“For I Became Your Father”

15 For even if you had ten thousand others to teach you about Christ, you have only one spiritual father. For I became your father in Christ Jesus when I preached the Good News to you. – 1 Cor. 4:15 NLT

1 Cor. 4:14-17 NLT

Paul has not been trying to shame the Christians at Corinth, but rather his intention is to teach them as a Father would teach his children. He wants them to have a closer relationship with Christ and to do this, they are going to have to have a change of attitude. He tells them that although they may have legions of angels watching over them, they have only one Spiritual Father and that is himself. Spiritual parents are the people who prayed for us and brought us to repentance through the preaching and/or teaching of the Gospel. They have, as it were, birthed us into the Gospel. Then as our spiritual parents, they feel a great responsibility to teach us how to live a Holy lifestyle. So, Paul wants the Corinthians to imitate his lifestyle of humility and obedience. Paul has sent to them Timothy, who is his Spiritual son, to help them to stay on course. Paul is reminding them that he not only talks the talk but he walks the walk. Again, it is a message, not only to the Corinthians but to us today.

14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy​.​”​​​-​– 1 Peter 1:14-16 NIV

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

“She Is Our Mother”

26 But the other woman, Sarah, represents the heavenly Jerusalem. She is the free woman, and she is our mother. – Gal. 4:26 NLT

Gal. 4:21 -26 NLT

As we have seen in the earlier verses, the Jewish leaders have been trying to convince the new converts to return to the old Jewish traditions. Paul is making the point here that they need to consider the hardships and severity of the law before they turn back to it. He is using the birth of Issac and Ishmael to demonstrate the difference in natural and spiritual things. Those that return to worldly things (the natural Jerusalem) are still in slavery to those things. But since Issac was born to fulfill a divine promise, there is now a choice that we can make. We can follow the fleshly lineage and remain slaves or we can follow the divine lineage, accept Jesus and become citizens of the Jerusalem which is above.

20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ​, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.–Phil. 3:20 (NIV)

But one day, New Jerusalem will come down to earth and all those that have chosen the divine lineage (Jesus) will be citizens of the New Jerusalem.

I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband—Rev.21:2 (NIV)

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

“For They Loved Human Praise”

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

John 12:37-43 NLT

 Isaiah had prophesied many years earlier that the people would not believe or receive Jesus. Because their traditions and praise from men had come to mean more to them than God’s law and God’s approval, God had chosen to blind their spiritual eyes and close their minds to spiritual understanding. Many of the people did believe in Jesus but were afraid to say so. They were fearful that they would be put out of the synagogue. If this happened they would be ridiculed and treated as outcasts in the villages. Their fleshly desires outweighed their faith that Jesus was who He said He was. Jesus had told the people earlier that they would have to confess Him before men.

32 “All those who stand before others and say they believe in me, I will say before my Father in heaven that they belong to me. 33 But all who stand before others and say they do not believe in me, I will say before my Father in heaven that they do not belong to me.—Matt. 10:32, 33 (NCV)

How many of us have felt that little nudge from the Holy Spirit to speak out but we have remained silent? We were afraid of being ridiculed by society and our flesh wanted acceptance from our little clique. How did you feel after that happened? Guilty? Don’t let satan beat you up because you failed. We can take a lesson from Peter. If we feel condemnation, it is from satan. If we feel conviction, it is from the Holy Spirit.

1 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.–Romans 8:1 (NLT)

God is still in the forgiving business no matter how many times we fail Him.

8 If we say we have no sin, we are fooling ourselves, and the truth is not in us.9 But if we confess our sins, he will forgive our sins, because we can trust God to do what is right. He will cleanse us from all the wrongs we have done.—1 John 1:8, 9 (NCV)

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

“The Father Set Me Apart”

36 why do you call it blasphemy when I say, ‘I am the Son of God’? After all, the Father set me apart and sent me into the world. – John 10:38 NLT

John 10:30-36 NL

The Jewish leaders just could not grasp the fact that Jesus was the Word incarnate, God in human flesh. Even though they knew that a Messiah was coming, this was not at all what they had expected. When Jesus truthfully claimed to be the same as God.

6​ ​ I said, “You are gods, And all of you are sons of the Most High.—Psalm 82:6 (NASB)​

Because of their spiritual blindness, this made no sense to them. Christ was first to be chosen. Those that hear God’s message, receive it and believe it become the sons of the Most High God. God had chosen Jesus to be the first-born of many sons and daughters to be raised and glorified.

28 We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love him.​ ​They are the people he called, because that was his plan. 29 God knew them before he made the world, and he chose them to be like his Son so that Jesus would be the firstborn of many brothers and sisters. 30 God planned for them to be like his Son; and those he planned to be like his Son, he also called; and those he called, he also made right with him; and those he made right, he also glorified.—Romans 8:2​8​-30 (NCV

The message is still the same today, God is still calling others.Those that answer “Yes” will be made like His Son and those that are made right will be glorified. This resurrection and glorification is the hope that we have in Jesus Christ. Paul says that without it. We Christians, of all people, would be most pitiful.

19 If our hope in Christ is for this life only, we should be pitied more than anyone else in the world.—1 Cor. 15:19 (NCV)
12 Be joyful because you have hope.​–Romans 12:12a (NCV)​

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

Post 05-06-2020

“You Claim You Can See”

41 “If you were blind, you wouldn’t be guilty,” Jesus replied. “But you remain guilty because you claim you can see. – John 9:41 NLT 

If You Were Blind

Although, we cannot now see Jesus physically, we can see Jesus in a spiritual sense because the Holy Spirit opens our spiritual eyes to the reality of who Jesus is. Then we realize, as the former blind man did, that not only can we see the reality of Jesus but that He is speaking to us as well. Hopefully, our reaction will be the same as this man’s was. We will believe and worship Jesus as our Savior and Lord. Jesus not only opens the eyes of those who are physically blind, but He wants to open the eyes of all of us who are/were spiritually blind. If we are asking the same question as the Pharisees that were there that day, we should carefully consider the answer that Jesus gave them to their question. “If you were blind, you wouldn’t be guilty, but you remain guilty because you claim you can see.” There are many religions in today’s world, all claiming to have the truth, but no religion has the truth. We can only know the truth once we establish a relationship with Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit leads us into all truth.

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.—John 14:6 (NLT)
13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He​ will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.–​-​John 16:13 (NLT)

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

Post 05-02-2020

“The Head Over Every Ruler and Authority”

10 So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority. – Col. 2:10 NLT

Col. 2:6-10 NLT

Accepting Jesus as our Savior is the first step in our journey to heaven. The next step is to allow Him to be Lord of our lives. This means being obedient to His teachings and following His example. If our roots are to grow down into Him and our foundation is to be built on Him, then we must spend time getting to know Him. As we study and meditate on His Word, our faith will grow stronger each day. This knowledge of the truth of Jesus should cause our hearts to overflow with joy and our lips to sing His praises. We must guard our hearts and our minds. The world is full of people spouting vain philosophies and nonsense. They are possessed, obsessed or influenced by evil spirits. They speak of religion and try to compare it with Christianity, which is a relationship with Jesus. Religions are based on man’s thinking and can change every time the wind blows. Our relationship with Christ is built on the Solid Rock and will withstand every storm and fiery dart that the enemy hurls at us. We are in Christ and He is in us, so we are complete with Christ as our ruler and authority.

John 15:1-5 KJV

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

Post 09-27-2019

“Every Piece of God’s Armor”

13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.— Ephesians 6:13 NLT

Eph. 6:10-18 NLT
God’s purpose for us is to advance His Kingdom here on earth. How can we do that?  By waging a spiritual battle for the minds of people, so that they will accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior.  We certainly are not strong enough to defeat satan alone, but God has made a way for us to do just that. God’s way requires a lot of preparation and He tells us how to prepare in Ephesians 6.  We are to “put on the whole armor of God” and stand against the wiles of the devil. We may never have to physically fight for our Lord and Savior, but we are in a mental battle every second of every day. Are we winning or losing the battle of the mind? The “wiles” of the devil lets us know that satan is very cunning and devious in his plan to defeat God by defeating God’s children. As we are told in 2 Corinthians, we must pull down strongholds and bring our thoughts and imaginations into captivity to the obedience of Jesus Christ. And, again, in Philippians 2:5, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.”

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

Post 05-23-2019

Listen! Wisdom Call!

6  Leave your simple ways behind, and begin to live;  learn to use good judgment.” — Proverbs 9:6 NLT
Proverbs 9:1-6 NLT

The word proverb means “to be like” .  The book of Proverbs is a collection of thoughts or sayings teaching us what we should be like.  The Proverbs and there are many proverbs in the Bible that are outside of the Book of Proverbs show us aspects of our lives and how we should look at them and how we should respond to them.  In other words, Proverbs gives us a picture of the lifestyle of a Christian versus a non-Christian by contrasting how we respond to situations.  Proverbs teaches us to respect wisdom and to seek wisdom for every decision we make.  As in the passage we are looking at today, we are invited to partake of God’s wisdom as we would of food and drink.  We need to sit with Jesus and ask Him for Godly wisdom before we make our decisions.  Not just the decisions that we would consider as major, life-changing decisions but all of our decisions because God is concerned with the smallest things in our lives.  Whether we turn left or right at the next intersection (be it on the physical highway or the Spiritual highway) could be the difference in whether we make it home safely or not.

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

Post 05-01-2019

“Your Right Hand and Strong Arm”

3 They did not conquer the land with their swords;  it was not their own strong arm that gave them victory. It was your right hand and strong arm and the blinding light from your face that helped them, for you loved them. — Psalm 44:3 NLT

Psalm 44:1-8 NLT

Israel was the smallest of all nations (Deut. 7:7).  Had they been left to themselves, they would not have been able to leave Egypt and safely cross the desert to get to the Promised Land.  But God chose them and fought their battles for them.  He gave them manna from heaven and water from rocks to sustain them in their journey.  When they complained about the food, God gave them manna and quail to eat.  God gave them victories over every enemy that attacked them on their journey using miracle after miracle to defeat the attackers.  He parted the Red Sea and the Jordan River bringing them into the Promised Land at harvest time.  God gave them a great victory over the ancient, walled city of Jericho and they ate crops that they had not planted and drank from wells that they had not dug. Why? Because He chose them and loved them.  Why does He give us spiritual food and water in a spiritually dry and barren land?  For the same reason.  He has chosen us and He loves us. They were to bear His standard and carry His name throughout the known world.  Just as God called them out of Egypt, He has called us to come out and be a special people and a royal priesthood. Just as He brought the children of Israel out of Egypt to the Promised Land, so He will bring us safely out of this world and to the new heaven and new earth.  Not because of who we are but because of who He is and His promises to do so.

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

Post 03-22-2019

Eat and Drink the Word

even-smaller-bug-light1

Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong. – Hebrews 5:14 NLT
 
Jesus is the bread of life and the Scriptures are food for the redeemed of God. As babes in Christ, we need the milk of the Word, the verses that explain to us about our salvation. As we grow and mature (hopefully) , we need to dig deeper and learn about our responsibilities as followers of Christ.  Just as there are natural foods that we don’t care to eat, there are Scripture passages we don’t want to learn and adhere to.  Just as the natural man suffers without the proper nutrients, the Spiritual man suffers without a daily serving of different kinds of Scriptures.  We need scriptures that encourage us to study, meditate, pray, praise and teach us to be thankful for every second of our lives. Yes, it is hard to praise in distressful times, but it is necessary if the Spirit man inside us is going to grow. Just as we keep milk in our natural diet as we grow, we need to keep the “milk of the Word”, which is salvation, in our spiritual diets.  But the natural body needs more than milk and the Spiritual body needs to know that Jesus is more than just our Redeemer. He is our example, our righteousness, our shield, our rock, our strength, our healing, our Savior and He wants to be our Lord. To paraphrase Hebrews 5:14: “But solid food is for the mature, who by constantly eating the Word have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.”

6  Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. – Matt. 5:6 NIV

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

Post -05-09-2018