Hope Springs Eternal

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3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In God’s great mercy he has caused us to be born again into a living hope, because Jesus Christ rose from the dead. — 1 Peter 1:3 NCV

The hope that we have of our final salvation is a living hope.  It was searched for and studied by the prophets of old.  The Holy Spirit revealed things to them and as much as they desired to grasp this hope, they were told that the truths they were revealing were not for them at that time but for a later time.  That time came when Jesus was resurrected from the dead, ascended into heaven and sent us the great Comforter, the Holy Spirit.  When we receive the Spirit and He abides within us, He brings with Him a living hope.  It may start as just a tiny flame of hope, but as our understanding matures, it grows with each passing day. We are saved, we are being saved and one day we will have our final salvation.
 
 
The prophets desired it, the angels desire to look into it and understand it, but, by the grace of God, we have it.  We need to feed that hope daily by studying God’s Word, praying and praising Him. As we practice these things, we will find that our hope grows and that we experience a peace and joy that we cannot explain.  A joy full of glory because each day we are nearer to the ultimate goal of our faith — which is the salvation of our souls.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 12-18-18

A New Heart

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51 “You stubborn people! You are heathen at heart and deaf to the truth. Must you forever resist the Holy Spirit? That’s what your ancestors did, and so do you! — Acts 7:51 NLT
Stephen has just recited a short summary of all the things God had brought the Israelis through and the miracles He had performed in bringing them to the Promised Land.  Stephen also reminded them that God did this for them in spite of their unbelief and unfaithfulness.  He did it as a fulfillment of His covenant with their ancestors. Even though God was faithful, the Israelis were not, refusing to listen to Moses and any of the prophets God sent to them with messages warning them to repent and be obedient to God.  Instead they persecuted and murdered the prophets choosing to remain in their sinful ways and worship idols made by human hands.  The people Stephen was addressing were still following in their ancestor’s paths, choosing to kill the Messiah rather than to give up their worldly ways and repent.   If Stephen were here today, he could add the history of our country to his discourse and the accusation would still be true.  After all the years of God blessing this country with His abundance, we are still a “stubborn people, heathen at heart and deaf to the truth”.  More and more, as each day passes by, we become a more sinful nation.  We refuse to believe that God will punish us just as He punished the Israelis.  We must pray that God will have mercy on this nation of ours, that He will replace our hearts of stone with hearts of flesh and write His name upon our hearts.

Even though this was a promise God made to the Israelis, His chosen people, may He see fit to extend His mercies to us because, as Christians, we are a people chosen by Him as well.
 

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

Post 12-17-2018

Gotta Tell Somebody

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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 occasionally 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 always 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.

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

Post 12-16-2018

To Those Who Use Them, More Is Given

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Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” — Luke 19:9 NLT

Luke 19:1-9 ISV

Jesus temporarily gave up all of His glory in heaven for one reason. That reason was to come to earth, be born as a human, live a perfect, sinless life so that He would be sacrificed for our sins. Some of the people then, just as now, never understood that.  They were always trying to find fault with the things He did.  Jesus associated with and ate with sinners.  We must follow that example if we are to bring others to Christ.  Do we actively “seek” those who are lost or do we try to avoid situations where the Holy Spirit might nudge us to speak to sinners about Jesus and where they will spend eternity?  Do we hide behind the claim that we have not been called to be preachers or missionaries?  When we pray asking God to send workers into the fields of harvest, do we  exclude ourselves as being one of those who are subject to the call?   If we do, then are our prayers really sincere?  Since Jesus gave up everything to redeem us, what are we willing to give up to follow in His footsteps?  Is our attitude one of “save me and leave me alone” or “save me and use me to grow Your Kingdom here on earth and in eternity”?  To those that use the talents they have to expand the Kingdom, more is given, to those that refuse to use their talents to expand the Kingdom, what they have is taken away.

The talents that God has given to each of us are our Spiritual muscles, we either use them or we lose them.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 12-15-2018

God’s Plan and Timing Is Always Better Than Ours!

22 “How great you are, O Sovereign Lord! There is no one like you. We have never even heard of another God like you! 
Nathan, the prophet has told David that God will not allow David to build a permanent temple for God.  Nathan also tells David that God will establish David’s house as a dynasty.  There would never be a time when someone from David’s lineage would not rule in Israel.  Instead of being upset that his idea was rejected, David rejoices in the better plan that God has for he and his family. David then prays this prayer of thanksgiving to God.  Then David goes on to be obedient to God and God gives him victory after victory on the battlefield.  David collects all the materials necessary for Solomon to build the temple.  Though God rejected David’s request, He gave David something better.  God always hears and answers our prayers.  When God says no to our request, it is usually for our benefit, so that He can give us something better.  Either the plan is wrong or the timing is wrong.  But, like David, we should accept God’s answer and praise Him for all the things He has brought us through.  We should realize, as David did, that there is no God like our God.  David had never even heard of a God that could do what our God does and neither have we.  Our God fulfills every promise He has ever made.  He does this in His timing, not in ours.  Too often, we are willing to settle for good things and not wait on God to give us the better things He wants for us.  This is true, spiritually, physically and financially.  Don’t rebel against God when He doesn’t answer yes to every request exactly when we want him to do so.  Wait on the Lord, He has a better plan.  Praise Him for Who He is, not what He does for us. He has already given us His Son, why would He withhold any good thing from us?
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 12-14-2018

God’s Way – One Jesus – One Way

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 But when they arrived at the threshing floor of Nacon, the oxen stumbled, and Uzzah reached out his hand and steadied the Ark of God. Then the Lord’s anger was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him dead because of this. So Uzzah died right there beside the Ark of God.  — 2 Samuel 6:6,7 NLT

When we read these verses, it seems that God was mighty harsh on Uzzah for trying to do the right thing and steady the Ark so that it would not fall.  But when God instructed Moses to build the Ark, he also gave Moses specific instructions on how to build it and who could carry it.  David and the Israelis were aware of this.  

1 Chron, 15:11-15  

 First of all, David was wrong in letting anyone but the Levites carry the Ark and the Levites were supposed to carry it on their shoulders with the poles that were stuck through the rings on the side of the Ark.  The Ark should never have been on a cart.  If the Ark had not been on the cart, then Uzzah would not have been tempted to sin.  When we decide to something to honor God, we must saturate it in prayer and be sure that we are doing it God’s way and in His timing.  There is only one letter difference in “good” things and “God” things.  The letter “o’, but oh!, what a difference that can make in our efforts ending in a success or a failure.  When God says there is only one way to do something, then we must pay heed and not accept or condone anything less. When Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one can come to the Father except through me.”,  He was completely truthful and serious.  There is no other way;  not Mohammed, not Buddha, not Rev. Moon, not Mother Earth, and definitely not ourselves.  In a world of chaos and uncertainty, there is a Solid Rock that never changes or moves.  Place your faith in and your feet on that Solid Rock and refuse to be moved.  Don’t doubt, don’t dapple, don’t touch anything else.  He is the same God yesterday, today and He will be the same God tomorrow and He has promised to never leave us nor forsake us. Let us make that same promise to Him.

 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 12-13-2018

Eternal Forgiveness

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14 I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” — Luke 18:14 NLT

When we stand before a mighty and just God to petition Him for forgiveness of our sins, we must humble ourselves before Him.  Outwardly, we may appear to be doing good deeds that do not require forgiveness. But, inwardly, before God cleans us up, we are a filthy mess. God already knows that, so we must be completely honest with Him. We may smile and say nice things to those around us, but God knows whether we are being serious or being hypocritical.  We cannot come before the Lord with the attitude of the Pharisee.  God doesn’t use other people, their actions or their words to determine our guilt or innocence. No, He uses a much higher standard.  He is the standard and that is a standard that we can never live up to.  That is exactly why He gave His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins.  A perfect gift for an imperfect world. The blood of a spotless Lamb to wash away the filthiness of our sin.  The righteousness of the One who had never sinned to cover our sinfulness.  The death of His Son to pay a debt that He didn’t owe and we couldn’t pay. Once we accept this truth, those sins are never mentioned by God again.  Nothing we have done, can do or will ever do can replace that sacrifice.  So, yes, come boldly, but bow humbly, before the King of Kings and receive not only forgiveness, but peace and joy that the world can never know.  Come with faith and stay until you are filled with His Spirit and clothed in His righteousness. From that moment on, you will never have to be concerned about leaving His presence, because truly, He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you”.

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

Post 12-12-2017