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

Power to Live Worry-Free!

even-smaller-bug-light1

32 “So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom. — Luke 12:32 NLT

Most Christians are very familiar with this passage of Scripture. We are probably more familiar with the version in Matthew 6. These passages are about how God will take care of us and all of our needs.  We are warned not to be concerned about our needs for tomorrow.  Rather, we are to be concerned with our thoughts and activities for today.  In the above verse, God extends that promise to include not only our needs but the whole Kingdom of God.  We assume that that is a promise for the future and it is.  But, if we put this verse in the context of what Jesus is teaching the disciples and us, then it becomes a promise for now and later.  Particularly, in the Matthew version, this teaching follows closely after Jesus has taught the disciples what we call “The Lord’s Prayer”.  In that prayer,  Jesus teaches us to pray,”Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth even as it is in heaven.”   We are a part of the Kingdom of God that exists on earth now. Not in its perfect state, that will come later, nevertheless, it exists now and God wants us to enjoy the benefits of living in the Kingdom now and much more later. It gives God great joy when we accept His gifts and live lives that are full of joy and worry-free. When Jesus tells us not to worry and not to fear, His words are not just empty words, they carry the weight of the Resurrection Power of God behind them! They are more than a mere suggestion! They carry power that we can access to live worry-free!

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

Post 11-28-2016

“Taste And See”

even-smaller-bug-light1

Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
 or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers.
But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night.
They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.
– Psalm 1:1-3 NLT

 
There are thousands of books written in an attempt to make us feel better about ourselves. Do this and get rich, do this and influence people, do this and look better. Money, power and good looks do not come with bags of joy that can be opened at any time we need to feel good. All of these things are external and have nothing to do with the real problems of today.
The changes we need are from the inside out. It isn’t our natural diet that makes us who we are, contrary to what we have been told, we are not what we eat. The diet that determines whether we will be full of peace and joy is our Spiritual diet. Be filled with the Holy Spirit! The third person of the Trinity really is a person. He abides inside us to give us all the peace, joy and hope we need or desire. He knows our every need and is waiting patiently to give it to each of us. He weeps with us and when our hearts are broken, so is His. He feels the pain that we feel and He wants to restore our joy and hope when we are down and out. We need to learn to praise God and tell others what He has done for us. While we are praising Him, we will find that our joy will start to flow out from us to those around us. Praise and pray! God hears the praises and the prayers. He will not reject our prayers or withdraw His love from us. Eat your fill of Spiritual food each day, it is non-fattening, fulfilling and it purges us, pushing out all the sadness, worry and fears. Start with a taste and soon you will find that it takes a lot of Spiritual goodness to keep you satisfied!8 Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. —​Psalm 34:8

 

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

Post 05-27-2018

Can You Explain It?

even-smaller-bug-light1

14 But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats. — 1 Peter 3:14 NLT

We are all guilty! We have felt that gentle nudge from God’s Spirit and said nothing, we have heard that soft quiet voice and still we did nothing! The King of Kings, the Creator of the Universe has issued the command to go and spread the gospel to all of us. (Ref. Matt 28:19, 20) And in individual situations, He has asked us to speak out and invite others into His Kingdom. Why don’t we speak out? Are we afraid that our friends and acquaintances will mock us, make fun of us, reject us? Always remember this, they did the same to Jesus and we are not greater than our Creator. But the most important thing to remember is that it isn’t us they are rejecting, it is Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. We are going to suffer in this world, and as Peter tells us, it is better to suffer for doing good, than for doing evil.


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

 

Post 11-09-2016

Go and Make Disciples! – Part 1

even-smaller-bug-light1

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
 
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 repsonse 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 therfore 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.”.
 
Post 06-08-2016

What A Friend

even-smaller-bug-light1 

20 “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. — John 17:20 NLT

John 17:20-26 NLT

What an encouraging thought it is to know that almost two thousand years ago, our Lord and Savior,  Jesus Christ was praying for us.  He prayed for us then and even now, He is at the right hand of the Father interceding for us.  He is still praying the same prayer.   He wants us to  “all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you.”   Not only is Jesus interceding on our behalf, but the Holy Spirit is praying for us.  When we reach that point in prayer where words can’t express what we feel in our hearts, the Holy Spirit prays for us with “groanings that cannot be expressed”.  

Romans 8:26-28 NLT

God, our Father, is waiting to hear from us and to answer us, knowing our weakness, He planned for His Son and HIs Spirit to do for us what we could not do for ourselves.   The Triune God, the Trinity, works as One to be sure that our prayers are heard and answered.  There is no Friend so faithful in assuring that His plans for each of us will be successful.  He plans our lives, He prays for our lives and He always completes His plan. He causes everything to work together.

Why do we doubt and worry?  Repent and rejoice!

Post 06-04-2016

 

He Can And He Will!!

even-smaller-bug-light1

38 “Why are you frightened?” he asked. “Why are your hearts filled with doubt?  — Luke 24:38 NLT
As the two men who had met Jesus on the road to Emmaus were sharing their story with the disciples, Jesus suddenly appeared among them.  Jesus spoke to them and said “Peace be with you”.  But they were startled and frightened, how could this be?   After three years of walking with Jesus and hearing HIs teachings on a daily basis, the disciples were still not convinced that Jesus would really be resurrected.  They thought they were looking at a ghost.  Jesus told them to look closely and see that it was really HIm.  He invited them to touch Him and know that He was real.  Still, they were not fully convinced, so Jesus asked for something to eat.  We can wonder at the unbelief and lack of faith of the disciples but we show that same unbelief and lack of faith when we are fearful and worry about things.  We need to examine ourselves and ask ourselves the same questions that Jesus asked the disciples, “why are we frightened and why are our hearts filled with doubt”?  God has told us over 365 times in the Bible in one form or the other, :“DO NOT FEAR!”.  Yet, is there a day that goes by that we do not express fear and doubt with our words and/or actions?  Instead of accessing the peace and the joy that Jesus has promised and is waiting to give each of us so that we can enjoy today with Him, we obsess over what MIGHT happen tomorrow.  If we really believe that Jesus can and will provide our every need, then we should just rest in His arms and allow Him do exactly what He said He would do.
Post 05-03-2016