Any Thing or Person Can Become Our Idol

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1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,​ 2 To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called​ ​to be his holy people, together with all those everywhere who call on the name​ ​of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours:​ 3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.—1 Cor. 1:1-3 (NIV)
Paul founded the Church at Corinth on his second missionary journey in A.D. 50 -51. While he was in Ephesus on his 3rd missionary journey, he received some negative reports concerning the morality of the believers there. He immediately sent Timothy to correct the situation at Corinth. He also wrote this letter to the church, probably thinking that it would arrive before Timothy got there. The members of the church were starting to return to the old ways of idol worship. In particular, the immorality with the temple prostitutes and overindulgence in both food and drink. But, if we read verse 2 very carefully, we find that under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Paul wrote this letter to me and you. It reads: “to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be his holy people, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours.” That includes us and we should take it as a stern warning not to go back to our old ways. While we may not have shrines where all types of immoral acts are carried out, we have more than enough idols of our own making. Each one of us needs to take a few minutes and ask God the Holy Spirit to reveal to us the idol(s) that are standing between us and our God.
8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.–1 John 1:8-10 (NIV)

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

Post 1-21-2018

“Perfect Love Expels Fear”

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11 Then Jesus said, “You would have no power over me at all unless it were given to you from above. So the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin.” – John 19:11 NLT
 

Which of the laws had Jesus broken that He should be sentenced to death? Yes, it was against the law to blaspheme the name of God or to lie, but Jesus was, in fact, God and the Son of God just as He claimed, He had done neither. The crowd says that Jesus claimed to be the “King of the Jews” and, in fact, He was all that and more. This claim seemed to bother Pilate quite a bit. He had already said that he finds Jesus not guilty under the Roman law and Pilate has no concern about the Jewish laws. He is still looking for a way to release Jesus without upsetting the crowd. How many of us are guilty of wanting to serve Jesus as long as it is popular and doesn’t upset the crowds? We go to church and we feel safe in discussing our belief in Jesus Christ. But what happens when we are back out in the world again? If our other people’s opinions of us are more important than what Jesus knows about us, then we are guilty of idol worship. We have placed others above God in our lives. This is a sin and we need to repent. It is time that we believed that what Jesus said about Himself to Pilate is also true for us. “You would have no power over me at all unless it were given to you from above”. If we truly believe that nothing and no one has any power over us unless God allows them to have it then we should be mighty warriors for our Lord and Savior. If we truly believe that nothing can separate us from the love of God, then why don’t we love Him back with everything we are and have? God the Holy Spirit is God and God is Perfect Love and He dwells inside us. His desire is that we be fearless.

18 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.—1 John 4:18 (NLT)

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

Post 12-07-2017

Here and Now!

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 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.” – John 4:20

We might think it strange that the woman ​is concerned about where is the proper place to worship​, but in her time and situation, it was a very important ​issue. Under the law, there were specific feasts and celebrations that could only be carried out in Jerusalem. She wanted to know how this would affect her worship. So, if we wanted to update this ​issue​ to now, we might ask Jesus, “How is this going to affect my lifestyle?” Jesus answers her question by introducing a whole new concept. The time is coming and it is actually here now that you will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. After Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension, He sent us the Holy Spirit, Now that we have the Holy Spirit abiding in us, we can worship God anywhere and anytime. This is true for individual worship. The answer for corporate worship is a little more complicated.
24 Let us think about each other and help each other to show love and do good deeds.25 You should not stay away from the church meetings, as some are doing, but you should meet together and encourage each other. Do this even more as you see the day coming.—Hebrews 10:24,25 (NCV)

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

Post 08-19-2017

Restored by Him for His Glory

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20 and through him God reconciled    everything to himself.
He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth
    by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.  — Col. 1:19 NLT


Everything that was created was created to praise God and give Him glory. But, because of sin, we were in a fallen state and separated from God. All of nature is in a fallen state as well. It has always been God’s plan to restore us and the world to Himself. Nature groans waiting on the return of Jesus to restore it to its original condition. Humanity, however, rebelled against God and began to worship idols. The only thing that would meet the requirements for forgiveness was the sacrifice of blood because the life is in the blood. In the Old Testament, that was a process that was repeated over and over. But when Christ Jesus came in human flesh, it was His obedience that led Him to shed His blood on the cross. Jesus was perfect and His blood was pure, so it satisfied the requirement for redemption for all ages. Now, we are washed in His blood, clothed in His righteousness so that we can approach God without a blemish. No one, absolutely no one can separate us from the love of Christ Jesus.

 
Romans 8:35-39 NLT


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

Post 03-03-2017

Created for His Glory!

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16b.  Everything was created through him and for him.

— Colossians 1:16b NLT


We were born with a sinful nature and born into a sinful world. But God, because of His omnipotence, omniscience, and His great love already had a plan in place to rescue us. The plan called for His Son, Jesus, to be born sinless, live a perfect life, and die a horrible death on a cross to redeem and reconcile us to Himself. When we accept this plan, our sins are forgiven and we are placed in right standing with God. Jesus was resurrected from the grave as the firstborn of all creation to live eternally. Everything was created through Him and for Him. Without Him, nothing exists or can exist. He raises up leaders and kings and He brings down those leaders and kings for His own purpose. We are created to glorify God and to one day be raised in His image, changed from mortals to immortals, from corruption to incorruption, to worship and praise Him throughout eternity.


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

Post 03-02-2017

Obedience Is Better Than Sacrifice

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22 But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the Lord    your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice?  Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams. — 1 Samuel 15:22

When our plans go awry or when we are having a bad day, do we stop and consider that perhaps what we are doing in not pleasing to the Lord? Maybe our failures have more to do with our reasons for doing something than we want to believe. Saul was doing a “good” thing, but because he didn’t complete it as God had instructed, it was not a “God” thing. We start down the Godly path but then we see something that the flesh desires and we hang on to that instead of God. That “thing” or “person” becomes our “god” because we desired it or them more than we desired God. When this happens we are guilty of rebellion and stubbornness. Just as this led Saul to worship idols later in his life, so will our rebellion lead us into idol worship. We would deny that we have idols in our lives, but most every home is full of the signs and symbols of who our “gods” really are.

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

Post 02-19-2017

Take Up Your Cross

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18 “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. John 15:18 NLT
 
Today, instead of focusing on our “problems”, I am asking you to join me in prayer for our brothers and sisters in Christ that have real problems, not imagined. we have such a super-abundance of “things” and we, at least still today, have the freedom to meet together and worship our Lord and Savior. Each of us spends in one day more than most of these people make in a year. We are so blessed that our lips should never utter a complaint and our voices should never stop singing praises to our Almighty God. so, as part of your worship to him, offer up a sacrifice of praise and prayer.
“So today we pray for persecuted church members who are suffering severely from Satan’s tactics of deceit and intimidation: loss of family members (Nigeria), economic deprivation (India), incarceration in metal shipping containers (Eritrea), lack of personal peace (Pakistan), fear of discovery (Middle East). As we pray, we can rest in the fact that they (and we) are part of God’s wise and caring plan, no matter how inscrutable that plan may appear to human eyes. There is hope because He hears the cry; He sees the misery; He is concerned about the suffering. When it seems dark and hopeless, the persecuted testify “God is good—all the time!”” (Excerpt from Standing Storm Through the Storm, 02-15-14)

 

23 Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me. – Luke 9:23 NLT

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

Post 01-06-2017

Keep Yourself Pure

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21 If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work.— 2 Timothy 2:21 NLT


We should always avoid any action that makes us appear to agree with sinful deeds. Rather, we should seek the guidance of God’s Spirit and live a life that shows love to our fellow man. We should not neglect to have regular companionship and worship with our fellow Christians. This will strengthen us and help us to follow after Jesus. We should never allow ourselves to be lured into arguments over doctrines and beliefs that go beyond what God requires for salvation. We need to show the love of Christ by showing patience in difficult situations. Don’t be the one to blow your horn in traffic or complain in the grocery line. Use those times to whisper prayers and praises to our Lord and Savior. Then you will find that God blesses those times and you are able to teach others by your actions and your words. Be humble, remembering that you used to live the same kind of lifestyle when you were held captive by satan. Lead a lifestyle that causes others to want to have the freedom and the attitude that you have.

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

Post 10-30-2016

Not Just On Sundays

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7 Share your food with the hungry,    and give shelter to the homeless.
Give clothes to those who need them,
    and do not hide from relatives who need your help. — Isaiah 58:7 NLT

God does not accept false worship. You know, the kind of worship where you are watching the clock and waiting for it to strike high noon. Just as he was upset with the Israelites about performing sacrifices only for tradition’s sake, He doesn’t like halfhearted worship. He wants our full attention and He deserves it. God inhabits the praises of His people. But not that shallow stuff. 3 songs, prayer, collection, sermon, prayer and we are good for the week. Not so, my brothers and sisters. God has something to say to us, give Him your time and your full attention. He is looking at your heart. Have you falsely accused? Have you caused someone else to have to carry a part of your load? Have you encouraged anyone today? Have you given any charitable donations or worked in a local ministry to feed or clothe the poor and needy? If not, then God does not consider that you have worshiped Him properly. Humble yourself before the Lord and ask Him to show you where he needs you to work in His kingdom. Practice this and you will look forward to meeting with the Lord anytime, anywhere. Then the joy of your salvation will be restored.

 

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

The Truth Is Simple

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21 Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. — Romans 1:21 NLT
 
 
The Bible tells us in several places that only a fool says there is no God.  If a person truly believes there is no God, then his mind will naturally be filled with all kinds of foolish arguments against the existence of God.  Even the demons believe and know that God exists (James 2:19 NLT).  They are not deceived about His existence, but it is their job to deceive others and they do that job well.  We, as humans, cannot imagine the totality of what the Triune God is like.  satan doesn’t have to imagine, he has been in heaven and in the presence of God.  He is the father of lies and liars and as such, he has no qualms about deceiving people.  He tells us little lies and half-truths about God and if we choose to believe those little lies, he has a foot in the door to lead us into total deception and darkness.  His game is half-truths and compromise.  Once he has gotten us to compromise our beliefs, he uses that guilt to take us farther and farther into his world of darkness.  If we continue on the path with him, we will get to the point that we no longer acknowledge that Light exists and our minds will be forever darkened and confused.  The truth never changes but our perception of truth can change.  The truth is very simple.  The Triune God was, He is and He always will be I AM.  God is love and He sent His Son into the world to redeem the fallen world because He is love.  The “why did He choose to do it that way?” part is not so simple.
Post 08-01-2016