“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

“There Will Be Rejoicing In Heaven”

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“And the answer will be, ‘Because his people abandoned the Lord their God, who brought their ancestors out of Egypt, and they worshiped other gods instead and bowed down to them. That is why the Lord has brought all these disasters on them.’” — 1 Kings 9:9 NLT
God had fulfilled all of His promises and particularly those He had made to David and Solomon up to this point.  God blessed David and allowed him to amass all the wealth that Solomon would need to build the temple.  He had anointed David and then Solomon to be king over Israel.  He gave Solomon peace from all of his enemies for the time it took to build the temple and his own palace.  But the Creator of the universe knows the flesh.  He knew that as time passed, the people would become complacent and return to their idol worship.  So, even in this time of great celebration, God reminded them of what would happen if they abandoned Him and worshiped idols and honored created things as gods.  When we forget God and when we no longer worship Him as the only true and living God, He allows things in our lives to remind us of Who He is.  When God has blessed us, we must not become complacent and allow things or people to replace Him in our lives.  We must continually take inventory of our attitudes and actions to be sure they are God-honoring.  He is still the Creator of the universe, He is still the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  It is up to us to be sure He  is sitting on the throne of our lives.  If we forget and stray away, He will remind us of who He is and who we are.  That’s the bad news.  The good news is that He will come looking for us and bring us home on His shoulders. When He has returned us to the fold, there will be a party in heaven.

 

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

Post 12-26-2018

God Loves A Repentant Heart

even-smaller-bug-light1

14 “I’m in a desperate situation!” David replied to Gad. “But let us fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy is great. Do not let me fall into human hands.” 
— 2 Samuel 24:14 NLT

David was a man after God’s own heart.  Time after time, David sinned and repented and God always forgave him. God blessed David with peace and with a super-abundance.  Why does God do this for those of us who fall time after time? Because He loves us with a love that we cannot totally grasp or understand.  He continued to forgive David because David always had a godly sorrow for his sins.  After the heat and passion of the moment had settled, David always turned back to God and begged for His forgiveness.  This was a continuing battle for David and it is a continuing battle for any of us as long as we remain in the flesh in this sinful world.  God knows that we cannot be perfect in this flesh.  If that were possible, then Jesus would not have had to die to redeem us and the old covenant would still be in effect.  When we fail and come short of the mark, we must remember to be like David,  admit our sins to God and repent from them.  When we repent, we turn from the old way and to a new way.  True repentance requires actions that show God and those around us that we are serious when we ask God for forgiveness. When we fail and we all do at some point, don’t allow satan to beat you up with guilt and condemnation.  Follow David’s example and choose to be disciplined by God.  His mercies are new every morning and there is plenty of mercy for all of us and enough to last throughout eternity.  When God saved us, He knew our weaknesses and He knew that sooner or later, we would fall, but He chose us anyway and He hasn’t changed His mind about our salvation.  Be honest with God, He already knows what we did and what we will do in the future.  Those sins are already forgiven, but we must repent.

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

Post 12-21-2018