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

“Don’t Babble On and On”

7 “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as the Gentiles do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. — Matt. 6:7 NLT 

Matt. 6:7-14 NLT

Lots of us often have trouble putting into words what we want to say to God in our prayer times. It helps me to think of it as a conversation that a small child would have with their parents. I can tell God  anything that is on my heart in any respectful words that I choose and He will listen patiently. He desires that time of fellowship with us. He already knows what we want to ask and He already knows His answer. The purpose of the prayer is to let us know what He already knows. How does He do that, if we just put our list of “wants/needs” before Him and go  our way?  Remember prayer is not a speech, it is a conversation and God has something to say to you. He doesn’t need to think about it over night, He already has the answer.and understands it perfectly. Spend some time just marinating in His presence and God will reveal His answer in His own time.  Lean on Jesus and know that He will never leave you nor forsake you.

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

Post 05-19-2019

Pray With A Purpose

4 May he grant your heart’s desires  and make all your plans succeed. — Psalm 20:1 NLT

Psalm 20 NLT

When we  read verses like the one above  and others throughout the Bible, what thoughts go through our minds?  Does this mean that we can ask God for anything and expect to get it?  Is there any requirements for prayers to be of a certain form or prayed in a certain way?  Is God like a huge dispensing machine where we deposit a prayer and out comes everything we asked for?  Is/are there some particular thing(s) we must do before this is true?  Suppose a non-Christian reads the Bible, reads these verses and prays?  What answer could that person expect?  Is God obligated to answer every prayer?  if so, why? if not, why not?  
There are two categories of people that pray; the unsaved and the saved.  I believe it could easily be proven that the only prayer from an unsaved person that God is obligated to answer is a prayer of repentance.  None of God’s promises besides salvation apply to the lost or unsaved.  Those of us who have prayed the “sinner’s” prayer and are now the redeemed are in a different place entirely.  Tomorrow a deeper look at some of these questions.

“The closer I get to the end of my life, it seems the only question that matters, Is the life I am living pleasing to God?” – Ken Gire In “Sacred”

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

Post 03-07-2019

His Work, His Way, His Timing

8  Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness.    Let the whole world know what he has done.     — 1 Chronicles 16:8 NLT

 1 Chronicles 16:7-11 NLT

This song of praise and thanksgiving was composed by David after the successful movement of the Ark of the Covenant from Obed-Edom’s house to the tent David had prepared especially for the Ark.  On the first attempt at getting the Ark to Jerusalem, a man had died because he touched the Ark. David and his men had attempted to do the right thing the wrong way.  This time David appointed priests to carry the Ark.  They researched the proper way to transport the Ark and were able to bring it safely to Jerusalem.  How many times in our lives have we failed when we were sure we were hearing from God and doing what He wanted us to do?  When God gives us a work to do, we need to inquire as to how we are to accomplish this work.  When we are sure that God has given us a specific work and we fail in trying to do that work, we need to stop and listen to God to determine how He wants His work done.  We make a lot of mistakes because originally, we want to do our thing, our way.  When we are saved, we want to do God’s thing, our way.  As we listen to the Holy Spirit and mature in our walk with God, He brings us to the point that we want to do God’s thing, God’s way.  So, when we are sure of God’s purpose for us in life, but we keep failing in our attempts to accomplish that purpose, we need to stop, look and listen.  We don’t give up, we give in.  When we do this, God is able to use us to accomplish His work His way.  Then, we will be successful in His eyes whether the world recognizes it or not.

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

Post 01-16-2019

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

What Do People See In Us?

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65 Awe fell upon the whole neighborhood, and the news of what had happened spread throughout the Judean hills. 66 Everyone who heard about it reflected on these events and asked, “What will this child turn out to be?” For the hand of the Lord was surely upon him in a special way. — Luke 1:65, 66 NLT

These are the words Luke wrote to describe the reactions of the people on hearing about the birth of John the Baptist.  It was a miraculous event that Elizabeth should give birth at such a late age in life.  They were also in wonder that Zechariah would allow his son to be named John since no one in the family had ever been named that.  In those days, the carrying on of traditional family names was extremely important.  Because of these two things, they knew that God was involved in a special way and that John must have a special purpose to fulfill.   Once Zechariah was able to speak again, he prophesies about what that purpose is (vv 67-79).

In its own way, every birth is a miracle and every child has a special purpose in life.  God has a plan for every life and every one has been given a particular gift to accomplish that purpose.  Not all of us will be involved in what we call “full-time” ministries, but all of us are involved in full time witnessing for the Lord.  Every word and every action reflects positively or negatively on the Kingdom of God.  What is our lifestyle today telling people about Jesus and His Kingdom?  If someone observed us for a month, what do you think they would say about what we think is important?  Does our attitude and our demeanor tell others that we live in fear or that we have faith in a God who can and does do the impossible?  

 
10  Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. — Isaiah 41:10 NLT

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

Post 11-11-2018

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