“Suffer for Doing What Is Right”

14 But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats. — 1 Peter 3:14 NLT

1 Peter 3:13-18 NLT

We are all guilty! We have felt that gentle nudge from God’s Spirit and said nothing, we have heard that soft quiet voice and still we did nothing! The King of Kings, the Creator of the Universe has issued the command to go and spread the gospel to all of us. (Ref. Matt 28:19, 20) And in individual situations, He has asked us to speak out and invite others into His Kingdom. Why don’t we speak out? Are we afraid that our friends and acquaintances will mock us, make fun of us, reject us? Always remember this, they did the same to Jesus and we are not greater than our Creator. But the most important thing to remember is that it isn’t us they are rejecting, it is Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. We are going to suffer in this world, and as Peter tells us, it is better to suffer for doing good, than for doing evil.

Matthew 5:10-12 NLT

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

Post 07-08-2019

“I Did Not Say”

19 I have not spoken in secret,
In a dark place of the earth;
I did not say to the seed of Jacob,
‘Seek Me in vain’;
I, the Lord, speak righteousness,
I declare things that are right.— Isaiah 45:19 NKJV

Isaiah 45:18-22 NKJV
Have you ever had one of those conversations or listened to a speech or a sermon and felt like something was missing?  You know, the ones where we trust the person speaking and believe that what he/she said is the truth but it still felt like we were missing something.  Sometimes the things that are not said can be as important and truthful as the things that are said.  In this verse when we put it in context we see that God is reassuring the Jews that if they seek Him, it will not be in vain.  He is using the negative to confirm that the times they found Him was when they sought Him with all of their hearts.  Before and after this, He used the positive.  Over and over, we are told of the blessings of seeking God with all of our hearts both in the Old Testament and the New Testament.  We can be assured that if we seek Him diligently, believing that we will find Him, there are blessings and rewards for doing so.

6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him,for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him— Hebrews 11:9 NKJV

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

Post 04-23-2019

Saved? Yes, Completely! Sanctified? Just Beginning!

31 And there was great joy throughout the church that day as they read this encouraging message. — Acts 15:31 NLT 

Acts 15:24-32 NLT

“There was great joy” when the people were told that they had done the one necessary thing they needed to do to be saved.  When we are first saved in today’s society, we need to be very careful who we listen to.  As Paul said, “if anyone, including an angel from heaven and/or me, comes to you and gives you some different message, that person should be cursed.”  Gal. 1:6 (my paraphrase}. The letter did go on to give the new converts some guidelines as to what they should or should not do. The letter did not claim that these guidelines had to be followed to complete their salvation.  It is still the same today, when we personally witness to someone who accepts Jesus as their Savior, we need to take a few minutes and give them some encouragement and guidelines as well.  We need to explain to them that satan will waste no time in trying to discourage them and make them doubt their salvation.  We need to encourage them to find a good Bible teaching church and a good mentor to help them along the way.  After the initial acceptance of Jesus as our Savior, we need someone to help us understand that the Holy Spirit will come alongside us and help us learn to “walk in paths of righteousness”.  

“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 03–04-2019

Fervent, Powerful Prayer

The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. — James 5:16b NLT

James 5:13-18 NLT

As small tots and children, we were taught prayers word for word.  There were prayers to say before the meals we ate and prayers to say before we went to bed at night.  These are wonderful experiences and great memories. But just as we moved from the “Dick and Jane” books, there comes a time when our prayers should become more personal.  We are still presenting the same issues to God but now instead of rote memory, they should be from a heart that understands and knows that God not only hears our prayers but He answers them.  Most of us may have had more faith that God would answer our prayers then than we do now.  Those were prayers from innocent hearts and minds.  Now, we have a lifetime of sins and doubts to overcome.  But God is still the same God we prayed to when we were children and we must approach Him with that same childlike faith.  We must become as little children in the Kingdom of God.  Part of that process is to understand that all of our sins have been washed away by the blood of Jesus.  God sees each of us as the righteousness of Christ.  So, when we pray let us believe that we are righteous people, that God hears our prayers and  that our prayers do have great power.  Not because of us, but because of Jesus and His work that He finished at the cross.  We can know that our prayers have great power because Jesus is at the right hand of the Father praying with us and the Holy Spirit is praying through us and for us.

Romans 8:26, 27 NLT

“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 02-22-2019

“The Gift That Keeps On Giving”

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6 For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. – Isaiah 9:6-7 NSRV


This prophecy was fulfilled in Luke 2 when the virgin Mary gave birth to the baby Jesus. God would keep His covenant with David that a member of David’s household would always occupy the throne of Israel. Jesus would not establish His earthly kingdom at that time, but it will be completely fulfilled when the new Jerusalem is established. It will be an eternal kingdom with Jesus as the last king. Jesus is the Prince of Peace, Mighty God, and the everlasting Father. We can celebrate the birth of Jesus because it is another assurance that God never fails to keep His covenants and His promises. He is an awesome, amazing God who holds us in the palm of His hand and we can never be separated from Him. He inhabits the praises of His people, so praise Him continually and “forget not all His benefits”.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 12-25-2018

Eternal Forgiveness

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14 I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” — Luke 18:14 NLT

When we stand before a mighty and just God to petition Him for forgiveness of our sins, we must humble ourselves before Him.  Outwardly, we may appear to be doing good deeds that do not require forgiveness. But, inwardly, before God cleans us up, we are a filthy mess. God already knows that, so we must be completely honest with Him. We may smile and say nice things to those around us, but God knows whether we are being serious or being hypocritical.  We cannot come before the Lord with the attitude of the Pharisee.  God doesn’t use other people, their actions or their words to determine our guilt or innocence. No, He uses a much higher standard.  He is the standard and that is a standard that we can never live up to.  That is exactly why He gave His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins.  A perfect gift for an imperfect world. The blood of a spotless Lamb to wash away the filthiness of our sin.  The righteousness of the One who had never sinned to cover our sinfulness.  The death of His Son to pay a debt that He didn’t owe and we couldn’t pay. Once we accept this truth, those sins are never mentioned by God again.  Nothing we have done, can do or will ever do can replace that sacrifice.  So, yes, come boldly, but bow humbly, before the King of Kings and receive not only forgiveness, but peace and joy that the world can never know.  Come with faith and stay until you are filled with His Spirit and clothed in His righteousness. From that moment on, you will never have to be concerned about leaving His presence, because truly, He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you”.

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

Post 12-12-2017

“Are You Dressed For the Wedding?”

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24 and to clothe yourselves with the new nature, which was created according to God’s image in righteousness and true holiness. – Eph. 4:23 ISV
Jesus laid aside His glory, came to earth and clothed Himself in flesh for one purpose.  That purpose was to redeem the earth and its inhabitants from their fallen state. He lived a life here to set an example of how we should live. He died and rose again to fulfill His purpose of redeeming us.  We remain in the flesh, but we now have the opportunity to be clothed in His righteousness.

 

10  I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God.  For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. — Isaiah 61:10 NIV

Think of the time the couple spends together getting to know each other and planning their wedding. Think of the hours, effort and money that earthly brides spend in preparation for their wedding.  Consider the excitement of the wedding party, the family, friends and acquaintances as the big day approaches. Then compare that to how much time we spend in preparing ourselves spiritually to meet our Bridegroom. Not only has our Bridegroom paid for the wedding, He has furnished us with the wedding clothes, prepared the wedding feast and has the home all ready to move into. That kind of love should behoove us to spend time every day getting dressed for the wedding. Spend some time each day with the Groom, get to know Him and put on the wedding garments He has given to each of us. You can’t wear them out, they will always be clean and ready.

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

Post 08-31-2018