“The Gifts Christ Gave To The Church”

11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers.— Ephesians 4:11 NLT

Ephesians 4:11-16 NLT

Christ has given 5 gifts to the church, these are known as the 5-fold ministry. They are not given to the leaders so they can do all the work. They are given to the church leaders so that they can equip the laypeople (that’s us) to do the witnessing, visiting, and serving. They build up God’s church by training and encouraging us. Learning to do these things is how we grow to maturity in Christ. When we are new Christians, we can be easily misled by those who are in authority, but as we learn, we should be able to “stand against the wiles of the devil”. One of his tricks is to use Christians to mislead others. Choose carefully those to whom you listen. There are sheep in wolves clothing trying to deceive the elect. Always cross check every message and lesson with the Bible. Don’t be swayed by charisma, charm or emotions. “Be rooted and grounded” and stand firm. As we mature, we become more like Jesus. Follow His example, speak the truth in love and lead others to Jesus.

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

Post -09-11-2019

“The Privilege of Serving Him”

7 By God’s grace and mighty power, I have been given the privilege of serving him by spreading this Good News.— Ephesians 3:7 NLT

Ephesians 3:2-9 NLT

Paul tells us that God’s plan is a mystery and He reveals it as He chooses. God has a timeline that is hidden to all but the Father. Even Jesus said that He did not know when the end would come. Here Paul is referring to the mystery of the plan of salvation. The Old Testament and the prophets pointed forward to a Messiah. This Messiah would come into the world and be rejected by the Jews. Because of their rejection, the door is now open to all people to receive the free gift of salvation. Jews and Gentiles can now be redeemed and share in the inheritance of Jesus Christ. We, along with Paul, have been given the privilege and the responsibility to spread the Good News. How well are we able to explain the plan of salvation, being born again, and living a Holy life? There are people who have attended church services all their lives and don’t understand it. It is a mystery, but it has been revealed to us. We need to exercise our privilege and fulfill our responsibility on a daily basis.

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

Post 09-08-2019

Freedom to Witness as We Work

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23 Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. – Col. 3:23 NLT
 
Most of us do not have jobs that are commonly considered to be “full-time” work for the Lord.  But, what we need to remember is that whatever our vocation is, that is where we are planted and where we need to bloom. Where we are right now is our mission field.  We have more opportunities to witness every day than those employed by the church.  The pastors and other staff are there to encourage us in our daily lives and minister to the flocks that God has given them.  Most of their conversations are with other Christians, whereas, we are on the battle front everyday. Their job is to equip us to minister in our workplaces. When we are out in the world working for others, we must do so cheerfully and efficiently.  We should be working to please the Lord.  If our work pleases the Lord, it will be found to be more than acceptable by man.  Will we always be recognized and rewarded by our employers and/or our fellow workers?  No, but that should be of very little concern to us. God sees all of our works and stores up rewards for us in heaven. When we are faithful in serving God in the workplace, we can be assured that He notices it.  We live in a work-a-day world, but we are bondservants to Jesus Christ.  He is our Master and our Provider.  When our work pleases Him, we can be assured that we will receive the promotions and rewards in His timing. Be thankful for the provisions that God has made for each of us. If we have a grateful attitude, we won’t need to “put on a happy face”, we can just let the joy of the Lord shine through us and that will attract others to Him.

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

Post 07-04-2018

“Where He Leads Me, I Will Follow”

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43 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Come, follow me.” – John 1:43 NLT
 

Once we answer the call to “come and see” and we have “tasted and seen” that the Lord is good, our next step is to follow the Lord. While the plan of salvation is simple and free, following the example that Jesus set for us is not easy and it is not free. He gave up His glory in heaven, came to earth and died for us. Should the created expect to do less than that for His Creator? From the worldly point of view, this is asking a lot, but from God’s point of view, it is the best thing that you can do. The only way to save your life is to let it go.

33 If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it—Luke 17:33 (NLT)


For our sake, Jesus laid down His life, so that He could take it up again to be our Redeemer and Lord. So, we must lay down our lives for His sake.


23 Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me. 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. 25 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but are yourself lost or destroyed?—Luke 9:23-25 (NLT)


”Come, follow me”! When we decide to this for Jesus, we find a life that is truly worth living.


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

Post 08-04-2017

Fully Equipped Warriors

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11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. — Ephesians 4:11 NLT

Christ has given 5 gifts to the church, these are known as the 5-fold ministry. They are not given to the leaders so they can do all the work. They are given to the church leaders so that they can equip the laypeople (that’s us) to do the witnessing, visiting, and serving. They build up God’s church by training and encouraging us. Learning to do these things is how we grow to maturity in Christ. When we are new Christians, we can be easily misled by those who are in authority, but as we learn, we should be able to “stand against the wiles of the devil”. One of his tricks is to use Christians to mislead others. Choose carefully those to whom you listen. There are sheep in wolves clothing trying to deceive the elect. Always cross check every message and lesson with the Bible. Don’t be swayed by charisma, charm or emotions. “Be rooted and grounded” and stand firm. As we mature, we become more like Jesus. Follow His example, speak the truth in love and lead others to Jesus.

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

Post 02-17-2017

Time Is Money

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5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
— Phil. 2:5 NLT
 
What was the attitude of Jesus while he was here clothed in human form?  He came first as a servant, giving up all of His glory.  He came to earth just as an ambassador to a foreign country.  He had access to all of the power and the angels of heaven yet He limited Himself to live as a mere human.  He never used His powers to advance Himself as humans see advancement. The instances we read about of Jesus using His powers are actions that advanced the Kingdom of God here on earth.  He could have called on legions of angels to protect Him at any time yet He chose to suffer and die for our sins.  He ate with sinners.  He showed mercy to the poor and to the needy.  He could have allowed Himself to be crowned king by His followers.  Instead, He chose to live a life serving others.  He was a giver and He gave up everything to die on a cross for our sins.  He gave His lifetime and His life for us.  How much of our time are we willing to give up for Him?  We are all familiar with the saying “time is money”, perhaps we should consider tithing our time as well as our money. 
Post 08-26-2016

Loving and Serving

God is waiting to show you the way.

God is waiting to show you the way.

13 For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. 14 For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.–Galatians 5:13-15 (NLT)
​God is love! Because of that love, a love that is incomprehensible to humans, He gave us His Son to redeem us from our sinful state. Jesus was obedient, even to the Cross, because He is also love. He is our example of how to serve others in love. If we focus on Jesus and His service to us, we find that our joy will be restored. Fulfill this one command: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and body and your neighbor as yourself”. Practice this by doing small acts of kindness to others each day. It isn’t necessarily something overt or costly. Forgive before they ask, don’t verbalize that unkind thought, smile and say hello to a stranger. Ask God’s Holy Spirit to prompt you and give you the words of encouragement that those He puts in your path need to hear.
Post 01-14-14