“I Can Do Nothing”

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10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. – 2 Cor.12:10 NLT
 
In the verses from 2 Cor.11:5 to 12:7a, Paul has been making the case that only a fool would boast about the things that they accomplish in their own strength. He is is making two points. One is that as long as we think we can, God won’t and the other is that we are foolish to think that we can do any of God’s work in our own strength.  Jesus made that fact very clear.

 

5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. — John 15:5

We are not put here on earth to brag and boast about ourselves and our accomplishments. Our purpose here on earth is to bring praise to God in our words and actions.

 
 9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.​ — 1 Peter 2:9​

It is in our weakest moments that God shows up to deliver us, it is when we come to the end of our rope and ask God for wisdom, that He shows us the open door through which He will take us to safety. Therefore, let us, like Paul, delight in our weaknesses and in whatever situation we find ourselves, trust God. As long as we think we can, God will allow us to struggle on our own.

 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its  way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 06-23-2018

“Be Very Glad”

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13 Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world. – 1 Peter 4:13 NLT

Some of us have thought or been taught that once we are saved, life is just sunshine and roses. This can be true for us inwardly because we have the joy of the Lord abiding in us as our strength. But on the outside, satan is still around and sin still abounds, so we are going to have to face some offenses and situations. We should not be surprised when these issues arise.  Instead, we should rejoice in the situation.  Not because of the situation or offense, but because we know that if satan is confronting us with his garbage and lies, we must be messing with his plans. Sometimes it hurts deeply, but warriors on the front lines are the ones who get wounded. Should we complain?  Was Jesus not “wounded for our transgressions”?  Yes, He was and He suffered silently. Is the created better than the Creator? No, we are not.  We should count it a privilege and a joy to participate in the sufferings of Christ.

2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. — James 1:2, 3 NIV

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

Post 04-20-2018

“Without Me, You Can Do Nothing”

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May God give you more and more grace and peace. – 1 Peter 1:2b NLT
 
How are we supposed to live a holy lifestyle in today’s world?  We are bombarded by filth and violence continuously. How do we find grace and peace in abundance in our world today? By accessing the Divine power that raised Jesus from the dead and now gives us everything we need for a Godly life here and now. The word translated “life” here in verse three is the Greek word “zoe” and it means life that is real and genuine, a life full and complete, devoted to God, blessed, even in this world when we put our trust in Christ, and it will be consummated after the resurrection into a more perfect body that will last forever. God has given us “very great and precious” promises so that we can participate in the Divine nature because we are clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. We have been redeemed and cleansed from the corruption of this world and the evil desires of our flesh. In and of ourselves, we can do nothing, but we can do all things through Jesus Christ.

13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength. — Phil. 4:13 NIV

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

Post 04-07-2018

Praise! Pray! Rejoice! Rejoice! Rejoice!

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Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  – Phil. 4:5​ NIV

Rejoice!

Some of the things that Paul wrote are hard for us to understand. “rejoice in the Lord always” and “pray without ceasing” come to mind. In our busy society how does one spend 15 minutes a day rejoicing and praying, much less continually, and still get everything accomplished. I believe that what seems impossible is the key to how we accomplish Paul’s admonitions. Happiness is caused by externals and is temporary. We sometimes confuse that with joy, which is internal and eternal because it is given to us by God. “The joy of the Lord is my strength.”  What God gives to us cannot be taken away from us. We can lose our focus on the joy but it is still there all the time. Praying is a gift from God as well as an attitude, not a body position. we can mentally pray while doing anything else. Verse 8 is the key to being prayerful and joyful all the time. We need to change our thought patterns so that they focus on the goodness and mercies of God instead of the sin in the world around us.  Then we can enjoy the joy and thank God for it.


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

Post 03-27-2018

“Be Truly Glad”

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5 Sing to the Lord, for he has done wonderful things.    Make known his praise around the world. — Isaiah 12:5 NLT
 

Each of us needs to pause each day and meditate on what an amazing God we serve. He has every right to be angry with us and punish us accordingly. Instead, He put all of our sins on His only Son and allowed Him to be crucified on a cross for our salvation.  Jesus was all man and all God, so God Himself hung on that cross and He has become our salvation. He is our strength and our song. We can trust Him to complete the work He started in each of us when we accepted Jesus as our Savior, No matter the situation, we can turn to Him and draw water from the springs of salvation and they will fill us with joy.  Every moment of every day, we should “rejoice and be glad.”

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Post 04-07-2017

Pray and Keep On Praying!

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1 Finally, dear brothers and sisters,[a] we ask you to pray for us. Pray that the Lord’s message will spread rapidly and be honored wherever it goes, just as when it came to you
— 2 Thess. 3:1 NLT

None of us have reached perfection and we won’t as long as we inhabit these tents of flesh. Therefore, we need the prayers of our Christian brothers and sisters just as they need us to pray for them. We need Spiritual and physical strength to carry on God’s Kingdom work here on earth. “The harvest is great, but the workers are few” so we need to pray and ask God to send laborers into the fields.(Matt 9:37,38 paraphrased). We need to ask God to guard our thoughts because the mind is the spiritual battlefield where our personal battles are won or lost. The Lord is faithful. He has promised that we will not be tempted above our ability to resist and that He will always provide a way out for us. We don’t always find the way out because the flesh gets great pleasure from wallowing in its old sinful ways. We need to pray for each other that we will continue to do the things that God has commanded us to do. When we practice doing the right things, we receive more understanding and patience which allows us to better show sinners the greatness of God’s love toward us and them.

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

Post 03-24-2017

Press On!

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14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. — Phil. 3:14 NLT


None of us will achieve perfection while we are clothed in this tent of flesh. However, we can never use that as an excuse for not trying to do better every day. We must keep our eyes and mind focused on Jesus. We must keep pressing onward and upward. Jesus tells us that once we have started the journey with Him, we should never look back Luke 9;61-62 NLT. Forget the past or
satan will use it to beat you up mentally and spiritually every day. God has already forgotten our sinful past. When we grow weary, we should pray and wait upon the Lord, He will give us renewed strength to press on.

Psalm 40:28-31 NLT


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

2-27-2017

In God Alone

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3 You have been very hard on us, making us drink wine that sent us reeling.— Psalm 60:3

 
There are times in all of our lives when we feel like David in this Psalm. We feel like we are broken down and unable to function. It is as if everything we have held on to is being shaken and stripped away from us. God allows us to go through these hard times to develop our faith. We are often confused by the things God allows, although we should not be. When we meditate on God’s Word, we are reminded that the answer is always the same. We don’t need things, we need Jesus. We need to learn to pray a new way. If we want peace, then we have to do what God has called us to do. We should be asking God, not so much for things, but for His presence to be magnified in our life and our lifestyle. We cannot accomplish this alone, We need the Holy Spirit every second of every day. When we get our priorities straight, we will arrive at the same conclusion that David did in this Psalm.  We are unable to do anything of value with God’s help. It is He who tramples our foes and does mighty things for us.  Or, as Jesus put it, “you can do nothing without me”.   But with His help, Paul reassures us that “we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us”.
Post 09-26-2016

No BOGOs Here!

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8-9 For it’s by God’s grace that you have been saved. You receive it through faith. It was not our plan or our effort. It is God’s gift, pure and simple. You didn’t earn it, not one of us did, so don’t go around bragging that you must have done something amazing.

— Eph. 2:8-9 The Voice


 

We, as Christians should always remain humble realizing that we did not do anything to earn our salvation. It is impossible to earn or pay for a free gift. God loved us so much that He became as a man and died for us paying our sin debt in full. And that is just the beginning of the story. If we follow His teachings and become a disciple, there is much more that we can enjoy here on earth. God is all about the present and eternity.  We are told in John 10:10, that Jesus came so that we might have life and have it more abundantly.  And we can do nothing to earn those gifts, either.  He gives them to us of His own free will.  We receive peace, security, and joy from the same benevolence that brought us salvation. This was mentioned as far back as Isaiah in Chapter 12, Verse 2: Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; ‘For Yahweh, the Lord, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.’” And He freely gives us all things that pertain to life and Godliness.

2 Peter 1:3.4 NLT

So, salvation is not just for the future, it has benefits right now and right here.

“Free to all, a cleansing stream flows from Calvary’s mountain” **

Near the Cross – Fannie Crosby

Post 09-23-2016

 

Think About It

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4 Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!
— Philippians 4:4 NLT
 
 
If you spend any time talking with non-Christians about Jesus and why they have not accepted Him as their Savior, you soon learn that their views on Jesus are not the primary reason for not accepting Him.  It is their view of what they think Christianity is and what it requires them to do or not do. They have this idea that Christians have little or no fun and that to be a Christian, they are going to have to completely change their lifestyle. There will be some changes required.  For some, it will be a very dramatic change.  For others, it will only be a change in their mindset about why they do the good things they have been doing.  The “good” ones are usually the hardest ones to convince that they need a Savior.  Back to the point.  Have we ever considered where the outsiders get this view that Christians must live a dull, joyless life?  Since most of them don’t spend much time, if any, reading the Bible, they get it from watching us and listening to our conversations.  Do we show them that “the joy of the Lord is our strength” or do they see us as sad, beaten down people who are forced to stay home on Saturday night so we can go to church on Sunday morning?   Is our lifestyle a good advertisement for Jesus or does it turn others away from seeking Him? Think about it.
Post 08-15-2016