“True Righteousness and Holiness”

15 But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. 16 For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.”–1 Peter 1:15-16 (NLT)
22 You were taught to put away your former way of life, your old self, corrupt and deluded by its lusts, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to clothe yourselves with the new self, created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.–Eph. 4:22-24 (NLT)

When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, His Holy Spirit sets up a residence in our hearts. God has sent His Spirit to “lead us into all truth”. There are some things (and those things are different for all of us) from which we are immediately delivered. We could make a long list of those things: smoking, drinking, overeating, gossiping, lying, bitterness, hatred and we could go on and on. And those instant deliveries should encourage us to continue on in the faith. But none of us are instantly delivered from all our erroneous ways and habits. It is a daily process of being led by God’s Spirit and learning more of the truth. As we study God’s Word, we find more things that we need to allow God to change so that we can be transformed into His image. We all still sin, but we have to stay on guard and not let satan bring us down with guilt. We must repent. That means more than turning away from the sin, it means we turn to something else. Each time we empty a spot in our heart, we must allow God’s Spirit to fill it with something new. Pay close attention to Paul’s instructions in verse 24, “clothe yourself with the new self”. When we put off the old, we should be careful to put on the “new”. The “new” will guard us against the fiery darts of our enemy.

6 But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.—Romans 7:6 NASB

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

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“For They Shall Be Filled”

6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.–Matthew 5:6 (NKJV)

Bread and Water

No matter how much you ate yesterd​a​y if you haven’t eaten anything since, you are hungry. That is how the physical bread and body works But there is a Bread and water that feeds the Spirit. When we partake of this Bread and water, we will never be hungry or thirsty again, because there is a perpetual supply flowing from our Lord and Savior.  There is a huge difference in being hungry and hungering, both in the natural and the Spiritual. The only time I have ever really been hungry was after 3 days with no food on a survival training exercise. But I can eat a big meal and still hunger for some good old lemon icebox pie. We could have eaten a couple of hours ago and there is no way that we could actually be hungry. Yet, the sight of our favorite dessert can make our mouth water. That is the way we should be spiritually, we can be filled and refilled with the Spirit and still hunger for more. We should be filled, but it should never be enough. We should be filled, but always thirsting for more.​Jesus is the Bread and the water that sustains eternal life.

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

“For Your Name’s Sake…”

11  Revive me, O Lord, for Your name’s sake! For Your righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble. — Psalm 143:11 NKJV

Psalm 143:7-12 NKJV

Post There are times in our lives when everything around us seems to be going in the wrong direction.  There are situations that we have prayed about on a daily basis, we have checked the Scriptures to be sure that our request does not violate them in any way and we have agreed with others in our request.  Yet, we still don’t see any positive results.  It is then that we, as the Psalmist does here, must fall on our faces and ask God to fulfill our request, not for our sake, but for the glory of His name.  The end of our rope is the beginning of our hope.  The surety that God cannot be defeated and that He will not give His glory to anyone else is our hope and our reason for being confident that He will act.  Yes, it will be in His time and in His way, but He will act. So, when satan seems to be winning the battle, we appeal to God to act speedily for His name’s sake.  And He will do it.

10  Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver;  I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.  11  For My own sake, for My own sake, I will do it;  For how should My name be profaned?  And I will not give My glory to another. — Isaiah 48:10-11 NKJV

“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

“Let Him Glory in the Lord”

29 that no flesh should glory in His presence. 30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— 31 that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.” – 1 Cor.1:29-31

1 Cor. 1:26-31 NLT

What do we have to offer Jesus to purchase our salvation? Wisdom? Our wisdom is foolishness to him. Power? He has the power to move heaven and earth. Position? He is the King of Kings and the ruler of the universe. Beauty? He is the bright and morning star. Righteousness? Our righteousness is as filthy rags. The only thing we have to offer is our will and our life. All of it. He deserves more and will accept nothing less. He, alone, is our wisdom, righteousness, holiness, redemption and our Lord. As Paul said, our only boast is in Jesus Christ. His blood was the price agreed upon to cover the sin of the whole world, Nothing less would be sufficient and nothing more is needed. Our only boast is to look upon Jesus, agree with Him, and proclaim “It is finished”!

2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God..—Hebrews 12:2 (N​KJV)

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

“Looking Forward”

13 But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness. ​ – 2 Peter 3:13 NLT

2 Peter 3:9-13 =NLT

One day and possibly in the not too distant future, this earth will once again be destroyed. Only this time, it will be with fire, the heavens, the earth and everything in it will be burned with fire and melt away. There is only one Person to turn to, if we want to escape this terrible destruction. We must turn to Jesus. We should be practicing that every day of our lives. In the smallest of trials and frustrations, we should be turning to Jesus now. That is how we build our faith and know that we can trust Him to deliver us from the wrath to come. If we can’t trust Him with a hangnail, how do you suppose we can trust Him with the future of our souls? When the doctor says, “you only have a few days”, where do you turn? We should practice turning to the Great Physician in the small things. Regardless of who applies the bandage, He is the one who does the healing. He, and He alone, can direct the medical team if the end result is going to be healing. Above all, praise Him that the day is coming when we won’t need doctors of any kind. We will live an eternity where there is no sickness and no more dying​.

Rev. 21:1-4 NLT

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

Post 01-21-2020

“Clothe Yourselves With Love”

14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. — Col 3:14 NLT

Col. 3: 14-17 NLT

Yesterday’s writing ended with us clothing ourselves in the characteristics of Jesus. The outer covering of all those characteristics must be Christ’s righteousness and love. The love of Christ wraps around us, reaches out and touches others and binds us all together in unity and perfect harmony. Jesus promised us a peace that passes understanding and we have that when Jesus is ruling our hearts. The Good News about Jesus fills our lives. Then we are to teach others that message using the wisdom He gives us. That love and unity is how we should represent Jesus to unbelievers. To quote Francis of Assisi, “Preach the Gospel and, if necessary, use words.” Most of all, we should always have “an attitude of gratitude” thanking God for all His love and blessings. That attitude comes from a heart filled with joy and causes our lips to sing His praises all day, every day!

10 I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God!  For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness.  I am like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding- Isaiah 61:10 NLT

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

Post 10-03-2019

“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