“By Grace Through Faith”

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14 Through Christ Jesus, God has blessed the Gentiles with the same blessing he promised to Abraham, so that we who are believers might receive the promised Holy Spirit through faith. – Gal. 3:14

Paul continues to contrast living under the law as opposed to living under grace. For hundreds of years, all the Jews had known was the law plus all the man-made traditions that had been added by the priests and the religious leaders. That now there was a different way to please God was going to take a lot of “unteaching ” and “unlearning”. The law was not given to be a curse, but it became a curse because the flesh could not live up to its standards. It did not require faith, it was a law of works. It was meant to be a teacher showing “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”. We needed a change, but to have that change, we needed someone to remove us from under the curse of sin and the law. Jesus became a curse and a Redeemer for us. Through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, we can now receive the promise of the blessing of Abraham. We could not become the physical offspring of Abraham, but we could become the Spiritual descendants of the “seed” of Abraham. That “Seed” is Jesus Christ.
13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect —Romans 4:13,14 (NKJV)

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

01-01-2018

The Hunted

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7 Let the wicked change their ways and banish the very thought of doing wrong.
Let them turn to the Lord that he may have mercy on them.
    Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously. — Isaiah 55:7 NLT
 

How can we change our ways (actions)? By changing our thoughts and thought patterns. How do we do that? Truth is, we can’t, we have to seek the Lord and allow His Holy Spirit to do that work in us. That means we have to forsake or change our way of thinking about things. Changing our thought patterns requires us to change our focus. It requires us to ask ourselves this question: What is really important to me? God or self? We know the right answer, but we often choose the wrong answer. When we fail, we “seek the Lord”, which means we return to God and ask His forgiveness. Because God is love, he has mercy on us. He is waiting to pardon us and restore us to a right relationship with Him. We are all familiar with the Parable of the Prodigal Son related to us by Jesus in the Gospels. God is a much more loving, forgiving Father than any earthly father could ever be. If we have strayed from the path of righteousness, we must be aware that God will come for us and bring us back to the fold.  He won’t give up!  And when He finds us and brings us back home, He and the angels will have a great party in heaven.

Luke 15:3-7NLT


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

Post 12-12-2016

The Beginning of the Change

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17 I see him, but not here and now.    I perceive him, but far in the distant future.
A star will rise from Jacob;  a scepter will emerge from Israel.
— Numbers 24;17 NLT
This would have been a strange prophecy for the Israelites to hear. This was a confirmation of the prophecy in Gen 49:10 that the scepter would never depart from between Judah’s feet. All priests were to be of the tribe of Levi and Jacob was of the tribe of Judah. How could a priest rise out of the tribe of Judah? But God had a plan that would not violate the laws that He had handed down. When the scepter rose out of Israel, there would be a change in the way people were to worship God. This is explained further in Hebrews.

Hebrews 7:11-16 NLT

So, we see that while the priesthood of the Levites was established by the law, the priesthood of Jesus was established through the power of an indestructible life that could only be from the Creator. It was decided before the earth was formed. Jesus would be the final and perfect blood sacrifice for all the sin of the world. He was not, can not, and will not be destroyed or defeated. What Adam gave up in Eden, Jesus took back with His death and resurrection.


Now, we celebrate His birth, but that truly was just the beginning!

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

Post 12-01-2016

A Different Perspective

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Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.
— Colossians 3:2 NLT
Before we accepted Jesus as our Savior and Lord, our thoughts were fixed on the things of this world.  Our focus was on ourselves and our fleshly desires.  What things can I do or indulge in that will make my life here more pleasurable?  What will I do tomorrow and the next day?  We gave little or no thought to the afterlife or where our souls would spend eternity.  After we accepted Jesus, our focus started (or should have started) to change.  We started to realize that there is more to life than possessions.  We slowly began to understand that we are not the center of the universe.  We felt our desires changing.  The invisible became more important than the visible. Did we change ourselves?  Of course not, if we could change ourselves, then Christ died in vain.  God has placed Himself as the Holy Spirit inside of us and it is He that is making those changes in and for us.  We are being transformed not by our own power but by the resurrection power of the Holy Spirit.  Each of us should pray that we will have a teachable spirit and allow that process to continue until we are transformed into His image.
 
Post 10-10-2016

Think About It

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4 Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!
— Philippians 4:4 NLT
 
 
If you spend any time talking with non-Christians about Jesus and why they have not accepted Him as their Savior, you soon learn that their views on Jesus are not the primary reason for not accepting Him.  It is their view of what they think Christianity is and what it requires them to do or not do. They have this idea that Christians have little or no fun and that to be a Christian, they are going to have to completely change their lifestyle. There will be some changes required.  For some, it will be a very dramatic change.  For others, it will only be a change in their mindset about why they do the good things they have been doing.  The “good” ones are usually the hardest ones to convince that they need a Savior.  Back to the point.  Have we ever considered where the outsiders get this view that Christians must live a dull, joyless life?  Since most of them don’t spend much time, if any, reading the Bible, they get it from watching us and listening to our conversations.  Do we show them that “the joy of the Lord is our strength” or do they see us as sad, beaten down people who are forced to stay home on Saturday night so we can go to church on Sunday morning?   Is our lifestyle a good advertisement for Jesus or does it turn others away from seeking Him? Think about it.
Post 08-15-2016

I Surrender All

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1  O Lord, I give my life to you. — Psalm 25:1 NLT

Psalm 25:1-7 NLT

When we accept Jesus as our Savior, the Holy Spirit comes to abide within our hearts and minds.  God has sent Him to be our guide and our teacher.  If we are sincere about our repentance and listen to His teachings, we will soon discover that Jesus wants to be not only our Savior, but also our Lord. If we are going to allow Jesus to be Lord of our lives, there will have to be some changes made.  We are becoming new creatures and that requires tearing down the old.  We have new hearts inhabited by a new master.  He also wants to renew our minds.  Jesus, better than anyone, understands that the true battlefield is the mind.  It is where our thoughts and ideas originate. We have to learn to control our thoughts and imaginations and bring them all into the obedience of Christ Jesus.  Once our thought patterns change, our words and actions will change and our words and actions will let those around know which God we serve.  

 2 Cor. 10:3-6 NIV

Post 07-17-2016

As You Go!

even-smaller-bug-light119 But Jesus said, “No, go home to your family, and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been.” 20 So the man started off to visit the Ten Towns of that region and began to proclaim the great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed at what he told them. — Mark 5:19, 20 NLT

Do you remember the joy and the excitement that came into your life when you first accepted Jesus as your Savior?  Some of us felt great burdens lifted from us and immediately experienced freedom from some of our old habits.  Others just felt a peace that they had never had before.   Either way, most of us suddenly felt a great desire to tell somebody about what had just happened. Our lives were changed for the better.  It was the beginning of a journey with Jesus.  That journey has and will continue to take us through experiences and situations that will try us.   Each of these experiences will be an opportunity for us to grow closer to the Lord or a temptation for us to become bitter.  That choice is up to us.   If we choose correctly, we will find that we always come through those times a little stronger than we were before.  Our initial joy will be increased becaused of the victories that we have over these situations.  Those victories comes from Jesus ​Christ, just as our salvation came from His actions at Calvary.  Each of these experiences of overcoming temptation and suffering is another story we can use to tell people about Jesus.  They aren’t just for our benefit, they are to be shared so that others will come to know Jesus.  They are to be shared with those around us where we are right now.  It is not necessary to change your vocation.  When Jesus sent the disciples out, He instructed them to do tell others “as you go”.

 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give. ​ — Matt. 10:7. 8 NIV
Post 02-21-2016