He’s Coming Back!

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24 God heard their groaning, and he remembered his covenant promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 25 He looked down on the people of Israel and knew it was time to act. — Exodus 2:24, 25

God never forgets a promise.  He had promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that He would one day free the people from Egypt and that time had now come. He had listened to the groaning of His people long enough.  God never fails to deliver on a promise, but He has His own timetable to do so.  He used Moses to fulfill this promise.  If God has made a specific promise to us, individually, He will fulfill it but it may very well be after we have gone through a period of groaning and travail. He has made a specific promise to all of His children.  The first part of that promise was fulfilled when He came in the flesh to redeem us from sin and free us from our bondage to satan.  We and all of nature are now in a period of groaning, waiting for His return to take us out of Egypt (the world).  When He does come back, we will fly away with Him to our Promised Land. A land flowing with living waters and filled with the light of the Son.  No more groaning, no more sorrows, no more pain, a land where the lamb will lay down by the lion.


22 If anyone does not love the Lord, that person is cursed. Our Lord, come! — 1 Cor. 16:22 NLT

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 09-19-2018

Heed the Call

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38 So ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest.” – Matt.9:38 ISV
 

When we read this and similar passages about the lifestyle that Jesus led, what are our thoughts?  Does any part ot this passage jump off the page and grab hold of us? Do we think “good stuff, but that is what Jesus was sent to do” or do our hearts beat a little faster and we think “I want to be like that, I want to be like Jesus”?  Or do we think “I could never do that, I am not a great speaker and I am not a healer.”?  God has a plan for each of us to bring others to Him with our words and our actions.  God had a plan for Moses and spent eighty years training Him to lead His people out of bondage and through a desert to a land flowing with milk and honey. God made a huge investment in Moses so that Moses could lead God’s lost sheep out of Egypt.  What investment has God made in our lives and are we willing to allow Him to use us to lead the lost sheep around us?  If we are “waiting for the call”, we have already received it.  Not in the sense of being full time ministers, missionaries, etc, but in the sense of being full time Christians. Our every word and every action is a mini-sermon to those around us.  What message are we preaching?

 14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news! — Romans 10:14, 15 NIV

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

Post 09-08-2018

From Bondage to Freedom

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31 So, dear brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman; we are children of the free woman.- Gal. 4:31 NLT
Just as Ishmael mocked Isaac, the crowds had mocked and persecuted Jesus. Both Isaac and Jesus were born to fulfill a promise. Isaac was the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham. Even though both Abraham and Sara were well past child-bearing age, Isaac was born to them. Even though, Mary had never known a man she conceived and brought forth a Son. Jesus was a fulfillment of the promise that God would provide a Redeemer for His people. He would also be a Redeemer and Savior for all who would call upon His Name and accept Him as Lord of their life. Because of that, we who have accepted Jesus are children of the promise. Accepting Jesus and turning from the world, (the slave woman) we are no longer slaves in bondage to our fleshly desires. Even though we sometimes fail, it should be our heart’s desire not to stay fallen and return to our old habits. Jesus died that we might be free from those entanglements.
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.–Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV)

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

Post 01-12-2018

The Battle Bleongs to the Lord

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So now that you know God (or should I say, now that God knows you), why do you want to go back again and become slaves once more to the weak and useless spiritual principles of this world? – Gal. 3:9 NLT

Before we accepted Jesus as our Savior, we were enslaved by our sinful flesh, just as the Galatians were back then. Before Paul came into Galatia, they worshiped idols made by men and were in bondage to all sorts of immoral acts. Once, they accepted the Good News, they were free from that bondage. Paul had started churches in the area earlier. After he left the area, the people started to fall back into their old worldly ways, practicing useless traditions of men. Eat this , don’t eat that, do this on this day and not any other day, etc. Paul was writing to them to encourage them to continue on their new Spiritual journey. We see the same thing still happening today when the founder of a new church retires or moves on. We have to focus on Jesus and the Gospel message, not on the messenger. Except for Jesus, there never has been, isn’t now, and never will be a perfect man. We all fall and come up short. Just don’t make falling a lifestyle. Ask for the forgiveness that Jesus has already paid for and move on. Let’s learn to be “Jesus conscious” and not “sin-conscious”. If satan can keep us focused on our failures, he has won the battle and we will live defeated lives, Focus on Jesus, our Champion and our Defender. We can be more than conquerors.
He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.—2 Chron. 20:15 (NIV)

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

Post 01-06-2018

Lead On

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17 For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
— 2 Cor. 3:17 NLT
Before we accepted Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we lived in spiritual bondage and darkness.  Blinded by a veil of unbelief, we lived a lifestyle controlled by our fleshly desires.  We thought we had the freedom to make the decisions for our lives when, in fact, we were being controlled by lusts, greed, emotions and every evil thing.  We did not see those things as evil because we were spiritually blind.  They were veiled by our own ignorance and the subtleties of the devil.  Our daily lives were consumed by the great “I” , it was all about us.  We spent our time and resources chasing after temporary pleasures and desperately seeking the next “high”.  Those “highs’ could be the next drink, pill, sexual act or something as seemingly innocent as a shopping trip or a sports event.  Whatever it took to give us that temporary pleasure, we did and thought we were happy.  It was not until the Holy Spirit called us and opened our eyes to see the fallacy of short-term pleasures that we realized we needed and wanted something different.  The Holy Spirit gave us the freedom to choose a different way of life and freed us from the bondage of “self”.  He doesn’t ask us to change ourselves, He ask us for permission to allow Him to change us.  It is then and only then, that we realize how badly we were blinded and bound.  With the Spirit comes freedom.  Freedom to become everything God has planned for us.  Lead on, Holy Spirit, Lead on.
Post 09-10-2016

Cry Out to Him!

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23 Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved.  — John 13:23 NKJV
 
In a society where “real” men don’t show this kind of affection for each other, this verse can cause some confusion. We must remember that this occurred in a time and place where men greeted each other with a holy kiss. So, get past the first impression and see the picture as it is really meant to be seen.  See it as pure love with no lust involved.  Try to put yourself in John’s place and feel the comfort and joy that he must have felt right then. Remember the times in your early years when you would be frightened about something and your Dad would pick you and hold you against his bosom.  Do you remember the safety, and in a few minutes, the peace and the joy that you felt?   Or maybe, you were ailing and your Mom would hold you against her bosom to comfort you.  Isn’t wonderful that we can still have that kind of relationship with Jesus?  We can run to Him, sit in His lap and He will wrap His arms around us to comfort and cheer us.  Get this picture in your mind and focus on it until it becomes real to you. Then, in those trying, difficult, scary times, run to Him with your arms wide open and simply say “Abba”, I love you!  He will be thrilled and you will have a time of peace that passes understanding and joy that overflows your heart.
15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” — Romans 8:15 NKJV
Post 07-02-2016

More Than Enough!

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8 “Moreover, I hereby decree that you are to help these elders of the Jews as they rebuild this Temple of God. You must pay the full construction costs, without delay, from my taxes collected in the province west of the Euphrates River so that the work will not be interrupted. — Ezra 6:8 NLT
In Exodus, we saw that when God brought the Israelis out of the bondage of Israel, He brought them laden with gold and the treasures of the land. God had instructed Moses to tell the people to ask their Egyptian neighbors for whatever they would give. In this way, Egypt was plundered.  God had sent the Israelis into bondage again when the Babylon army ransacked Jerusalem and took the people to Babylon.  When the time of their bondage was fulfilled, God brought them out of Babylon to go to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple.  Cyrus had decreed that they could go in peace and do this.  He gave them the bowls and utensils that had been brought from the Temple.  Cyrus also decreed that their neighbors should “contribute toward their expenses” by giving them voluntary offerings of gold, silver, livestock and anything else they might need for their journey to Jerusalem.  The people of the provinces west of the Euphrates opposed the rebuilding of the Temple.  When Darius became king, they wrote him a letter requesting that that he, Darius, should tell the Israelis to cease and desist.  Instead, Darius had the records searched and found the decree that Cyrus had written years before.  He not only decreed that everything in that letter would be fulfilled but that the peoples of the provinces west of the Euphrates would not help the elders rebuild the Temple but they would bear the cost of the reconstruction using the tax money they usually paid to Darius.  You would need to read the whole book of Ezra to get even a small grasp of all that God provided for His people so the Temple could be rebuilt.  They received gifts worth billions in today’s economy.  God never sends us anywhere or asks us to do anything that He does not provide “more than enough’ to complete the mission.  “Dayenu” is Hebrew for “sufficient for us” and it is a beautiful Passover song that reminds us of just how great God really is. 
 
Post 06-10-2016