Victory in Jesus

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27 For you will not abandon my soul to Hades or allow your Holy One to experience decay. ​- Acts 2:27 ISV​
 


Our story never changes.  It is the old, old story that is new every morning.  It is our anthem, our song, our strength and our hope.  Jesus voluntarily gave up His glory in heaven temporarily.  He was born into the world, He was fully man and fully God.  He went about doing good and God performed miracles, wonders and signs through Him.  Not everyone believed the story then and not everyone believes the story now.  But God, knowing what would happen, already had a plan in place.  Jesus came to this earth to redeem a fallen people from their sins and nothing, no one, nor any force of any kind would prevent that from happening. Over and over, the religious leaders conspired to kill Jesus before His time and in a manner that would not be sufficient for redemption.  God would not allow it.  Jesus was the perfect man, God had the perfect plan and now we are redeemed.  Just as God had a plan for Jesus, He has a plan for each of us to participate in the redemption story.  We are not perfect, God already knows that, so when we fail, He understands.  But His plan for each of us takes our weaknesses and failures into account.  He is never surprised by our failures and He never gives up on us.  We are chosen, we are called and we will succeed in the plan Jesus has for each of us.  So, when satan, the father of lies, comes to shame us with all of our failures, we just need to tell him to take it up with Jesus, stand up. let God clean us up and press on.  The battle is not ours, it’s the Lord’s and He won the war years ago at the cross.  We may suffer losses and temporary setbacks, but we cannot be defeated.  

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

Post 11-26–2018

Gotta Tell Somebody!

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5 Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying. 7 And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember what I have told you.” — Matt. 28:5-7 NLT

AN ANNOUNCEMENT — JESUS IS NOT HERE!
 
AN EMPTY TOMB  —  COME! SEE WHERE HIS BODY WAS LYING!
 
GO! TELL HIS DISCIPLES!  HE IS RISEN!
 
JESUS HAS WON THE VICTORY!
 
ACCEPT IT!  BELIEVE IT!
 
RECEIVE ETERNAL LIFE!
 
YOU ARE NOW A MEMBER OF THE FAMILY OF GOD!
 
REJOICE FOREVERMORE!   PRAISE HIM CONTINUOUSLY!

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

Post 11-21-2018

What Do People See In Us?

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65 Awe fell upon the whole neighborhood, and the news of what had happened spread throughout the Judean hills. 66 Everyone who heard about it reflected on these events and asked, “What will this child turn out to be?” For the hand of the Lord was surely upon him in a special way. — Luke 1:65, 66 NLT

These are the words Luke wrote to describe the reactions of the people on hearing about the birth of John the Baptist.  It was a miraculous event that Elizabeth should give birth at such a late age in life.  They were also in wonder that Zechariah would allow his son to be named John since no one in the family had ever been named that.  In those days, the carrying on of traditional family names was extremely important.  Because of these two things, they knew that God was involved in a special way and that John must have a special purpose to fulfill.   Once Zechariah was able to speak again, he prophesies about what that purpose is (vv 67-79).

In its own way, every birth is a miracle and every child has a special purpose in life.  God has a plan for every life and every one has been given a particular gift to accomplish that purpose.  Not all of us will be involved in what we call “full-time” ministries, but all of us are involved in full time witnessing for the Lord.  Every word and every action reflects positively or negatively on the Kingdom of God.  What is our lifestyle today telling people about Jesus and His Kingdom?  If someone observed us for a month, what do you think they would say about what we think is important?  Does our attitude and our demeanor tell others that we live in fear or that we have faith in a God who can and does do the impossible?  

 
10  Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. — Isaiah 41:10 NLT

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

Post 11-11-2018

The Mystery is the Victory

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12b Even angels long to look into these things. ​- 1 Peter 1:12b ISV

When the Holy Spirit would come upon the Old Testament prophets, they would prophesy about the coming Messiah, His suffering, His resurrection and the magnificence of His glory.  How their hearts must have longed for the day that He would come, But it was revealed to them, that they would not see it with their eyes. Even the angels longed to look into the mystery of this plan of salvation. But only hints and shadows would be revealed to each prophet, that the complete plan would be kept a mystery until the exact time that God chose to reveal more of it. God had a reason for not revealing the whole mystery any earlier than He did.  If satan had been aware of God’s plan, the crucifixion would never have taken place.

 

7 No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. — 1 Cor. 2:7, 8 NIV

The revelations that the Holy Spirit was giving them were for our benefit that we might understand the faithfulness of God in keeping His promises. It is also a lesson to us that there is a reason that God sometimes delays the answer to our prayers. We measure time by seconds, minutes, hours, days, etc.  The eternal God has planned eternity and knows exactly when we to give us the things we need.   Just as the Old Testament prophets prophesied and longed for the first appearance of the Messiah, we should be longing for and telling the world that Jesus is coming again. Just as Ezekiel (read Ezekiel 33) and the other prophets were the “watchmen on the wall” to spread the warning, so are we the modern day watchmen.  We are to just keep telling the “Old, Old Story” until Jesus comes back!

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

Post 08-19-2018

“It Is Finished”

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30 When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. – John 19:30 NLT
Even while hanging on the cross in agony, Jesus was still concerned about others. He instructed John to take care of His mother. A sip of sour wine from a hyssop branch and then came the last words from the cross, “It is finished!”. Three words that are so full of meaning that men have spent the years since trying to understand the extent of what was said. What was finished? His life? No, this was just an interlude between humanity and heavenly. His work on earth? Yes, but exactly what was His work? If it was just to redeem us by dying on a cross, then what was the rest of it about? Jesus was sent to fulfill prophecy, there is no doubt about that. But a majority of His work was to be an example to us and show us how to live for Him. Our persecuted brothers and sisters will tell you that dying for Jesus is the easy part, it is living for Him that is hard. But with his death on the cross, Jesus paid the price for everything that we need to live and die for Him. There are over 200 names for Jesus in the Bible. Each one either gives us an attribute of Jesus, the work He (as the Holy Spirit) does on earth for us or a need that He fulfills for us. There is nothing He left undone. His part as God the man was truly complete. “It is finished”!

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

Post 12-10-2017

Faith Brings the Victory!

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29 By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned. ​ — Hebrews 11:29 NLT​

Hebrews 11:24-31 NIV

The children of Israel had cried out to God for 400 years. They were holding onto the hope that God would deliver them from captivity. God heard their cry and sent a man who was both a prince and a shepherd (Jesus is our Shepherd and our Prince of Peace) to lead them out. When they were trapped between the Egyptian chariots and the Red Sea, they had only one hope. Would God desert them or lead them out? Because Moses had faith, God’s children walked across on dry land, not so for the Egyptians. For six days, Joshua led the army as they walked in complete silence around Jericho one time each day. The procession was led by armed men followed by the seven priests with rams’ horns. On the seventh day, they marched around Jericho seven times. At the end of the seventh lap, the priests blew the horns and the people shouted to the Lord and the walls fell straight down. Obedience and faithfulness brought the victory! Because Rahab was faithful and protected the spies, her family was saved and she is one of 4 women mentioned in Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus. Faith brings salvation. We are “saved by grace through faith”.


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

Post 05-11-2017

Victory in Jesus

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15 and the men of Judah began to shout. At the sound of their battle cry, God defeated Jeroboam and all Israel and routed them before Abijah and the army of Judah.
–2 Chronicles 13:15 NLT
After Israel was divided, the northern and the southern kingdoms were often at war with each other.   On this occasion, Abijah, king of Judah had amassed 400,000 select troups and Jeroboam, king of Israel, had gathered 800,000 select warriors.  From the human viewpoint, it was fairly easy to see who would win the war, but God had other plans.  Judah had the original powerful weapon of mass destruction on their side.  They trusted in God. They still worshipped God as they were supposed to but Israel had polluted their worship service with false prophets and false priests.  God only accepts purity, He will not accept being one of many gods, when He is the only true and living God.  Even though Judah had enemy troops behind them and in front of them and they were outnumbered two to one, they showed no fear, but trusted God to do what He promised to do.  This obedience and trust in God resulted in God winning the battle for them. “God defeated Jeroboam and all of Israel”.  All Judah had to do was the “mopping up” and retrieve the bounty.  If we refuse to accept God’s gift of salvation and love, then we will have to face His wrath.  No one can stand against the wrath of God.  The only time satan thought He had defeated God, he soon learned that was his worst defeat.  Do not be deceived by appearances and false claims, there is only ONE GOD!  He is the Victor and only through Him will we obtain the victory!
 
Post 05-31-2016

Tomorrow – the Plan Unfolds!

even-smaller-bug-light114 So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,
“Cursed are you above all livestock
and all wild animals!
You will crawl on your belly
and you will eat dust
all the days of your life.
15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
and you will strike his heel.” — Genesis 3:14, 15 NIV

​So the battle for the souls of men begins on earth.  The flesh gives into the deception of the enemy and is barred from the Garden.  The invisible, spiritual warfare for the control of our minds and thus our beliefs and our hearts’ desires stiil continues and will until the end of time as we understand it.  The perfect world God had created and given to man was handed over to the enemy and would remain his domain for years to come.  Sinful, imperfect humans could not, cannot and will never be able to defeat the enemy.  Instead, we would become slaves to sin and live in a sinful world.  We needed a Savior, a Redeemer, a Kinsman to purchase our freedom from the enemy.  But, God is never surprised, He had a plan in place to do just that.  In the “fullness of time”, that plan would explode onto earth.  A plan that the enemy could not see coming and would be so blind to it, that he would  even participate in the fulfillment of the plan.  The enemy would believe he had won the final victory by seducing humans into killing the Savior. What he thought was a final victory would turn into his worst nightmare!  
 

6 We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. — 1 Cor. 2:6-8 NIV

We have a part in that plan.  Our part is to keep telling the age-old story, the same story that we heard from someone else. The story that introduced us to the Savior. 

19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” — Matt.28:19, 20 NIV

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

Post 12-24-2015

Remembering Why We Celebrate

even-smaller-bug-light17 On that day David first delivered this psalm into the hand of Asaph and his brethren, to thank the Lord:
8  Oh, give thanks to the Lord!  Call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples! 9 Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him; Talk of all His wondrous works! 10  Glory in His holy name; Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the Lord! 11 Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face evermore!  12 Remember His marvelous works which He has done, His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth — 1 Chronicles 16:7-12 NKJV

“That day” was the day that David and his men brought the ark back to the tent David had prepared for it in Jerusalem.  David had tried before to get the Ark to Jerusalem but he did not observe the correct procedures for transporting the Ark. This time, the priests carried the Ark, as they should, and David stopped numerous times along the way to sacrifice to the Lord. This time he was successful and the Ark was once again at home, where it should be. It was a time of great celebration of victory and the peace of the land.    ​
There is a parallel to the story of the founding of colonies in America. Just as David fought many battles before God established Him, there were unsuccessful attempts to establish colonies in America before the Plymouth colony was successful. Just as the Ark was moved around, there had even been earlier Thanksgivings at other locations in America. Just as David successfully returned the Ark to Jerusalem and celebrated, the colonists did not have a celebration until they had weathered some rough times.  It was after their first successful harvest in 1621, that they invited the Wampanoag tribe to a 3 day celebration and time of Thanksgiving to God for bringing them through the tough times. 
 Thanksgiving is more than feasting and football, let us remember the real reason for our celebrating.  We need to strive to make it a time of thanksgiving for our deliverance as a nation and for our personal deliverance from sin because of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Post 11-25-2015

Praise, Pray, Petition

even-smaller-bug-light110  Is it not you, God, you who have now rejected us and no longer go out with our armies?
11  Give us aid against the enemy, for human help is worthless.
12  With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies.  — Psalm 60:10-12 NIV

​​God had temporarily rejected the nation of Israel because of their continued disobedience and refusal to repent.  His rejection of Israel was not total nor permanent because of His covenant to them.  As Christians we can be sure that God will always have a remnant of believers to carry on His work.  However, God has made no covenant with our nation that requires Him to allow it to stand.  It has stood for over two hundred years because of God’s mercy in spite of our rebellion and disobedience. It appears to us that God has rejected us, but it is we who have rejected Him. We, just as Israel, have turned from God to our own wisdom and to humans to help.  Human wisdom and human help is worthless. But, it is not too late for us, if we, as a nation, will repent and turn back to God.
As we approach the Thanksgiving season, let us commit, together, to spend three minutes a day praying that our nation will repent, so that God can continue to show us His mercy.  Three minutes; one minute praising God for Who He is, one minute thanking God for what He has done, and one minute petitioning God not to withdraw His mercies.
  

1 First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. 3 This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior– 1 Timothy 2:1-3 NASB

Post 11-22-2015