“Don’t Touch! Don’t Taste”

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21 “Don’t handle! Don’t taste! Don’t touch!”? – COL 2:21 NLT
We think we are far advanced from the first century AD. In technology, dress, and the comforts of life, we are.  But human nature itself has not changed much. We still have those who want to regulate everything that each individual does or wants to do.  That is why we have so many laws that we can fill numerous buildings storing all the paperwork. But, as Jesus knew and we should have learned, external laws don’t keep us from sinning.   Jesus pointed out to the religious leaders of His day that they kept adding man-made rules and regulations to the laws God had given them. These had no spiritual value since what goes into us that makes us obedient or disobedient, it is what comes out of us.
 

10 After Jesus called the crowd to him, he said, “Listen and understand what I am saying. 11 It is not what people put into their mouths that makes them unclean. It is what comes out of their mouths that makes them unclean.” — Matt.15:10, 11​

As Christians, we have liberty, but we must use that liberty wisely in choosing what we do and what we don’t do.  We must be sure that we are not adding to what God has said is right and/or wrong.  We must not allow the things that we have chosen to rule our lives to the extent that they become our “god”‘ and we impose those things on others as if they were laws or commandments.

12 “I am allowed to do all things,” but not all things are good for me to do. “I am allowed to do all things,” but I will not let anything make me its slave. — 1 Cor. 6:12

Wrong choices are external symptoms of an internal problem. The problem is that we have not allowed God’s Word to conform our thoughts. If we bring all of our thoughts into captivity to God, we will not need external “dos” and “don’ts”. It will be our hearts desire to do what God wants us to do and not do the things He doesn’t want us to do.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 07-02-2018

“Reach Out and Touch Someone”

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He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 
– 2 Cor. 1:4 NLT
 
Everything that we have belongs to God. Whatever He has given to us is to be shared with those around us. The things with which God has blessed us should be held very loosely in our hands. They are to be used to bless others and further the work of the Kingdom here on earth. The early church understood and practiced this principle of giving and receiving. There are many verses that teach us to give to the poor, widows and orphans.  We must open ourselves up to be channels of blessings. This is also true in Spiritual things as well as natural.  In the Spiritual area, we don’t do quite as well in giving or receiving.  God has given us the Comforter to comfort us in all situations and we need to learn to share that message with a hurting world.  But, we also need to learn to accept that comfort when it is offered to us. Every one of us needs help in some area of our lives whether we want to admit it or not.  As long as we deny it, the pain and the chaos will not go away. None of us can fix ourselves, even though, satan would love for us to believe that we can. Reach out and touch someone was a Biblical principle long before it was a commercial.

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

Post 05-28-2018

Show God’s Love to Others

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If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. – 1 Cor. 13:3 NLT
 
Anyone can do good works and have good intentions. You can help people without getting involved in their lives. It seems that in today’s society, that is the preferred way to help. If we just throw some money at the issue, maybe it will go away. But, our example, Jesus, got involved. He knew and we are learning that money is not the cure for a sinful world. We can take vows of poverty and give away all we have, but if we don’t love, it is a useless endeavor. Our churches can exercise all the God-given gifts, but if we don’t show love, it will not bring others to Jesus. We tend to show others “love” when it is convenient and cost us very little in terms of investing time and touch. Before anyone can really show love, they must have the love of God in their hearts. True love comes only from God.16 We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love.​ God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. 17 And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect.  ​ – 1 John 4:16-17 NLT

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

Post 04-04-2018

Show Genuine Affection

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Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. – Romans 12:9-10 NLT
Unfortunately, the English language has one word for “love” so it can be confusing as to what we mean some times. To say we “love” our family, “love” our car and “love” ice cream, we use the same word, but the depth of feeling for each category would not be the same (at least, one would hope not). So, what does sincere love mean and how do we show it?   The Greek language has five or more words that can be translated “love”. The Greek word used here is “agape” which means affection, good will, love, or benevolence. So, the definition gives us some hints of what it is and how we can show it. Affection means to show tenderness or warmth to others. There are instances of people who have broken into tears because someone has tenderly touched them.  The human touch is an amazing thing and it is one way we can show sincere love.  Just as Jesus touched the lepers, we must be willing to touch the “untouchables”.  We can show sincere love with our benevolence. This can, but does not necessarily, include monetary gifts. Jesus said a cup of water given in His Name was showing your love for Him. It can be as simple as a smile or a hello or it can be complex, as shown in the story of the Good Samaritan. Either way, it requires us to be involved in the lives of those around us. One study has shown that  it takes at least seven touches to lead someone to Christ. We can show sincere love by being one of the seven.


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

Post 03-15-2018

I Can See Clearly Now

even-smaller-bug-light123 Jesus took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village. Then, spitting on the man’s eyes, he laid his hands on him and asked, “Can you see anything now?”  24 The man looked around. “Yes,” he said, “I see people, but I can’t see them very clearly. They look like trees walking around.”  25 Then Jesus placed his hands on the man’s eyes again, and his eyes were opened. His sight was completely restored, and he could see everything clearly. — Mark 8:23-25 NLT

John tells us that if all the miracles that Jesus did were written down, all the books in the world would not be enough to hold them (John 21:25).  What we read about is a sampling of the things He accomplished while He walked the earth as one of us.  Those samples are given to show us not only His great love and mercy toward us but, also to show us that He uses all kinds of methods and people to demonstrate that love.  Sometimes the healings were immediate, sometimes they were a process.  Some required only a touch of the hem of His garment, others required a word and others a word and a touch from Him. He has the authority to answer our requests in any way or time frame He chooses.  But know this, He always answers.   Just because the answer wasn’t what we wanted to hear or did not come in the expected time does not mean that He didn’t hear and answer.  Paul prayed three times for his “thorn in the flesh” to be removed.  Paul could have said that God didn’t answer his prayer, but after the third time, Paul accepted “No” as the answer.  God’s answers can be compared to a trafiic light, green is “go”, yellow is “go slow” and red is “no”.  We always want the green light, but when we have the red light, it gives others the opportunity to move.  We must wait our turn.  When we see the yellow light, we know that there is danger in proceeding, so we must be careful and prepare to wait, but be prepared to go when God gives us the green light. (Isaiah 40:31)  The old saying that hindsight is 20-20 is true.  When we look back over our lives, we can see clearly that God’s answer was the correct answer. The times we refused that answer is the times we experienced our troubles and sorrows.

If You Choose to Accept This Assignment

even-smaller-bug-light147 All the men between thirty and fifty years of age who were eligible for service in the Tabernacle and for its transportation 48 numbered 8,580. 49 When their names were recorded, as the Lord had commanded through Moses, each man was assigned his task and told what to carry. — Numbers 4:47-49 NLT

When it was time for the Israelis to leave a place in the desert and move forward, the Tabernacle had to be completely disassembled.  Moses and Aaron would assign each membmer of the Levite tribe a particular task to achieve this,   The things that were in the Holy of Holies could not be touched by anyone but Aaron and his sons.  If anyone else touched these things or even looked at them for a moment they would die or be put to death.  Each person had a specific job to do and a specific way to do it.  Some carried the Holy objects and others carried the poles and skin coverings.  Aaron and his family were chosen by God to be the priests and the Levite tribe was chosen by God to be their helpers.  If the move was to be successful, each person chosen by God must accomplish his task in the manner prescribed by God.  God never changes.  He has the same plan in place today and if the Church, His body, is going to move forward, each of us must do our job.  Just as Israel was called out of Egypt and Aaron was chosen to be the priest and the Levites were chosen to carry the Tabernacle, we are called out of darkness and chosen to be priests and a holy nation.  We may not feel a calling to be pastors, missionaries, choir directors or teachers in the congregation where we worship God.  But in the Church, the body of Christ, each of us has a speicifc task to do.  Just as the Levites were chosen to help Aaron and Moses, we have been chosen to help our local pastors and the Church staff.  God has a specific plan and purpose for our lives.  The Holy Spirit abides in each of us so we are not restricted as the Levites were.  We can touch every area of our world with the Word of God.  Ask the Holy Spirit what task God has assigned you and do it diligently.
Post 02-19-2016

One of the Seven

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9 Love must be sincere..—Romans 12:9​a ​NIV

Unfortunately, the English language has one word for “love” so it can be confusing as to what we mean some times. To say we “love” our family, “love” our car and “love” ice cream, we use the same word, but the depth of feeling for each category would not be the same (at least, one would hope not). So, what does sincere love mean and how do we show it?   The Greek language has five or more words that can be translated “love”. The Greek word used here is “agape” which means affection, good will, love, or benevolence. So, the definition gives us some hints of what it is and how we can show it. Affection means to show tenderness or warmth to others. There are instances of people who have broken into tears because someone has tenderly touched them.  The human touch is an amazing thing and it is one way we can show sincere love.  Just as Jesus touched the lepers, we must be willing to touch the “untouchables”.  We can show sincere love with our benevolence. This can, but does not necessarily, include monetary gifts. Jesus said a cup of water given in His Name was showing your love for Him. It can be as simple as a smile or a hello or it can be complex, as shown in the story of the Good Samaritan. Either way, it requires us to be involved in the lives of those around us. One study has shown that  it takes at least seven touches to lead someone to Christ. We can show sincere love by being one of the seven.
Post 06-30-2015