Practice Praise!

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12 saying, “Amen! Praise, glory, wisdom, thanks, honor, power, and strength be to our God forever and ever! Amen!” – Revelation 7:12 ISV

Rev. 7:9-12 ISV

While John was on the Isle of Patmos, Jesus Christ gave him a vision of things that are happening in heaven and things to come.  This passage is a scene that will happen after the great tribulation.  All of God’s children are now gathered home. The celebration is in full swing and what does John see that is going on in heaven?  Everyone is worshiping and praising God and Jesus!  We will be standing before the Lamb and praising Him with a loud voice.  All the elders and the angels fall on their faces and worship God.  We do not know a lot about heaven, God has chosen to keep most of it a mystery.  But one thing we do know is that we will spend time praising and worshiping Jesus, the Lamb Who was worthy to be slain.  My guess is that the celebration will go on for a few million years before we get involved in whatever else God has prepared for us.  After all, time, as we know it, means nothing in eternity.  So, it is a good idea to practice praising Him every day here and now, so that we can join in with all the tribes and nations in heaven!

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 08-11-2018

Growing Richer

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11 In every way you will grow richer and become even more generous, and this will cause others to give thanks to God because of us, – 2 Cor. 9:11 ISV
 

Starting today, we need to prove to God that we are truly thankful for all the blessings He pours into our lives.  We can do that by sharing those blessings, whether they be talent or time, words or worth, things or thoughts.
Someone you see today and every day needs a kind word,  Take a second to smile and greet them. Someone you see today and every day needs someone to just listen to their story.  Stop and listen, really listen. Someone you see today will be hungry and/or homeless. Feed them, naturally and spiritually. Someone you see today is feeling worthless and unloved, take the time to assure them of their worth and value in God’s scheme of things. If we make it a habit to do these kinds of things daily, we will not only be proving to God that we are truly thankful, but the world will know that we have been with Jesus.  When we share our blessings, at the end of the day, each of us will find that we are the one who was truly blessed and received the greatest blessing.
 

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’— Matt. 25:40 NIV

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

Post 08-10-2018

Overflowing With Thankfulness!

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6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. — Colossians 2:6 7 NIV

The most important thing to be thankful for is salvation.  So, from the very moment we are saved, our hearts should begin to be filled with gratitude.  From that point on, all the blessings that we receive daily should continue to fill our hearts with thanksgiving and praise for our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.  To the extent that we follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit, our evil thoughts and desires are changing to good thoughts and desires.  There has/will come a day when we should be overflowing with joy and gratitude because of the goodness and greatness of the God that we serve.   Each day should bring less complaining and more reason to give God praise and thanksgiving. The praise and gratitude that fills our hearts will be reflected in the words that we speak.


 45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. — Luke 6:45 NKJV

Every time we bring our petitions before the Lord, we need to remember to bring with them an offering of thanksgiving and praise!  

 

4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
5 For the Lord is good;His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.  
— Psalm 100:4, 5 NKJV

This is for now and  all generations, not just the future when we enter into the gates of heaven and the courts of God. Every time, we speak His Name, we are entering into His gates and His courts. Let our hearts and our mouths overflow with praise for His goodness and mercy!

 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 08-09-2018

Three Minutes!

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10  Is it not you, God, you who have now rejected us and no longer go out with our armies?
11  Give us aid against the enemy, for human help is worthless.
12  With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies. 
 — Psalm 60:10-12 NIV

God had temporarily rejected the nation of Israel because of their continued disobedience and refusal to repent.  His rejection of Israel was not total nor permanent because of His covenant to them.  As Christians we can be sure that God will always have a remnant of believers to carry on His work.  However, God has made no covenant with our nation that requires Him to allow it to stand.  It has stood for over two hundred years because of God’s mercy in spite of our rebellion and disobedience. It appears to us that God has rejected us, but it is we who have rejected Him. We, just as Israel, have turned from God to our own wisdom and to humans to help.  Human wisdom and human help is worthless. But, it is not too late for us, if we, as a nation, will repent and turn back to God. Let us commit, together, to spend three minutes a day praying that our nation will repent, so that God can continue to show us His mercy.  Three minutes; one minute praising God for Who He is, one minute thanking God for what He has done, and one minute petitioning God not to withdraw His mercies.

 

1 First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. 3 This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior– 1 Timothy 2:1-3 NASB

 

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

“Stop Fighting With Each Other”

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You ask for something but do not get it because you ask for it for the wrong reason—for your own pleasure. – James 4:3 ISV
 
Let’s think back over the last few “discussions over differences” that we have had with a loved one, an acquaintance or someone ever the phone. In what percentage of the statements that we made, did the word “I” come up?  Were our thoughts, desires, and words based on “just judgment” or on our fleshly desires? Were we seeking justice or desiring to convince the other person(s) involved that we were right and they were wrong?  Or, if we are honest, were we just wanting to have it “our” way?  If we just wanted to have it our way, that is pride and we were more than likely wrong and just didn’t want to admit it.  When these “discussions over differences” get a little ugly, the flesh desires to kill and we satisfy that desire by using unkind and hurtful words.  Those words kill relationships. We covet the approval of our opinions from the other(s) involved in the discussion. so, we try to change their minds with our gift of persuasion. Instead, we should understand our limitations and ask God to change the minds of the ones who are wrong, accepting the fact that that might be us and not the others.  If we truly want God to answer our prayers (and He always does), then we need to be ready to accept the answer He gives.  Because the passage ends with the words “that you may spend what you get on your pleasures”, we tend to limit it to mean money. But, it applies to more than possessions and money, it also applies to time and talents. Are we using the time, talents and possessions that we have now for the glory of God?  We need to remember that all these “things” are really God’s anyway, they are just on loan to us and we could lose them quickly. Before we ask God for anything, we should be sure that what we are desiring will bring glory to His name.

17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. — Col. 3:17 NIV

 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 08-07-2018

Knowledge, Wisdom and Understanding

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17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness. — James 3:17,18 NIV

As we read yesterday, wisdom is defined as more than just getting facts and knowledge of things, places and people,  It includes the ability to use that knowledge to make proper decisions that lead to correct actions.  We can have knowledge upon knowledge, but it is worthless, perhaps, even dangerous, if it is built on the wrong foundation, a foundation of inerrant knowledge. That is why the Holy Spirit, through the writer of Proverbs, tells us

7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. ​– Prov. 4:7
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. — Prov. 9:10
 
So, we lay the foundation with knowledge, we build walls with wisdom and the finishing touch is understanding.  Therefore, we must be very sure that our knowledge is based on a foundation of knowledge that includes The Holy One (Jehovah God) and Jesus Christ. Then we must be sure that our wisdom comes from heaven.  We can know this if it is ” first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere”‘  So, any so-called wisdom that advocates anything less than these qualities is not from heaven and is not of God. (Kind of reminds me of the parable of the houses — one built on the Rock and one built on the sand,) If we want others to recognize us as the children of God, then we must show love to our brothers and sisters.
10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister. — 1 John 3:10
Since the wisdom that is from above is impartial, we must show love to all of our fellow human beings. This love requires us to be peacemakers.

9 Blessed are the peacemakers,  for they will be called children of God. — Matt. 5:9
If we want to be obedient to our Father in heaven, we will endeavor to become peacemakers unless that action requires us to violate the Holy Scriptures. Jesus was/is the ultimate peacemaker, but He had limits as shown by His words to the Pharisees and His actions when chasing the traders out of the temple. He had perfect knowledge, perfect wisdom and perfect understanding.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 08-06-2018

“Disorder and Every Kind of Evil”

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16 For wherever jealousy and rivalry exist, there is disorder and every kind of evil. – James 3:16 ISV
 
Wisdom is defined as “the quality or state of being wise; knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; sagacity, discernment, or insight”.  So, what we consider wisdom is largely determined by whatever belief system we adhere to.  Since worldly religious systems are based on beliefs that do not believe in and accept Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord are laid on an erroneous foundation, then any wisdom based on those beliefs will have error in it. So, it is very possible to be religious, have tons of knowledge, be worldly-wise and still be wrong.  Such wisdom is considered foolishness by God.

 

18 Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness” — 1 Cor. 3:18, 19

This difference between beliefs in worldly wisdom and Christianity is used by satan to create chaos and violence. The people committing the acts of violence do so because in the “wisdom” of their religion it is “just judgment” to those who do not adhere to their beliefs. This “wisdom” does not come down from heaven. . The wider and deeper the differences in Christianity and any particularly world religion, the more problems and issues it will create. Some worldly religions teach their followers to hate and destroy the enemy.  We should be thankful every second of every day that we serve a Savior who teaches us to love.  His love for us not only requires that we love Him, our family and our friends, but also our enemies.  

 

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. — Matt. 5:43-45

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 08-05-2018