“The Gifts Christ Gave To The Church”

11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers.— Ephesians 4:11 NLT

Ephesians 4:11-16 NLT

Christ has given 5 gifts to the church, these are known as the 5-fold ministry. They are not given to the leaders so they can do all the work. They are given to the church leaders so that they can equip the laypeople (that’s us) to do the witnessing, visiting, and serving. They build up God’s church by training and encouraging us. Learning to do these things is how we grow to maturity in Christ. When we are new Christians, we can be easily misled by those who are in authority, but as we learn, we should be able to “stand against the wiles of the devil”. One of his tricks is to use Christians to mislead others. Choose carefully those to whom you listen. There are sheep in wolves clothing trying to deceive the elect. Always cross check every message and lesson with the Bible. Don’t be swayed by charisma, charm or emotions. “Be rooted and grounded” and stand firm. As we mature, we become more like Jesus. Follow His example, speak the truth in love and lead others to Jesus.

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

Post -09-11-2019

“Give As Freely Ad You Have Received”

1 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me,
    for the Lord has anointed me
    to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted
    and to proclaim that captives will be released
    and prisoners will be freed.
2 He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord’s favor has come,
    and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.  
— Isaiah 61:1-2 NLT

Yes, these verses apply directly to Jesus, but they also apply to us as well. Jesus did this work while He walked on this earth. Now, since we are His living temple and He abides in us, it is our duty to carry on this work. This is the good news that He commissioned us to carry to a lost and dying world. His Spirit indwells us and gives us power, boldness, and the words to speak to those He puts in our paths each day. It is not necessary to go on a mission to a foreign country to do this. We live in a foreign country (we are aliens here) and our neighborhood is our mission field. The secular workplace that God has put you in is your mission field. We are all ministers of God’s saving grace and as such, we should minister to people as we go. Our pastors and teachers are responsible for equipping us to minister to the world around us, but it is our responsibility to do the hands-on ministering. 

7 Go and announce to them that the Kingdom of Heaven is near. 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received! — Matthew 10:7-8 NLT

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

Post 06-26-2019

Blind and Deaf

27 For the hearts of these people are hardened, and their ears cannot hear,
and they have closed their eyes—
so their eyes cannot see,
and their ears cannot hear,
and their hearts cannot understand,
and they cannot turn to me
and let me heal them.’ 
— Acts 28:27 NLT 

Acts 28:23-30 NLT

The Jewish leaders there in Rome had already heard the message of Jesus. They wanted to hear it again from Paul and to hear what he believed.  Any time and every time the name of Jesus is mentioned, it requires that we make a decision.  Whether we decide to reject Him, accept Him or to think about it, we make a decision.  Some of these leaders were persuaded to believe by what Paul said and others were not.  It is a mystery to us why all the people hear the same message but some respond positively and some respond negatively.  Did Paul quit preaching the Word because some refused to believe?  No!  For two years, Paul supported himself and continued to tell others about the Good News.  Paul understood that the results of his preaching the Word were not up to Him.  His part was to continue to be obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit.  We are to do the same thing.  Keep preaching and/or teaching and not be discouraged because we don’t see any results.  The results are up to the Lord and the Holy Spirit, not to us.  We will see the results when we get to heaven. Until then we just keep living out God’s plan for each of us and let Him handle the results.

Isaiah 55:8-11 NLT


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

Post 03-28-2019

Shakers and Lamps

16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.  — Matthew 5:16 NLT

Matthew 5:13-16 NLT

Salt and light, two things that, in today’s world, we give little thought to. But in the first century, these things were not taken lightly.  In fact, salt was such a precious commodity that it was considered  proper to give salt as a gift to royalty.  Having light after the sun went down was not just a matter of flipping a switch or setting a timer on your cell phone (for you techies).  It required a lot of work to keep the palace garden lights burning.  And it was very costly since oil and tar were also precious commodities.  But it was even more costly to the Christians that Nero had dipped in tar and set on fire to use as lights in his garden.  So, when Jesus used these items as comparisons to what Christians must be to a lost world, the people in that time could really appreciate it much more than we can today.  With no refrigeration, salt was their major preservative. God’s mercy and grace are our only preservatives against evil destroying us.  Think of how much less time in each day that we could be productive without artificial light. But we have a light inside of us that lights up the world even on the darkest day.  Are we sharing our salt and light with those around us?  Why not? The supply is endless, it is always available and monetarily, it costs us nothing. We need to take the top off the salt shaker and the shade off the lamp and share our abundance with others regardless of the cost.

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

Post 03-15-2019

The Great Commission – Part 1

19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.– Matt. 28:19 NLT

Matthew 28:16-20 NLT 

We are all very familiar with the Great Commission that Jesus gave His disciples.  Luke tells us that shortly after this, Jesus ascends leaving the disciples without the only leader they had ever known. If we had been there and been one of the disciples of Jesus, what would our initial response have been?  If it were anything similar to what I believe mine would have been, it would have caused me to ask a lot of questions.  Where do I start, which direction do I go, who is going to support me as I make the trip and who is going to take care of my family while I am gone?  I don’t have any speeches prepared to present to the people, what will I say?  I’m not prepared to go on some long journey to some place I have never been and I haven’t prepared my family for such a venture.  I would not only be doubting my abilities to carry out this mission (which is totally true}, I would be doubting God’s ability to enable me to carry out His mission (which is totally wrong and therefore sinful).  I would be doubting His ability to provide for me and to take care of me.  I would be saying “God is able” but my thoughts and my actions would be saying “I don’t really believe that”.
As true believers, our response should not be one of worry and doubt but of agreement, just as Isaiah said when God asked Him “who shall we send?” and Isaiah answers “Here am I, Lord, send me.”.

.Isaiah 6:5-8 NLT

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

Post 02-02-2019

“Speak”

43 For they loved human praise more than the praise of God. — John 12:43 NLT

John 12:42-50 NLT

There were many of the people, leaders in the religious communities and others who believed what Jesus was saying but refused to admit it in public. They were more concerned about what the Jewish leaders would say and do than they were about what Jesus said.  They were afraid that they would lose their positions in the community and be removed from the synagogue.  They would not admit publicly that they believed what Jesus said.  When we read these verses, it is easy for us to criticize and judge these people for their lack of support for Jesus.  But, if we stop, meditate and let the Holy Spirit lead us into the truth, we may just realize that we are sometimes like those people.  Yes, our egos say we would never deny Jesus and perhaps, verbally we wouldn’t.  However, we must look at our actions or our lack of action in certain situations.   How many times have we been nudged by the Holy Spirit to say something to someone or do something for someone and by our inactions, we said “NO”.  In those times, we became “secret believers”  preferring silence over speaking out for Jesus, our Lord and Savior.   How many times have we felt the shame when we are convicted of our inactivity by the Holy Spirit?   Jesus said that “if you deny me before men, I will deny you before the Father”.  If we do not speak out and our lifestyles do not show others that we are living for Jesus, then the truth of His words will judge us on the day of judgment.  We must be willing to get out of our comfort zones and be ridicule, offended and persecuted because we believe the truth.  There is only one God and only one Jesus who died for our sins.  There is no other way to heaven.

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

Post 01/22-2019

“Are You Ready?”

1 In the beginning the Word already existed.
    The Word was with God,
    and the Word was God.
2 He existed in the beginning with God.- John 1:1-2 NLT


John 1:1-5 NLT

He was, He is and He always shall be.  The Trinity, the Triune God was, is and ever shall be. They were, They are and They always shall be. They existed before time as we know it, They are alive today and They always shall be.  Two are in heaven, One abides in us. Together, They planned what was, what is and what is to come.  God’s spoken and written words are infallible, inerrant and immutable.  Their plans are unchangeable. They are the Author and the Finisher of our faith.  As it is written, so it was, so it is and so it will be.  What we believe does not and cannot change what was, what is and what will be.  What we believe will only determine our part in it and where we spend our eternity.  They are immovable and unstoppable. They are coming back and nothing or no one can stop them.  Our part is to believe Their story, tell Their story and live rejoicing every day because of Their story.  We, as Christians, have the one and the only true story and true hope. History has confirmed the truth of Their story over and over.
8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega—the beginning and the end,” says the Lord God. “I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come—the Almighty One.”  – –The Revelation of Jesus Christ to John the Baptist 1:8 NLT


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

Post 12-30-2018