Does Our Walk Match Our Talk?

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For this reason, the Scriptures say, when the Messiah was about to come into the world:  “You did not want sacrifices and offerings, but you prepared a body for me.  6  In burnt offerings and sin offering you never took delight. – Hebrews 10:5-6 ISV

When Christ came into the world, He came with the full knowledge of what His mission was.  He was to give His body as a once-for-all times sacrifice.  No longer would God be pleased or accept burnt offerings or offerings of any other kind to take away sins.  All the old rituals are now worthless.  Remission of sin that required the shedding of blood was completely satisfied when Jesus gave up His blood and His life for us on the cross.  Belief in His free gift to us is the only way to salvation.  Once we have accepted Jesus and experienced the liberty in Him, there is no longer any requirement for anything to physically die to achieve salvation.  But we do need to offer our bodies as “a living sacrifice” to Jesus. This is the only sacrifice that is acceptable to God.  To do that, means we have to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.  This is a process that we go through on a daily basis.  Just as Jesus gave His life for us on a cross, we also must take up a cross and follow Him.  Our sacrifice is not to take away our sins, but it is to give God the glory for all that He has done for us.  Our focus is now changed from the physical to the Spiritual, from things temporal to things eternal. We must “bring every thought captive”.  This requires us to walk out the consequences of every word and action before we speak or act.  Will our words and actions create life or destroy life?

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

Poat 11-04-2018

Dying is Better

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10 Then the leading priests decided to kill Lazarus, too,
– John 12:10 NLT
Sin always takes us further than we want to go. The leaders had planned to kill Jesus and now they would have to kill Lazarus as well. How many others would have to die before the movement was stopped? We don’t know because Christians are still being killed today for their faithfulness to Jesus. The persecuted church of today will tell you that it is much harder to live for Jesus than it is to die for Him. Would we suffer and die for Jesus? Jesus said that we must be willing to do that.
34 Then Jesus called the crowd to him, along with his followers. He said, “If people want to follow me, they must give up the things they want. They must be willing even to give up their lives to follow me. 35 Those who want to save their lives will give up true life. But those who give up their lives for me and for the Good News will have true life.–Mark 8:34-35 (NCV)
Have we made that commitment? Can we say along with Paul:
10 I want to know Christ and the power that raised him from the dead. I want to share in his sufferings and become like him in his death.11 Then I have hope that I myself will be raised from the dead.–Philippians 3:10, 11 (NCV)
The great thing is that for us, it is a win-win situation. Paul put it this way:
21 For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better.–Philippians 1: 21 (NLT)

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

Post 10-18-2017

No Neutral Ground

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13 But no one had the courage to speak favorably about him in public, for they were afraid of getting in trouble with the Jewish leaders. – John 7:13 NLT

Jesus did the things He did and He did them the way He did because of His complete obedience to God the Father. He could have chosen to do otherwise, but then He would not have been the sinless sacrifice.

19 So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does. ​-John 5:19​
When we are faced with non-believers and those who would ridicule and persecute us, what do we say about Jesus? Is Jesus just some “good man” or is He the Savior and Lord of our life? Is he just a historical figure or was He the Messiah? Is He our “strong tower” to run into for shelter or do we live “in the shadow of His wings”? God is not in a contest with other “gods”, He is the only God! In each of our lives, we must decide if He is “Lord of all” or not “Lord at all”. There is a war going on for the control of our minds and there are only two choices, there is no neutral ground.
31 So what should we say about this? If God is for us, no one can defeat us.–Romans 8:31 (NCV)


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

Post 09-13-2017

Love Requires Sacrifice

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Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin? — Romans 2:4 NLT

We live in a society that bombards us 24/7 with messages of self-indulgence and “me first” attitudes. We were born in sin and satan wants us to continue that sinful lifestyle. But from birth, there is a part of us that yearns for something that the world can’t satisfy. No matter, how far we go down that path of sin, there is no satisfaction and no peace. God is patient with us giving us opportunity after opportunity to change our lifestyles and accept His forgiveness. He knows that is the only answer to the emptiness that we feel inside. He showed that kindness and love to us by giving His Son to die for our sins. Once we have accepted His free salvation, we begin our journey with Him. The trip requires changes as we travel along. If we continue to focus on our wants, we will never be able to walk the path God has chosen for us. The pain comes in giving up our wants and desires so that we can find true life. It is only when we realize that loving Jesus is worth all the pain that we will be filled with peace and joy even in the middle of chaos and violence. That is His plan for us.


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

Post 12-30-2016

We Are the Lord’s

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29 But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.  — Acts 5:29 NKJV
 
In Romans and other Scriptures we are taught to obey the laws of the land.  We are also taught to respect the officials and to pray for those who rule over us.  In today’s military, we are taught to obey all orders that are legal and moral. There are times when we, as Christians, have to make decisions about how far we can go in obeying others.  Peter and the apostles did not need time to think about or pray about their decision.  They had already decided that they should obey God rather than man.  With this in mind, we should have already made a predetermined decision that when laws conflict with the Holy Scriptures, we will obey God and His word.  From a temporary, worldly viewpoint, this can be a costly decision.  We have brothers and sisters who are being persecuted, imprisoned, beaten and murdered because they refuse to deny Jesus as their Savior and Lord.  There are youths of all ages that are beaten by their own parents and kicked out of their homes because they have converted to Christianity and refuse to turn back.  Let us pray for them on a daily basis.  The mantra of the persecuted Christians is “It is harder to live for Christ than it is to die for Him”‘   As our society grows more evil and violent, we must come to that same conclusion now before the pressure is really on.  From an eternal, spiritual viewpoint, it is an easy decision to decide for the Lord.
 

7 For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. 8 For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.   — Romans 14:7, 8 NKJV

Post 06-17-2016

 

A Love Song From Jesus

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23   But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me.  If you keep to my path,
    I will reveal to you the salvation of God.”   — Psalm 50-23 NLT
 
 

God tells us that giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors Him. We are also told to offer a continual sacrifice of praise to God, to do good and to share with those in need.

15 Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name. 16 And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.  — Hebrews 13:15, 16 NLT
We need to take time each day to praise God.  It not only pleases God, but it is uplifiting to our spirits as well.  Praise and thanksgiving feed the spirit and the soul.  After we have read His Word and prayed, we still need to just rest in His arms and give Him glory for all that He does for us each day.  Jesus loves to sing over us and He loves to hear us sing to Him.
17 For the Lord your God is living among you.  He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
    With his love, he will calm all your fears.
    He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”   — Zephaniah 3:17 NLT
A part of doing good to others is encouraging them and cheering them up.  Nothing can cheer us up like hearing a great song of praise.  Rest and let Jesus sing you a love song.
 Post 04-29-2016

Pray Together – Stay Together

even-smaller-bug-light11 Then Job replied to the Lord:  2  “I know that you can do anything,   and no one can stop you. — Job 42:1,2 NLT

Job 42:1-7

​We are all familiar with Job’s story and all the things he had suffered at the hands of satan.  ​God had allowed this to happen even though God considered Job a righteous man.  Remember that God pointed Job out to satan and asked him “have you considered my servant Job?”  Reading through the book of Job brings up a lot of questions.  It also shows us that sometimes good friends can give us some bad advice.  God wasn’t happy about the advice Job’s three friends had given him.  It is good to get advice from Godly people, but sometimes God wants to speak to us directly and wants us to lean on Him and Him alone.  There are mysteries that only He can solve and situations that only He understands.  There are lessons that only God can teach us.  God considered Job a righteous man but that doesn’t mean that Job didn’t sin.  After all, there has only been one perfect man to ever walk this earth.  Perhaps Job sinned in that he was always the one that offered sacrifices after the lengthy parties that his sons threw at their homes.  Job1:1-5   We are not told whether or not he taught this practice to his kids, only that he always did it for them.  Which begs the question. are we actively teaching our kids how to walk with integrity before God?  Are we praying with them or just praying for them?  When situations arise, are we doing all the praying and sacrificing or are we teaching them that the whole family prays, ask for God’s forgiveness and sacrifices together?

Post 04-09-2016