“I Want to Know Christ”

10 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death — Phil 3:10 NLT
Phil. 3:7-11 NLT

Can you imagine the power that was manifested when Jesus was resurrected from the grave? There must have been tremendous spiritual warfare occurring around that location and that time in history.  We have that same power available to us to use for God’s glory today. Our mortal bodies are rotting away, but our Spirits should be getting stronger each day as we allow God to renew them. Paul says the problems we have today are trivial and temporary compared to the glory they will produce. When we endure small problems here, they produce a greater glory that will last an eternity. So, each day we should be focusing on Jesus and looking forward to the things that we cannot see now, but God says when they are manifested in the future, they will last forever. So, when troubles seem many and satan is trying to defeat you at every turn, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face and the things of this world will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.”  We need to learn to walk in that glory and grace and experience that power.

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

Post 05-29-2019

“The Source of All Comfort”

3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. — 2 Cor. 1:3 NLT

2 Cor 1:3-7 NLT

God, in His great love for us, wants to relieve us of all of our grief and distress.  It is not His desire that we should suffer.  No parent wants to see his or her child suffer.  We want to reach out and comfort our children even when they may have caused their discomfort by a bad decision that they made.  Love says help them, but Godly compassion says that there are times when they and we must endure those times of distress and grief so that we learn not to repeat our mistakes.  As parents, we want to deliver our kids from the storm.  The lesson that we need to learn and that we need to teach our children is that God doesn’t always need to deliver us from the storm, He is able to comfort us in the storm.  Rough seas may come and destructive winds may blow but nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.  When God doesn’t immediately deliver us from the storm we must seek His comfort in the storm.  Then we will be able to pass that comfort, peace and joy on to those around us.

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

Post 05-07-2019

“What Do We 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

John 9:35-41 NLT

Jesus had just healed this blind man by making mud with dirt and His own spit. Can you imagine anyone in today’s society allowing Jesus to put that compress on their eyes?  Can you imagine how many lawsuits Jesus would have been faced with because of His actions?  How many shots and vaccines would this man have been advised to take because the spit of Jesus had touched his skin? Even back then, Jesus and the once-blind man had to suffer rejection and persecution because Jesus did this good deed on the Sabbath.  It is not recorded that even one person besides the blind man himself, was excited and happy for him.  When called by the Pharisees, even his parents refused to stand up for him because they feared rejection themselves.  Isn’t still that way today?  When we see good things happen to people, don’t we question and doubt?  Don’t we try to tear down rather than build up?  Don’t we look for hidden reasons that this happened?  After all, it is just smoke and mirrors, right?  As long as we think we can see, we will not ask for sight.  As long as we trust our own intelligence, we will not ask for God’s wisdom.  We, like the Pharisees and religious leaders will remain blind and ignorant because we claim we can see and understand when we cannot even imagine what God has in store for us.  Not just in the sweet by and by in heaven, but right here and right now.  We must ask God to open our eyes to see and our hearts and minds to believe so that we can access all the power and wisdom that He wants to give us.

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

Post 01-15-2019

“Whiter Than Snow”

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so that he can live the rest of his mortal life guided, not by human desires, but by the will of God.– 1 Peter 4:2 ISV
 
 
We may look at the list of things that pagans choose to do and with great relief, say “I never gave in to any of those things.”.  But let’s take another look.  A synonym for debauchery is decadence which is defined as excessive self-indulgence. How much time and money do we spend on thngs that benefit no one but ourselves?  At what point do our “needs” actually become only our “wants”?   Then there is lust, usually taken in the sexual connotation, but let’s spread that out a little further.  How about the desire to control and to have a high position?  Or the desire for things? And then there is that ugly word, idolatry.  No statues or figurines in the house? How about things that we spend inordinate amounts of time and money trying to acquire?  How about persons on whom we spend inordinate amounts of time and money trying to please and/or appease?  How about things and events that we spend way, way too much time talking about?  If there is anything or any person in our lives that we feel so strongly about that those feelings would cause us to be unkind to and/or hurt others, those are idols. If we are guilty of any of these things and suffer in any area whether it be financially, emotionally, or spiritually, then we are not suffering for Christ, we are suffering from bad decisions and there is no reward for ourselves and no glory for God.  We need to decide that we are done with sin, commit to doing God’s will and then when we suffer for His sake, Christ will receive the glory and we will receive the reward in heaven. We have all seen those dirty cars where someone has written on them “Wash Me”.  When our lives become so cluttered and covered with things and issues, maybe we need someone to write on our our hearts, “wash me”.
 
Isaiah 1:18. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. 

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

Post 09-09-2018

Once and Once Was Enough!

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But we refused to give in to them for a single moment. We wanted to preserve the truth of the gospel message for you. – Gal. 2:5 NLT

Paul had been teaching in Antioch and then he went on his first missionary journey. This journey lasted about three years. When he returns to Antioch, he finds that the church at Jerusalem had sent messengers up to Antioch. They were sent to tell the Gentiles who had been converted to Christianity that it was necessary for them to be circumcised. Paul had not taught that to the new converts and did not believe that it was necessary. In fact, Paul taught that God did not require new Gentile converts to be circumcised. We still have people in our society who are bound by the traditions that they were taught. We must understand that God the Holy Spirit abides in us. He is our guide and our teacher. We have much liberty in Christ Jesus, but we are not to use that liberty to grieve the Holy Spirit or to mislead others. Jesus said that if you were bound by the law and did not fulfill every iota of the law, then you cold not enter heaven, That is why God sent His Son as the perfect sacrifice for our redemption. From that time forward, there is no sacrifice required. If there were need for more sacrifice, then Christ died in vain.
24 For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere​ ​copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; 25 nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own. 26 Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.–Hebrews 9:24-26​ (NASB)​

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

Post 12-23-2017

God Is Able!

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12 That is why I am suffering here in prison. But I am not ashamed of it, for I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return.   — 2 Timothy 1:12 NLT

2 Timothy 1:9-12 NLT

God gave the law first knowing that we would not be able to keep every aspect of it. It was given to show us that we need a Savior and the appearing of Jesus Christ made God’s plan plain to us. Jesus and Jesus alone had the power to break satan’s hold on us and conquer death. By His death and resurrection, Jesus shows us the way to life and immortality. God has chosen some to be preachers, apostles and teachers. We will all suffer to some extent, some even to death. We are not to be afraid or ashamed of our suffering. God has promised us that He will keep us and no one can take us out of His hand. No thing or no one can ever separate us from the love of God.

39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.–Romans 8:39 (NLT)
He will keep us, guide us, and give us the words to speak as we need them. Fear not!


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

Post 04-05-2017

We Were There!

even-smaller-bug-light150 Then Jesus shouted out again, and he released his spirit. 51 At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart, 52 and tombs opened. The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead. 53 They left the cemetery after Jesus’ resurrection, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and appeared to many people. — Matt. 27:50-53 NLT    (Read The Whole Story)

After the Lord’s Supper was completed, Jesus and the disciples went to Gethsemane. Jesus took His three closest friends and went a little further into the Garden. Leaving them there, He went a stone’s throw further and began to pray. In our darkest hours, we are sometimes separated from those who love us​, left alone with just us and our Father.  It is then that we can pray effectively and fervently. ​ ​Jesus​ prayed so fervently that He sweat great drops of blood.  Then Judas came with the religious leaders and soldiers.​  ​He came to betray​ Jesus with a kiss. A kiss, not of affection but of deceit and deception.​  What had begun as a farewell celebration for Jesus ended in a long night and day of sorrows for Jesus. 
​ A night and day of being denied by His friends, a night and day of being persecuted and falsely accused, a night and day of being mocked, beaten and spat upon. ​ ​The culmination was HIs being hanged on a cross until He gave up His spirit. ​ Nothing short of God’s love could cause a person to submit to such indignation and punishment.  ​Especially when that person was innocent of any sin. So, why would He do it?  He did it for you and for me.  We weren’t there physically, but every sin we ever committed or ever will commit was there separating Jesus from HIs Father for that short space of time.  Unthinkable! Unimaginable!   ​That anyone could love others so​ much that they would agree to suffer a death that was so horrible it defies imagination.  
Yet, that is exactly what Jesus did for us.

 

Post 03-25-2016