“What Are You Doing Here?”

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But the Lord said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” — 1 Kings 19:9b NLT

1 Kings 19:8-18 NLT

After Elijah had eaten and then eaten some more, he ran for forty days and forty nights. His journey took him to Mount Sinai, the mountain of God. This was the mountain on which God had given Moses the tablets of the Ten Commandments. God speaks to Elijah and asks him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” I imagine Elijah might have been wondering the same thing. Elijah answers by registering his complaint about being the only prophet left in Israel. God instructs Elijah to stand before Him on the mountain. Then, God sends a mighty windstorm, an earthquake and a fire, but God was not in any of those things. When we are wallowing in self-pity, it takes a lot to shake us up and get our attention. After God got Elijah’s attention, He spoke to in a gentle whisper. No yelling, no screaming, no rebuke, just a gentle whisper. Then, God reassures Elijah that he is not alone, there are at least 7000 other prophets that God has kept from bowing their knee to Baal. No matter the situation, God is always so gracious to us and reassures us that everything is okay. He is God everywhere and all the time! We are never alone and we are never given more than we can bear. Yet, we still fail, moan and complain and God comes to us wherever we are, wraps His arms of love around us and comforts us.

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

“Don’t Tell Us What Is Right”

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10 They tell the seers,  “Stop seeing visions!”
They tell the prophets,   “Don’t tell us what is right.
Tell us nice things.  Tell us lies. — Isaiah 30:10 NLT

Isaiah 30:8-15 NLT

For too many years, our country has been headed down a path that is leading us further and further from God. Over and over, we have seen and ignored the warning signs. God is calling this nation to repentance.  The Bible shows us over and over that God keeps all of his promises, promises for good and His promises to discipline.  God has blessed this country for centuries because we were His “light on a hill”, a beacon and an example for other nations to follow.  But those times have come to an end. We are now a country in chaos because we have chosen to stray from the path of righteousness and follow after other gods.  Gods of greed, violence, hate all because of our pride.  Our unwillingness to admit when we are wrong and listen to reason.  God is calling us saying “Come, let us reason together” and we are refusing to listen. He said the same thing to Israel and they refused to listen and they paid a huge price for their disobedience.  If we continue to walk the path of disobedience, we too will pay a huge price.  Only God can “Make America Great Again”.  He is calling us to return to Him and be saved. Only in returning to Him and resting in Him will we be saved. Let us return to Him or we, like Israel, will be disciplined severely for our prideful disobedience.

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

“They Were Foreigners and Nomads”

13  All these people died still believing what God had promised them. They did not receive what was promised, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed it. They agreed that they were foreigners and nomads here on earth.​- Hebrews 11:13 NLT

Hebrews 11:13-16 NLT

We, like the prophets and leaders of the past, should consider ourselves foreigners and aliens here on earth.  We need to hold onto the things of earth very lightly and be ready to let them go at the slightest urge of the Holy Spirit. God puts people in our path and gives us resources for a reason and a season.  The why, what, when and where are His prerogative.  Our love for Him requires us to allow Him to use us for whatever purpose and plan He has for us. It is our “reasonable sacrifice” to mortify our flesh and focus on Jesus.  We walk in faith and live in the hope that we are headed for a country and a city not made with human hands.  We have confidence in our hope because it is based on the same faith that Jesus had that He would be resurrected.  Because of His resurrection and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we are assured that our hope is not just wishful thinking but a fact guaranteed by our Lord and Savior.

13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory. —Ephesians 1:13-14 NIV

When soldiers are fighting a battle in a foreign land, the hope that keeps them going is the thoughts of returning home. They talk often of the day they will be leaving their post and you can believe there are smiles on their faces during those conversations.  We should live our lives with that same anticipation of the fulfillment of every promise of God realizing that the joy we have when we receive earthly blessings are only small samples of the joy we will have when we get home.

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

“If We Are Faithful to the End”

14 For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ. – Hebrews 3:14 NLT

Hebrews 3:12-14 NLT

When Jesus was still here on earth, He warned His disciples about being fooled by false prophets that would arise. These false prophets would claim that Jesus is coming this year or they may even claim to have seen Jesus. 

23 At that time, someone might say to you, ‘Look, there is the Christ!’ Or another person might say, ‘There he is!’ But don’t believe them. 24 False Christs and false prophets will come and perform great wonders and miracles. They will try to fool even the people God has chosen, if that is possible. 25 Now I have warned you about this before it happens. — Matthew 24:23-25 NIV

We have been forewarned of the danger of taking our salvation lightly.  We need to study the Word, pray and meditate on it daily.  Our flesh is weak and can be easily tempted to return to its old sinful ways.  It is up to us to “put on the full armor of God” every day.  The armor of God is designed to fight the spiritual battle that goes on in our minds all day long, every day.  

3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.  — 2 Cor. 10:3-5 NIV

Each day, we need to encourage each other and support each other with our prayers, so that we can persevere.

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 NIV

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

"He Slipped Away"

14 When the people saw him do this miraculous sign, they exclaimed, “Surely, he is the Prophet we have been expecting!” 15 When Jesus saw that they were ready to force him to be their king, he slipped away into the hills by himself. ​ – John 6:14-15 NLT

Aft​er Jesus had miraculously fed the multitude with a few loaves and a few fish, the people realized that this man was different from anyone they had ever seen before. Jesus knew with their misunderstanding of His purpose here on earth at this time, that they would try to make Him their King. This was the same situation Jesus had with the Pharisees and Sadducees. After all, the Messiah that the Jews were expecting, would build His Kingdom here on earth and be an earthly king. Jesus knew this was not the time for that, so He slips away to be by Himself. The Jews were not looking for a Suffering Servant, they wanted a King to free them from the rule of the Romans. Because of their traditions and their current situation, they wanted a King and they wanted Him now. So, they missed all the blessings of being with Jesus in His first advent here on earth. How many blessings do you and I miss because we have preconceived ideas about when and how God should answer our prayers? How many times do we miss God’s answer because it isn’t what we expected or wanted? How many times have we been upset or angry with God, because we thought He wasn’t listening and answering our prayers? God knows exactly what we need, how much we need, and exactly when we need it. There has never been a prayer that God didn’t answer. No matter what we are going through here and now, Jesus is fully aware of it and He never asks us to go through anything alone. He will never leave us nor forsake us. He has never failed on any of His promises.

8 But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. 9 The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake.–2 Peter 3:8-9A (NLT)

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

Post 03-29-2020

“And His Great Glory Afterward”

11 They wondered what time or situation the Spirit of Christ within them was talking about when he told them in advance about Christ’s suffering and his great glory afterward. ​ — 1 Peter 1:11 NLT

1 Peter 1:9-12 NLT

Can you imagine the amazement and awe that the Old Testament prophets must have felt when the Spirit inspired them to prophesy about the Messiah. A future hope that their eyes would not see. Can you imagine that they wondered, “why would this Messiah have to suffer so”? Yet they were faithful in telling about a Savior that was coming to redeem a fallen world, even though the message was not for them, but for us. They looked forward and wondered. We look back and know the truth about the Good News. The first century preachers were anointed with the Holy Spirit and were faithful to spread the Good News. Now, it is our turn to be faithful and spread the Gospel as we look forward to our soon-coming King. Like the prophets of old, we may not be alive to see Him return, but it is still the Hope of those who love Him. The Hope and the knowledge that one day, we will all rise to meet Him in the air. Altogether, He will take us home to be with Him in glory! Can you say Hallelujah!! Amen!!?

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

Post 01-08-2020

“He Has Spoken to Us”

2 And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son he created the universe.— Hebrews 1:2 NLT

Hebrews 1:1-5 NLT

In the Old Testament, God spoke to His people through prophets, Theophanies, angels, and, at least, once through an animal. In the New Testament, He sent angels to specific people and also spoke to His people through John the Baptist. But, after Jesus was born, God the Father spoke to humans through God the Son. Jesus was present at the creation. He is the exact likeness of God and He is the reflection of God’s glory.. Once he had been obedient to the cross and completed His earthly mission, He was exalted to His present position, which is next to God in heaven. He intercedes for us there. He is greater than all the angels and His Name is superior to all other names. His Name is the only Name in heaven and on earth or under the seas, whereby we can receive eternal salvation.

Phil, 2:5-11 NLT

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

Post 11-09-2019

“Don’t Let Anyone Condemn You”

18 Don’t let anyone condemn you by insisting on pious self-denial or the worship of angels, saying they have had visions about these things. Their sinful minds have made them proud.— Col. 2:18 NLT

Colossians 2:16-22 NLT

In the Old Testament, God established certain traditions and feasts for His people to observe at specific times of the year. He had very specific rules as to how the sacrifices were to be prepared and offered. These things were shadows of the sacrificial work of Jesus in the New Testament. But as time went by, the ruling religious class added thousand of rules to what God had given. These additional rules are why Jesus rebuked the Sadducees and the Pharisees. They laid too heavy a burden on the people. Jesus fulfilled the law and many of the prophecies of the Old Testament. We are no longer required to observe all the feasts and traditions. Jesus gave us a very simple plan of salvation. But, just as corruption came into the old law because of prideful humans, it has crept into the plan that Jesus gave us. False prophets have arisen and they go about preaching all kinds of requirements that Jesus does not place on us. Study and meditate on the Scriptures daily so that you are not taken captive by such drivel. The path is narrow and the way is straight, stay on the true path guided by God’s Holy Spirit.

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

Post 09-29-2019

“The Gifts Christ Gave To The Church”

11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers.— Ephesians 4:11 NLT

Ephesians 4:11-16 NLT

Christ has given 5 gifts to the church, these are known as the 5-fold ministry. They are not given to the leaders so they can do all the work. They are given to the church leaders so that they can equip the laypeople (that’s us) to do the witnessing, visiting, and serving. They build up God’s church by training and encouraging us. Learning to do these things is how we grow to maturity in Christ. When we are new Christians, we can be easily misled by those who are in authority, but as we learn, we should be able to “stand against the wiles of the devil”. One of his tricks is to use Christians to mislead others. Choose carefully those to whom you listen. There are sheep in wolves clothing trying to deceive the elect. Always cross check every message and lesson with the Bible. Don’t be swayed by charisma, charm or emotions. “Be rooted and grounded” and stand firm. As we mature, we become more like Jesus. Follow His example, speak the truth in love and lead others to Jesus.

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

Post -09-11-2019

A New Heart

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51 “You stubborn people! You are heathen at heart and deaf to the truth. Must you forever resist the Holy Spirit? That’s what your ancestors did, and so do you! — Acts 7:51 NLT
Stephen has just recited a short summary of all the things God had brought the Israelis through and the miracles He had performed in bringing them to the Promised Land.  Stephen also reminded them that God did this for them in spite of their unbelief and unfaithfulness.  He did it as a fulfillment of His covenant with their ancestors. Even though God was faithful, the Israelis were not, refusing to listen to Moses and any of the prophets God sent to them with messages warning them to repent and be obedient to God.  Instead they persecuted and murdered the prophets choosing to remain in their sinful ways and worship idols made by human hands.  The people Stephen was addressing were still following in their ancestor’s paths, choosing to kill the Messiah rather than to give up their worldly ways and repent.   If Stephen were here today, he could add the history of our country to his discourse and the accusation would still be true.  After all the years of God blessing this country with His abundance, we are still a “stubborn people, heathen at heart and deaf to the truth”.  More and more, as each day passes by, we become a more sinful nation.  We refuse to believe that God will punish us just as He punished the Israelis.  We must pray that God will have mercy on this nation of ours, that He will replace our hearts of stone with hearts of flesh and write His name upon our hearts.

Even though this was a promise God made to the Israelis, His chosen people, may He see fit to extend His mercies to us because, as Christians, we are a people chosen by Him as well.
 

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

Post 12-17-2018