“By This We Believe…”

30 Now we are sure that You know all things, and have no need that anyone should question You. By this we believe that You came forth from God.” – John 16:30 NKJV

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

“They Served Their Own Gods”

33 While they continued to fear the Lord, they served their own gods, following the custom of the nations whom they had carried away from there. – 2 Kings 17:33 ISV

2 Kings 17:29-40 ISV

Again and again, God allowed other kings to invade and conquer portions of Israel.  He did this because they refused to obey His laws and they refused to keep His commandments.  Finally, God allowed the king of Assyria to remove all of Israel to other countries.  After doing this, the king of Assyria brought in foreigners to settle the land of Israel.  God did not like this, so God sent lions in to destroy the foreigners.  The king was informed that this was happening because the new settlers did not know how to worship God correctly.  He brought in an Israelite priest to instruct them in proper worship.  They learned and practiced the proper worship procedures, but they also continued to worship the idols of each of their respective homelands.  God will not stand for impurities in any worship service or offering to Him.  Either He is our God or He is not, there is no middle ground.  Our God is a jealous God and He will not allow any other god(s) to be a part of our love affair with Him.  Our God deserves worship from hearts that are pure and undefiled.  When we celebrate Jesus, our celebrations must be in obedience to the leadership of the Holy Spirit.  We must lift up holy hands in His honor.  There can be no spots in our love feasts. Everything must honor Him and Him alone.

Jude:10-13 NKJV

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

“You Are My Strength”

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1  I love you, Lord; you are my strength.  2  The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior;  my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.  3  I called on the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and he saved me from my enemies. — Psalm 18:1-3

How blessed are the children of God!  We can cry out one word and our Lord hears and saves us! How marvelous and wondeful are the works of our God! He is our all in all! He is the air that we breathe, the sustenance for our souls and our bodies, a friend in need and deed!  He is a spouse to those that will receive Him, a child, a brother, a sister, a Mother, a Dad, an aunt, an uncle, a grandfather, a grandmother!  He longs to fill every void in our life!

He is Jehovah-Jireh, our Provider!

He is Jehovah-Rapha, our Healer!

He is Jehovah-Shalom, our Peace!

He is El-Shaddai, Almighty God, our abundant Blesser!

He is Immanuel, God with us!

3  Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you! 4  I will praise you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer. 5 You satisfy me more than the richest feast.  I will praise you with songs of joy. — Psalm 63:3-5 NLT

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

“You Offended the Pharisees”

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12 Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you realize you offended the Pharisees by what you just said?”  13 Jesus replied, “Every plant not planted by my heavenly Father will be uprooted, 14 so ignore them.  — Matt. 15:12-14a NLT 

Pilate washed his hands and declared that he was innocent of the blood of Jesus.  He could have just as easily told the crowd that he would not allow them to take Jesus because he found nothing deserving of death in the actions of Jesus.  Without Pilate’s permission and without him furnishing the guard detail to carry out the crucifixion, the crowd would not have been able to crucify Jesus.  The Jews had no authority to sentence anyone to death or to carry out the death sentence. Though Pilate did not participate physically in the crucifixion, neither did he stop it from happening even though he had the authority to do so.  Pilate had worldly authority to do something.  We have a higher authority who has authorized us to speak out when the name of Jesus is being blasphemed and God’s name is being taken in vain.  Do we think that we can hide behind our fear of offending others and not speak out?  Do we think Jesus is pleased when we stand by and do or say nothing when injustices are taking place before our very eyes? Jesus put His life on the line by offending the religious leaders and rulers of that day. He gave up His life so that we could have the authority to speak and act in His name. If we can trust Jesus to save us and keep our souls safe throughout eternity, surely we can trust Him to protect us when we follow His example and His commands.

10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.​ I will strengthen you and help you.  I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. — Isaiah 41:10 NLT

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

“The Winds Blew and Beat Against That House”

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4 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. — Matthew 7:24-25 NIV

In the early days of aviation, long before the technology that produced GPS and other navigational aids, pilots would fly using only visual references. Using nothing but their sense of direction, the location of the sun and familiar landmarks, they were able to go from point to point.  They would often pick out a road and follow along that route.  Pilots kept the aircraft upright, straight and level by watching the horizon and the pressure they would feel on their posterior to determine if they were ascending or descending.  This type of flying became known as “flying by the seat of your pants”.   Because the pilot used only his physical senses, he would, at times, become slightly disoriented.  Needless to say, this type of flying often ended up with the pilot flying or following a path that was not always a straight line.  If the pilot became too disoriented and confused, the result was a crash often ending in the pilot’s death.  The pilots could only fly in clear skies so that all the physical landmarks would be visible to the human eye.  At that time, it was impossible to fly above a cloud layer or through storms. Aviators had to wait until technology was developed to help them navigate and maintain orientation to fly above the clouds and through the stormy weather.
How many of us live our lives “by the seat of our pants” depending only on our feelings and the things that we can see to guide us?  Like the old pilots, we may do all right as long as there is clear weather, no storms, no clear air turbulence and no major wind shifts to blow us off  course.  But what happens when the storms of life come? What happens when our feelings lead us off course? We have Someone that we can trust to carry us safely through the storm.  When our sense of purpose fails us, we have One who will keep us on course and fly us straight to safety.  But, God is not satisfied with being our navigator or our copilot, He wants to be our Pilot and He does not need a navigator.  He doesn’t want to be our Pilot just in the storms, He wants to be our Pilot in the clear skies as well.  With God, the plan is always “all in” or it won’t work.  Build on the Solid Rock and trust Him with every part of your life.

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

“You Have to Suffer”

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6 You greatly rejoice in this, even though you have to suffer various kinds of trials for a little while, ​– 1 Peter 1:6 ISV​

1 Peter1:6-9 ISV

As God brings us through each trial that He allows in our life, we should bookmark that time in our lives.  Each time we find ourselves facing another trial or temptation, we need to rehearse each of those bookmarks one by one, remembering and thanking God for HIs deliverance. As we rehearse these times in our lives, we will come to the same conclusion that Peter did here in these verses. God’s faithfulness to deliver on each promise He has made to us is worth more than gold.  Money cannot buy the peace that God gives us freely. In those times when no earthly words can comfort us and no human can help us, God is there in all His glory delivering those who depend solely and fully on Him. This deliverance from earthly trials and temptations causes us to love Him whom we have not seen, believe in Him completely and fills us with “inexpressible and glorious joy”.  It also reassures us that we will receive the end result of our faith, the complete and eternal salvation of our souls. That should cause hallelujahs to ring in our hearts and be shouted to the highest heavens.

11 the voice of the singers at the watering places.

They recite the victories of the Lord,
the victories of his villagers in Israel. — Judges 5:11 NIV

27 And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them — Acts 14:27a – KJV

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

“No Variation or Shadow of Turning”

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17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. – James 1:17 NKJV

​​James 1:16-18 NKJV

When God created the world, after each day’s work,we are told that “God saw that it was good” .

31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day ​– Genesis 1:​31 NIV

​Everything in this world was created good and perfect to last forever and was given to man by God to enjoy and have dominion over it all. Then man sinned and decay and rot started in all of God’s creation. But God had a plan to fix all that even before He laid the foundations of the earth . So, He gave us “THE good and perfect gift”, Himself, to die on a cross to redeem all of creation.  He is still in the business of giving good gifts to us.  This very moment is called the “present” because it is a gift from God. The good earth we enjoy, the very air that we breathe, every particle of food that we eat are all gifts from God.  When He gives them, they are good gifts, but we have chosen to belittle and desecrate those gifts by refusing to give thanks to the Creator of all things.  Every second of our life is a gift from God and we need to give Him praise, glory and honor for those precious seconds. Our attitudes should always be an attitude of humility and thankfulness. We should stand in awe of our awesome God.

I Stand In Awe


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

“Stay Away From Them”

17 And now I make one more appeal, my dear brothers and sisters. Watch out for people who cause divisions and upset people’s faith by teaching things contrary to what you have been taught. Stay away from them.  – Romans 16:17

 Romans 16:17-20 NLT

From the first century church until now, there have been those who use the Gospel for their own benefit. No matter what size the congregation, satan seems to always have one of his minions involved.  Whether they are misleading people for financial gain, power or popularity, the reason really doesn’t matter.  We must be aware of anyone whose message doesn’t quite align with the scriptures. Even more dangerous are those whose words ring true but their actions do not agree with what they say. These people are usually easy on the eyes and their speech is very eloquent. It is extremely hard for the flesh to resist them. But, as we have learned, following them leads to death. Sometimes spiritual death, other times both spiritual and physical death. We need to pray for discernment so that we will be aware of these deceivers. We are warned over and over in the Bible that these people will abound more and more as the second coming of our Lord and Savior grows ever nearer.

12 These people are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—twice dead. 13 They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever.— Jude 12​​-13​

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

“The Wonderful Joy”

13 Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world. – 1 Peter 4:13 NLT

1 Peter 4:12-16 NLT

Some of us have thought or been taught that once we are saved, life is just sunshine and roses. This can be true for us inwardly because we have the joy of the Lord abiding in us as our strength. But on the outside, satan is still around and sin still abounds, so we are going to have to face some offenses and situations. We should not be surprised when these issues arise.  Instead, we should rejoice in the situation.  Not because of the situation or offense, but because we know that if satan is confronting us with his garbage and lies, we must be messing with his plans. Sometimes it hurts deeply, but warriors on the front lines are the ones who get wounded. Should we complain?  Was Jesus not “wounded for our transgressions”?  Yes, He was and He suffered silently. Is the created better than the Creator? No, we are not.  We should count it a privilege and a joy to participate in the sufferings of Christ.

2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. — James 1:2-3 NIV

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

“They Will All Be One”

20 “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. 21 I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.–John 17:20-21 (NLT)

As we continue to listen in on this prayer, we find that all the things that Jesus asked our Father to do for the disciples, He asks Him to do for us as well. It is the very heart of Jesus that we be holy and that we be full of peace and joy. Earlier, He had told us that He would send another to replace Himself.

26 “But I will send you the Advocate—the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will testify all about me.—John 15:26 (NLT)

This Advocate, this Counselor, Comforter, Teacher, Encourager guides us into all truth. Jesus was God in the flesh and as such, He could not physically enter into us, but this Advocate is God in Spirit. He could, would, and does dwell inside each believer reminding us of what Jesus did and said. He is our internal guidance system, installation charges prepaid by our Big Brother, no monthly fees, no interruptions and worldwide coverage with no breaks. Maybe that is why we say those that don’t have it are lost. It is our duty to tell the lost about this free guidance service. And like any good plan, you get a reward when you allow it to be installed! You get a blessing here and now! But, wait, there’s more! You get a reward when you get to heaven!

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