“Moments to Remember”

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You greatly rejoice in this, even though you have to suffer various kinds of trials for a little while, – 1 Peter 1:6 ISV​
As God brings us through each trial that He allows in our life, we should bookmark that time in our lives.  Each time we find ourselves facing another trial or temptation, we need to rehearse each of those bookmarks one by one, remembering and thanking God for HIs deliverance.  As we rehearse these times in our lives, we will come to the same conclusion that Peter did here in these verses.  God’s faithfulness to deliver on each promise He has made to us is worth more than gold.  Money cannot buy the peace that God gives us freely. In those times when no earthly words can comfort us and no human can help us, God is there in all His glory delivering those who depend solely and fully on Him. This deliverance from earthly trials and temptations causes us to love Him whom we have not seen, believe in Him completely and fills us with “inexpressible and glorious joy”.  It also reassures us that we will receive the end result of our faith, the complete and eternal salvation of our souls. That should cause hallelujahs to ring in our hearts and be shouted to the highest heavens.

 

11 the voice of the singers at the watering places.
They recite the victories of the Lord,
the victories of his villagers in Israel.
 — Judges 5:11 NIV

27 And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them — Acts 14:27a – KJV

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

Post 08-18-2018

Recall – Rest – Rejoice – Repeat

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3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. —– 1 Peter 1:3-5​ NIV
 
We should spend as much time as possible each day praying and praising God for all that He has done and is doing for us. We should make every effort to start and end our day with a conversation with God.  That prayer will lead us to praise and we will find that our days go so much better.  We, of all people, should be filled with praise and joy all day long.  We are the only ones with a hope of eternal life with a living Savior and Lord.  We have received this hope as a gift from God that was purchased with the death and resurrection of His Son.  Through the blood of Christ, we have become sons and daughters of God and we have an eternal inheritance that “can never perish, spoil or fade”. No religion on this earth can make such an offer, a gift that is available to everyone but only received by those who accept Jesus Christ as their Savior.  Through faith in Jesus Christ, we are kept and shielded by God’s power.  That resurrection power will keep us until our “the coming of the salvation ready to be revealed in the last time”.  Until that comes for each of us, we should practice the three Rs of Christianity:

 

Recall all the good things that God has done and is doing for us.
Rest in His everlasting arms that will never fail to catch us.
Rejoice because you are filled with the Holy Spirit and have eternal life.

 

If this doesn’t fill our hearts with joy and our mouths with praise, perhaps we need to re-examine our relationship with Jesus.

 
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 08-17-2018

Purpose, Plan, Complete

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You, too, must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, because the coming of the Lord is near. – James 5:8 ISV
 
God has a plan and He reveals as much of that plan to us as we need to know to do His will. As Paul pointed out to us:

 

26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. — Colossians 1:26, 27 NIV

For whatever reason, He has chosen to keep the timing of His return a secret from us at this time.  We could get into huge discussions about this, but it would be an ultimate waste of the time God has granted us to be here on this earth.  We need to spend the precious days that we have doing the good works that God has prepared for us to do.  We need to do that without accusing, grumbling or judging others.  We need to spend our time in praise, prayer, worship and leading others to Jesus.  This is the kind of work that will endure the fire when it is tested.  This is the kind of work that will earn us crowns in glory.  The more crowns we earn, the more we will have to cast at the feet of Jesus in honoring Him when we get to heaven.  Our concern is to be sure that we persevere and complete the work that God has planned for each of us. He will be the judge of all that is said and done.

36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For,  “In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.”  — Hebrews 10:36, 37 NIV

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

Purposed, Planned, Prepared

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15 Instead you should say, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live—and do this or that.” – James 4:15 ISV
 
We can look at nature and realize that God is very organized. He established the seasons and the natural order of dormancy in the winter, birthing of the new in the spring with the winds in March that help to be sure every plant is pollinated, the showers in April to prepare the soil for the flowers of May.  Then the summer for growth and the fall for maturity and harvesting.  That plan remains the same year after year since plants can’t make their own plans.  We need to have a plan for our lives but it needs to be flexible enough and held loosely enough to allow God to change us and our plans to fit His plan for our lives.  As Proverbs tells us, we make our plans, but God directs our steps and makes them sure.  Each of us is only one little piece of the whole jigsaw puzzle.  Since we don’t have the box

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top, we can’t see the finished picture. So, we need to be sure that our plans fit into God’s big plan just as each piece of the puzzle must fit to complete the picture.


10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. — Eph. 2:10 NIV
 

So, if we know which good works God has prepared us to do, we need to do them with all our hearts, minds, and strength.  Because of all He has done for us, we should consider anything less as unacceptable.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 08-15-2018

Walk It Out Before You Speak It Out

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11 Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor? — James 4:11, 12 NIV

If there is an area in the life of a Christian where we sin daily, and shall I dare say it, deliberately, it is in our thoughts and our words.  It is hard to look at someone and not immediately form some sort of opinion of that person before we even get to know them.  We are told over and over how important first impressions are in this world.  As Christians, we need to pray for discernment and patience before forming opinions of others.  We need to predetermine that we are going to love the people we meet every day. When we love someone, we usually give them the advantage of any doubts we have about their goodness.  We need to assume that they are good and show them the same respect we want them to show to us. We should look at every person, regardless of their station or situation, with the assumption that they are innocent until proven guilty. We should assume everyone is worthy of our love and affection until they prove by their words and actions that they are not.  We need to pray that we will see others with the eyes of Jesus, hear their words with the ears of Jesus and above all, filter every thought through the love of Jesus. 

 

3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.  5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: — Phil. 2:3, 4 NIV

What a wonderful world it could be, if each of us, each day, strived to have the same attitude toward others that Jesus has for us.

 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 08-14-2018

Total Submission

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Therefore, submit yourselves to God.  – James 4:7a ISV​

The Old Testament law was given to show man that he could not live up to the perfection required for redemption.  Man could not and cannot do anything to save himself.  Those living in that time who thought they were doing a good enough job to satisfy God’s requirements for redemption were caught up in prideful thinking. They became so full of pride that they actually added laws to the ones God had already given.  We can only assume that they thought they were improving the situation, when, in fact, they were putting burdens on the people.  So, God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, who was full of grace and mercy.
 

14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. — John 1:14 NIV

We are saved by grace through faith and Jesus wants to continue to give us grace upon grace.


16 For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. — John 1:16 NASB

It is this continued gift of grace that allows us to overcome the flesh and submit ourselves to God. Without it, we would be like the religious leaders of ancient times and become so full of pride that we would be useless in spreading the word of God. There is nothing in this world that is worthy of praise when it is compared to the joy and the hope that we have through Jesus Christ.


30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” — 1 Cor. 1:30, 31 NIV

If anything or anyone in this world brings us greater joy, pleasure and happiness than knowing Jesus, then we are double-minded.  We should mourn and wail while asking God to forgive us and bring our focus back on Him and Him alone.

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

Friend or Foe?

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So whoever wants to be a friend of this world is an enemy of God. – James 4:4b ISV

When we accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior, we were instantly given the gift of the Holy Spirit.  When we received that Spirit, we become a part of the bride of Chirst and He has so much more that He wants to share with us. God placed Him in our hearts to lead us and to guide us into all truth.  The Trinity longs for the time when we will allow the Holy Spirit to do just that.  They are jealous of the time we spend focused on worldly things.  Just as new lovers and newlyweds want to spend all of their time together, so does God want to spend His time with us.  Just as Jesus warned us that we have committed adultery with a woman/man when we allow immoral thoughts to remain in our minds, we commit adultery with the world when we spend time on worldly things.  To the extent that those things become more important, take up more of our time and cause us to make comments that hurt other people, we have become friends with the world and enemies of God.  We are incapable of serivng two masters.

24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. — Matt. 6:24 NIV

We could replace the word money in this verse with other words, such as  drugs, grandkids, popularity, power, sports, vocations, possessions or you can fill in the blank and the verse would still be just as true.  Anything that we put above being obedient to God in any and every respect becomes our idol and we become enemies of God.  When we face a choice in what to do or say and we feel that little nudge from the Holy Spirit, we must learn to stop and think.  Do I really want to hurt my spouse, my Jesus who died for me?  If not, then we need to temper our words and/or actions or completely change them so that they honor and glorify God. We need to remember David’s request:14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer. — Psalm 19:14 NKJV

 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 08-12-2018