Servants of the Most High God

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 Tim. 2:21 NLT

2 Timothy 2:20-25 NLT

In First Corinthians, Paul uses the human body to describe the relationship and the function of each individual member of the Church.  Here in his second letter to Timothy, he uses the analogy of a wealthy home with many utensils.  We can assume that a wealthy home would have all the utensils needed for every task, from the lowest to the highest.  That home would also have a full staff of servants with one of those designated as the chief of all of the servants.  This person would be responsible for making sure that each person was assigned a specific task or tasks and also that that person would be given the exact utensils he needed to complete the task.  Some will tutor the kids, some will do windows and yes, some will do the bathrooms.  All of the utensils and servants are there to care for the home, the master and his family.  In this analogy, God would be the Master, Jesus would be the heir and the Holy Spirit would be the taskmaster assigning the tasks and giving out the utensils necessary to perform the tasks.   The home is the Kingdom of God here on earth.  The Holy Spirit knows who He has gifted to perform each task and no one can do it better than that person.  We are to spend our time, not in foolish discussions about temporary things of little or no consequence, here or later, but in doing the tasks that the Holy Spirit has given us to do.  If we do not, the Kingdom will not function as well as it should and the world around us will grow more evil as satan moves in to take the territory that we give up.  I think we can see the proof of that all around us today.

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

Post 01-18-2019

“Living In a War Zone”

2 Then he sent them out to tell everyone about the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick. 3 “Take nothing for your journey,” he instructed them. “Don’t take a walking stick, a traveler’s bag, food, money, or even a change of clothes. — Luke 9:2, 3 NLT

Luke 9:1-10 NLT

If Jesus told us to go on a mission taking no money, food or clothes, what would our reaction be?  Do we really trust God to completely supply our every need?  Do we trust Him to protect us from every harm that comes our way?  If not, we must ask ourselves, why not?  Has He ever failed on a promise?  Is our salvation not secure?  If He was able to do this for the disciples, is He not able to do this for us?  Every disciple came back safe and sound.  God had provided their every need.  We think “Oh, but society is different now, we wouldn’t be safe and people now are not as generous as they were back then.”  Again, we are guilty of wrong thinking and allowing ourselves to be deceived by satan.   The right question is “Isn’t God still God, can He not do today what He did then”?   And the right answer is “Yes He is and yes, He can.”  If the people won’t feed us, then God can use another method, just as He did when the ravens brought meat to Elijah.  Either we believe that God can and will or we don’t believe that He can and will.  In a war zone, there is no neutral ground and we are living in a war zone.  There is a war going on around us right now.  We may not see the spiritual warriors fighting the battles, but we see the results of those battles around us every day.   We see people who are deceived and refuse to believe the truth.  They have eyes to see but they don’t see.  They have ears to hear but they don’t hear.

 Ephesians 6:10-18 NLT2

Corinthians 10:3-6 NLT

“The G​o​spel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 01-19-2019

Fire and Money

10  You have tested us, O God;    you have purified us like silver.  — Psalm 66:10 NLT

Psalm 66:8-12 NLT

There are two things in life that we use on just about a daily basis and both of those things can be good or evil depending on our attitude toward them and our use of them.   One is fire, though we don’t actually build fires every day, we use things that are formed and molded as a result of heat and fire.  Fire is necessary in refining processes that allow us to have jewelry, coins and other valuable items.   But that fire, uncontrolled, can be very destructive.  Each year thousands of lives and homes and acres of forest are lost to fires.  The trials we go through are compared to fires that refine us.  We can use those times of refining to draw closer to God or we can use them as a reason to revel against God.   The other, of course, is money. Money can become our idol, our master, when we spend too much time focused on earning it and using it for the wrong reasons.   Or it can serve us well when we have the proper balance of work versus worship.   We can use it to spread the KIngdom of God here on earth in multiple ways or we can use to purchase useless items. Both fire and money can be great servants or destructive masters.  The choice is ours.

24 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money. — Matt. 6:24 NLT

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

Post 01-17-2019

His Work, His Way, His Timing

8  Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness.    Let the whole world know what he has done.     — 1 Chronicles 16:8 NLT

 1 Chronicles 16:7-11 NLT

This song of praise and thanksgiving was composed by David after the successful movement of the Ark of the Covenant from Obed-Edom’s house to the tent David had prepared especially for the Ark.  On the first attempt at getting the Ark to Jerusalem, a man had died because he touched the Ark. David and his men had attempted to do the right thing the wrong way.  This time David appointed priests to carry the Ark.  They researched the proper way to transport the Ark and were able to bring it safely to Jerusalem.  How many times in our lives have we failed when we were sure we were hearing from God and doing what He wanted us to do?  When God gives us a work to do, we need to inquire as to how we are to accomplish this work.  When we are sure that God has given us a specific work and we fail in trying to do that work, we need to stop and listen to God to determine how He wants His work done.  We make a lot of mistakes because originally, we want to do our thing, our way.  When we are saved, we want to do God’s thing, our way.  As we listen to the Holy Spirit and mature in our walk with God, He brings us to the point that we want to do God’s thing, God’s way.  So, when we are sure of God’s purpose for us in life, but we keep failing in our attempts to accomplish that purpose, we need to stop, look and listen.  We don’t give up, we give in.  When we do this, God is able to use us to accomplish His work His way.  Then, we will be successful in His eyes whether the world recognizes it or not.

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

Post 01-16-2019

“What Do We See?”

41 “If you were blind, you wouldn’t be guilty,” Jesus replied. “But you remain guilty because you claim you can see.” — John 9:41 NLT

John 9:35-41 NLT

Jesus had just healed this blind man by making mud with dirt and His own spit. Can you imagine anyone in today’s society allowing Jesus to put that compress on their eyes?  Can you imagine how many lawsuits Jesus would have been faced with because of His actions?  How many shots and vaccines would this man have been advised to take because the spit of Jesus had touched his skin? Even back then, Jesus and the once-blind man had to suffer rejection and persecution because Jesus did this good deed on the Sabbath.  It is not recorded that even one person besides the blind man himself, was excited and happy for him.  When called by the Pharisees, even his parents refused to stand up for him because they feared rejection themselves.  Isn’t still that way today?  When we see good things happen to people, don’t we question and doubt?  Don’t we try to tear down rather than build up?  Don’t we look for hidden reasons that this happened?  After all, it is just smoke and mirrors, right?  As long as we think we can see, we will not ask for sight.  As long as we trust our own intelligence, we will not ask for God’s wisdom.  We, like the Pharisees and religious leaders will remain blind and ignorant because we claim we can see and understand when we cannot even imagine what God has in store for us.  Not just in the sweet by and by in heaven, but right here and right now.  We must ask God to open our eyes to see and our hearts and minds to believe so that we can access all the power and wisdom that He wants to give us.

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

Post 01-15-2019

Praise and Rejoice !

19 singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts.— Ephesians 5:19 NLT

 Ephesians 5:15-20 NLT

If we take any time to read the testimonies of our brothers and sisters who are persecuted by being imprisoned, our hearts will break at the stories of their cruel treatment.  Sleeping in hot containers in the blazing sun or on cold ground in winter time.  Being allowed only one set of clothing with no laundering facilities for months. Being fed one meal a day (on good days) and that being nothing but gruel.  Being given the worst of the chores, such as shoveling out the latrine pools and carrying the waste away in buckets.  Being beaten for witnessing to the other prisoners.  When these brothers and sisters are interviewed (if they survive), they each have amazing stories of how God was gracious to them, providing supernatural spiritual, mental and physical strength.  But there is one common theme that runs through their stories.  When asked the question; “How do you survive such cruel treatment for such a long length of time?”   They tell stories of singing the spiritual songs they have learned while serving Jesus.  Some are old hymns, some are psalms and other Bible verses set to music, some are words that God has given them for just such a time.  Helen Berthane tells her story of imprisonment in the containers in Eritrea in her book,  “The Song of the Nightingale”.  In her book, she tells of many songs that Jesus gave to her.  In our own lives, though we certainly have never tasted such cruel punishment for our Christian beliefs, such songs can get us through the hardest times.  Take the time to commit some Spiritual songs to memory and the next time, satan shoots his fiery arrows at you, repel them with your favorite songs and verses.  He will flee.

Acts 16:25-30 NLT

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

Post 01-14-2019

Real Not Ritual

8 So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. — Matthew 6:8 NASB

Matthew 6:5-14 NLT

Jesus starts this discussion by telling us how we should not pray.  We are not to pray just to be seen and heard by others.  If that is our motivation then the only reward we will get is the praise of those who see and hear us. Whether our prayers are realistic or ritualistic is not determined by where we pray or the words that we say.  It isn’t the length of the prayer but the strength of the faith behind the prayer.   One of the most real and shortest prayers is the cry of Peter when he was sinking in the sea of Galilee.  His cry was “Save me, Lord”.  Jesus immediately reached out His hand and brought Peter to safety. After He tells us how not to pray, He tells how we should pray.  It is a short, powerful, beautiful prayer that covers everything from God’s holiness to our dependence on God for our daily bread.  It covers forgiveness and God’s desire that His will would be done on earth even as it is in heaven.  It shows us that we need the leadership of the Holy Spirit so that we will not be led into temptation but that we will be delivered from evil.  We could pray this prayer continually and whether it becomes ritualistic instead of real would be determined by our attitude.  God has given many examples of prayer in the Psalms where David cries out with all of his heart and might.  He has also given us prayers of thanksgiving for His many blessings and benefits. When we reach the point that we have no words to express our desires, He has given us the Holy Spirit to pray through us, with us and for us.  

Romans 8:26, 27 NLT

It isn’t our words or our bodily position that determines whether our prayers are real or rituals, it is the attitude of the heart toward God and toward our fellow man that makes the difference.  It is our faith that God can and will do these things for us and that we are willing to do these things for those around us.

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

Post 01-13-2019