“Leads Us Away From Sin”

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10 For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.  – 2 Cor.7:10 NLT 

2 Cor. 7:8-11 NLT

In his letters to the church at Corinth, Paul had admonished them to take corrective action against those members that were not living a Christian lifestyle  They were participating in sexual sins and not showing proper respect when taking communion. He wanted the church to be a shining light in a dark city.  Although he spoke to them firmly, it was because he loved them as his own children and wanted to see them maturing in the faith. When we have erred, we need to accept correction from those who love us and want us to be stronger Christians. If we feel guilty and condemned, we should remember that condemnation comes from satan, not from the Lord. Condemnation is “worldy” sorrow that leads to death.  Conviction is “godly” sorrow that leads to repentance and life. When we feel convicted of an error, we ask God for His forgiveness.  We all fall down at times, but God is waiting to pick us up and restore us to Himself. It just requires us being honest with ourselves and with Him.

8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us. — 1 John 1:8-10 NIV

Once we have accepted God’s forgiveness for our sins, we need to forgive ourselves and move on.  We must never allow satan to use past sins to condemn us. This only leads to pain and confusion. Rejoice in the freedom that comes with confession and forgiveness and live in the truth of God’s Word.

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

“Godless Living and Sinful Pleasures”

12 And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God – Titus 2:12 NLT 

Titus 2:11-14 NLT

When we repented of our sins and received God’s forgiveness, it was the first step of a journey that will eventually take us to heaven to spend an eternity with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Our salvation is secure because we are clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. The change in us, at this point, is internal. Unless that change in our hearts’ desires is manifested externally those around us may not know that we have accepted Jesus. True repentance changes our hearts and our minds. Jesus set the example of what our lifestyle should be. The Holy Spirit, which now dwells in us, inspired the writers of the New Testament to write verse after verse telling us how our lives should change. We now say “no” to those fleshly desires that were once our way of life. Now we say “yes” to the Holy Spirit. Every day is a battle between evil (our flesh) and good (the Spirit). We are in a war and there is no neutral ground. If we aren’t moving forward, then we are losing ground. So, every day, we must arm ourselves with the full armor of God and fight the good fight.

8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong,firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen — 1 Peter 5:8-11 NIV

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

“Serve One Another In Love”

13 For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. 14 For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”15 But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.– Galatians 5:13-15 NLT

Those who choose Jesus are “free indeed”. Jesus died to set us free from the bondage of sin. But, we must never take that liberty as a license to live a lifestyle of sin and indulgence in sinful pleasures. Whereas, before our repentance, we were bound to do those things that the flesh desires, we are now free to do the things that the Spirit desires. True repentance means turning from one way of life to a new way of life. In our old lifestyle, there was no compulsion to forgive anyone for anything or to love any one. Now, with the love of God and His Holy Spirit living in us, we are compelled to forgive and love. It is impossible for man to do that without the leadership of the Holy Spirit. If we truly love Jesus, we keep His commandments. Those commandments require us to love and forgive. Loving and forgiveness are not products of our emotions, they are willful decisions that we make. If “loving your neighbor as yourself” takes you to the cross, are you willing to go?
Jesus was!

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

“I Would Not Be Christ’s Servant”

10 Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant. – Gal. 1:10 NLT

Galatians 1:10-14 NLT

Paul tells us that if pleasing others, whether they be family, friends, neighbors or society at large, is more important than pleasing God, then we are not bond servants of Jesus Christ. Jesus is not happy with being number one in a race with some idols of our making.. He wants to be the one and only one in contention for our affections. This is the Gospel that was revealed to Paul by God. When we really get hold of this message, we understand that repentance is more than turning from an old way of life, it is turning to a new way of living. Old things have passed away and all things have become new.

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.—2 Cor. 5:17 (NASB)

No matter how intelligent we are or what strata of society we come from, we must see ourselves and our righteousness as filthy rags before God. Nothing we have can save us and no one else can repent for us, we have to do it for ourselves.

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

“Just Believe That I Am”

11 Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen me do.​- John 14:11 NLT

John 14:7-11 NLT

Sometimes, even when you know what someone thinks of you, it hurts to hear them verbalize it. After three years of being with the disciples, I wonder how Jesus felt when he heard Philip say that he still needed to see the Father to believe that Jesus was who He said He was. You can almost hear the disappointment in His voice as He asks; “Do you still not know me, Philip?” If you can’t believe what I say, at least, believe because of what you have seen me do. When we have walked with Jesus for years and then we deny Him by our words or our actions, I imagine He feels the same hurt and disappointment that He felt then. I think if we could see His face at that very moment, it would bring tears to our eyes and us to our knees in repentance. Still, we are forgiven, just as Philip was that day. We can rejoice in the knowledge that His great love for us will never allow anyone or anything to take us out of His hand.

12 While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled.–John 17:12 (NASB)

He is still holding onto each of us that God has given Him to keep.

24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees.—Romans 8:24 (NASB)

So, just believe!

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

Post 06-01-2020

“Anyone Who Welcomes Me”

20 I tell you the truth, anyone who welcomes my messenger is welcoming me, and anyone who welcomes me is welcoming the Father who sent me. -John 13:20 NLT

John 13:16-22 NLT

 ​When we accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we are freed from the bondage of sin, but if we are serious about our repentance, we become bond servants to Jesus Christ. A bond servant is not a slave, he is one who chooses to serve his master because of his love for the master. We should serve Jesus not out of bondage or fear, but simply because we love the One who chose to give His life for our redemption from sin. Jesus had set the example of being a servant to those around Him. He expects us to follow that example because a servant is not greater than His master. It should give us joy unspeakable to serve a risen Savior. Again, Jesus lets us know that He is aware that He will be betrayed and that He knows which one will betray Him. The disciples could not imagine that one of them was the betrayer. If we accept Jesus then we accept the one who sent Him and that is God the Father. He was also telling the disciples and us that we will be accepted when we are sent out by Him. Jesus fulfilled His mission, the disciples fulfilled their mission and the Church has carried on since then. Now, it is our turn. Let us not be the generation that fails to continue to spread the Word of God. When Jesus sends us out, He has already prepared the way. We might not get to see the results, but God’s Word never fails.

Isaiah 55:10-11 NLT

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

Post 05-26-2020

“Further Understanding”

3 And so, God willing, we will move forward to further understanding.— Hebrews 6:3 NLT

Hebrews 6:1-3 NLT

Paul is again emphasizing that even new Christians should understand that salvation requires repentance, which is more than turning away from sin, it is also turning to something new and that is Jesus. We are saved by grace through faith in God. We know that we should be baptized as an outward representation of what we believe in our hearts. It is symbolic of dying to sin and our fleshly desires and being resurrected to a new life in Jesus. We understand that after the resurrection, some will go on to eternal life with Jesus and others to eternal life in hell. What we need now is to understand what Jesus wants us to do until the time of our physical death. He wants us to follow His example and lead a lifestyle that draws others to Christ. He sent His Holy Spirit to lead us “into all truth”.  ​ If we following His leading, we will grow in spiritual knowledge and wisdom.

Ephesians 1:17-20 NLT

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

Post 11-22-2019

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

Repent-Turn From-Turn To

31 Jesus answered, “So now you believe?— John 16:31 NCV

John 16:25-33 NCV
If Jesus asked us that question today, could we truthfully answer “Yes, Lord, I truly believe.”?  The disciples had spent the better part of three years with Jesus. They walked with Him, talked with Him, ate with Him and yet, it is only now that they confess that they believe that Jesus came from God. We might think this to be very strange.  Yet, how many times did we hear the story of Jesus from people that we believed and respected, yet we did not accept Him as our Savior?  In my teenage years, I went to the altar and had a very real emotional experience while I was kneeling there.  Yet, when I left that building, my thought patterns and lifestyle were unchanged.   Looking back at that experience years later, I realized that I had not truly accepted Jesus as my Savior and Lord.  It would be years later before I truly repented and turned to Jesus with all my heart.  True repentance will make a change in our thinking and in our lifestyle.  Will it keep us from ever sinning again?  No, the flesh will win some battles, but our response to the conviction of the Holy Spirit  will always be to turn back to Jesus and ask for His forgiveness.  And He will always be there with open arms, waiting to forgive us and restore to our salvation and His peace and joy.  

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

Post 01-29-2019

“Pray Without Ceasing”

12 Because Rehoboam humbled himself, the Lord’s anger was turned away, and he did not destroy him completely. There were still some good things in the land of Judah.— 2 Chronicles 12:12 NLT

2 Chronicles 12:5-12 NLT

God is so good and merciful.  He gives us opportunity after opportunity to repent and return to worshiping Him and Him alone.  He had blessed all of Israel with forty years of peace and wealth beyond measure.  Yet, here they were, back to worshiping idols.  God had split the kingdom into Israel, the northern kingdom and Judah, the southern kingdom because of the iniquities of the people.  Rehoboam, the son of Solomon was the king of the southern kingdom and reigned in Judah from Jerusalem.  For a while, he was faithful to God, but then, he returned to idol worship and God sent Shishak and the Egyptian army to destroy Judah.  After Shishak had taken the fortified towns in Judah, he advanced on Jerusalem.  The king and the leaders of the people in Jerusalem humbled themselves so God did not allow Shishak to destroy Jerusalem, but He did allow Shishak to take all the wealth from Jerusalem and made the inhabitants his servants.  God saw that there were still some good things in the land of Judah, so He relented.  We need to pray that God will see that there are still some good things in our country and not destroy us yet.  We need to pray that we and our leaders will humble ourselves under the mighty hand of the one true and Almighty God.  We have had our warnings, let us pray fervently that God continues to show His great mercy and compassion on this nation.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 01-25-2019