The Gift That Keeps On Giving

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.– Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV 

Ephesians 2:4-10 NKJV

Our salvation is a gift from God, we didn’t earn it by works and we didn’t purchase it with favor or money.  It was God’s plan before the foundations of the earth were laid.  As Paul said, if we boast, we must boast in Christ Jesus alone.  Does this negate works?  Not at all, we are saved to work, not by our works.  Just as it was God’s plan to send Jesus to purchase our redemption with His blood, it was always God’s plan that we would have a part in His kingdom work here on earth.  God has gifted each of us with a spiritual gift to be used in His work.  Some of us are preachers, others are teachers, others encourage, others have gifts of helps.  The list of gifts is lengthy, because we all have a part in God’s plan and purpose.  Make a commitment today to ask God about your gift and how to use it in His plan.

1 Peter 4:7-11 NKJV

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

Post 07-09-2016

Blind and Deaf

27 For the hearts of these people are hardened, and their ears cannot hear,
and they have closed their eyes—
so their eyes cannot see,
and their ears cannot hear,
and their hearts cannot understand,
and they cannot turn to me
and let me heal them.’ 
— Acts 28:27 NLT 

Acts 28:23-30 NLT

The Jewish leaders there in Rome had already heard the message of Jesus. They wanted to hear it again from Paul and to hear what he believed.  Any time and every time the name of Jesus is mentioned, it requires that we make a decision.  Whether we decide to reject Him, accept Him or to think about it, we make a decision.  Some of these leaders were persuaded to believe by what Paul said and others were not.  It is a mystery to us why all the people hear the same message but some respond positively and some respond negatively.  Did Paul quit preaching the Word because some refused to believe?  No!  For two years, Paul supported himself and continued to tell others about the Good News.  Paul understood that the results of his preaching the Word were not up to Him.  His part was to continue to be obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit.  We are to do the same thing.  Keep preaching and/or teaching and not be discouraged because we don’t see any results.  The results are up to the Lord and the Holy Spirit, not to us.  We will see the results when we get to heaven. Until then we just keep living out God’s plan for each of us and let Him handle the results.

Isaiah 55:8-11 NLT


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

Post 03-28-2019

Gotta Tell Somebody

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2  Sing to the Lord; praise his name.
  Each day proclaim the good news that he saves. — Psalm 96:2 NLT


God has a plan and a a purpose for each one of us.  The ultimate goal for each of those plans is to glorify God.  We glorify God by proclaiming the good news that Jesus saves.  We can do this by teaching, preaching or simply living a lifestyle that shows others how much Jesus means to us and what He has done for us.  God has never called anyone to do anything without equipping them and training them. The way we walk and talk is observed by those around us.  We talk to others about ball games, movies we have seen, places we have been to and books that we have read.  We share experience after experience with them, but we never touch on the most important experience that we have had.  We never mention anything to them about when we met Jesus and all the things he has done for us since.  Yes, we occasionally share that with our Christian brothers and sisters, but when we are talking to others, do we mention the name of Jesus? It isn’t always necessary to quote Bible verses to people.  Sometimes, we just need to tell them what Jesus has done for us.  Anytime, the name of Jesus is mentioned, a decision has to be made; will we accept Him or reject Him?  Just allow the Holy Spirit to guide you and your lifestyle and testimony will be effective.

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

Post 12-16-2018

God’s Plan and Timing Is Always Better Than Ours!

22 “How great you are, O Sovereign Lord! There is no one like you. We have never even heard of another God like you! 
Nathan, the prophet has told David that God will not allow David to build a permanent temple for God.  Nathan also tells David that God will establish David’s house as a dynasty.  There would never be a time when someone from David’s lineage would not rule in Israel.  Instead of being upset that his idea was rejected, David rejoices in the better plan that God has for he and his family. David then prays this prayer of thanksgiving to God.  Then David goes on to be obedient to God and God gives him victory after victory on the battlefield.  David collects all the materials necessary for Solomon to build the temple.  Though God rejected David’s request, He gave David something better.  God always hears and answers our prayers.  When God says no to our request, it is usually for our benefit, so that He can give us something better.  Either the plan is wrong or the timing is wrong.  But, like David, we should accept God’s answer and praise Him for all the things He has brought us through.  We should realize, as David did, that there is no God like our God.  David had never even heard of a God that could do what our God does and neither have we.  Our God fulfills every promise He has ever made.  He does this in His timing, not in ours.  Too often, we are willing to settle for good things and not wait on God to give us the better things He wants for us.  This is true, spiritually, physically and financially.  Don’t rebel against God when He doesn’t answer yes to every request exactly when we want him to do so.  Wait on the Lord, He has a better plan.  Praise Him for Who He is, not what He does for us. He has already given us His Son, why would He withhold any good thing from us?
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 12-14-2018

Purpose, Plan, Complete

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You, too, must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, because the coming of the Lord is near. – James 5:8 ISV
 
God has a plan and He reveals as much of that plan to us as we need to know to do His will. As Paul pointed out to us:

 

26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. — Colossians 1:26, 27 NIV

For whatever reason, He has chosen to keep the timing of His return a secret from us at this time.  We could get into huge discussions about this, but it would be an ultimate waste of the time God has granted us to be here on this earth.  We need to spend the precious days that we have doing the good works that God has prepared for us to do.  We need to do that without accusing, grumbling or judging others.  We need to spend our time in praise, prayer, worship and leading others to Jesus.  This is the kind of work that will endure the fire when it is tested.  This is the kind of work that will earn us crowns in glory.  The more crowns we earn, the more we will have to cast at the feet of Jesus in honoring Him when we get to heaven.  Our concern is to be sure that we persevere and complete the work that God has planned for each of us. He will be the judge of all that is said and done.

36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For,  “In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.”  — Hebrews 10:36, 37 NIV

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

Purposed, Planned, Prepared

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15 Instead you should say, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live—and do this or that.” – James 4:15 ISV
 
We can look at nature and realize that God is very organized. He established the seasons and the natural order of dormancy in the winter, birthing of the new in the spring with the winds in March that help to be sure every plant is pollinated, the showers in April to prepare the soil for the flowers of May.  Then the summer for growth and the fall for maturity and harvesting.  That plan remains the same year after year since plants can’t make their own plans.  We need to have a plan for our lives but it needs to be flexible enough and held loosely enough to allow God to change us and our plans to fit His plan for our lives.  As Proverbs tells us, we make our plans, but God directs our steps and makes them sure.  Each of us is only one little piece of the whole jigsaw puzzle.  Since we don’t have the box

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top, we can’t see the finished picture. So, we need to be sure that our plans fit into God’s big plan just as each piece of the puzzle must fit to complete the picture.


10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. — Eph. 2:10 NIV
 

So, if we know which good works God has prepared us to do, we need to do them with all our hearts, minds, and strength.  Because of all He has done for us, we should consider anything less as unacceptable.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 08-15-2018

Our Ultimate Goal Is To Please God

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 So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him. – 2 Cor. 5:9 NLT
 
 
The ultimate goal for a Christian is to live a lifestyle that is pleasing to God. This doesn’t mean that all of us have to be involved in the traditional full time ministries.  It does mean that God expects us to use the abilities and the resources He has placed under our control to glorify Him.  It means that whatever position we are in that God has made us a steward over that part of His world and His business. We are accountable to Him for every second and every cent we spend. The time and the money are gifts from our Father and He expects us to use them to glorify Him and further His Kingdom. Besides the purchases of those things necessary for living, we need to be sure that the why, when and where we spend time and money brings glory to Him. As we spend more time with just us and God meditating on His Word, we find that our wants and desires begin to change.  As we focus on Jesus, the worldly things become less important and pleasing Him becomes our heart’s desire. God has a plan and a purpose for each of us. We don’t need to know the whole plan, we just need to walk in faith trusting Him. We can take the next step knowing that the path leads to an eternity with Him.
3. Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. — Proverbs 16:3 NIV
17 May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us;  establish the work of our hands for us — yes, establish the work of our hands. — Psalm 90:17 NIV
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 06-12-2018