“Speak”

43 For they loved human praise more than the praise of God. — John 12:43 NLT

John 12:42-50 NLT

There were many of the people, leaders in the religious communities and others who believed what Jesus was saying but refused to admit it in public. They were more concerned about what the Jewish leaders would say and do than they were about what Jesus said.  They were afraid that they would lose their positions in the community and be removed from the synagogue.  They would not admit publicly that they believed what Jesus said.  When we read these verses, it is easy for us to criticize and judge these people for their lack of support for Jesus.  But, if we stop, meditate and let the Holy Spirit lead us into the truth, we may just realize that we are sometimes like those people.  Yes, our egos say we would never deny Jesus and perhaps, verbally we wouldn’t.  However, we must look at our actions or our lack of action in certain situations.   How many times have we been nudged by the Holy Spirit to say something to someone or do something for someone and by our inactions, we said “NO”.  In those times, we became “secret believers”  preferring silence over speaking out for Jesus, our Lord and Savior.   How many times have we felt the shame when we are convicted of our inactivity by the Holy Spirit?   Jesus said that “if you deny me before men, I will deny you before the Father”.  If we do not speak out and our lifestyles do not show others that we are living for Jesus, then the truth of His words will judge us on the day of judgment.  We must be willing to get out of our comfort zones and be ridicule, offended and persecuted because we believe the truth.  There is only one God and only one Jesus who died for our sins.  There is no other way to heaven.

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

Post 01/22-2019

Think the Word, Pray the Word, Speak the Word

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19 But Peter and John replied, “Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him? 20 We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard.” — Acts 4:19

Acts 4:16-31

The council meeting in Jerusalem consisted of all the rulers, elders and teachers of religious law.  It also included the high priest and several of his relatives. They wanted to discredit Peter and John but the miracle of healing the lame man had been seen by too many and was too well known.  They would have preferred some harsh form of punishment but they were afraid that any such action would start a riot. So, they decided to just command them to stop talking about Jesus and never to speak to anyone again in the name of Jesus.  After telling Peter and John this and warning them of more harsh punishment in the future, they dismissed them. Peter and John told them they could not stop talking about everything they had seen and heard.  As soon as they were dismissed, they returned to the other believers and told them the whole story.  As soon as they had heard the story, all the believers lifted their voices and began to pray.  They asked God for boldness to preach His Word and that the preaching of the Word would be confirmed with miracles, signs and wonders.   When they had finished praying, the building where the meeting was taking place shook and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.  They went forth and preached the Word with boldness.
When we are rebuked or offended because we mentioned Jesus, what do we do? Do we react with anger and unkind words or do we pray and respond with the love of Jesus?  If we take the time to whisper or even just think a prayer, the Holy Spirit will guide us, giving us the Words to speak and the boldness to speak those words.

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

Post 11-29-2018

We Speak for Christ

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20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God! – 2 Cor.5:20 NLT
 
When we accepted Christ as our Savior, we were born again and became new creations clothed in the righteousness of Christ.  All of this is a gift from God because He wanted us to be reconciled to Him.  He had made us in His image to have fellowship with Him. Sin had broken that relationship. God fixed the relationship by sending His Son as the perfect sacrifice.  He no longer sees us as sinners, but as the righteousness of Jesus Christ.  Once we are reconciled to Him, we become His ambassadors here on this earth. We are aliens living in a foreign country. As His ambassador, God wants to use us to make His appeal to others.  For that to happen, we need to talk to others about our country, Heaven, and about our King,  Jesus Christ.  That is what ambassadors do.  They tell others the good things about their country in the hope that their leaders will gain favor in the eyes of the other peoples.  So, as God’s ambassadors, we are to tell His story in the hope that the other people will want to know Him.  The BIG difference is that, in this case, each person does have to choose and their are only two choices.   We will all soon be leaving this country and there are only two destinations and they are permanent.  One is hell and one is Heaven.  It is our duty as ambassadors to spend our time and resources in getting people to make the right choice.  Today is the day of salvation. Jesus is our example and here, in His own words, is the job description He gave for Himself and for us as ambassadors.
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,  because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,19  to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” — Luke 4:18, 19  NIV

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

Post 06-14-2018

No Neutral Ground

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13 But no one had the courage to speak favorably about him in public, for they were afraid of getting in trouble with the Jewish leaders. – John 7:13 NLT

Jesus did the things He did and He did them the way He did because of His complete obedience to God the Father. He could have chosen to do otherwise, but then He would not have been the sinless sacrifice.

19 So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does. ​-John 5:19​
When we are faced with non-believers and those who would ridicule and persecute us, what do we say about Jesus? Is Jesus just some “good man” or is He the Savior and Lord of our life? Is he just a historical figure or was He the Messiah? Is He our “strong tower” to run into for shelter or do we live “in the shadow of His wings”? God is not in a contest with other “gods”, He is the only God! In each of our lives, we must decide if He is “Lord of all” or not “Lord at all”. There is a war going on for the control of our minds and there are only two choices, there is no neutral ground.
31 So what should we say about this? If God is for us, no one can defeat us.–Romans 8:31 (NCV)


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

Post 09-13-2017

Obedience Is Our Part

even-smaller-bug-light11 On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.  — Acts 2:1-4 NLT

Pentecost is the Greek name for Shavout (Hebrew for “Weeks”).  Shavout was the celebration for the giving of the law to Moses at Mount Sinai.  That occurred fifty days after the Passover in Egypt.  It was now the fiftieth day since the Passover had been celebrated in Jerusalem.  The Holy Spirit was given at this time confirming the New Covenant of Grace and the beginning of what we call the “church” age.  When the Bible says that we can do nothing without Jesus (John 15:5) but we can do all things through Christ (Phil 4:13), the verses are referring to the strength and direction that we receive from the Holy Spirit who abides in us.  He gives us the words to say and the ability to say those words.  We need to make plans, study and be prepared to always give a reason for our hope in Jesus Christ, (1 Peter 3:13), but we should always be flexible enough to make an adjustment in our plans.  Why?  Because we can’t plan for every conceivable event but the Holy Spirit can and does.  It is He Who will give us the exact words to speak and the strength to speak them in any situation. (Luke 12: 11-12).  Just be obedient and trust the Holy Spirt for strength and safety.
Post 03-30-2016

Plug Into the Power

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

25 “I have spoken of these matters in figures of speech, but soon I will stop speaking figuratively and will tell you plainly all about the Father. 26 Then you will ask in my name. I’m not saying I will ask the Father on your behalf, 27 for the Father himself loves you dearly because you love me and believe that I came from God. 28 Yes, I came from the Father into the world, and now I will leave the world and return to the Father.”—John 16:25-28 (NLT)
​When Jesus said that He had been speaking in figures of speech,, He was referring to the parables He had used to explain things to the disciples and His followers.
13 “Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while​ ​seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they​ ​understand​—Matt. 13:13 (NASB)
(If you are wondering why Jesus spoke in parables, ​let me encourage you​ to do an exegetical study of Matthew 13:10-17)
For the rest of His time on earth before the Crucifixion, He would only be teaching His disciples so He could now speak plainly to them. ​Jesus is starting here with an explanation that from now on, they (and now we) have to do the praying (led by and assisted by the Holy Spirit which He is sending). This is all based on the love of God for His children. God’s children are those who believe and love His Son, Jesus Christ. If we are in tune with the Holy Spirit, God will give us whatever we ask in the name of Jesus. Now, we know that Jesus is in heaven interceding for us and the Holy Spirit prays through us and for us. This isn’t “pie in the sky” or “get rich quick” praying, this is agreeing with what God Himself (after all, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are God) is praying for us. This is down on our knees, heartfelt, fervent “get me through today” prayer. We just need to get plugged into the current and access the power that God has made available to us.
​[When I started writing this short devotional, this is not where I thought I was going, but here I am and It sure feels right​. I am glad you came with me.]
Post 02-15-2015

Steadfast, Unshakable Faith Brings Great Reward

God is waiting to show you the way.

God is waiting to show you the way.

25 Be careful that you do not refuse to listen to the One who is speaking. For if the people of Israel did not escape when they refused to listen to Moses, the earthly messenger, we will certainly not escape if we reject the One who speaks to us from heaven! 26 When God spoke from Mount Sinai his voice shook the earth, but now he makes another promise: “Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also.” 27 This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain. 28 Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe. 29 For our God is a devouring fire.—Hebrews 12:25-28 (NLT)
​God​ sent Moses to deliver the children of Israel from the bondage in Egypt. Because of their stubbornness and disobedience to what Moses told them to do, the generation of people that left Egypt never made it to the Promised Land. Except for Joshua and Caleb, the whole multitude of people died in the land east of Jordan. Because of their faithfulness and obedience, Joshua and Caleb received the promised reward of entering into the Promised Land. They were allowed to partake of the blessings of eating crops they did not plant, drinking water from wells they did not dig, and living in houses that they did not build. We have a better message from a better leader than Moses. We have heard from God Himself. He sent His Son, Jesus, to die for our sins and show us the way home. Those that do not believe the message He brought will be shaken and separated like chaff from the wheat. But if we remain steadfast and unshakable, we shall sit at the banquet table and enjoy the wedding feast that Jesus has prepared for us. We shall live in a city not made with human hands and spend an eternity with Jesus Christ, our Savior and our Lord. A better way that brings a much better reward.
Post 08-07-14