“Things That Please the Spirit”

5 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 

Romans 8:3-5 NLT

The Law was given as a  teacher. Its purpose was to teach us that we could not live perfect lives while in this flesh.  Since the forgiveness of sin required a perfect sacrifice, God supplied that for us. He sent His Son, Jesus, who lived a perfect, spotless life. Those who choose to live under the Law are still condemned by that Law. Their only hope, our only hope is to accept the gift of salvation bought and paid for by our kinsman Redeemer, Jesus Christ. When we do that, God places His Spirit inside us to convict, correct, and direct us in how we should live. Now, we are living in accordance with what the Spirit desires.  And the Spirit desires only what Jesus and the Father desire for us. The Spirit is perfect in His communications between us and God.  When God speaks to us through other Christians, we might question the message.  But, when the Messenger is the Holy Spirit, we must walk humbly before our God and deliver the message exactly as it is given to us by the Holy Spirit.

26 “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me. 27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.–John 15:26-27 NIV

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

“Bless And Do Not Curse”

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.—Romans 12:14 NIV​

Praying for and blessing those who persecute us is hard.  The flesh wants to scream, strike back and get revenge. Paul tells us this is a constant battle and we know from our own experiences that that is true. Why? Because the flesh wants what it wants and it doesn’t give up easily.

18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.–Romans 7:18-19 NIV 

We were born in sin into a sinful world. We are constantly tempted by the things we see, hear and read. That old father of liars, satan, knows where the chinks in our armor are and he pokes at us through those holes continuously. We are taught the “it’s all about me” philosophy on a daily basis. “You’re okay, I’m okay”  is a lie from the pits of hell. No one is okay without Jesus and no one can do Godly things without the leadership of the Holy Spirit. As long as we live in this old decaying tent of flesh, we will be tempted and we will have to fight a daily battle against those temptations. But, God has not left us alone to do this, He has made provisions for us. There is always a way out. 

12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.–1 Cor. 10:12-13 NIV

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

“Now That You Know God”

9 So now that you know God (or should I say, now that God knows you), why do you want to go back again and become slaves once more to the weak and useless spiritual principles of this world? – Gal. 3:9 NLT

Galatians 3:8-11 NLT

Before we accepted Jesus as our Savior, we were enslaved by our sinful flesh, just as the Galatians were back then. Before Paul came into Galatia, they worshiped idols made by men and were in bondage to all sorts of immoral acts. Once, they accepted the Good News, they were free from that bondage. Paul had started churches in the area earlier. After he left the area, the people started to fall back into their old worldly ways, practicing useless traditions of men. Eat this , don’t eat that, do this on this day and not any other day, etc. Paul was writing to them to encourage them to continue on their new Spiritual journey. We see the same thing still happening today when the founder of a new church retires or moves on. We have to focus on Jesus and the Gospel message, not on the messenger. Except for Jesus, there never has been, isn’t now, and never will be a perfect man. We all fall and come up short. Just don’t make falling a lifestyle. Ask for the forgiveness that Jesus has already paid for and move on. Let’s learn to be “Jesus conscious” and not “sin-conscious”. If satan can keep us focused on our failures, he has won the battle and we will live defeated lives, Focus on Jesus, our Champion and our Defender. We can be more than conquerors.

15 He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.—2 Chron. 20:15 (NIV)

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

“Come and See For Yourself”

“Come and see for yourself,” Philip replied.– John 1:46b NLT

Come and See

Each of us must come to Jesus for ourselves. No one else can do this for us. Parents and Grandparents, regardless of how much they love and pray, cannot make this decision for you. It is personal and it is eternal. Just as Jesus knew Nathanael before He came to Jesus, so He knew each of us before we came to Him. He knows us at our very worst, He knows our unkind thoughts. No matter how sinful or how ugly it is, Jesus knows all about it but He still loves us. He is waiting with open arms to receive us. If you haven’t truly accepted Him as your Savior and Lord, then, please, “Come and See for Yourself”. Once you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, you will never be alone again.

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

Post 03-03-2020

“Completely and Wonderfully Free”

1 Let me be clear, the Anointed One has set us free—not partially, but completely and wonderfully free! We must always cherish this truth and stubbornly refuse to go back into the bondage of our past. – Galatians 5:1 TPT

Gal. 5:1-6 TPT;NKJV

When we were born physically, we were born into a sinful world. We live in bodies of flesh that have carnal desires.  Because sin is still in the world and we are all infected and affected by it, we follow(ed) after those fleshly, carnal desires. The lifestyles that we live(d) are/were not pleasing to God. Jesus sent His Son to redeem us from this fallen state.  When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we are born again spiritually, we become new creations in Christ Jesus. We get a new heart with new desires but, the flesh does not just automatically and instantly give up and die. The old desires are still there and it is a constant, second by second battle to defeat the desires of the flesh.  To kill those fleshly desires, we not only need open heart surgery, but we need major brain surgery.  Our mindset and our attitudes have to be changed. When carnal, evil, unkind, sinful thoughts “pop up” in our minds, we can be sure that those thoughts do not come from God, but, rather from satan and his minions. We must always remember that they are liars and they are here only to destroy us.

8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. — 1 Peter 5:8

We are tempted by these evil thoughts.  If we allow ourselves to be enticed and follow those fleshly desires, they lead us to sin and sin eventually leads to death. But we have a way out, we have a redeemer and a High Priest who has suffered those same temptations and understands our weaknesses. He defeated satan at the cross, so that we could live full, abundant lives.

10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. — John 10:10 NKJV

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

Post 01-30-2020

“Christ Is All That Matters”

Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us  — Col. 3:11b NLT

Col. 3:9-15 NLT

As Christ becomes more real to us, and as we learn to be obedient to the urging of His Spirit abiding in us, we realize more and more, the weaknesses we have and our inability to control them. Until we can say “I can’t but Jesus can”, we will always have these temptations of the flesh. We have to allow Jesus to control our urges and desires. The more we allow Him to do so, that much more of our sinful nature is stripped away and we put on more of His nature. It doesn’t matter what your ethnicity or your past is. The only thing that matters is Christ in us. Since we are God’s holy people, we must clothe ourselves with His characteristics. Love, mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience is what Jesus looks like. What about us, what do people see when they look at us?

Gal. 5:22-26 NLT

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

Post 09/27/2019

“The Mighty Power of God”

12 For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead. — Colossians 2:12 NLT

Colossians 2:6-13 NLT

The Old Testament circumcision was of the flesh as an outward symbol of a covenant relationship with God. Our circumcision is of the spirit removing our sinful nature and replacing it with God’s Holy Spirit. Our hearts and desires were changed and God wrote His Name upon our hearts. Our baptism is the outward symbol of being buried with Christ and raised again to a new life.

“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”-2 Cor. 5:17” Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.” – Eph. 4:24

We were spiritually dead in our sinful nature but now all things are made new. We are new creatures:

“Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”-Romans 6:4

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

Post 09-28-2019

“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”

even-smaller-bug-light1

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

even-smaller-bug-light1

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