Today Is The Day!

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 2 For God says,  “At just the right time, I heard you.

    On the day of salvation, I helped you.”

Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.

— 2 Corinthians 6:2

Why God chooses to use ordinary people to spread His Word is one of the mysteries of Christianity.  Throughout the Bible, we find God choosing shepherds and other common folk to deliver His message to the people.  He takes those people and puts them through His training program and makes great leaders of them.  Moses was born to an Israelite woman, raised in an Egyptian culture as a prince but had to become nothing before God could use Him.  He learned to trust God in the wilderness. Joseph spent years in prison being trained for his position as the second most powerful man in the world.  David was the youngest in the family of Jesse.  He was not even allowed to go to war with his brothers.  God used the years that David spent as a shepherd for His training.  Each of these men and many more spent time in God’s training program preparing for the “one day” when they would lead Israel back to God’s protection again. For that “day of salvation”.  He raised up women as well, there is Deborah, Esther, Ruth and Mary.  Each just common ordinary folk until God touched them and prepared them for that “one day of salvation”.  Which one of us ordinary folk has God chosen to be the next messenger of salvation?  Which of us is in training at this very moment to lead our nation back to God to experience that “day of salvation”?  Are you that person and is today that day?  Every Christian is that person and today is the day.

Post 09-14-2016

Charge!

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39 This promise is to you, to your children, and to those far away—all who have been called by the Lord our God.
— Acts 2:39 NLT
 
 
The disciples had been through basic training and spent three years with Jesus.  They had peen patient, prayerful and persecuted and they had persevered through it all.  True, they had their moments of doubts and disappointments and had at one point run away and left Jesus all alone to face his killers.  But when the time was right, Jesus had brought them all back together and given them their final instructions before His departure. The first instruction was to “wait in Jerusalem”.  The basic training was over and they were about to go on their first missions without Him as their leader.  Up to now, the provisions and power had come through Jesus but He was no longer physically with them.  Now, the time had come for them to tap into the source of power through another person, the Holy Spirit.  A person just as much as Jesus, in fact, the same person but not in human form.  Jesus was God in visible human form.  The Holy Spirit is the new heart-sized version, just as powerful and able to be everywhere at once. 
The disciples now had the power and God would give them the provisions. The fight was on, the Commander had given the order– “Charge!” and the power started a great movement that is still alive today.  We are the “far away” mentioned in this verse.  It is up to us to be the hands and feet as the Holy Spirit carries on the battle.
Post 06-12-2016

Living the Life

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2  Sing to the Lord; praise his name.  Each day proclaim the good news that he saves. — Psalm 96:2 NLT
God has a plan and a a purpose for each one of us.  The ultimate goal for each of those plans is to glorify God.  We glorify God by proclaiming the good news that Jesus saves.  We can do this by teaching, preaching or simply living a lifestyle that shows others how much Jesus means to us and what He has done for us.  God has never called anyone to do anything without equipping them and training them.  The way we walk and talk is observed by those around us.  We talk to others about ball games, movies we have seen, places we have been to and books that we have read.  We share experience after experience with them, but we never touch on the most important experience that we have had.  We never mention anything to them about when we met Jesus and all the things he has done for us since.  Yes, we occassionally share that with our Christian brothers and sisters, but when we are talking to others, do we mention the name of Jesus? It isn’t alwas necessary to quote Bible verses to people.  Sometimes, we just need to tell them what Jesus has done for us.  Anytime, the name of Jesus is mentioned, a decision has to be made;  will we accept HIm or reject HIm?  Just allow the Holy Spirit to guide you and your lifestyle and testimony will be effective. 
Post 04-21-2016

Use It or Lose It!!

even-smaller-bug-light111 Then the Lord asked Moses, “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.” — Exodus 4:11, 12 NLT

God has given each of us particular gifts and we use those gifts daily in our secular lives but when God asks us to use them for His work, we suddenly pretend we don’t have those abilities.  Take Moses, for instance, forty years earlier, Moses had no problem taking charge.  He killed an Egyptian who was beating a slave. The next day, he comes out and tells the slaves to quit fighting each other.  Those are characteristics of a leader. But, now after forty years of desert training, when God wants Him to use those same talents to free His people and lead them through the desert, Moses suddenly can’t.  If  you think God was happy with Moses, you are wrong.  In fact, He met Moses and was about to kill him and would have except for the actions of Zipporah.(Exodus 4:24-26)  
In today’s world, think about the effectiveness of the church if:
​E​very school teacher volunteered t​o teach Sunday S​chool​
Every​ CEO or business leader volunteered for a leadership/mentoring position
Everyone who served others in any position served in the church
Whatever talent you have, you used that talent in the church
Just think about this:  The Creator of the universe, the Omniscient God would not ask us to do a job that He has not specifically given us the talent and the training to do.  If God knew someone else could do the job better than we could, then He would have called them instead of us!  The next time we feel that little nudge to volunteer, before we say “no”,  think about the results in the parable of the talents (Matt. 25:14-30).
10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. ​ — Eph. 2:10 NLT​
Post 01-24-2016

Run to Win the Race

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24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.—-1 Cor. 9:24-2​7​ NIV

If we enter the race, we should run the race expecting to win.  What would be the point in running if we didn’t try to win?  If we are going to be a true competitor, we must train faithfully every day. If we do that to run an earthly race and win a temporary reward, shouldn’t we be much more serious about our Spiritual race?  We must run our Spiritual race as if our lives depended on winning it because they do. If we are faithful in that race, we will get a crown that lasts forever. Every day is a battle and we must fight the battle with sincerity and purpose. We must bring our flesh under submission and follow after the Holy Spirit.  We must strive for holiness so that we are not disqualified and fail to win the prize.  

13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called
me heavenward in Christ Jesus.—Phil. 3:13,14 NIV

Post 06-05-2015

Preparations and Plans

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20 Yes, each of you should remain as you were when God called you. 21 Are you a slave? Don’t let that worry you—but if you get a chance to be free, take it. 22 And remember, if you were a slave when the Lord called you, you are now free in the Lord. And if you were free when the Lord called you, you are now a slave of Christ. 23 God paid a high price for you, so don’t be enslaved by the world. 24 Each of you, dear brothers and sisters, should remain as you were when God first called you.—1 Cor 7:20-24 NLT

​God calls us right where we are.​ He will never ask us to do something He has not prepared us to do. If we know nothing about missionary work and have not been trained to do it, we won’t be leaving for the mission field the day after we are saved (at least, not with God’s blessing). Except to tell others that you are saved, you probably shouldn’t be preaching or teaching until you have become grounded in the Scriptures. Jesus had forty days in the desert and withstood great temptations before He started His work here on earth. If Jesus needed some training, we can rest assured that all of us do as well. We can also look at Paul’s experience for an example. After his conversion on the Damascus road, God sent him to the desert of Arabia for three years to be trained by the Holy Spirit. God paid a high price for each of us and He is not going to waste our time. He will send us when He knows we are ready to go, not when we think we are. So until He calls and/or sends, we should just stay where we are doing what we are doing and rest in the knowledge that our salvation and calling were not by accident or coincidence, but for a higher purpose.

10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.—Ephesians 2:10 NLT

Post 05-26-2015