“Warning: Return To Me”

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10 They tell the seers,  “Stop seeing visions!”
They tell the prophets,   “Don’t tell us what is right.
Tell us nice things.  Tell us lies. — Isaiah 30:10 NLT
 
 

For too many years, our country has been headed down a path that is leading us further and further from God. Over and over, we have seen and ignored the warning signs. God is calling this nation to repentance.  The Bible shows us over and over that God keeps all of his promises, promises for good and His promises to discipline.  God has blessed this country for centuries because we were His “light on a hill”, a beacon and an example for other nations to follow.  But those times have come to an end. We are now a country in chaos because we have chosen to stray from the path of righteousness and follow after other gods.  Gods of greed, violence, hate all because of our pride.  Our unwillingness to admit when we are wrong and listen to reason.  God is calling us saying “Come, let us reason together” and we are refusing to listen. He said the same thing to Israel and they refused to listen and they paid a huge price for their disobedience.  If we continue to walk the path of disobedience, we too will pay a huge price.  Only God can “Make America Great Again”.  He is calling us to return to Him and be saved. Only in returning to Him and resting in Him will we be saved. Let us return to Him or we, like Israel, will be disciplined severely for our prideful disobedience.

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

Post 06-30-2018

Establish A Daily Spiritual Regimen

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And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. – Col. 2:6 NLT
The words that Paul wrote to encourage the Church at Colossae are just as true today as then.  Receiving Christ as our Savior is the first step in our journey to heaven. The next steps are allowing Him to be Lord of our lives as well. When we were saved, we received the Holy Spirit as an earnest of the fulfillment of the promises God has made to His children. He lives in us, therefore we live in Him. We need to become rooted in His word so that our lifestyles will reflect His examples and give Him glory.  We need to study His word and meditate on it daily. We need to spending time talking WITH Him, not just to Him. After we have thanked Him, given Him praise and laid our petitions before Him, we need to sit quietly in His presence and see what He has to say to us. There is always a word from the Lord, if we listen for it. We need this time in His presence early in the day to prepare ourselves for the spiritual battlefield.  Jesus gave up His place in glory and lived as all man to set the example for us. He set the example of spending time alone with the Father so that He would be strengthened for the battle. He lived a perfect life and has been restored to all His glory and made ruler over all things.  We can’t be perfect but we can have a full and true life if we follow His example on a daily basis.

41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. — Luke 22:41-43 NIV

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

Post 06-29-2018

“Be Strong and Very Courageous”

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This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9 NLT
 


For years, Joshua had been the faithful assistant of Moses as they led the Jewish nation through the desert.  Now, that Moses was gone, the role of leadership was passed to Joshua. This would have been a very trying time for Joshua or anyone who had just lost their leader and their mentor.  But God had a plan for comforting and encouraging Joshua. The Lord spoke to Joshua.  Now, instead of getting his directions from Moses, Joshua got them straight from the Lord. “Be strong and courageous”, “meditate on the Book of the Law day and night”, “be careful to do everything written in it” and “the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go”.  God has a plan for each of us, as well. When we are down in the valley after a great loss or for any reason, He speaks to each of us if we are willing to listen. He has the same message for us that He had for Joshua, “Be strong and very courageous”, meditate on the Holy Scriptures day and night. Be careful to follow the instructions given. Listen to and follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Because God has given us the Holy Spirit to abide within us, He is always with us wherever we go.  Jesus has been where we are now and He is already where we are going, so, let us lift up our heads and our hands and rejoice. Because of the death and resurrection of Jesus, we are assured of reaching our destination. No thing or no one can separate us from the love of God or from His protection. We can depend on God, He has never failed on any of His promises.  “Be strong and very courageous”.

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

Post 06-28-2018

Strong Ties of Love

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 I want them to be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love. – Col. 2:2a NLT
 
Paul continually intercedes with God for the churches that he has planted and for those churches that his coworkers have planted. He realizes that when there are only a few believers present, it is easy for them to become discouraged and start to drop out.  He wants them to be encouraged and united in love. All Christians, particularly new Christians need to be encouraged and taught the riches of the Gospel.  We do new converts a disservice when we fail to mentor them in their walk with Christ. The world, satan and his gang are going to immediately start a concentrated effort to make the new converts doubt that there has been a change in their lives.  We must strive to get them rooted and established in the depth of the riches of the word of God. If we or they are not consistent in our study and our walk with God, it is easy for satan to separate us and make our lives to be miserable and ineffective for God. We must understand and teach others that regardless of our own feelings and the exterior circumstances, there is great wisdom and greater joy in serving Jesus and living a lifestyle that follows His example. Just a glimpse of the vast expanse and depth of His love and power should be sufficient reason for us to carry on.
 

16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. — Ephesians 3:16-19 NIV

 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 06-27-2018

Sin is Sin is Sin!

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16 There are six things the Lord hates—
    no, seven things he detests: – Proverbs 6:16 NLT

Somewhere at sometime, satan deceived someone into thinking and/or believing that God has a prioritized list of sins ranging from “little” to “big”.  That lie has been propagated throughout the generations, much to satan’s delight. A short study of Scripture will quickly prove that untrue.The above verses in Proverbs and this one from The Revelation are good examples.
 

8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” — Rev. 21:8

God doesn’t see lies as black and white, to Him, lies are lies, period.  While the external effects of some sins are greater than others, the internal effect to each of us committing those sins is the same.  Sin, any sin, separates us from the love of God.

2 ​But your iniquities have separated

you from your God;
your sins have hidden his face from you,
so that he will not hear.
 — Isaiah 59:2
 

As long as there is unconfessed sin in our lives, we limit what God can do for us and through us.  Just as the rebellion of the children of Israel limited God in the wilderness, we do the same thing. If we continue to live a lifestyle of rebellion and unconfessed sin, God has no choice but to withdraw His blessings and protective covering over our lives. The children of Israel were defeated in battles when they were disobedient to God.  We live defeated lives, when we refuse to obey and confess our sins.

 
40 How often they provoked Him in the wilderness,
And grieved Him in the desert!
41 Yes, again and again they tempted God,
And limited the Holy One of Israel. — Psalm 78:40, 41
God knows every minute part of us and every thought that we have, we cannot hide it from Him. When we have sinned, instead of running from Him, we need to run to Him, He is waiting with outstretched arms.
 
16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. — Hebrews 4:16

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

Post 06-26-2018

Rejoice! Pray! Praise! Repeat!

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11 Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.12 Greet one another with a holy kiss. 13 All God’s people here send their greetings. 14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. — 2 Cor. 13:11-14 NIV

Rejoice!  Isn’t it amazing that after all Paul has gone through and was still going through at this time, that he could say rejoice?  Through all the persecutions, beatings, attempts on his life and bearing the burden of wayward people in the churches he had established, Paul was still rejoicing and encouraging others to continue in faithfulness. One of our highest priorities as Christians should be to pray for and encourage others. Compared to what Paul went through and what our brothers and sisters in other countries are going through today, anything we have to suffer through is certainly “a light affliction”. Yet, some of us are so focused on our own problems that we walk around like Eeyore in Winnie the Pooh thinking “Woe is me.”.  All of us need more encouragement and more reminding of who we are in Christ Jesus. We need to “zoom out” on our lives and look at the whole panorama that God has given us. The more time we spend focused on Jesus and others, the less time we will have to focus on our own issues. When we take time to fellowship with the Holy Spirit, we find that our spirits are lifted and we can truly rejoice.

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.– Phil. 4:4-7

 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 06-25-2018

Only His Power Is Perfect

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Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves.

 – 2 Cor.13:5a NLT​
 


Each of us needs to make it a habit to go back over our actions of today to see if we have added any new sins. This is not for condemnation, it is for confession and forgiveness. Every day, we are tempted and tested.  Since we are humans with fleshly desires, it is impossible for us to make it through a day without an impure or unkind thought of some kind.  satan makes sure that we have plenty of opportunities. Since we have Christ Jesus dwelling in us, it is not possible for us to fail the test, but we will miss a few answers on the test. Those missed answers remind us that we are not and never will be perfect.  But God has already taken care of those wrong answers by covering them with the blood of Jesus.  When we see and confess the errors, they are immediately redacted from our record.  God doesn’t keep score, the sins are all wiped away. All He sees is the righteousness of Jesus Christ. We are weak and helpless but God is waiting to strengthen and restore us. Whatever happens, the end result is to glorify God. His grace is sufficient, His power is perfect.

 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. — 2 Cor. 12:9, 10

As long as we remain in these tents of flesh, we will fail some of the time. But because all things are possible through and in Christ, we are not failures. We are conquerors and overcomers because His blood and His power perfect and protect us.

But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.— Romans 8:37

 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 06-24-2018