Thoughts! Words! Actions!

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26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. — James 1:26, 27 NIV

In the days that James lived and penned this book through the leadership of the Holy Spirit, people were weighed down with ritualistic religions. They were bound by rules that said “you must do this”and “you must not do that”, particularly, in the areas of eating and drinking. Those that did a decent job of following the rules considered themselves to be “religious”.  They attended the services at the temples or synagouges and prayed at the right times, etc. Much like today, when we go to church on Sunday morning for a couple of hours and mumble a few (if any) prayers or spend anytime reading the Holy Scriptures during the week.  We seem to feel that if we do those things, we are fulfilling our duties as Christians. We can spend the other 166 hours of the week doing whatever we please. We can gossip, criticize and say and do all kinds of things. We Christians would never steal, kill or destroy, we don’t commit the “big” sins. But the two areas in which we do fall short are in our speech and in our “not doing”.  Jesus gave us a solemn warning about the things we say:

10 Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. 11 What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.” — Matt. 15:10
We must take this warning seriously and be very careful of what we say. There are also many verses about how we should treat others. Jesus says that if we see a brother or sister in need and take care of that need for them, it is the same as doing it for Him. If we don’t take care of that need, it is the same as refusing to do it for Him.  Helping others is how we show them the love of Jesus Christ. It is these actions that will draw others to Jesus.

16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. — 1 John 3:16, 17

 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 08-01-2018

Thoughts Eventually Lead to Actions

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Each of you must know how to control his own body in a holy and honorable manner, not with passion and lust like the gentiles who do not know God. – 1 Thess. 4:4 ISV
 
 
Paul, in his letters, to the churches reminds them of the things he has taught them about how to live a Christian lifestyle. He continually encourages them to study, to pray for and encourage each other.  These letters were written to churches whose members understood persecution.  They lived with it every day. He was a great example to them because of all the beatings and persecutions that he endured on an almost daily basis.  We don’t have to face those types of offenses every day like they did. But, the temptations of the flesh that Paul warns them against are just as real today as they were then.  As long as we are on this earth, we will be tempted to sin. But, we are also told that we will never be tempted above that which we can bear and there is always a way out, if we want to avoid the sin badly enough. Our flesh tempts in some many areas, we can sin when we gossip, when we hate others, when we withhold our abundance of worldly goods from those around us, when we see others hurting and don’t take the time to comfort them. When we think unkind thoughts about others, even though we don’t say the words, the harm is done to us and our relationship with God. The world is a cesspool of temptations for the flesh.  All of these sins are outside the body, except for sexual sin, which defiles the temple of the living God, Our bodies were created by God to glorify God.  When we participate in illicit sexual activity, whether in thought or action, our bodies and souls are bound with those bodies and desecrate the Temple.

 
 15 Surely you know that your bodies are parts of Christ himself. So I must never take the parts of Christ and join them to a prostitute! 16 It is written in the Scriptures, “The two will become one body.” So you should know that anyone who joins with a prostitute becomes one body with the prostitute. 17 But the one who joins with the Lord is one spirit with the Lord.. — 1 Cor. 6:15-17 NCV

So, we must be careful to avoid all temptations, but, especially sexual temptations.  So, when you feel that nudge to walk away from a situation, don’t just walk away, Run!

 

18 So run away from sexual sin. Every other sin people do is outside their bodies, but those who sin sexually sin against their own bodies. 19 You should know that your body is a temple for the Holy Spirit who is in you. You have received the Holy Spirit from God. So you do not belong to yourselves, 20 because you were bought by God for a price. So honor God with your bodies. — 1 Cor. 6:18-2​0

 

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

Post 07-15-2018

One Example – Jesus and Only Jesus

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4 Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, 5 for each one should carry their own load. 6 Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.—Gal. 6:4-6 (NIV)
Every word we speak and every action that we commit should be tested. Do the words and/or the action(s) align with the Scriptures? It is a good idea to find more than one passage of Scripture to test our thoughts and actions. If we don’t have a peace about it after that, then we either need to discard the idea or ask someone that we trust spiritually for their opinion of what we are about to say or do. We should ask them to pray with us about it. If we still don’t have peace about it, we should either delay the action until we do have peace or completely discard it. There is only one standard to use for comparison of our words and actions, That is Jesus Christ. Don’t try to be be anyone or anything more than what you can determine that Jesus wants you to be. We should always do our part of the labor and the praying. We should support those that God has placed over us and from whom we derive a benefit because of their instructions. Not just with our finances but also with our time and our prayers.

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

Post 01-18-2018

His Judgment Is Just

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30 I can do nothing on my own. I judge as God tells me. Therefore, my judgment is just, because I carry out the will of the one who sent me, not my own will. 
– John 5:30 NLT
 

When Jesus returns to earth, the dead in Christ shall rise first, then those of us who are still alive will join with them to meet Jesus in the air. Others will arise from the graves to experience judgment and the second death, which is eternal damnation in hell.
Jesus sets a great example for us to follow. We should never attempt to do anything on our own. Even though He has been given all authority in heaven and on earth, He still says what His Father says and does what His Father does. if we do the same thing, then we can know that our actions are just and our words are true. The Holy Spirit living in us testifies of the Father and of Jesus. He knows our minds as well as the minds of the Father and the Son so the Holy Spirit can guide us in our actions and our speech.

26 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. 27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers[l] in harmony with God’s own will—Romans 8:26,27 (NLT)

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

Post 08-27-2017

What is My Daily Testimony?

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22 “Then who are you? We need an answer for those who sent us. What do you have to say about yourself?” — John 1:22 NLT

John the Baptist stayed faithful to His calling. He was sent to prepare the people to receive the Messiah. Because of the message he was preaching, people would ask, “Who are you?”, his answer was “I am a voice shouting in the wilderness, clear the way for the Lord’s coming.” John’s boldness in standing for the truth eventually got him beheaded. The same thing is happening, on a daily basis, to our Christian brothers and sisters around the world. Does our daily lifestyle cause people to wonder who we represent?  Every second of every die, our words and actions are a testimony.  Would the world know that we represented Jesus by the way we walk and talk? Do our actions deny or affirm that we know Jesus?  If we were confronted with the choice: “Deny or die!”, what would our answer be? Would it be: “I am a follower of Christ, I have come to tell you about the Lord’s return”? Or would we hang our head in shame and walk away?

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

Post 08-02-2017

Mercy Mixed With Fear

even-smaller-bug-light123 Take others out of the fire, and save them. Show mercy mixed with fear to others, hating even their clothes which are dirty from sin. ​ – Jude 23 NCV

We live in the times Jude is describing in these verses. Everyday, we read more and more articles and hear more comments about people who either disrespect Christianity or refuse to believe in God. They are becoming much more militant in their actions each day, demanding more and more rights but at the same time wanting to limit the rights of others. They use all manner of deception and false claims that others are mistreating them. We must stand firm in our beliefs and refuse to compromise the truth that is laid out in the Scriptures. God has not changed His mind about what He knows to be sin. After all, does the Creator not know what actions will harm the creatures He so lovingly created? Which of us can say to the Creator, “hey, you made a mistake”? After all God is Omnipotent, Omnipresent, and Omniscient. We must encourage new believers to stand firm and grow in the faith. We do this with love and mercy, just as God has shown love and mercy to us. We “snatch others from the flames of judgment” by witnessing to them about Jesus. We must do this also with great love and mercy, not judging them for their sins, but showing them a different way of life. We must love the sinner and hate the sin just as God does. As we do this, we must be sure not to allow the sins to contaminate our lives​.


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

Post 07-28-2017

Light! Love! Action!

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16 We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. ​ — 1 John 3:16 NLT

As Christians, most of us, at sometime or other, have met other people and we sensed immediately that they were Christians. There was a kindred Spirit that we could easily identify. This Spirit is God’s Holy Spirit indwelling us and we can feel the love of the other person almost immediately. We must never feel hatred for those around us, whether they be Christian brothers and sisters or not. We must always reflect the love of Jesus by loving others. First, to our own household, then our church, and then those around us. We should never have the attitude of the expert in religious law that Jesus encountered in Luke 10. He asked Jesus, “who is my neighbor”? This was an effort on his part to get Jesus to identify specific people that he should help. This would limit his responsibilities to others. We are to help all those that Jesus puts in our path. It is not God’s will that any should perish. Therefore, it becomes our responsibility to lead as many as possible to Christ by showing them the love of Christ. Our lifestyles should show others that Christianity is not a bunch of “don’ts” and negativism, but that it is a positive relationship with a living Lord.


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

Post 07-11-2017