"Filled Twelve Baskets With Scraps Left"

13 So they picked up the pieces and filled twelve baskets with scraps left by the people who had eaten from the five barley loaves. ​ – John 6:13 NLT

John 6:8-13 NLT

We can’t be quite sure how many people Jesus fed that day with five loaves and two fish. But we can be sure that what they had was more than enough. Everyone ate their fill and there were plenty of leftovers. Think what a blessing this was for the young boy and his family, five loaves had now turned into twelve baskets. What an amazing thing Jesus had done! Thousands upon thousands had been filled to overflowing and there was more left than when He started! When Jesus asks us to participate in His Kingdom work, we need to remember that He is the one who will accomplish the results, we are just the seed sowers. Jesus never sees us as lacking anything to do His work. He doesn’t see us as unable. When we, like Moses, procrastinate, complain and ask “what if…”, God has one question for us. The same question He asked Moses: “What is that in your hand?” . Whatever we have will be more than enough. In fact, there will be so much, we will need to be careful not to waste the leftovers.

Exodus 4:1-5 NLT

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

Post 03-28-2020

Plenty of Good Water

7 It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. — 1 Cor. 3:7 NLT

1 Corinthians 3:5-11 NLT

Paul  compares our salvation to a seed that is planted.  When a seed is planted in dry ground, it must be watered regularly and continually.  When we accept Jesus as our Savior, He plants a seed of His love in our heart. For that love to grow, it needs to be watered by the washing of the Word on a regular basis. The soil needs to be exposed to the sun so it will be warm enough for the seed to germinate.  The seed that is planted in us must be exposed to the Son for it to germinate. If we spend time in the Word, God the Holy Spirit will cause that love to grow.  Our hearts will become more tender toward God and our fellow human beings.  How fast this change takes place depends on how much time we spend taking in the food and the water of the Word. If God is the one who makes the seed sprout and grow, then doesn’t it make sense that the seed has to be exposed to God on a regular basis. We do that by spending time alone with God.  While the names of the people that we allow to plant and water the seed are not important, their words and messages are very important.  Be sure the seed is good (only the name of Jesus) and that the water does not contain impurities that will hurt the young plant.

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

Post 04-18-2019

“By Grace Through Faith”

even-smaller-bug-light1

14 Through Christ Jesus, God has blessed the Gentiles with the same blessing he promised to Abraham, so that we who are believers might receive the promised Holy Spirit through faith. – Gal. 3:14

Paul continues to contrast living under the law as opposed to living under grace. For hundreds of years, all the Jews had known was the law plus all the man-made traditions that had been added by the priests and the religious leaders. That now there was a different way to please God was going to take a lot of “unteaching ” and “unlearning”. The law was not given to be a curse, but it became a curse because the flesh could not live up to its standards. It did not require faith, it was a law of works. It was meant to be a teacher showing “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”. We needed a change, but to have that change, we needed someone to remove us from under the curse of sin and the law. Jesus became a curse and a Redeemer for us. Through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, we can now receive the promise of the blessing of Abraham. We could not become the physical offspring of Abraham, but we could become the Spiritual descendants of the “seed” of Abraham. That “Seed” is Jesus Christ.
13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect —Romans 4:13,14 (NKJV)

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

01-01-2018

Water Regularly and Profusely

even-smaller-bug-light1

7 It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow.
— 1 Cor. 3:7 NLT
 
 

Paul  compares our salvation to a seed that is planted.  When a seed is planted in dry ground, it must be watered regularly and continually.  When we accept Jesus as our Savior, He plants a seed of His love in our heart. For that love to grow, it needs to be watered by the washing of the Word on a regular basis. The soil needs to be exposed to the sun so it will be warm enough for the seed to germinate.  The seed that is planted in us must be exposed to the Son for it to germinate. If we spend time in the Word, God the Holy Spirit will cause that love to grow.  Our hearts will become more tender toward God and our fellow human beings.  How fast this change takes place depends on how much time we spend taking in the food and the water of the Word. If God is the one who makes the seed sprout and grow, then doesn’t it make sense that the seed has to be exposed to God on a regular basis. We do that by spending time alone with God.  While the names of the people that we allow to plant and water the seed are not important, their words and messages are very important.  Be sure the seed is good (only the name of Jesus) and that the water does not contain impurities that will hurt the young plant.

Post 08-22-2016

 

From the Head to the Heart

even-smaller-bug-light137 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. — Matt 13:37-39 NIV

We are warned over and over in the Bible, that as the end draws nearer, there will arise more and more false prophets even in the church. They will seem genuine to those who do not have the Holy Spirit abiding in them and therefore, have no discernment.  They will preach and teach a “cheap” grace.  A grace based on head knowledge and not on what we have in our hearts.  They will expound doctrines that do not require holy lifestyles or they will add manmade rules that require more than the Bible requires for salvation.  Whether they add to or subtract from the Biblical requirements for salvation, they are both wrong.  When we have truly accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior and He gives us the Holy Spirit, we are saved.  We are clothed in His holiness and righteousness.  There is nothing we can do to make ourselves more holy or more righteous than He made us.  A Christlike lifestyle is the external proof of what we believe in our hearts not what we know in our minds.  Our thoughts and actions are the fruit of the Spirit, a good tree will bear good fruit and a bad tree will bear bad fruit.  It is a natural and a spiritual law that we cannot change.  For fruit trees to bear an abundant crop, they require a lot of care.  So, everyday, fertilize the tree with scripture and wash it with the water of the Word.
Post 01-18-2016

A Story For The Ages

even-smaller-bug-light15 Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.  6 It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. 7 Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 8 In other words, it is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring. 9 For this was how the promise was stated: “At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son.” — Romans 9:5-9 NIV

​The promise that God made to His friend, Abraham, was fulfilled.  Abraham did become the Father of many nations through his first two sons,  Ishmael was the frist born, a child concieved with Hagar ten years after the promise. It was another 13-14 years later before Isaac was born to Abraham and Sarah.  It was sixty years later when Jacob (Israel) and Esau were born to Isaac and Rebekah. ​ It was through ​Jacob that we trace the lineage of Jesus Christ. This promise was very slow in being fulfilled, but it was confirmed over and over throughout the Old Testament. Though Abraham did become the Father of many nations, the promise was not made regarding the physical descendants but, rather to the Spiritual descendants through One person.  It was not to the “seeds” of Abram but to the “Seed” of Abraham. That Seed is Jesus Christ.

16 The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed.  Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ. — Galatians 3:16 NIV
In His own words,​ Jesus told us that He came to seek and to save the lost.
 

9 Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” — Luke 19:9,10 NIV

​Jesus also said:

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. — John 3:16, 17 NIV

​It is ​for these reasons that all nations, tribes and kindreds can join in the celebration of the birth of Chirst. We have been commissioned by Christ to go tell “the old, old story that we have loved so long.”
Post 12-21-2015

Not by Works

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

10 For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, to perform them.” 11 Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, “The righteous man shall live by faith.” 12 However, the Law is not of faith; on the contrary, “He who practices them shall live by them.”13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”— 14 in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.—Gal. 3:10-14 (NASB)
​Paul continues to​ contrast living under the law as opposed to living under grace. For hundreds of years, all the Jews had known was the law plus all the man-made traditions that had been added by the priests and the religious leaders. That now there was a different way to please God was going to take a lot of “unteaching ” and “unlearning”. The law was not given to be a curse, but it became a curse because the flesh could not live up to its standards. It did not require faith, it was a law of works. It was meant to be a teacher showing “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”. We needed a change, but to have that change, we needed someone to remove us from under the curse of sin and the law. Jesus became a curse and a Redeemer for us. Through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, we can now receive the promise of the blessing of Abraham. We could not become the physical offspring of Abraham, but we could become the Spiritual descendants of the “seed” of Abraham. That “Seed” is Jesus Christ.
13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect—Romans 4:13,14 (NKJV)
Post 03-28-2015

“Go Tell It On the Mountains, Over the Fields, and Everywhere”

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

16 I tell you the truth, a servant is not greater than his master. A messenger is not greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, you will be happy if you do them. 18 “I am not talking about all of you. I know those I have chosen. But this is to bring about what the Scripture said: ‘The man who ate at my table has turned against me.’ 19 I am telling you this now before it happens so that when it happens, you will believe that I am he. 20 I tell you the truth, whoever accepts anyone I send also accepts me. And whoever accepts me also accepts the One who sent me.” 21 After Jesus said this, he was very troubled. He said openly, “I tell you the truth, one of you will turn against me.” 22​ ​The followers all looked at each other, because they did not know whom Jesus was talking about.—John 13:16-22 (NCV)
​When​ we accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we are freed from the bondage of sin, but if we are serious about our repentance, we become bond servants to Jesus Christ. A bond servant is not a slave, he is one who chooses to serve his master because of his love for the master. We should serve Jesus not out of bondage or fear, but simply because we love the One who chose to give His life for our redemption from sin. Jesus had set the example of being a servant to those around Him. He expects us to follow that example because a servant is not greater than His master. It should give us joy unspeakable to serve a risen Savior. Again, Jesus lets us know that He is aware that He will be betrayed and that He knows which one will betray Him. The disciples could not imagine that one of them was the betrayer. If we accept Jesus then we accept the one who sent Him and that is God the Father. He was also telling the disciples and us that we will be accepted when we are sent out by Him. Jesus fulfilled His mission, the disciples fulfilled their mission and the Church has carried on since then. Now, it is our turn. Let us not be the generation that fails to continue to spread the Word of God. When Jesus sends us out, He has already prepared the way. We might not get to see the results, but God’s Word never fails.
10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;​ 11 So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.—Isaiah 55:10, 11 (NASB)
Post 01-25-2105

To Die Is Gain

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

22 Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew went with Philip and they told Jesus.23 And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If any one serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there shall my servant be also; if any one serves me, the Father will honor him. 27 “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, for this purpose I have come to this hour.—John 12:22-27 (NCV)
​Jesus​ responds to their request by saying that it was now time for Him to be glorified. They did not understand that He was referring to His death and resurrection. The grain of wheat that had to die was Jesus. Once a seed has sufficient moisture and temperature, it will split and a new plant starts to grow. The new plant takes everything from the seed to accomplish its growth. In other words, the seed gives itself up (dies) for the new plant. With proper care, the new plant will produce much fruit of its own kind. Jesus knew from before the foundation of the world, that His mission would be to give Himself up for us. When Jesus freely gives Himself up and is buried, the germination process has begun. Now all who accept Him are new creatures. Formed completely out of His body from His own nature. Now that the process of growth has started, we must continue that process by caring for the new creature. We do that by studying Scripture, meditating on His Word and communicating with God through the Holy Spirit. If we follow the example of Jesus, we become bond slaves to Him and servants to our fellow man. We keep this up until our physical body is used up or until Jesus returns, whichever comes first.
17 If anyone belongs to Christ, there is a new creation. The old things have gone; everything is made new! –2 Cor. 15:17 (NCV)
​Then when Jesus returns, the transformation will be complete! We will have new bodies because our fleshly bodies cannot stand in the glory of God.
​46 The spiritual did not come first, but the physical and then the spiritual. 47 The first man came from the dust of the earth. The second man came from heaven. 48 People who belong to the earth are like the first man of earth. But those people who belong to heaven are like the man of heaven. 49 Just as we were made like the man of earth, so we will also be made like the man of heaven.—1 Cor 15:46-49 (NCV)
Post 01-16-2015

Give Cheerfully

God is waiting to show you the way.

God is waiting to show you the way.


2 Corinthians 9:6-10 (NLT)6 Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. 7 You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” 8 And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. 9 As the Scriptures say,
“They share freely and give generously to the poor.
Their good deeds will be remembered forever.”
10 For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you.

It is important for us to remember that everything we have here on earth is a gift from God. It doesn’t matter who signs the paycheck, God is ultimately our resource. We are to be good stewards of all of the resources God gives us. This includes our time as well as our finances. Just as He has the authority to raise up leaders and put people in positions of authority, He can raise us up financially or He can bring us down if we trust only in our finances. Any gift that God gives to us is to be used not just for our benefit, but for the benefit of those He puts in our paths each day. The ultimate use of the resources God has put under our authority is to expand the Kingdom of God. It isn’t that God “needs” us or our finances, He has chosen to use us in His work. That requires us to be obedient to His precepts. Unless you are using more than 10% of your time and money for God, you haven’t started giving yet. Give generously and cheerfully and be prepared for a great blessing from the Lord.
Post 11/03