No Plan B

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22 For I was ashamed to ask the king for soldiers and horsemen to accompany us and protect us from enemies along the way. – Ezra 8:22A NLT
 
Ezra was a priest and a scribe who was in captivity in Babylon during the reign of King Artaxerxes of Persia.  Ezra had fasted and prayed and God had given Ezra great favor with the king.  So, when Ezra determined to go to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple the king not only allowed Ezra to go but gave him permission to take any Jews that would volunteer to go with him. The king also gave him great treasures totaling over 110 million in today’s market to take with him to help in rebuilding the temple. (Ezra 9:26-27)  Ezra had gathered the people by the Ahava Canal and they fasted and prayed for God to give them a safe journey to Jerusalem.  Ezra was ashamed to ask the king for soldiers to protect them because he had told the king “Our God’s hand of protection is on all who worship him”.  How many times do we ask God for something and He answers but then we decide we need a plan B just in case?  We should be like Ezra, we should be ashamed to ask the world to give us what our God has already promised to us He is the author and the finisher of our faith, He has begun a good work in us and He will complete it.  When God gives us a mission, we need to fast and pray and then take the first step. Trust Him, He will provide.

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

Post 05-31-2018

“Always Yes”

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20 For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory. – 2 Cor. 1:19-22 NLT
 
There are testimonies upon testimonies of God’s faithfulness, not just in the Bible, but in the lives of Christians since the first century until today.  I am constantly amazed when reading the personal testimonies of our brothers and sisters who are persecuted, imprisoned and questioned by the authorities on a daily basis.  They tell story after story of how God strengthens them and comes to their rescue.  We have all of these testimonies plus the stories of modern day miracles with which God still so richly blesses us.  Then, of course, each of us have our own stories of how God saved us from eternal punishment and condemnation, the miracle of resurrection power. We can look back over our own lives and see how the hand of God has delivered us from bad situations and even saved us from physical death. If we don’t see any, perhaps, we are looking for what we consider to be “big” things.  Every good thing that happens to us is a fulfillment of the promises of God. The fact that we are alive today is a gift from God.

16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. — James 1:16-17 NIV

He has promised that He will never leave us nor forsake us and He has kept that promise. Because He put His Spirit in our hearts, we can never go anywhere without Him. We are constantly surrounded by angels who watch over us and protect us.

16 “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17 And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. — 2 Kings 6:16, 17 NIV

We thank you, Lord, for your faithfulness and your mercies which are new every morning!

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

Post 05-30-2018

Praying for Our Persecuted Christian Brothers and Sisters

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11 And you are helping us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks because God has graciously answered so many prayers for our safety. – 2 Cor.1:11 NLT
 
When we read these verses, we need to consider our brothers and sisters who live in places where persecution and imprisonment are still common practice today.  They need our prayers and our encouragement on a daily basis.  There are numerous testimonies from these Christians about being able to endure their harsh treatment because they received cards and/or knew that other Christians were praying for them daily.  They, as Paul, have learned to rely on God to deliver them from deadly perils.  Until recently we, in the free world, have not been subject to such unfair and brutal treatment.  That time has passed and we are being tested here in America, as well as other so called free countries. Christians are being ridiculed, beaten to death and imprisoned for refusing to deny their faith and their beliefs.  We need to pray and encourage each other daily.  Our hope is still in Jesus Christ.  He is our Redeemer, our Savior and our Lord. There is no other God that is capable of loving their followers and delivering them from every situation. We need to understand that some times that deliverance includes physical death. But we need to count it all joy and say along with Paul:

20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. — Phil. 1:20, 21 NIV

 

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

Post 05-29-2018

“Reach Out and Touch Someone”

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He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 
– 2 Cor. 1:4 NLT
 
Everything that we have belongs to God. Whatever He has given to us is to be shared with those around us. The things with which God has blessed us should be held very loosely in our hands. They are to be used to bless others and further the work of the Kingdom here on earth. The early church understood and practiced this principle of giving and receiving. There are many verses that teach us to give to the poor, widows and orphans.  We must open ourselves up to be channels of blessings. This is also true in Spiritual things as well as natural.  In the Spiritual area, we don’t do quite as well in giving or receiving.  God has given us the Comforter to comfort us in all situations and we need to learn to share that message with a hurting world.  But, we also need to learn to accept that comfort when it is offered to us. Every one of us needs help in some area of our lives whether we want to admit it or not.  As long as we deny it, the pain and the chaos will not go away. None of us can fix ourselves, even though, satan would love for us to believe that we can. Reach out and touch someone was a Biblical principle long before it was a commercial.

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

Post 05-28-2018

“Taste And See”

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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

Doing Good Pays Huge Dividends

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16 And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God. – Hebrews 13:16 NLT
 
We are foreigners and aliens here on earth this is not our home. We are citizens of heaven. God has chosen to leave us here for a while to be ambassadors for Christ.
20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. — 2 Cor. 5:2​0 NIV

An ambassador is a person who has been sent from his home country to a foreign country as an official representative. God has chosen each of us, individually and specifically, to represent Him while we are here. A really good ambassador always speaks highly of his home country and its leader(s). In other words, he heaps praise upon them.  He does everything in his power to try to get visitors to come to his country.  That is our job. We want to get people to do more than visit our country (Heaven), we want them to stay for eternity. We do that by praising God continuously and telling others about the amazing love and grace of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.  We show them what a wonderful thing it is to accept Christ by our praise, prayers and our walk.  Jesus went about doing good and that is our example. We need to share with others and that takes time and effort.  God is extremely pleased when we sacrifice our time and resources to honor Him.  Investing our time and resources into harvesting a soul for Jesus is a high profit endeavor. The blessings will start here and the rewards will continue into eternity. There is no other investment that will pay those kind of high dividends for eternity. Practice being a good ambassador for Christ. The rewards are out of this world!

12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.– Rev. 22:12 KJV

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

Post 05-26-2018

“Love The Lord Thy God…..”

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9 Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by eating ceremonial foods, which is of no benefit to those who do so. 10 We have an altar from which those who minister at the tabernacle have no right to eat. — Hebrews 13:9, 10 NIV

Ever since lucifer revolted and was thrown out of heaven, there have been those who disagree with God.  This will continue to be true until Jesus returns to establish His Kingdom here on earth.  They teach all kinds of differing philosophies in an effort to deceive people.  Some are openly opposed to the Bible and easily discerned. There are those that are very subtle in the way they teach their beliefs and the misconceptions are hard to discern.  Everyone needs to believe in something and therefore everyone establishes someone or something as their “god”.  There are those who will never consciously admit that they have an allegiance to some false deity because they do not want to be accountable to anyone or anything.  They choose to think that they are “in control” of their lives. No matter what we hear, it is our responsibility to pray for a discerning Spirit so that we will not be misled. It is up to each of us to decide who our god or gods are going to be.  Do not be deceived there is only one true and living God.  

7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction;whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. — Gal. 6:7, 8 NIV

29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ — Mark 12:29, 30 NIV

He created us and loves us so much that He sent His Son to die on a cross for us. Our Savior, Jesus Christ, is now at the right hand of God interceding for us. He is the one God has chosen as worthy to be Lord. He and He alone is worthy of our allegiance, our praise and our worship.

11 “You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,  and by your will they were created and have their being.” 
— Rev. 4:11

 

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

 

Post 05-25-2018