“You Who Are God’s Children”

12 I am writing to you who are God’s children because your sins have been forgiven through Jesus. — 1 John 2:12 NLT

1 John 2:12-14 NLT

John is reminding each group of people of who they were, who they are now, and how each of us got here. Now that we have been redeemed and cleansed by the blood of Jesus, we need to be walking in the Light and our lifestyle should reflect the example that Jesus set for us to follow. When we are tempted to think that we might be just a little better than our neighbors or when we start to wonder; “how could Jesus save a person like that?” ,we need to remember who we used to be and the kind of lifestyle we used to lead. Just as Isaiah told the children of Israel, remember that we were all cut from the same stone, we are all born sinners.

The Lord says, “Listen to me,
those of you who try to live right and follow the Lord.
Look at the rock from which you were cut;
look at the stone quarry from which you were dug.–Isaiah 51:1 (NCV)

We have done nothing to desire God’s mercy and grace, it is a free gift that is available to all. Thus, the old saying: “Except for the grace of God, there goes you and ​I,

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

Post 01-29-2020

Taste and See

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36 As Jesus walked by, John looked at him and declared, “Look! There is the Lamb of God!” – John 1:36 NLT

Do you ever sit and think about the time you answered the call of the Holy Spirit to “come and see”? Come and see the forgiveness of God, come and see the goodness of God, come and see the love of God. Come and see with your spiritual eyes, the One Who gave His life for you on a cross? Do you remember that experience? Do you remember when you invited Jesus into your heart? Do you remember the peace you felt? Do you remember just wanting to stay in His presence. just as the men “remained with Jesus all that day”? When times are tough and the going is rough, I would like to invite you to sit and remember that experience. Just sit in the presence of Jesus, loving Him and allowing Him to love you. The most amazing thing about knowing Jesus is that every day, we can “come and see”. Or as the Psalmist said, “taste and see”;

8 Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!—Psalm 34:8 (NLT)

And when we do that, we find that His mercies are new every morning. Today, once again, take the time “to come and see”.

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

Post 08-05-2017

Read, Repeat, Remember, Repeat

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25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. – James 1:25 NLT

Never say that someone or something made you mad. If you get angry, it is because you didn’t control your emotions. There certainly can be a righteous anger, but, we have to be honest because we know that most of our anger is from our pride. We also know that in our times of anger, we think and say things that we should not have said and those words are often very vile and evil. We must plant God’s Word in our hearts because it is out of the heart that the mouth speaks. Don’t just plant the Word, but water it and feed it everyday. That means that we have to spend time meditating on God’s Word so that we remember it and act accordingly. If we study, meditate and act according to that word, God can and will bless us.

Psalm 1:1-3 NLT


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

Post 05-26-2017

2 x 2 = 5?

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29 What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin?  But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it

. — Matt.10:29 NLT
 
 

In social jargon, the “fifth wheel” is the person without a date or a mate. If that person happens to be you, you just might experience some uncomfortable moments. You might even feel like a “misfit” and wish you were home by yourself. These times could cause a person to feel worthless. If you read today’s scripture passages again, you might notice there is a little problem with the math. In Matthew, 1 coin buys 2 sparrows, but in Luke, 2 coins buys 5 sparrows. Shouldn’t 2 coins buy 4 sparrows? Yet, there it is, written in God’s Word, 5 sparrows. It is as if the 5th sparrow is worthless. As if because it cost nothing, it therefore has no value. But then, notice what the rest of verse 6 says: “Yet God does not forget a single one of them.” Always remember, everyone of us is important to God. Perhaps, we can’t preach like Billy Graham, sing like George Beverly Shea and maybe we haven’t been used of God to do miracles, but of this one thing, we can be sure. We are just as important to God’s eternal plan as any of those people. Abraham, Moses, Joseph, David, and Elijah all had their moments. But Jesus said: “None is greater than John the Baptist”.

**The idea for today’s devotional and the “math” problem was from a sermon entitled “Does God Know That I Exist?” by Rev. Eddie Herring, Prospect United Methodist Church,
Lawrenceville , GA

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Post 01-26-2017

Cry Out to Him!

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23 Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved.  — John 13:23 NKJV
 
In a society where “real” men don’t show this kind of affection for each other, this verse can cause some confusion. We must remember that this occurred in a time and place where men greeted each other with a holy kiss. So, get past the first impression and see the picture as it is really meant to be seen.  See it as pure love with no lust involved.  Try to put yourself in John’s place and feel the comfort and joy that he must have felt right then. Remember the times in your early years when you would be frightened about something and your Dad would pick you and hold you against his bosom.  Do you remember the safety, and in a few minutes, the peace and the joy that you felt?   Or maybe, you were ailing and your Mom would hold you against her bosom to comfort you.  Isn’t wonderful that we can still have that kind of relationship with Jesus?  We can run to Him, sit in His lap and He will wrap His arms around us to comfort and cheer us.  Get this picture in your mind and focus on it until it becomes real to you. Then, in those trying, difficult, scary times, run to Him with your arms wide open and simply say “Abba”, I love you!  He will be thrilled and you will have a time of peace that passes understanding and joy that overflows your heart.
15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” — Romans 8:15 NKJV
Post 07-02-2016

Choose Life!

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15 The Lord, the God of their ancestors, repeatedly sent his prophets to warn them, for he had compassion on his people and his Temple. — 2 Chronicles 36:15
Because of His great love and compassion, God had warned the Israelites again and again.  The people and the leaders would repent and be faithful for a while.  Then they would go back to their wicked ways and worship the idols of the nations around them.  God would bring up armies against them, but He had never allowed them to completely destroy Jerusalem.  This time, they had gone too far.  Just as the prophets had told Josiah, God would allow the city to be destroyed and the people taken captive.  He brought the Egyptains against the city and the Judahites had to pay tribute to the king of Egypt.  Then, God brought the Babylonians against Judah to completely lay waste to Jerusalem and the land of Judah.  They took the people to Babylon where they would remain in captivity until Cyrus of Persia became king.   “Those who  cannot remember the past are condemened to repeat it.”  is a statement attributed to George Santayana in 1863.  Our nation can learn and remember what God did to His chosen people, the Israelites or we will be condemned to repeat their failures as well.  God has repeatedly sent His modern day prophets and preachers to warn our country to repent, turn from our wicked ways and return unto the God of our Fathers.  Let us join together in prayer that we and our leaders will learn from history so that God can continue to bless us and not allow our great country to be destroyed.
Post 06-07-2016

Joy Comes With The Morning!

even-smaller-bug-light15 Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying. 7 And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember what I have told you.” — Matt. 28:5-7 NLT

AN ANNOUNCEMENT — JESUS IS NOT HERE!
 
AN EMPTY TOMB  —  COME! SEE WHERE HIS BODY WAS LYING!
 
GO! TELL HIS DISCIPLES!  HE IS RISEN!
 
JESUS HAS WON THE VICTORY!
 
ACCEPT IT!  BELIEVE IT!
 
RECEIVE ETERNAL LIFE!
 
YOU ARE NOW A MEMBER OF THE FAMILY OF GOD!
 
REJOICE FOREVERMORE!   PRAISE HIM CONTINUOUSLY!
 
Post 03-27-2016

When Darkness Prevails

even-smaller-bug-light133 At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. — Mark 15:33 NLT

3  I dress the skies in darkness,    covering them with clothes of mourning.” — Isaiah 50:3 NLT
 
At noon on Friday, the sun was hidden as nature mourned the approaching death of our Lord and Savior.  At three o’clock on Friday afternoon, the Light of the world was extinguished.  It was a time of deep darkness and mourning for all of nature and the followers of Jesus.  It seemed that satan and his demons had won a great victory.  At three o’clock, the natural light reappeared.  Could this have been a sign that the Spiritual light would also reappear, that all was not as it seemed to be?  A heaviness lay over the people and the land.  Friday night, all day Saturday and Saturday night was a time of grieving and wondering.  Could they have been wrong about this man, Jesus?  Was He not really the Messiah?   A time of fear, could they be the next to die?  For a moment, imagine that you are one of the disciples at that very time.  Look at the situation through their eyes, not knowing the final outcome of this event.  Take the time to imagine the scene on the cross and mourn the death of your teacher and closest friend.  His promise that He would always be with them must have seemed pretty hollow about then. Would your faith have carried you through this event?  What would your reaction have been?  Would you have been able to remember and believe all the promises at this particular point?   Would you still beilieve that He would arise after three days? Now, back to the present.  Will our faith carry us through what God has in store for us now?  When temptation stares us in the face, will we give in?  Knowing the whole story, how will we respond to the times of darkness and mourning in our lives?  Will we remember that there is hope?  Will we remember that “joy comes in the morning”?
Post 03-26-2016

Keep On Praying!

even-smaller-bug-light123 “As for me, I will certainly not sin against the Lord by ending my prayers for you. And I will continue to teach you what is good and right. 24 But be sure to fear the Lord and faithfully serve him. Think of all the wonderful things he has done for you. 25 But if you continue to sin, you and your king will be swept away.” — 1 Samuel 12: 23-25 NLT

I would like to urge and encourage each of us to keep on praying for our nation.  Pray that our current leaders will lead us in paths of righteousness so that we can return to being “one nation” instead of a nation divided by greed, selfishness and ethnic differences.  Pray that we will stop being Americans separated by hyphens.  That we will all just be Americans.  A nation divided cannot stand.  Pray that the voters will be led by the Holy Spirit and vote for those that will continue to lead us back to God.  Pray that there will be a great renewal that starts in each of our hearts and spreads throughout our communities and our country.
Let each of us remember the many great blessings that God has poured out on this country and teach those things to future generations.  If we refuse to humble ourselves before God, as individuals and as a nation, we and our country will be swept away.  Pray that God will be merciful to us just as He was to the Israelis.

44 You will know that I am the Lord, O people of Israel, when I have honored my name by treating you mercifully in spite of your wickedness. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!” — Ezekiel 20:44​

Post 03-12-2016

Breathe Out A Prayer

even-smaller-bug-light117 Jesus knew what they were saying, so he said, “Why are you arguing about having no bread? Don’t you know or understand even yet? Are your hearts too hard to take it in? 18 ‘You have eyes—can’t you see? You have ears—can’t you hear?’  Don’t you remember anything at all? — Mark 8:17, 18 NLT

Depending on what version of the Bible you are reading the word “remember” appears between 148 to 168 times.  Moses used it quite often when the Israelis would murmur and complain.  He asked them to remember how God had delivered them out of the bondage of Egypt.  Not only did He deliver them, but God brought them out with an abundance of riches that the Egyptians gave to them.  Still, every time they got tired of the manna or they got thristy, they would complain and wish they were back in Egypt.  The disciples, even after seeing all the miracles that Jesus had performed up to this time, were concerned about food for their physical needs. They had just witnessed Jesus feeding thousands of people with a few loaves and a few fish, yet they were concerned about what they would eat.  ​Jesus admonishes them for not remembering these things. Had they remembered them, they would have been at peace with their situation, knowing that Jesus could provide for twelve people very easily.  Jesus, the Bread of Life, wanted them to be conerned with Spiritual things and allow Him to be concerned with their physical needs. They needed to stay focused on Jesus and be content with what they had.  The same thing applies to us.  When we are in a rough patch, we need to stay focused on Jesus and what He has delivered us from in the past.  We need to remember the situations He has carried us through.  If nothing specific comes to mind, then just remember this — satan would like to kill us right now and he would, if Jesus allowed him to.  Whether we draw another breath or not is dependent on the goodness of God and nothing else.  So, every breath that we take brings life and when that breath goes out, it should carry a prayer of thanksgiving and praise for God’s goodness and protection for it is “in Him that we live and move and have our being”.   
Post 02-26-2016