“All to Jesus”

1  O Lord, I give my life to you. — Psalm 25:1 NLT

Psalm 25:1-7 NLT

When we accept Jesus as our Savior, the Holy Spirit comes to abide within our hearts and minds.  God has sent Him to be our guide and our teacher.  If we are sincere about our repentance and listen to His teachings, we will soon discover that Jesus wants to be not only our Savior, but also our Lord. If we are going to allow Jesus to be Lord of our lives, there will have to be some changes made.  We are becoming new creatures and that requires tearing down the old.  We have new hearts inhabited by a new Master.  He also wants to renew our minds.  Jesus, better than anyone, understands that the true battlefield is the mind.  It is where our thoughts and ideas originate. We have to learn to control our thoughts and imaginations and bring them all into the obedience of Christ Jesus.  Once our thought patterns change, our words and actions will change and our words and actions will let those around know which God we serve.

 2 Cor. 10:3-6 NIV

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

Post 03-14-2019

“They Speak Without A Sound”

3 They speak without a sound or word;  their voice is never heard.  4 Yet their message has gone throughout the earth,  and their words to all the world. — Psalms 19:3-4a NLT

Psalm 19::1-6 NLT

Before the advent of televisions, satellites, cell phones and all of the assorted high tech stuff that is available to us today, people would wonder how God would get His message out to the whole world.  How would the whole world be able to watch as the two messengers in the book of the Revelation lay dead in the streets of Jerusalem?  Now, we can see how easily that can be accomplished.  Yet, God had a plan before all of this came to pass.  Nature gently prods us with His story every day.  The stars, the sun, and the moon tell us His story every day and night.  We are even told that if we refuse to praise the Lord, the rocks will cry out.
 
Luke 19:36-40 NLT
God had a plan from the beginning.  Even if there is an EMP that destroys all of the electronics, God can still get His message out to the ends of the world.  All of nature tells one story, one message that there is only one God who created and rules over the whole universe.  The old ‘gods’ are now known to be based on myths and one day, the whole world will see that all religions are based on deceptions and half-truths.  Only one story will survive and that is the story of Jesus.  Where we spend eternity depends on our relationship with Him.

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

Post 03-13-2019

Stay Ready, Pop Quizzes Are Coming!

4 But the Lord is in his holy Temple;  the Lord still rules from heaven.  He watches everyone closely, examining every person on earth. — Psalm 11:4 NLT

Psalm 11 NLT

In Psalms 10-13, David seems to be more focused on those who are bent on doing evil than what God has done for him.  He questions God about why those people seem to be more successful than the righteous.  It is a question that many, if not all, of us have asked at sometime or other.  Why are bad things happening to good people while the bad people seem to be receiving blessings?   God doesn’t seem to answer David directly, but rather allows David to arrive at his own conclusion.  David never gives up on God, even though he questions why God allows such things and why they continue for so long. He also questions whether God can hear his prayers or not.  When we are going through those rough patches, it is encouraging to know that we are not the only ones to wonder where God is and what He is up to.  Because David is a man “after God’s own heart”, he arrives at the right conclusion.  God is exactly where He is supposed to be doing exactly what He should be doing. He always has been, He is and He always will be there watching over us and doing what is best for us even though at times, it doesn’t “feel” like it.  Those  are the times we have to ignore “feelings” and stand firm on the knowledge that God is always with us and we are never alone.  Those are the times that God allows so that we know whether or not our head knowledge has become heart knowledge.  If what we know in our heads has taken root in our hearts, then we will pass the test when God examines us.  Should we fail, God has no qualms about having us take the test again and again until we pass it.

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

Post 03-11-2019

“A New Spirit In Us”

9 “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked.  Who really knows how bad it is? — Jeremiah 17:9 NLT

We are all very familiar with this verse from Jeremiah.  Since this verse is true and God says that He will give us the desires of our hearts, how do we reconcile the two verses?  As is usual, there are very few verses in the Bible that stand alone and these verses are examples of this.  The verse from Jeremiah is describing the heart that we are born with. Those hearts belong to the master of sin and only desire those things that please the flesh.  So, to reconcile these verses, we need to have a change of heart. We find a clue to God’s solution to the enigma in a passage in Ezekiel. This is an Old Testament verse that points to a future event.

26 And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations. — Ezekiel 36:26, 27 NLT

Before Jesus died, He made a promise to us to send a Comforter and a guide to lead us into all truth. After He arose and ascended, He sent us His Spirit as promised in Ezekiel and by Jesus Himself.  Once we receive Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we receive the Holy Spirit into our hearts.  It is at that point, that the reformation of the heart begins.  We now bow to a new Master, Jesus Christ. Our heart is changed so that the desires of our hearts are now pleasing to God.  First, He gives us a new heart with new desires and then He can give us what our hearts desire.  The heart is new, but the reformation does not come overnight. It takes a lifetime of mortifying the flesh and when we come to the end of our life as a human, we will still be fighting that battle.  

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

Post 03-10-2019

God’s Faithfulness

18 The Lord is near to all who call on him,  to all who call on him in truth.  19 He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;  he hears their cry and saves them. — Psalm 145:18, 19 NIV

Psalm 145 NIV

Have you ever felt frustrated and exasperated because you had prayed and prayed about something and it seemed as if God didn’t hear or worse yet, that He didn’t care?  Have you ever just wanted to scream at God and tell Him to answer you right now?
David felt that very same thing when he wrote Psalm 143.

Psalm 143 NIV

God is big enough to handle our frustrations with Him and He loves us enough to allow us to be frustrated.  We aren’t the first of His kids to throw a temper tantrum.  I am not saying that He likes it, but He can deal with it and still love us.  He is always there to carry us through it.  Again, not because of our faithfulness but because of His faithfulness.  That is why David could write Psalm 143 and Psalm 145.
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“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 03-09-2019

“Prayer That Pleases Him”

14 And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. 15 And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.  — 1 John 5:14, 15 NLT

I believe God has obligated Himself to answer every prayer that a Christian prays.  I also believe that He does answer every prayer in one of four ways: Yes, No, Wait or gives a completely different answer than we expected and we don’t recognize the event(s) as the answer.  It would be foolish to think that God would give a positive answer to any request that required Him to violate His own Word or to give us something that would not be the best for us.  Just as parents, we realize that our kids often ask for things that aren’t good for them and we have to say “no”,  how much better does our heavenly Father understand and know what is best for us.  His great love for us requires Him to only give us His best.  The words we use or the format of the prayer are not the important things.  What is important is whether or not we have un-confessed sin in our lives.  Sin separates us from God and moves us from His umbrella of protection.  How much faith is required?  I believe that if we have enough faith to ask God for something, that is enough faith.  God has made precious promises to His children and He has never failed in doing exactly what He said He would do.  The fulfillment of those promises is based on His faithfulness, not ours.

32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?  — Romans 8:32 NIV

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

Post 03-08-2019

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