“Live In Complete Harmony”

5 May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus — Romans 14:5 NLT

Romans 13:1-7 NLT

As the years pass, the percentage of people attending church on a regular basis declines.  Instead of growing stronger and influencing the society around us, the body of Christ grows weaker and weaker.  Jesus warned us that a house divided could not stand.  Yet, we have allowed satan to come in and use the differences in our denominations to divide us rather than focusing on our common ground and encouraging each other.  Paul told us over and over how important it is for Christians to stand together as one body, the body of Christ.  We are no longer able to stand because we refuse to stand together.  Instead, the body of Christ is ripped apart from the inside because of our lack of love for Christ and each other.  When we disparage and discourage our brothers and sisters, we violate the two greatest commands.  The commands to love our Lord with all our hearts, mind, and strength and our neighbors as ourselves.  Is it any wonder that the outsiders look at the Church and decide not to become a part of the family?  We must show the world the love of Jesus and the peace and the joy that comes with that love rather than the image of a torn and decaying body.  We get enough of that from the society around us.  As long as the foundation is the name of Jesus, Jesus alone, no other name and no other way, the houses can be different and still compliment each other.

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

Post 04-14-2019

“Be You Holy”

16 Such people claim they know God, but they deny him by the way they live. They are detestable and disobedient, worthless for doing anything good. — Titus 1:16 NLT

Titus 1:10-16 NLT

Paul considered both Timothy and Titus to be his sons in the faith and as such, it was his joy and job to mentor them.  Even though he left them at different churches to carry on the work that he had started, he continued to do this by writing them letters.   In his 2nd letter to Timothy and here in this letter to Titus, Paul warns them about wasting their time in foolish talk and conversations.  This type of behavior usually leads to divisions in the body of Christ.  Crete was obviously well known for this type of activity since Paul quotes one of their own Cretan prophets as describing them as “liars, cruel animals and lazy gluttons”.  That’s harsh condemnation of one’s fellow countrymen.  However, it would not be hard to make that description fit a portion of our society today.  The point Paul wants to make to Titus is that he has a tough job ahead of him.  He is living among people who will make all sorts of claims and statements of their faith, but they don’t really know God and their lifestyles prove that they don’t.  When we hear the Gospel of Jesus, we accept it as truth because the Holy Spirit has purified and prepared our minds to accept it.  Those whose minds and consciences are corrupt will perceive all truth as being corrupt.  The task for Titus was to convince them of the truth of the Gospel by his lifestyle.   That is our task in our society today.

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

Post 01-20-2019

The Presence of God Sets Us Apart

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15 Then Moses told the Lord, “If your presence does not go with us, don’t bring us up from here. – Exodus 33:15 ISV
 
Oh, to be more like Moses, to come to the full realization that the only thing that makes a Christian different from the world is the presence of God in our lives. Without God, we are nothing and can accomplish nothing of eternal value, with God, we can do all things. Moses refused to rush ahead, even refused to move unless he could be sure the presence of God was with Him.  A great lesson that we need to learn to survive in this hectic, chaotic society based on instant gratification.  We need to learn to wait on God.  Not wait as in sitting in our easy chair, but wait as a military guard waits at his post.  Wait with purpose and vigilance, defending our post from intruders.  A guard is well-trained to defend the home front and to protect those at his position. He has read the manual more than once, knows who and what to look for and what questions to ask. Are we prepared?  Have we read our manual? Do we know the enemy?  Are we prepared to defend our faith?  Can we explain to others why our God is the only true and living God and why the name of Jesus is the only name in heaven and on earth by which a man can be saved?   The Holy Spirit, through Paul, charges us to always be ready to give an answer.

1 I solemnly urge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who will someday judge the living and the dead when he comes to set up his Kingdom: 2 Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching— 2 Timothy 4:1, 2 NLT

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

Post 10-01-2018

We Are All Special In God’s Eyes

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A brother of humble means should rejoice in his having been exalted, 10 and a rich person in his having been humbled, because he will fade away like a wild flower. 11 For the sun comes up with its scorching heat and dries up the grass. The flower in it drops off, and its beauty is gone. That is how the rich person will fade away in his pursuits. ​- James 1:9-11 ISV​
God has people in all levels of society, from the homeless to those living in huge homes and castles.  Whether we are rich or poor, from the human viewpoint, has no effect on how God sees us and whether or not, He can use us. We are all special in His eyes and worthy of His death on the cross. Not all us are capable of playing musical instruments but, in a band or an orchestra, every player must play the right notes for the music to be appreciated,  Even fewer of us will be band directors or orchestra leaders.  And that is a very good thing.  Because we need farmers, doctors, business men and women, educators, engineers, scientists, as well as someone to fill all the other positions that are needed for our survival. God has given each of us a talent that He can use for His glory if we will allow Him to do so.  While we are all very special in God’s eyes and have special talents, we are all alike in that we will all have temptations to avoid and trials to go through. For us to persevere, we will need to keep our eyes and our hearts focused on Jesus and not on the world around us. Regardless of our social position or our economic value, Jesus expects us to allow Him to use us to further His Kingdom here on earth.  When we learn total dependence on Jesus, the worldly things will become of much less importance to us and we can be joyful in the fact that Jesus considered us worthy.  Worthy enough that He would choose to die for us, worthy enough to allow us to be a part of His team and worthy enough to spend an eternity with Him in glory.  We should never belittle His gift and His opinion of us by not using our talents to glorify Him.

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

Post 07-27-2018

The Eternal Looks at the Internal

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13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable. – Hebrews 4:13

Isn’t it strange how confused we get when we don’t know the truth? In verse 24, the Pharisees say “….we know Jesus is a sinner”, then in verse 29, they admit that they know nothing about Jesus. They don’t know the truth, yet they have just instructed this man to “give glory to God by telling the truth.” The man says that he doesn’t know whether or not Jesus is a sinner but he does know for sure that he was blind and now he can see. That was the truth.
When someone attacks our prejudices or a belief that we are not really sure is correct, we very often become angry. This is why the Pharisees were so angry. They stood to lose a lot if the people accepted the truth about Jesus. This could cost them their position and their livelihood. Still today, people become angry at the mention of the name of Jesus. A relationship with anyone requires that we be accountable. In today’s society, people do not want to be held accountable for their beliefs or their actions. It isn’t any fun to face our faults and realize that we need a change in our lives. But that is exactly what we need to do and that is what happens when we meet Jesus. He knows all about us and when we are confronted with the “real” us, sometimes it isn’t very pretty.

Hebrews 4:12-13 NLT


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

Post 10-01-2017

Love Requires Sacrifice

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Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin? — Romans 2:4 NLT

We live in a society that bombards us 24/7 with messages of self-indulgence and “me first” attitudes. We were born in sin and satan wants us to continue that sinful lifestyle. But from birth, there is a part of us that yearns for something that the world can’t satisfy. No matter, how far we go down that path of sin, there is no satisfaction and no peace. God is patient with us giving us opportunity after opportunity to change our lifestyles and accept His forgiveness. He knows that is the only answer to the emptiness that we feel inside. He showed that kindness and love to us by giving His Son to die for our sins. Once we have accepted His free salvation, we begin our journey with Him. The trip requires changes as we travel along. If we continue to focus on our wants, we will never be able to walk the path God has chosen for us. The pain comes in giving up our wants and desires so that we can find true life. It is only when we realize that loving Jesus is worth all the pain that we will be filled with peace and joy even in the middle of chaos and violence. That is His plan for us.


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

Post 12-30-2016

Different, But Not Divided

even-smaller-bug-light1 5 May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus — Romans 14:5 NLT

Romans 13:1-7 NLT

As the years pass, the percentage of people attending church on a regular basis declines.  Instead of growing stronger and influencing the society around us, the body of Christ grows weaker and weaker.  Jesus warned us that a house divided could not stand.  Yet, we have allowed satan to come in and use the differences in our denominations to divide us rather than focusing on our common ground and encouraging each other.  Paul told us over and over how important it is for Christians to stand together as one body, the body of Christ.  We are no longer able to stand because we refuse to stand together.  Instead, the body of Christ is ripped apart from the inside because of our lack of love for Christ and each other.  When we disparage and discourage our brothers and sisters, we violate the two greatest commands.  The commands to love our Lord with all our hearts, mind, and strength and our neighbors as ourselves.  Is it any wonder that the outsiders look at the Church and decide not to become a part of the family?  We must show the world the love of Jesus and the peace and the joy that comes with that love rather than the image of a torn and decaying body.  We get enough of that from the society around us.  As long as the foundation is the name of Jesus, Jesus alone, no other name and no other way, the houses can be different and still compliment each other.

Post 08-17-2016