Col. 3:3 NKJV

Since this is true, we should consider our physical bodies already dead. But our Spirit will always be alive because of what Jesus did for us at Calvary. So, if we are attempting to live the lifestyle that Jesus wants us to, isn’t the decision already made? We agreed to die with Christ and mortify (put to death) our fleshly desires so that we will be raised with Christ in our new immortal bodies. It is all about faith and trust. Will God do what He said or not? The answer is “Yes, of course, He will.” In His mercy, He will protect and perfect us and in His justice, He will repay the persecutors


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

Post 03-22-2017

Knock! Knock!

even-smaller-bug-light1

For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.  — Matthew 7:8 NLT

We hear a lot of opinions on how we should pray. Some say you should only ask once and God will answer when and if He wants to. Some say you should only ask for certain things. What does God say about it? In the original text of the Bible, the Greek verbs were verbs that indicated this was a continuing action. Jesus concurs with this in the parable of the woman who kept bothering the unjust judge until he gave her what she wanted. In James, we are told that “all good gifts come down from the Father above”. Furthermore, God has said that He is our provider and that means more than spiritual salvation. When Jesus healed people, He used the term “made whole”. That means physical as well as spiritual. The simple truth is that we can ask God for any and every thing that doesn’t violate His Word and we can keep on asking Him. Think about what He said to Paul. Paul had asked Jesus 3 times for healing and God said “my grace is sufficient”. That was God’s answer to Paul’s prayer. Unless God has answered your prayer (and that doesn’t always mean that He gives us what we want, but He does give us what we need) keep on asking. Look again at verse 8 above: “For everyone who asks receives……”

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

Post 11-12-2016

Money, Money, Money!

even-smaller-bug-light1

17 Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. — 1 Timothy 6:17 NLT
God revealed Himself to us using different names.  One of those names is Jehovah- Jireh, which means that He is our provider.  We usually think of that in terms of physical needs and God does provide for our physical needs here on earth.  But it is more than that. our greatest needs are spiritual and He provides for those needs in abundance.  We look around us and we see all kinds of needs going unmet and we wonder why God doesn’t fulfill every need in the world.  We know He is capable of doing so and we know that He has the resources. Whether we like it or not, whether we agree or disagree with His plan, the first step in trying to understand those unmet needs is to understand that God’s promises are to His children.  The next step is to understand that if we are deliberately living a life of disobedience, He is not obligated to do anything for us.  The next step might be that He uses humans to carry out His plans and we know that we are not always reliable.  Sometimes, perhaps, we keep more of what He has blessed with than He wanted us to, so someone doesn’t get their need fulfilled.  The first two steps are His and we can’t change them.  The third step is ours and that is where we need to focus.  Are we doing all we can do to alleviate needs in our corner of the world?  Are we using God’s abundance to fulfill our wants instead of meeting the needs of those around us?  We need money for our journey here on earth but we also need to use as much as possible of the money God gives us to do good and lay up eternal treasures in heaven.
 

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

Sing a Song of Praise and Life!

even-smaller-bug-light1

19 singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts.
— Ephesians 5:19 NLT
 
 
If we take any time to read the testimonies of our brothers and sisters who are persecuted by being imprisoned, our hearts will break at the stories of their cruel treatment.  Sleeping in hot containers in the blazing sun or on cold ground in winter time.  Being allowed only one set of clothing with no laundering facilities for months. Being fed one meal a day (on good days) and that being nothing but gruel.  Being given the worst of the chores, such as shoveling out the latrine pools and carrying the waste away in buckets.  Being beaten for witnessing to the other prisoners.  When these brothers and sisters are interviewed (if they survive), they each have amazing stories of how God was gracious to them, providing supernatural spiritual, mental and physical strength.  But there is one common theme that runs through their stories.  When asked the quesiton; “How do you survive such cruel treatment for such a long length of time?”   They tell stories of singing the spiritual songs they have learned while serving Jesus.  Some are old hymns, some are psalms and other Bible verses set to music, some are words that God has given them for just such a time.  Helen Berthane tells her story of imprisonment in the containers in Eritrea in her book,  “The Song of the Nightingale”.  In her book, she tells of many songs that Jesus gave to her.  In our own lives, though we certainly have never tasted such cruel punishment for our Christian beliefs, such songs can get us through the hardest times.  Take the time to commit some Spiritual songs to memory and the next time, satan shoots his fiery arrows at you, repel them with your favorite songs and verses.  He will flee.
 
Post 05-19-2016

Fill Me Up!

even-smaller-bug-light1

34 Then Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work. — John 4:34 NLT
The disciples knew that Jesus had been tired and weary because of the journey from Judea, so they were encouraging Him to eat physical food.  Jesus tells them that He has a food that they know nothing about. They don’t understand that He is referring to a Spiritual food that refreshes Him more than physical or natural food ever could.  It was hard for them and it is hard for us to understand that Jesus could become so involved in doing God’s work that nothing else matters.  The work of the Father was His very life and His sustenance.  Natural food has to be taken and eaten to give us refreshment and life, but Spiritual food must be given away to have the same effect on the giver and the receiver.  In the natural order of things, we have to plow, sow and wait to reap and eat the food and the fields can only be harvested at certain times of the year.  In the Kingdom of God, the spiritual food is always available with us doing no work to receive it. The fields are always white and ready for harvest.  Let each of us pray that the work of God becomes more important than food and water in our lives.  What good is there in sustaining the natural if the spiritual dies?  We can eat all the Spiritual food we can get.  It will fill us with Life but we should never be satisfied. 
Post 05-11-2016