“Believe In Jesus and Love One Another”

23 And this is his commandment: We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us. — 1 John 3:23 NLT

1 John 3:18-24 NLT

Believe in Jesus and love one another.  Simple to say, not so simple to do. How can we know that we truly believe in Jesus?  Do we instantly change or do we suddenly feel different?  Or is it a gradual change over the years?  It is some of both, we are instantly saved the moment we believe.  We may not feel any different but salvation is based on knowledge not on feelings or emotions although we may get emotional when it happens.  Salvation is the foundation of Christianity, it is involved in our lifelong process of sanctification and it is the capstone of the completed temple God is building in our bodies.  So, how do we know this process is taking place on a daily basis?   Do we love others more or differently?  Does the grief and sorrow of others affect us more than before?  Is our outlook slowing changing from “what about me?” to “what can I do for Jesus and His Kingdom today?”  Does it break our hearts to know that we have done or said something that hurt Jesus and His Kingdom?  If the answer to all of these questions is “Yes”, then we can be sure that the Holy Spirit is dwelling inside of us accomplishing what God wants in our lives.  If the answers are no or I’m not sure, then perhaps it would not hurt to take another look at the foundation and see if it is solid.

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

Post 05-11-2019

A Simple Plan For Joy

7 “Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sins are put out of sight.
8 Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of sin.”  
— Romans 4:7, 8 NLT 

Romans 4: 8-10 NLT

God, because of His great love, mercy and grace made the plan of salvation so simple that a child can understand it.  Because of the simplicity of the plan, it often brings the question, “Is that really all I need to do to be saved?’.  And the simple answer is yes.  So, we can just keep doing what we were doing?  No! and again No!  But now we are talking about sanctification which is a lifelong process.  The good works we do are not to gain a greater salvation.  If we could do enough good works to be saved then Jesus died in vain.  We might as well still be living under the law and all of its impossible requirements.  But Jesus did not die in vain. His death and resurrection fulfilled the law and opened the gate to heaven so that all that chose Him in faith could come in.  When Paul tells the Philippians to “work out your own salvation”, he is not telling them to look for another way to be saved.  He is telling them to do good works to show the world the results of their salvation.

Phil, 2:12-15 NLT  

Jesus “went about doing good”.  He is our example of how we are to live our lives as His brothers and sisters.  As Christians, our response to certain things should be so different from the response of the worldly that it gets their attention. Our good works not only attract others to Jesus but they are also how we “lay up rewards in heaven”.

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

Post 04-01-2019

“All My Guilt Is Gone”

5 Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt.  I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.”
And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. — Psalm 32:5 NLT 

Psalm 32:1-6 NLT

When we accept Jesus as our Savior we confess all of our sins up to that point.  But we still live in the flesh and all of the fleshly desires are not magically removed overnight. The Holy Spirit starts a process of sanctification in each of us.  This process is designed to change our hearts’ desires so that we no longer choose to live a lifestyle of sin.  However, there are times that we will fail and we will think, do or say something that is not pleasing to God.  Perhaps we will fail to do something that the Holy Spirit urges us to do.  Most of the sins that Christians are guilty of are sins of omission, not sins of commission.  We rebel against God in refusing to follow His leading in our lives.  The problem I have is agreeing with God that I am being rebellious and confessing it as sin.  But God does not negotiate, He will stand firm and I must agree with Him and confess.  We must get to the point the Psalmist got to — “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord” and He will forgive me.

1 John 1:5-10 NLT

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

Post 03-16-2019

We’ve Only Just Begun!

even-smaller-bug-light1

 11 In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us. — Col. 3:11 NLT
 
God’s Holy Spirit abides in us and we abide in Christ. We are now filled with and fully clothed by God Himself. Therefore, we have access to the same attributes as Christ Jesus Himself. Just as we accepted God’s Gift of salvation, we can accept (access) His attributes or we can use our own vain imaginations. The question is this: What thoughts are we going to allow to control our words and actions? “Wrong” or “right” thinking, that is the question.  Will we continue to let our old fleshly nature control our thoughts and actions or will we allow the Holy Spirit to do His work in us?  Will we allow Him to teach us and guide us into all truth?  Will we allow Him to sanctify us on a daily basis?  The flesh says “no” so we must put to death the flesh and follow after the Spirit.  Jesus wants to be Lord over every area of our lives, not just part.  The journey begins when we accept Jesus as our Savior and continues until we meet our Savior.  It is onward and upward and it gets sweeter every day.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Post 11-28-2016

 

Don’t Complicate the Message

even-smaller-bug-light1

7 “Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven,
whose sins are put out of sight.
8 Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of sin.” 
— Romans 4:7, 8 NLT
 
God, because of His great love, mercy and grace made the plan of salvation so simple that a child can understand it.  Because of the simplicity of the plan, it often brings the question, “Is that really all I need to do to be saved?’.  And the simple answer is yes.  So, we can just keep doing what we were doing?  No! and again No!  But now we are talking about sanctification which is a lifelong process.  The good works we do are not to gain a greater salvation.  If we could do enough good works to be saved then Jesus died in vain.  We might as well still be living under the law and all of its impossible requirements.  But Jesus did not die in vain. His death and resurrection fulfilled the law and opened the gate to heaven so that all that chose Him in faith could come in.  When Paul tells the Philippians to “work out your own salvation”, he is not telling them to look for another way to be saved.  He is telling them to do good works to show the world the results of their salvation.  Phil, 2:12-15 NLT   Jesus “went about doing good”.  He is our example of how we are to live our lives as His brothers and sisters.  As Christians, our response to certain things should be so different from the response of the worldly that it gets their attention. Our good works not only attract others to Jesus but they are also how we “lay up rewards in heaven”.
Post 08-04-2016

Agree and Confess

even-smaller-bug-light1

5 Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt.
I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.”
And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. 
— Psalm 32:5 NLT
 


When we accept Jesus as our Savior we confess all of our sins up to that point.  But we still live in the flesh and all of the fleshly desires are not magically removed overnight. The Holy Spirit starts a process of sanctification in each of us.  This process is designed to change our hearts’ desires so that we no longer choose to live a lifestyle of sin.  However, there are times that we will fail and we will think, do or say something that is not pleasing to God.  Perhaps we will fail to do something that the Holy Spirit urges us to do.  Most of the sins that Christians 
are guilty of are sins of omission, not sins of commission.  We rebel against God in refusing to follow His leading in our lives.  The problem I have is agreeing with God that I am being rebellious and confessing it as sin.  But God does not negotiate, He will stand firm and must agree with Him and confess.  We must get to the point the Psalmist got to — “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord” and He will forgive me.

Post 07-19-2016

Christ in Us

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

.47 “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes has eternal life. 48 Yes, I am the bread of life! 49 Your ancestors ate manna in the wilderness, but they all died. 50 Anyone who eats the bread from heaven, however, will never die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; and this bread, which I will offer so the world may live, is my flesh.” 52 Then the people began arguing with each other about what he meant. “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” they asked. 53 So Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you cannot have eternal life within you. 54 But anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise that person at the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. 57 I live because of the living Father who sent me; in the same way, anyone who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 I am the true bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will not die as your ancestors did (even though they ate the manna) but will live forever.”—John 6:47-58 (NLT)
Earthly food sustains the natural, fleshly body. Just as earthly food rots away, so does the fleshly body grow old and die, But if we partake of the living bread that came down from heaven and drink the blood of Jesus, we will have eternal life. Jesus is, of course, not talking about cannabilism. He is talking about us hearing and accepting His Word, which is the Bread of Heaven and receiving the Holy Spirit, which is the well that will never run dry. This is why we can say that we have Jesus abiding in us. Jesus lives because the Father who sent Him to us lives. He is the Creator of everything and breathed His life into us at our Creation. The fleshly tents we live in now will die and decay, but we, who have accepted Jesus as our Savior and Lord, will live forever. As the Holy Spirit, Jesus lives in us and we are in Christ Jesus by His doing.
30 But​ ​by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption—1 Cor. 1:30 (NASB)
Post 12-02-14