“All of Us Used to Live That Way”

3 All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else.— Ephesians 2:3 NLT

Ephesians 2:1-7 NLT

None of us have lived a sinless life, we all were once dead spiritually because of our sins and failures. Not knowing any better because we were born in the flesh, we allowed our lives to be ruled by satan. Under his dominion, we followed the desires of our flesh. These desires caused us to mistreat others and live lives that were disobedient to God. All of us deserved to die because of our disobedience. We were dead in in sin, but God already had a plan in place to redeem us and bring us back to Himself. Because of His great love for us, He sent Jesus to die for us. When He raised Jesus from death to life, He made a way for us to be made alive together with Christ. We should live a lifestyle that is pleasing to God, not because of obligation or debt, but because we love Him deeply and want to please Him.

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

Post 08-11-2019

“Foreigners and Exiles”

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11 Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. 12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. — 1 Peter 2:11,12 NIV
 
As sons, daughters and heirs of God, we should act accordingly.  Jesus gave up all of His glory in heaven, came to earth and lived as a human and an exile here. He did this so that He might become the first born of the new covenant and the head of the church.

 

18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. — Col. 1:18-20 NIV

As the first born, He is our example to follow.  He lived a sinless life.  We, as humans, cannot obtain perfection as long as we live in these fleshly tents.  We are in a daily battle to overcome our fleshly desires. It should be our hearts’ desire to get as close to that goal as we can.  Not only are we foreigners and exiles, but we are ambassadors of God and our home country, heaven. Our thoughts, words and actions should reflect the character of the leaders of that country.  If we strive to do that on a daily basis, under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, God will be glorified.  When we do this with humility and love, it will cause others to want what we have.  As souls are added to the Kingdom, God will receive more and more glory.  When a soul is saved, it is as if God has visited us because there is a little more of heaven on earth.

 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 08-25-2018

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

Planning Is Good!

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15 What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” – James 4:15 NLT

Although, none of us are promised tomorrow, it is still a good idea to have a plan. God has set that example for us. He had a plan for all His children collectively, before He laid the foundations of the earth.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world.–Matt. 25:34 (NLT)


He also has plans for each of His children individually.

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.–Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)


So, it is not wrong to have plans. They are only a problem and a boast when we plan without asking God about it. Or if we think that we can accomplish anything good without God. We are only here on this earth for a very small portion of time and then we are gone. So, we need to spend our lives “redeeming the time”, in other words, making good use of it to further the work of the Kingdom of God. This was His plan when He created the world and us.

10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.–Eph. 2:10 (NLT)


So, we see that God planned us, formed us, and then created us anew to do His good works for His glory. If we plan anything less, it does not honor our Creator and if we plan anything greater, it is presumptuous and sinful. When we know to do good and refuse to do it, it is a sin against God and our fellowman.


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

Post 06-08-2017

Created for His Glory!

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16b.  Everything was created through him and for him.

— Colossians 1:16b NLT


We were born with a sinful nature and born into a sinful world. But God, because of His omnipotence, omniscience, and His great love already had a plan in place to rescue us. The plan called for His Son, Jesus, to be born sinless, live a perfect life, and die a horrible death on a cross to redeem and reconcile us to Himself. When we accept this plan, our sins are forgiven and we are placed in right standing with God. Jesus was resurrected from the grave as the firstborn of all creation to live eternally. Everything was created through Him and for Him. Without Him, nothing exists or can exist. He raises up leaders and kings and He brings down those leaders and kings for His own purpose. We are created to glorify God and to one day be raised in His image, changed from mortals to immortals, from corruption to incorruption, to worship and praise Him throughout eternity.


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

Post 03-02-2017

What Voice Are We Hearing?

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Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. — Romans 8:5 NLT

How can we know if we are being led by God’s Spirit or by our flesh? If we are giving in to the flesh, we will be prideful, we will harbor hate, anger, resentment and bitterness. The acts that our flesh produces are illicit sex, perversion, promiscuity, idolatry, drug use, hatred, rivalry, jealousy, angry outbursts, selfish ambition, conflict, factions, envy, drunkenness, wild partying, and similar things. If we are Spirit led, we will show others love and respect. God’s Spirit produces (in us) love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. We should all take a few moments alone with God and examine our actions for the last few days. What voice are listening to? Who are we following? Flesh? or Spirit?

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Post 01-24-2017

Response or Reaction?

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1 Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. — Gal. 6:1 NLT
When we see others doing things that appear to be sinful in our eyes, what is our response? Are we quick to think the wrong thoughts or do we remember that we have made mistakes as well? Do we criticize or do we correct? Criticism is most often a knee-jerk reaction and usually destroys. If it destroys, then it mus have come from the destroyer (satan) himself. Our reaction should be to pray and then humbly help that person back to the narrow path. To do that requires us to be a channel of God’s love to those around us. This helps us to understand that when we feel condemnation, it comes from satan, but when we feel conviction, it comes from God’s Holy Spirit. God doesn’t condemn Christians for their failures, but He doesn’t wink at sin, either.

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

Post 12-17-2016