“I Am The Way…..”

12 There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” — Acts 4:12 NLT

Acts 4:5-12 NLT

Jesus Christ died on the Cross at Calvary for every single person who has lived, is living and will ever live.  Those who accept that fact as the absolute truth will make it to heaven, those who don’t won’t.  It is a simple, plain message that even a child can understand and accept.  Yet, there are those who refuse to believe it.  They have their own god(s) and become very angry when they hear the name of Jesus.  Why?  Because every time the name of Jesus is heard, those hearing it have to make a decision.  Some will say “Oh, I will decide later” not understanding that this statement is a decision not to accept Him.  They want us to water down the message and allow for other ways to get to heaven. But there is only one way.  “Have you accepted Jesus as the only way into heaven?”  There is no negotiation, the deal has been sealed and everyone comes on the same terms.  The foot of the cross is level ground, everyone comes just as they are and accepts Jesus the same way. The rich, the famous and the powerful must meet Jesus the same way as the poor, the unknown and the common man.  The only way is to go empty-handed, humble and obedient.  It isn’t a man’s plan that can be altered, it is the infallible, immutable plan of God. 

6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” – John 14:6 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

Mercy, Grace, Forgiveness

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13 For the one who has shown no mercy will be judged without mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment. – James 2:13 ISV
 
God gave the Old Testament law to the children of Israel to show them that it was impossible for a mere human to live a life free of sin. No one was able to live a life without sin, so God, in His mercy established rituals and procedures for them to keep.  As long as they stayed obedient to these rituals, they were not punished for their sins. Mercy is the lack of or a lesser punishment than our sins deserve(d).  Just as the people back then received mercy, we can and do receive mercy without receiving salvation. It is God’s mercy that allows us to go on living, even when we choose a lifestyle of sin.  We live under the law or covenant of grace. This does not mean that we don’t sin, it just means that we have a way of being forgiven without the rituals. Grace is God choosing to bless us even though we don’t deserve it. It is our faith in His grace that saves us.  When we feel that someone has wronged us in any way, we must show them mercy because of the mercy that God has shown us. We must temper our judgment with mercy, realizing that we have received so much more than mercy from Jesus Christ. We should also show them grace, in the sense that it means showing them affection and kindness even though they are not worthy of it. Neither were/are we worthy of God’s mercy and grace, yet He went so far as to die for us.
 

6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. — Romans 5:6-8 NIV

This is why we must show mercy, grace and forgiveness to those around us. We can and must forgive them of their sinful acts toward us. But only God can forgive us for all of our sins. Our mercy and grace is limited to what is done to us. God’s mercy and grace is unlimited.  Only His grace can restore our relationship with God the Father. We must ask for His forgiveness believing that by grace through faith we have been saved, are being saved and will be completely saved.
24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood.25 Therefore he is able to save completely[ those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.– Hebrews 7:24, 25 NIV
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 08-03-2018

Works Are Necessary for Kingdom Growth

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25 But the one who looks at the perfect law of freedom and remains committed to it—thereby demonstrating that he is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of what that law requires—will be blessed in what he does. – James 1:25 ISV

Do works save us? Certainly not!

8 For it is by grace you have been saved,through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.  — Eph. 2:8, 9

Then why are works important? If we look back at the Great Commission that Jesus gave us in Matt. 28:18-20, we find that He tells us to do more than just get people to confess their sins. Jesus commands us to “go and make disciples.” What is a disciple?  Webster defines “disciple” in this way:

someone who accepts and helps to spread the teachings of a famous person

One can be a Christian without actually being a disciple. You can accept Jesus as your Savior and go on with your lifestyle pretty much unchanged (I don’t know how that is possible, but some claim to be able to do so).  But a true disciple follows after his chosen leader, uses His life as an example to follow, spreads His doctrines and teachings and encourages others to do the same. Those who are disciples of sect leaders and worldly religions take the idea of being a disciple much more serious than a lot of us Christians. Some of them take it so far as to be considered “militant” in their actions.  Their actions are governed by anger and hate and wrong teachings.  Our actions are governed by love, but that just means that we have to be kinder in spreading the Gospel of Jesus, not less active or effective. We have a message of perfect love and freedom, which is what the world really desires. We have the Holy Spirit inside us and working with us using the same resurrection power that raised Jesus from the dead. If we are obedient to Jesus’s words that we should “make disciples” then we will “be about our Father’s business”.  That requires us to do the same works that Jesus did when He was here on earth. As Christians, we are not called to be spectators but, rather to be participators, in the work.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 07-31-2018

Give It Up to Save It

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24 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. – Luke 9:24 NLT
 

After all the trials and the persecutions that Jesus went through on Thursday night, early Friday morning, He had to take up his Cross and carry it out of the city. Along the way, Simon of Cyrene was ordered to help carry the Cross for Jesus. While we can’t carry the actual wooden cross that Simon bore for Jesus, we each have a path that God has laid out for us. Somewhere along that path, we will meet Jesus. Then we will either accept Him or reject Him. If we accept Him, there will be a cross for us to bear. The cross may be financial, it may be physical, it may include rejection and persecution, but whatever cross we are called to bear, we can be sure that if we have listened to the whispers of the Holy Spirit and we have been obedient, we will be prepared for it. If the cross seems more than we can bear, it may be because we have not yet decided to die to our own desires. The only way to save our lives is to lose them for Jesus.

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

Post 01-07-2018

Transported

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18 Soon a gale swept down upon them, and the sea grew very rough. ​ – John 6:18 NLT


The disciples became concerned when Jesus didn’t return before dark. Assuming that He had gone on without them, they started to cross the sea of Galilee. Sudden storms were not unusual on this sea. Even though they were experienced fishermen, crossing the sea at night could be dangerous. Seeing someone walking on the sea anytime, but particularly in these conditions, would certainly be frightening. Jesus assures them that it is really Him and they shouldn’t be afraid. Gladly, they allowed Jesus in the boat with them. Now, an amazing thing happens, There is no mention of Jesus calming the sea. Instead, they immediately find themselves at their destination. The sea (or lake) is 8 miles wide and they had only rowed three or four miles. Wow! Forget Disney World, that trip across the rest of the lake is one I would love to take! So, when we find ourselves in stormy seas, we just need to hang on, Jesus is coming for us and we are going to take a trip with Him that has never been equaled or even imagined. We will join Him in the air and He will take us home to heaven! So, now matter how bad it seems right now, just remember what Paul said:


18 Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. 19 For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are.20 Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, 21 the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. ​- Romans 8:18-21 NLT​

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

Post 09-03-2017

We Must Remain Faithful

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39 But we are not like those who turn away from God to their own destruction. We are the faithful ones, whose souls will be saved. ​ — Hebrews 10:39 NLT


Early Christians had to suffer various kinds of persecution. They were beaten, imprisoned and insulted. They were also dressed in animal skins and used as prey for the dogs and the lions in the Coliseum to entertain the ruling class in Roman society. Eleven of the twelve disciples were martyred. We here in America know little or nothing about being persecuted for our beliefs. Until recently, we have enjoyed true freedom of worship and religious expression. That is changing now, Christians are being forced out of their jobs because they refuse to accept immoral principles that are in direct conflict with our Biblical beliefs. We need to stay in prayer, studying God’s Word and encouraging one another. Jesus told us that the time was coming when we would be tested.​

9 “Then they will hand you over to those who will torture and kill you. All nations will hate you because you are committed to me. 10 Then many will lose faith. They will betray and hate each other. 11 Many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.–Matthew 24:9-11 (GW)


We already see this happening in many parts of the world. But remember what Paul said to encourage us. If we remain faithful. God is faithful to do what He has promised.
 
Romans 8:37-39 NLT


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

Post 05-06-2017

Teach and Encourage Others

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15 You must teach these things and encourage the believers to do them.  — Titus 2:15a NLT


The very moment that we repent and turn to Jesus for salvation, we are saved. Don’t let anyone deceive you, if you died the very moment you accepted Jesus, you would go to heaven. But for us who live, we are continually being saved as long as we walk on this earth in these tents of flesh. We are looking for the day when we will be completely saved. That is our hope and His appearance is what we are waiting for. God has given us His Spirit to train us to live godly lives so we can live self-controlled, moral lives today. Jesus died to cleanse us from all sin and make us a special people for His glory.

However, you are chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, people who belong to God. You were chosen to tell about the excellent qualities of God, who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.– 1 Peter 2:9 (GW)


This is our belief and our hope. We are called to stand firm, encourage and correct others. If they choose to ignore our words, they are ignoring God’s words and they do so at their own peril.


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

Post 04-14-2017