What’s That Smell?

even-smaller-bug-light1

15 Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing.  – 2 Cor. 2:15 NLT
 
In the first century, when a king or leader had conquered a new territory, he would bring the captives back to his country and parade them down “main street’.  This was to show his subjects how powerful he was and to receive their worship and praise.  It also reminded them of what could happen if they ever decided to be disloyal to the king.  These were unwilling captives. Paul is giving thanks to God that we are led in this triumphal procession as willing captives.  We are captives and bondservants because we have chosen Jesus as our Savior and King.  Now, it is time for each of us “to spread the aroma of the knowledge of Him everywhere”.  That Word will be good news to some because they will receive the Word with gladness of heart, accept Jesus and receive the gift of forgiveness and eternal life.  It will be a stench in the nostrils of those who refuse to accept our God as the only true and living God and Jesus as their Savior and King. That rejection will lead to death and eternal punishment.  Just as Paul felt inadequate to do that job, so should we. As he says, “who is equal to such a task?”  None of us can do this work alone, It must be Spirit-led and Spirit-fed.  As Paul also explains, “I can do all things through Jesus Christ”.  And so can we do all things through Jesus.  It is His plan, His purpose and it is accomplished by His power, not ours. We are to be faithful and follow His example.
1 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. — Eph. 5:1 NIV
We are to offer our lives as a sacrifice and a fragrant offering to God. Just as bees are drawn to honey, others are drawn to Jesus by people who live sacrificial lives.
Do our lifestyles release a sweet smelling aroma of life or a stench of death?


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

Post 06-04=2018

Praying for Our Persecuted Christian Brothers and Sisters

even-smaller-bug-light1

11 And you are helping us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks because God has graciously answered so many prayers for our safety. – 2 Cor.1:11 NLT
 
When we read these verses, we need to consider our brothers and sisters who live in places where persecution and imprisonment are still common practice today.  They need our prayers and our encouragement on a daily basis.  There are numerous testimonies from these Christians about being able to endure their harsh treatment because they received cards and/or knew that other Christians were praying for them daily.  They, as Paul, have learned to rely on God to deliver them from deadly perils.  Until recently we, in the free world, have not been subject to such unfair and brutal treatment.  That time has passed and we are being tested here in America, as well as other so called free countries. Christians are being ridiculed, beaten to death and imprisoned for refusing to deny their faith and their beliefs.  We need to pray and encourage each other daily.  Our hope is still in Jesus Christ.  He is our Redeemer, our Savior and our Lord. There is no other God that is capable of loving their followers and delivering them from every situation. We need to understand that some times that deliverance includes physical death. But we need to count it all joy and say along with Paul:

20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. — Phil. 1:20, 21 NIV

 

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

Post 05-29-2018

Deify or Crucify? – The Choice is Yours

even-smaller-bug-light1

15 “Away with him,” they yelled. “Away with him! Crucify him!” “What? Crucify your king?” Pilate asked. “We have no king but Caesar,” the leading priests shouted back. – John 19:15 NLT

John 19:12-16 NLT

 

After a minimum of 12 hours of verbal abuse, lashings, and being questioned in 6 different settings, Jesus is handed over to the crowd to be hung on a cross. Pilate is still trying to “wash his hands” of the blood of Jesus because Pilate had pronounced Jesus “not guilty”. Nevertheless, he hands Jesus over anyway. Pilate could have stopped the crucifixion but he did not. The crowd had chosen a temporary, earthly king over the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Approximately eighteen hours earlier, the crowd pushed on by the religious leaders, had started down a path from which there would be no turning back. That is what unbelief and sin does to us. When the flesh lusts and we start to feed it, it always takes us further than we want to go and keeps us longer than we want to stay.
14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. 15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. 16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.—James 1:14-16​ (NASB)
Will we choose the earthly, fleshly king that leads us to death or the King of Kings who offers us life everlasting?

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

12-08-2017

His Judgment Is Just

even-smaller-bug-light1

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

Life-Giving Power

even-smaller-bug-light1

26 The Father has life in himself, and he has granted that same life-giving power to his Son.  ​– John 5:26 NLT

God the Father has honored His Son by giving Him complete authority to judge us. It is the Father’s desire for us to honor His Son just as He has honored Him. If we dishonor the name of Jesus, we dishonor God our Father as well. God breathed life into us, when He created us, He is the source of our physical life, as well as our spiritual life. The Father has given this life-giving power to His Son. Because of His obedience, even unto death on the cross, Jesus has been given all authority in heaven and on earth.
18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.—Matt. 28:18 (NLT)
Now that we are in Christ and Christ is in us, we have access to the Name and the authority of the Name of Jesus. Just as Jesus only did what He saw the Father do and only said what the Father said, we must speak only those words that we hear Jesus speak and do only those deeds that the Holy Spirit leads us to do.

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

Post 08-26-2017

Showing Our Love By Our Actions

even-smaller-bug-light1

Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  – James 2:8 NLT
We are all familiar with the commandment that Jesus called the second most important commandment. We believe it, but how do we walk that out in our everyday lives? How do we show the world around us that we love Jesus and that we love them? Of course, we can see those in need physically, financially and materially. We should always fulfill those needs as much as we possibly can. But what about those with spiritual needs? If our neighbor had a deadly disease and we had the cure, would we withhold it? Yet, there are those in our families, our circle of friends, and in our neighborhood, who have a deadly disease called sin.
15 Your desire grows inside you until it results in sin. Then the sin grows bigger and bigger and finally ends in death–James 1:15 (ERV)
 

We have the cure for that disease, why don’t we share it with everyone who has not accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior? Remember, we were once infected with that disease and someone shared the cure with us. “Go and do likewise”.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Post 05-29-2017

Worse Than Worthless Words

even-smaller-bug-light1

26 If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. –James 1:26 NLT

I wish I had never said that! Sound familiar? Unfortunately, our spoken words are like our texts and our emails, once we have hit the send button, we can’t get them back. Words can pierce us to depths of our heart and the wounds are slow to heal, if they heal at all. In the carpenter trade (which Jesus was very familiar with), they have a saying” “measure twice, cut once”. Of course, the implication is that if you take the time to measure correctly, you want have to cut the lumber again. That would be a good rule for us to follow in our conversations. Think twice about what we are about to say before we say it and maybe no one will get cut to the bone. We should choose words that build up and create rather than destroy. We need to show our faithfulness to Jesus by caring for those around us that need our help. Not just physically and materially, but also spiritually. We need to walk carefully so that we are not corrupted.

Galatians 6:1-4 NLT


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

Post 05-27-2017