Life Or Death?

22 But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. — Romans 6:22 NLT

Romans 6:17-23 NLT

Romans 3:23 tells us that we have all sinned and our attempts to live without sin or to be like God have failed.  We were born as slaves to sin and the desires of the flesh.  We were in bondage to that kind of lifestyle. But the Trinity had laid a plan to free us from that bondage long before they laid the foundations of the earth.  That plan was for God Himself to come to earth clothed in a human body.  So, we see that the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus was not some johnny come lately plan nor was it a knee-jerk reaction to what satan was doing.  It was a secret, well-laid plan that the enemy could not defeat because he knew nothing about it.  God never had any thoughts about leaving His creation without a Redeemer.  Now the mystery of salvation has been revealed to all of us. We have a simple choice to make.  Accept Jesus and be freed from the bondage of sin.  Before we accepted Jesus, we had no choice about sin, now that we have accepted Him, we are free to chose to do right and live a holy lifestyle. We now have a new Master, one who gives us freedom to choose what we will do and how we will react to situations.  We can choose to work ourselves to death (the wages of sin are death) or we can reach out and accept that free gift of life today. 

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

Post -04-03-2019

The Effect of Hearing the Gospel

20 So the message about the Lord spread widely and had a powerful effect. — Acts 19:20 NLT

Acts 19:11-20 NLT

We are told in verse one that “God gave Paul the power to perform unusual miracles.”  In verse twenty, we see the reason for this was to spread the Good News about Jesus and the redemption story.  The spreading of the Gospel always has a powerful effect on all those that hear.  To those that hear and believe, it brings new life.  To those who hear but refuse to believe, it brings death.  Anytime the name of Jesus is spoken those that hear it must make a decision right then and there.  Either they will believe the Good News and receive life or they will refuse to believe and earn their way to hell.  When the name of Jesus is spoken with the intent to glorify God, it contains all of the power that was present at the resurrection of Jesus.  But when the name of Jesus is spoken with the intention of self-glory or for the mere purpose of gaining wealth, the result is confusion and chaos. Just ask the seven sons of Sveca.  God is a God of miracles and miracles are still being performed today.  Not all of us are given the power to perform miracles as Paul was.  God gives different gifts to members of the body of Christ so that it can be whole and bring glory to Himself. God doesn’t perform miracles on a whim or on demand.  Each time we witness a miracle we know that God has a purpose and a plan that requires a miracle to complete the plan.  Miracles always affect more than one person.   The person receiving the miracle is not the only one touched.  Those seeing or listening that are already believers are encouraged and those who do not believe will be drawn to God.


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

Post 03-12-2019

“Wait Upon the Lord”

Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. — Acts 1:4


Acts 1:1-5 NLT

Sometimes when God first starts to reveal our part in His plan, we want to start “doing” right then.   There are times that we should move instantly because it might be the only chance we have to witness to a particular person.  But if God is calling us to do a work that requires coordination and acceptance by others, we may have to wait while everyone else involved gets lined up.  God never sends us unprepared.  Jesus was tested for forty days before He began His ministry.  Saul spent years in the desert becoming Paul.  David spent years fighting battles, running from Saul and was anointed three times before He actually took the throne.  Preparation requires patience, prayer, persecution, perseverance, provision and power. There are usually people who disagree with what we think God has called us to do and/or the methodology we use to do it.  We must not only be patient with God but with others involved as well.  We must endure the negativity and the discouraging remarks.  If we persevere, God will give us the provisions and the power.   God had prepared the disciples to “go and make” but now He has commanded them to “wait”.  Waiting can sometimes be the hardest part.  But success will only come if we adhere to God’s battle plan and His timing.  We must wait until all the ifs, ands, buts, perhaps, and maybes are gone.  Then when the Commander says “charge”, we will be successful in the war.

14 Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous.
Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.— Psalm 27:14 NLT

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

Post 02-07-2019

“Tell Somebody”

44 And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound in grave clothes, his face wrapped in a headcloth. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him go!” — John 11:44 NLT

John 11:40-45 NLT

Lazarus was wrapped head to toe with grave clothes and a head cloth, yet, when Jesus called him out, he came forth.  Not walking or seeing, but transported by the power of the words that Jesus had spoken.  Regardless of how seemingly impossible the task may seem, when Jesus speaks, things happen.  God created the universe and everything in it by speaking them into existence.  His words bring with them the power to create.  Jesus said ” I am the Way, the Truth and the Life”.  His words bring light and life to a world of darkness and death.  We are told this many times in various ways in the Bible.  In Romans, we are told that God speaks of things that are not as though they were.

 Romans 4:16-22 NKJV

Why would He do that?  Because when He says they are, they become whatever He says.  The lame walk, the blind see, the dead arise filled with new life.  So, when we read all of the many precious promises that Jesus has made to us through His word, why do we still doubt it?  When we have access to the same power that raised Jesus from the dead and seated Him at the right hand of the Father, why do we live in fear of what tomorrow might bring?  When we are persecuted, why do we cower and remain silent?  Let each of us speak the Word and God will provide the power and the outcome will be to His glory.

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

Post 01-21-2019

Only One God Delivers On Every Promise!

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2 When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.
 — Isaiah 43:2 NLT

 

These are not idle words with no meaning or no power to back them up.  In fact, in the past, the Israelis walked through the Red Sea and across the Jordan without even getting their feet wet.  Elijah and Elisha would one day cross the Jordan on dry ground and Elisha would cross back over the Jordan on dry ground.


2 Kings 2:7-13

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego would one day walk in a fiery furnace and come out alive, un-burned and without even the smell of the smoke on their clothes.

 

Anything that our God promises, He is able to bring to pass. Just because we know the stories of these miracles and the miracles in the New Testament well, they should not become so familiar to us that they lose their meaning. Every time we read them or hear them, it should be a reminder that we serve a loving and a faithful God. The One and Only God who is able to do exactly what He says He will do in His own timing.  He has proved His love for us over and over with the ultimate proof being that He sent His Son Jesus to die on a cross for our sins. He has proven over and over that anytime He asks anyone to do something for the Kingdom, He supplies everything they need to accomplish the task.  The next time and every time that we feel the nudge of the Holy Spirit asking us to speak or act, our hearts should jump with joy that God has chosen us.  Our minds and our bodies should jump to the task.  If we are obedient in taking the first step of faith, we can be assured that God will finish the work.  He has never failed and He never will.  No other human or so-called god has predicted, promised or performed without failing.

The Lord, our God, is one God and He alone is worthy to be praised!

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

Post 12-05-2018

Power to Live Worry-Free!

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32 “So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom. — Luke 12:32 NLT

Most Christians are very familiar with this passage of Scripture. We are probably more familiar with the version in Matthew 6. These passages are about how God will take care of us and all of our needs.  We are warned not to be concerned about our needs for tomorrow.  Rather, we are to be concerned with our thoughts and activities for today.  In the above verse, God extends that promise to include not only our needs but the whole Kingdom of God.  We assume that that is a promise for the future and it is.  But, if we put this verse in the context of what Jesus is teaching the disciples and us, then it becomes a promise for now and later.  Particularly, in the Matthew version, this teaching follows closely after Jesus has taught the disciples what we call “The Lord’s Prayer”.  In that prayer,  Jesus teaches us to pray,”Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth even as it is in heaven.”   We are a part of the Kingdom of God that exists on earth now. Not in its perfect state, that will come later, nevertheless, it exists now and God wants us to enjoy the benefits of living in the Kingdom now and much more later. It gives God great joy when we accept His gifts and live lives that are full of joy and worry-free. When Jesus tells us not to worry and not to fear, His words are not just empty words, they carry the weight of the Resurrection Power of God behind them! They are more than a mere suggestion! They carry power that we can access to live worry-free!

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

Post 11-28-2016

“Get Ready! Stand Up And Tell Them!”

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17 “As for you, get ready! Stand up and tell them everything that I’ve commanded you. 
– Jeremiah 1:17a ISV
 
God had just told Jeremiah to go and tell the rulers and the people of Jerusalem that the city would soon be overrun with armies from the north.  Once the disaster started, it would be over quickly, like water pouring from a pot that has been tipped over.  It is understandable that Jeremiah probably was not too excited about delivering that message to the kings and their armies.  Jeremiah would soon learn the lesson that we need to learn.  God never sends us on a mission that He has not prepared us to go on.  He never sends us alone, He is always with us.  If He says we will not be defeated, then we can be assured that He will prevail for us.  It is our weakest moments that God uses for His glory.  He wants the odds against us winning to be so great that when we do win and the world sees it, they have no choice but to say that our God is the Great Almighty God.  Jeremiah was told to “gird up his loins” (KJV) to prepare himself physically for the battle since he would be facing people.  Since our warfare now is not against people but against spiritual rulers and demons, we are told to “gird up the loins of our minds”. (KJV).

13 So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world — 1 Peter 1:13 NLT​

Whether the battle is physical or spiritual, the battle is not ours, it belongs to the Lord.  He will overcome and we will not be defeated.  But, just as Jeremiah was directed to stand up and deliver the message to the people, our instructions are the same.  So, we need to prepare ourselves and our minds for the tricks of the devil and be ready to stand up and tell the world everything that God will give us to say.


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

Post 10-26-2018