“Stay Warm and Eat Well”

16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?– James 2:16 NLT

James 2:14-17 NLT

We know that we are saved “by grace through faith, not by works, lest any man should boast”. We also know that everything we receive while we are here on earth is a free gift from God. So, what is the purpose of “good works” and why are they important? Well, there are at least two good reasons and probably more it you want to break them down. The first is this; now, that we are Christians, Jesus is our example and He went about doing good works.

38 And you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.–Acts 10:38 (NLT)

The second reason is this; doing good works here on earth is how we store our rewards or treasures in heaven.

.20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.–Matt 6:20,21 (NLT)

If we do good works for these two reasons, it will keep our hearts and minds focused on Jesus and our final reward of living an eternity with Him. If we focus on that, it will make the burdens lighter and we can walk the path with joy and thanksgiving in our hearts and a song of praise on our lips!

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

Post 12-24-2019

“And Plenty Left Over”

8 And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others–. 2 Cor. 9:8 NLT

2 Cor. 9:6-10 NLT

It is important for us to remember that everything we have here on earth is a gift from God. It doesn’t matter who signs the paycheck, God is ultimately our resource. We are to be good stewards of all of the resources God gives us. This includes our time as well as our finances. Just as He has the authority to raise up leaders and put people in positions of authority, He can raise us up financially or He can bring us down if we trust only in our finances. Any gift that God gives to us is to be used not just for our benefit, but for the benefit of those He puts in our paths each day. The ultimate use of the resources God has put under our authority is to expand the Kingdom of God. It isn’t that God “needs” us or our finances, He has chosen to use us in His work. That requires us to be obedient to His precepts. Unless you are using more than 10% of your time and money for God, you haven’t started giving yet. Give generously and cheerfully and be prepared for a great blessing from the Lord.

38 Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back. – Luke 6:38 NLT

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

Post 07-23-2019

“Whiter Than Snow”

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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
 
 
We may look at the list of things that pagans choose to do and with great relief, say “I never gave 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 thngs 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 09-09-2018

We Will Receive What He Has Promised

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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
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

Post 05-04-2018

As You Go

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2 But they delight in the law of the Lord,  meditating on it day and night. — Psalm 1:2 NLT
 

As Christians, we are so blessed to be able to meditate on God’s Word and have a conversation with God any time of the day or night. If we love Him then we will delight in obeying Him and pleasing Him. From the times that we spend with Him, we will receive Joy and grow stronger in His word. As long as we continue in this lifestyle, we will be able to draw strength, wisdom, and boldness from the Lord. then we will truly become like strong trees planted by the water and we will bear fruit each season. We will not wither, but prosper. But if we choose not to delight in God and meditate on His Word, we will become weak and bear no fruit. Does this mean that we should avoid unbelievers? Absolutely not. Jesus spent time with them in their homes and along the roads as He traveled. That is the example we should follow, witnessing as we go about our daily tasks.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Post 11-18-2016

Knock! Knock!

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For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.  — Matthew 7:8 NLT

We hear a lot of opinions on how we should pray. Some say you should only ask once and God will answer when and if He wants to. Some say you should only ask for certain things. What does God say about it? In the original text of the Bible, the Greek verbs were verbs that indicated this was a continuing action. Jesus concurs with this in the parable of the woman who kept bothering the unjust judge until he gave her what she wanted. In James, we are told that “all good gifts come down from the Father above”. Furthermore, God has said that He is our provider and that means more than spiritual salvation. When Jesus healed people, He used the term “made whole”. That means physical as well as spiritual. The simple truth is that we can ask God for any and every thing that doesn’t violate His Word and we can keep on asking Him. Think about what He said to Paul. Paul had asked Jesus 3 times for healing and God said “my grace is sufficient”. That was God’s answer to Paul’s prayer. Unless God has answered your prayer (and that doesn’t always mean that He gives us what we want, but He does give us what we need) keep on asking. Look again at verse 8 above: “For everyone who asks receives……”

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

Post 11-12-2016

Fill Me Up!

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34 Then Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work. — John 4:34 NLT
The disciples knew that Jesus had been tired and weary because of the journey from Judea, so they were encouraging Him to eat physical food.  Jesus tells them that He has a food that they know nothing about. They don’t understand that He is referring to a Spiritual food that refreshes Him more than physical or natural food ever could.  It was hard for them and it is hard for us to understand that Jesus could become so involved in doing God’s work that nothing else matters.  The work of the Father was His very life and His sustenance.  Natural food has to be taken and eaten to give us refreshment and life, but Spiritual food must be given away to have the same effect on the giver and the receiver.  In the natural order of things, we have to plow, sow and wait to reap and eat the food and the fields can only be harvested at certain times of the year.  In the Kingdom of God, the spiritual food is always available with us doing no work to receive it. The fields are always white and ready for harvest.  Let each of us pray that the work of God becomes more important than food and water in our lives.  What good is there in sustaining the natural if the spiritual dies?  We can eat all the Spiritual food we can get.  It will fill us with Life but we should never be satisfied. 
Post 05-11-2016

We Must Endure Suffering With Patience.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

18 You who are slaves must submit to your masters with all respect. Do what they tell you—not only if they are kind and reasonable, but even if they are cruel. 19 For God is pleased when, conscious of his will, you patiently endure unjust treatment. 20 Of course, you get no credit for being patient if you are beaten for doing wrong. But if you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you. 21 For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.–1 Peter 2:18-21 (NLT)
​In today’s society and in most countries, we no longer have slavery. But in our workplaces, we do have taskmasters that often treat us unfairly. So, Peter’s admonition to endure with patience is directed to us. Just as Jesus is our example of enduring unjust pain and persecution, so are we to do the same. God is our Jehovah-jireh, our provider. He has provided us with jobs so that we can provide for our families. Instead of complaining and gossiping about our bosses, we should be thankful for the provision. No matter who signs the paycheck, God is our provider. We are to set the example for those around by having a grateful attitude and not joining in when others are criticizing the employer(s). Jesus promised us that we would be treated unjustly and offended by the world, so we should not be surprised by the unjust treatment we receive. We have not yet been required to be faithful when we are facing death for Christ’s sake. We should have the same attitude that the apostles had in the First Century.
40 The others accepted his advice. They called in the apostles and had them flogged. Then they ordered them never again to speak in the name of Jesus, and they let them go.​ 41 The apostles left the high council rejoicing that God had counted them worthy to suffer disgrace for the name of Jesus–Acts 5:40-41 (NLT)
Post 09-13-14

Our Inheritance is Guaranteed

God is waiting to show you the way.

God is waiting to show you the way.

13 The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of cows sprinkled on unclean​ ​people made their bodies holy and clean. 14 The blood of Christ, who had no defect, does even more. Through the eternal Spirit he offered himself to God and cleansed our consciences from the useless things we had done. Now we can serve the living God.​ 15 Because Christ offered himself to God, he is able to bring a new promise from God. Through his death he paid the price to set people free from the sins they committed under the first promise. He did this so that those who are called can be guaranteed an inheritance that will last forever.–Hebrews 9:13-15 (GW)
​Th​e sacrifices offered by the priests of the tribe of Levi could only cleanse the exterior, it was sufficient to make their bodies holy and clean. However, it did nothing on the inside of the priest or the individuals. That is why it had to be repeated over and over. When Jesus shed His blood, it was the perfect sacrifice, cleansing not only the body, but the heart and the conscience of each person accepting His sacrifice. Because Christ offered Himself, He gave us a new promise and established a new covenant. His perfect sacrifice will last for all ages and will never need to be repeated. Once we accept Jesus as our Savior, our place in Heaven is guaranteed forever. He has given us His Holy Spirit as an earnest, a down payment ensuring us of our heritage.
14 This Holy Spirit is the guarantee that we will receive our inheritance. We have this guarantee until we are set free to belong to him. God receives praise and glory for this.–Ephesians 1:14 (GW)
Post 07-23-14

Too Bad to be Saved?

God is waiting to show you the way.

God is waiting to show you the way.

15 This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all. 16 But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life. 17 All honor and glory to God forever and ever! He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; he alone is God. Amen.–1 Timothy 1:15-17 ((NLT)
​”I’m too bad to be saved!” “God would never forgive me for the things I have done!” If you have ever done much one-on-one witnessing, I am sure that you have heard these or similar statements. But as we learned yesterday, God has no degrees of sin. To Him, sin is sin. A liar is just as guilty as a murderer. God will and does forgive the “biggest” sinner just as quickly and mercifully as He forgives a “little” sinner. Living a good life will not save you, doing good works will not save you. God’s salvation plan is simple and free, but it is also non-negotiable. There aren’t several ways to get to heaven, there is just one way. Jesus said: “I am THE WAY”. Not one of the ways, but the only way. No matter what our past has been, Jesus stands ready to forgive and restore. The “best’ person in the world needs redemption just as much as the “worst” person. That is what Paul, through the leadership of God’s Holy Spirit is telling us here. We can’t be “bad” enough to not be saved*** and we can’t be “good” enough not to need salvation. The steps to salvation are simple: BELIEVE! RECEIVE! Now, we are on our way to heaven, so just give Him glory and honor!!
***There is only one unforgivable sin and that is blaspheming the Holy Spirit. If you have committed this sin, then your conscience is seared over and you have no concern about sin at any level. If you have committed this sin, the Holy Spirit withdraws from you and God has no way of convicting you of your sinful condition. If there is no conviction, there is no repentance and therefore, there can be no forgiveness of sin.
Post 06-06-14