“Not By Human Desires”

2 so that he can live the rest of his mortal life guided, not by human desires, but by the will of God.– 1 Peter 4:2 ISV

 1 Peter 4:1-13 ISV

We may look at the list of things that pagans choose to do and with great relief, say “I never given in to any of those things.”.  But let’s take another look.  A synonym for debauchery is decadence which is defined as excessive self-indulgence. How much time and money do we spend on things that benefit no one but ourselves?  At what point do our “needs” actually become only our “wants”?   Then there is lust, usually taken in the sexual connotation, but let’s spread that out a little further.  How about the desire to control and to have a high position?  Or the desire for things? And then there is that ugly word, idolatry.  No statues or figurines in the house? How about things that we spend inordinate amounts of time and money trying to acquire?  How about persons on whom we spend inordinate amounts of time and money trying to please and/or appease?  How about things and events that we spend way, way too much time talking about?  If there is anything or any person in our lives that we feel so strongly about that those feelings would cause us to be unkind to and/or hurt others, those are idols. If we are guilty of any of these things and suffer in any area whether it be financially, emotionally, or spiritually, then we are not suffering for Christ, we are suffering from bad decisions and there is no reward for ourselves and no glory for God.  We need to decide that we are done with sin, commit to doing God’s will and then when we suffer for His sake, Christ will receive the glory and we will receive the reward in heaven. We have all seen those dirty cars where someone has written on them “Wash Me”.  When our lives become so cluttered and covered with things and issues, maybe we need someone to write on our our hearts, “wash me”.

Isaiah 1:18. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. 

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

Post 04-06-2020

“It’s Neither Chance Nor Circumstance”

30 Philip ran over and heard the man reading from the prophet Isaiah. Philip asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?”  — Acts 8:30 NLT

Acts 8:30-38 NLT

When the persecutions of the Christians started in Jerusalem, the believers were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria.  Philip had  been preaching and teaching about Jesus in Samaria.  When Peter and John arrived, an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip and told him to go south along the road to Gaza.  On his way, he met an eunuch from Ethiopia.  This eunuch had been to Jerusalem to worship.  He was reading aloud from a scroll of the Old Testament.  This particular scroll contained the book of Isaiah.  Since he had been to worship in Jerusalem and was in possession of a Biblical scroll and reading it aloud, we can safely assume two things.  He was familiar with the Jewish religion and he was searching for something.  So God had been preparing the heart of this eunuch to receive the Good News for some time.  I think we can safely assume that God had big plans for this eunuch when he returned to Ethiopia, but whether God had big plans for the eunuch or just wanted to save the eunuch is not the point.  The point is that God’s plans for Philip and the eunuch intersected at this point.  The eunuch was seeking understanding of the Scriptures and God sent a man to him who could explain those Scriptures.  Every day, our live intersect with other lives.  This was, is and will always be God’s plan for spreading the Good News.  Are we prepared to instantly obey?  Are we prepared to explain God’s plan of salvation to those whose paths we cross?  If not, why not spend some time today preparing to do just that?  There is a heavenly reason that you are where you are today.  It didn’t just happen.  Look around you, there are lost people that you have been sent to speak to. God has prepared their hearts to hear and He has given you the words of life to speak to them, therefore speak.

“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 02-20-2019

“We Are Without Excuse”

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14 No, the word is very near you—it’s within your mouth and heart for you to attain.” – Deut. 30:14 ISV
At this time, the Holy Spirit had not yet been given to us to remain on the earth until Jesus returns, so God gave the Israelis their instructions and commands through Moses.  In  the following chapters of Deuteronomy, we read that God instructed Moses to write all of these instructions in a Book.  That Book is now included as the first five books of the Bible.  Moses instructed the priests to keep the Book of Instructions beside the Ark of the Covenant at all times as a sign of remembrance to the Israelis of their covenant with God.  It would also serve as a witness against them in times of disobedience. It was to be read to the people, in its entirety, every seventh year during the Festival of Shelters.  God is a just God and never holds anyone accountable for things they can not know.  He can and does hold us responsible for those we could know but refuse to learn.

Now, since Jesus has returned to Heaven, He has sent the Holy Spirit to abide in us and lead us into all truth.  We have no reason for our disobedience.  We may try to excuse ourselves because of a lack of knowledge, but that excuse won’t hold water since God has made the Holy Spirit available to be our Teacher. His love for us and our love for Him is more than sufficient reason to study, learn and obey as much as we possibly can.  The Lord, our God, is a jealous God and he is unhappy with anything less than a total commitment to our relationship with Him.

For I am jealous for you with the jealousy of God himself. I promised you as a pure bride to one husband—Christ.  ​ — 2 Cor. 11:2 NLT​

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

Post 11-08-2018

“Stop Fighting With Each Other”

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You ask for something but do not get it because you ask for it for the wrong reason—for your own pleasure. – James 4:3 ISV
 
Let’s think back over the last few “discussions over differences” that we have had with a loved one, an acquaintance or someone ever the phone. In what percentage of the statements that we made, did the word “I” come up?  Were our thoughts, desires, and words based on “just judgment” or on our fleshly desires? Were we seeking justice or desiring to convince the other person(s) involved that we were right and they were wrong?  Or, if we are honest, were we just wanting to have it “our” way?  If we just wanted to have it our way, that is pride and we were more than likely wrong and just didn’t want to admit it.  When these “discussions over differences” get a little ugly, the flesh desires to kill and we satisfy that desire by using unkind and hurtful words.  Those words kill relationships. We covet the approval of our opinions from the other(s) involved in the discussion. so, we try to change their minds with our gift of persuasion. Instead, we should understand our limitations and ask God to change the minds of the ones who are wrong, accepting the fact that that might be us and not the others.  If we truly want God to answer our prayers (and He always does), then we need to be ready to accept the answer He gives.  Because the passage ends with the words “that you may spend what you get on your pleasures”, we tend to limit it to mean money. But, it applies to more than possessions and money, it also applies to time and talents. Are we using the time, talents and possessions that we have now for the glory of God?  We need to remember that all these “things” are really God’s anyway, they are just on loan to us and we could lose them quickly. Before we ask God for anything, we should be sure that what we are desiring will bring glory to His name.

17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. — Col. 3:17 NIV

 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 08-07-2018

Talk and Walk the Talk

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1 As for you, Titus, promote the kind of living that reflects wholesome teaching.
— Titus 2:1 NLT

We should all be mentors to those that are younger in the faith then we are. We should be teaching younger Christians starting with those in our household and then those that God puts in our path. There is no such thing as coincidence or a “chance meeting”. God has a plan and the people we meet are a part of God’s plan for us. God has put each of those people in our lives for a season and for a reason. The season could be as short as a few minutes or as long as a lifetime. The reason is for us to spread the Gospel and introduce others to Jesus Christ. If they already know Christ as their Savior, then the reason is for us to teach them or for them to teach us. Be attentive to the Holy Spirit, when He says speak, He will give you the correct words. Don’t be afraid of failure, God never fails and we are working for Him.


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

Post 04-13-2017

Anyone Can Do It!

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14 Remind everyone about these things, and command them in God’s presence to stop fighting over words. Such arguments are useless, and they can ruin those who hear them. –2 Timothy 2:14 NLT
Paul is instructing Timothy (and us) about the destruction and divisions that are caused by debating over doctrines. He is instructing us that our time would be better spent in meditating on God’s Word and doing exactly what it says without adding anything to it.  This is what the scribes and Pharisees had done to the Old Testament law. They had added their own interpretations to it and were weighing the people down with useless requirements. Some of us do the same thing today and then wonder why our church attendance is down.  The important thing for us to remember is that God made the plan of salvation very simple for a reason. It is not a burden to bear, it is easy to understand and for us, it is free, even though, it cost God His only Son. Anyone can do it.

 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.–John 3:16 NIV

Is there more to the story?  Yes, but just believing and repenting is all there is to salvation. Knowing the rest of the story will help you enjoy the journey.

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

Post 04-08-2017

It Isn’t a Coincidence

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30 Philip ran over and heard the man reading from the prophet Isaiah. Philip asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?”  — Acts 8:30 NLT
When the persecutions of the Christians started in Jerusalem, the believers were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria.  Philip had  been preaching and teaching about Jesus in Samaria.  When Peter and John arrived, an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip and told him to go south along the road to Gaza.  On his way, he met an eunuch from Ethiopia.  This eunuch had been to Jerusalem to worship.  He was reading aloud from a scroll of the Old Testament.  This particular scroll contained the book of Isaiah.  Since he had been to worship in Jerusalem and was in possession of a Biblical scroll and reading it aloud, we can safely assume two things.  He was familiar with the Jewish religion and he was searching for something.  So God had been preparing the heart of this eunuch to receive the Good News for some time.  I think we can safely assume that God had big plans for this eunuch when he returned to Ethiopia, but whether God had big plans for the eunuch or just wanted to save the eunuch is not the point.  The point is that God’s plans for Philip and the eunuch intersected at this point.  The eunuch was seeking understanding of the Scriptures and God sent a man to him who could explain those Scriptures.  Every day, our live intersect with other lives.  This was, is and will always be God’s plan for spreading the Good News.  Are we prepared to instantly obey?  Are we prepared to explain God’s plan of salvation to those whose paths we cross?  If not, why not spend some time today preparing to do just that?  There is a heavenly reason that you are where you are today.  It didn’t just happen.  Look around you, there are lost people that you have been sent to speak to. God has prepared their hearts to hear and He has given you the words of life to speak to them, therefore speak.
Post 06-24-2106