More of Jesus, Less of Me

30 He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less. — John 3:30 NLT


John 3:27-36 NLT


John’s disciples came to tell him about Jesus baptizing people and how everyone was going to Jesus and not coming to John.  John explains to his disciples that this is how things should be.  Using the wedding analogy, John explains to them how he is the friend of the bridegroom and Jesus is really the bridegroom. John also tells them that he is filled with joy at the success that Jesus is having in baptizing the people.  John knows that Jesus must become greater and greater and that he, John, must become of lesser importance.  All of us should pray that we see and understand God’s plan for us as clearly as John saw and understood God’s purpose for his life.  John knew the importance of being where and doing exactly what God had planned for him. John had no desire to be anything less or anything more than what God had planned for him.  How many ministries, large and small, have failed because their leaders decided they had become so important they no longer needed to be obedient to God’s plan?  How many of us have failed because we reached the point that we thought we had a better plan than God or we thought we were no longer required to do things God’s way?  How many of us have fallen because we thought we were above giving into temptations?  Let us pray that God will keep us humble and that we do not succumb to the temptation to be God in our little corner of the world.  Those of us who are thinking “that could never happen to me” are in the most danger.  Pride is the main ingredient in the recipe for failure

.1 Thess. 5:20-25 NLT

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

Post 01-04-2018

“Follow the Lord Completely”

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In this way, Solomon did what was evil in the Lord’s sight; he refused to follow the Lord completely, as his father, David, had done. — 1 Kings 11:6 NLT
Just in case, we should think that we are capable of handling great wealth easily, look at what happened to Solomon in his old age.  The wisest man in the world turned from the God who had blessed him abundantly with worldly goods, wisdom, power and fame.  If he couldn’t handle it, then we need to be very careful in our walk in this world.  Sure, Solomon still had plenty of money, after all, what was there to buy or to do with all that cash?  Even with all of his wisdom, he was still, somehow, not fulfilled. We can’t imagine his abundance but with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we can see that his failure was due to the desires of the flesh. Notice that in verse 4, it reads “they turned his heart to worship other gods”. Solomon came to the point that pleasing his wives was more important to him than being obedient to the God of Israel.  In all of his wisdom, Solomon forgot that God had said that the king must not take many wives or buy many horses. And the king must not accumulate large amounts of wealth for himself. But, the king must copy the scriptures and study them daily.
We have to wonder if Solomon had kept up the practice of reading God’s Word daily. It is only when we keep the Word of God first in our lives that we can overcome the desires of the flesh.  His Word must be our light, our guide and our advisor. Without His Word as a constant reminder of who He is and who we are, the flesh will dominate and we will end up in the same situation in which Solomon found himself in his old age. Daily, diligent meditation on His Word is our only hope for deliverance from evil.
“​The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 12-28-2018

We Plant – He Gives The Increase

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During the forty days after he suffered and died, he appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. And he talked to them about the Kingdom of God. Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” — Acts 1:3-5 NLT

Jesus spent forty days on earth after His resurrection.  He would often appear to the apostles and talk with them, giving them further instructions about what they should do and how they should do it.  The most important instruction was not to leave Jerusalem until they had been baptized with the Holy Spirit.  That instruction is still just as important to God’s children today.  When God calls us to do something specific for the Kingdom, we should immerse ourselves in prayer and wait for the moving of the Holy Spirit before we attempt anything.  The reason for this is that we are merely mouths, hands and feet for God, He will accomplish the work to be done.  What God speaks to us, we speak to others.  We take the message wherever He instructs us to take it and we minister to those who He puts in our path.  That is how the message gets to the ends of the world.  We are carriers, He is the activator.  The results are not in our hands, they are in His hands.  We are to be concerned about being obedient and God will take care of the results.

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

Post 11-23-2018

“Who, Me?”

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12 The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, “Mighty hero, the Lord is with you!” – Judges 6:12

Judges 6:12-16 NLT

We serve a mighty God who is always surprising us by doing things a different way and with the most unlikely  people.  Most of those people say no when they first hear of God’s plan to use them. They have a few things they need help to overcome before they will actually accomplish what God has called them to do. Moses couldn’t talk, Jeremiah was too young and the list goes on and on.  And then of course, there is Jonah who just didn’t want to go to Nineveh because God was too merciful and would end up forgiving the Ninevites. When the Holy Spirit nudges us to do something for the Lord, what is our response?  Are we the not me, Lord, you got the wrong person type? Remember God formed us and He knows exactly what we are capable of, it isn’t so much that He needs us, it is more that He loves us and wants to have an opportunity to bless us.  He can only do that, if we are obedient to His requests.

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

Post 06-02-2018

Learning Obedience Through Suffering

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Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered. ​- Hebrews 5:8 NLT
Jesus suffered many things in His walk here on earth. He was exposed to every temptation that we are exposed to but never sinned.  Again, we sometimes forget that Jesus was completely human when he suffered these temptations.  We need to be very careful in assuming that Jesus did not sin because He was all God as well as all man.  He suffered as a human. His sufferings taught Him obedience because he was totally submitted to the will of His Father. We might say that Jesus knew He was going to be tempted and suffer here on earth, so He had an advantage. But if we read, study and really believe the Scriptures, we also know that we are going to suffer. The difference is that we often give into the desires of the flesh rather than trust our Father to deliver us. Suffering is not to let God know what our response will be, He already knows.  It is so that we will know where we are in our walk with God. Our sufferings are not to be avoided, they are to be embraced. Testing and temptations are stepping stones to maturity and to help us become more intimate with Jesus.

 

2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. – James 1:2-4 NIV

17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. 18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.— Romans 8:17, 18 NIV

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

 

Post 05-08-2018

“Render Unto Caesar…”

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17 Respect everyone, and love the family of believers. Fear God, and respect the king.– 1 Peter 2:17 NLT
We should obey the laws of the land unless they contradict the Scriptures. We do this so that people who are watching will not have a reason to criticize the body of Christ. We are free to live as we choose, but that does not give us a license to go around violating the laws of the land. Violation of the law is a sin in God’s eyes. Our lives should reflect the example that Jesus showed us while He was here on earth. As hard as the religious leaders looked, they could not find one legitimate reason to arrest and/or imprison our Savior much less put Him to death on the cross.  They had to resort to hiring people to lie against him on the witness stand. We may or may not agree with the official holding the office, but we are still to respect the office and give due honor to it. Paul shows us this example in the book of Acts:

4 Those who were standing near Paul said, “How dare you insult God’s high priest!”  5 Paul replied, “Brothers, I did not realize that he was the high priest; for it is written: ‘Do not speak evil about the ruler of your people.’ — Acts 23:4,5 NIV

We must constantly battle the flesh to show love and respect for those with whom we disagree. But we must never use the freedom we have in Christ Jesus to do anything that would cast the slightest shadow on His Name. Fearing God requires us to show others respect and love.

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

Post 04-18-2018

“Search My Heart, O Lord”

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21 You cannot drink from the cup of the Lord and from the cup of demons, too. You cannot eat at the Lord’s Table and at the table of demons, too. – 1 Cor. 10:21 NLT
 
When we take the Communion, we are all symbolically partaking of the same body and the same blood. This has been true ever since Jesus set the example with the disciples in the Upper Room. No matter what time it is in eternity, we are all bound together by that one body and one blood and it will be culminated in heaven when we all partake of the Communion at the great banquet table. So, we should never defile that practice by partaking of anything that has been sacrificed to idols or to demons of any sort. We cannot serve two masters and our God is a jealous God. We do not want to provoke Him.
13 But you shall destroy their altars, break their sacred pillars, and cut down their wooden images 14 (for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God), —Exodus 34:13, 14 NKJV
While we may not bow to wooden or golden images, we can still have things that we treasure more dearly than our relationship with God. These things or people are just as much an idol as any graven image. Each of us needs to ask the Holy Spirit to show us the things in our lives that grieve Him. Those things are our idols.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; 24 And see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlastingPsalm 139:23, 24 NKJV

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

Post 02-24-2018