“We Are Without Excuse”

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14 No, the word is very near you—it’s within your mouth and heart for you to attain.” – Deut. 30:14 ISV
At this time, the Holy Spirit had not yet been given to us to remain on the earth until Jesus returns, so God gave the Israelis their instructions and commands through Moses.  In  the following chapters of Deuteronomy, we read that God instructed Moses to write all of these instructions in a Book.  That Book is now included as the first five books of the Bible.  Moses instructed the priests to keep the Book of Instructions beside the Ark of the Covenant at all times as a sign of remembrance to the Israelis of their covenant with God.  It would also serve as a witness against them in times of disobedience. It was to be read to the people, in its entirety, every seventh year during the Festival of Shelters.  God is a just God and never holds anyone accountable for things they can not know.  He can and does hold us responsible for those we could know but refuse to learn.

Now, since Jesus has returned to Heaven, He has sent the Holy Spirit to abide in us and lead us into all truth.  We have no reason for our disobedience.  We may try to excuse ourselves because of a lack of knowledge, but that excuse won’t hold water since God has made the Holy Spirit available to be our Teacher. His love for us and our love for Him is more than sufficient reason to study, learn and obey as much as we possibly can.  The Lord, our God, is a jealous God and he is unhappy with anything less than a total commitment to our relationship with Him.

For I am jealous for you with the jealousy of God himself. I promised you as a pure bride to one husband—Christ.  ​ — 2 Cor. 11:2 NLT​

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

Post 11-08-2018

His Blessings Are Still Flowing

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19  God is not a man, so he does not lie.  He is not human, so he does not change his mind.  Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?  20  Listen, I received a command to bless;   God has blessed, and I cannot reverse it! — Numbers 23:19, 20 NLT

God is the Creator, we are the created.  We are bought and paid for with the blood of His Son, Jesus.  He has every right, legal and anywise, to do with us as He pleases.  He can, and does pour out blessings on those He chooses to bless and curses on those He chooses to curse. However, being a just God, He does not make random decisions out of anger or fits of jealousy.  His decisions were made before the foundations of the earth were laid ​and they are based on His foreknowledge of our actions. He is never taken by surprise by any thoughts that we have or any actions that we commit. ​ He can only reveal those decisions to us after the fact, so they often seem to be made in haste, but nothing could be further from the truth.  ​Because of His​ great love for all of His creation, He has and still does warn us over and over about the consequences of unbelief and disobedience.  The fact that He has complete foreknowledge of how we will respond has never and will never keep Him from warning us over and over and weeping over our disobedience.  Recall what Jesus said about Jerusalem, how God had sent all the prophets to warn them and yet, they refused to be obedient and even murdered the prophets. Jesus wept bitter tears over Jerusalem saying “how often I have wanted to gather your children as a hen gathers her chicks, but you would not” (Matt. 23:37).  He still gives us those warnings about grieving, bringing sorrow or rejecting the Holy Spirit. 
 
30 And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. — Ephesians 4:30 NLT​
So, let each of us today, make a new commitment to listening to and following the leadership of the Holy Spirit so that God will be pleased with us.
 
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 10-23-2018

Show Mercy

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12 When Jesus heard this, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.” 13 Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” — Matt. 9:12, 13 NLT

This statement by Jesus is in answer to the Pharisees who were complaining about Jesus and His disciples eating with sinners. Jesus had just called Matthew to come and follow Him.  Matthew had  invited Jesus and His disciples to his home to have dinner with him and some other tax collectors and disreputable sinners.  The Pharisees had referred to the group as scum (verse 11).
Jesus knew that the Pharisees would not accept Him and His teachings because they thought they were righteous already.  With whom do we spend our time outside the church building?  Do we, as the disciples of Jesus, spend all of our time with other Christians or do we seek the lost and minister to them?  Do we have a missionary mentality or is it “We four and no more”? Jesus was sent to seek and to save the lost.  Because He did that, He was rejected, offended, persecuted and eventually hung on a cross.  He commanded us to do the same and gave us the authority to do just that.  When we do that, we stand the chance of being rejected, offended and criticized for “eating with scum”?  Suffering these things puts us in the same group with Jesus and God is pleased with us.  Which is better, to live a lifestyle that pleases God and lay up eternal rewards or to live a lifestyle that pleases men gaining worldly rewards but losing our own souls?

20 Of course, you get no credit for being patient if you are beaten for doing wrong. But if you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you.
21 For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps. 
— 1 Peter 2:20,21 NLT
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 09-25-2018

Focus On Jesus

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13 “With your unfailing love you lead the people you have redeemed. In your might, you guide them to your sacred home. — Exodus 15:13 NLT

God led the Israelis through the Red Sea and across the desert with the physical presence of a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.  It was possible for them to travel twenty-four hours a day without getting lost.  It must have been very reassuring to see the presence of the cloud and the fire and know that they were traveling in the exact direction God wanted to travel at all times. God did not lead them in a straight path from Egypt to Canaan. There were detours that avoided certain areas and dangers.  There were delays and a lot of murmuring and complaining.  We have a guide that is with us twenty-four hours a day as well.  He lives inside us.  But for us to know and understand His directions, we have to spend time talking with Him and meditating on His Word.  There will be detours in our lives as well.  All of those detours are allowed by God and are designed to teach us and to keep us safe from harm.  But just as the Israelis spent way too long in the desert because of their disobedience, some of our detours are caused by our mistakes and bad decisions.  Most of us will probably spend more time complaining than we do studying the Word.  Nevertheless, God is faithful and forgiving and just as He eventually got the Israelis to the Promised Land, He will guide us safely to His eternal, sacred home.  He has never failed and He never will.  Trust Him with all your heart, mind, soul and body.


1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. — Hebrews 12:1, 2a NLT

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

Post 09-24-2018

“Warning: Return To Me”

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10 They tell the seers,  “Stop seeing visions!”
They tell the prophets,   “Don’t tell us what is right.
Tell us nice things.  Tell us lies. — Isaiah 30:10 NLT
 
 

For too many years, our country has been headed down a path that is leading us further and further from God. Over and over, we have seen and ignored the warning signs. God is calling this nation to repentance.  The Bible shows us over and over that God keeps all of his promises, promises for good and His promises to discipline.  God has blessed this country for centuries because we were His “light on a hill”, a beacon and an example for other nations to follow.  But those times have come to an end. We are now a country in chaos because we have chosen to stray from the path of righteousness and follow after other gods.  Gods of greed, violence, hate all because of our pride.  Our unwillingness to admit when we are wrong and listen to reason.  God is calling us saying “Come, let us reason together” and we are refusing to listen. He said the same thing to Israel and they refused to listen and they paid a huge price for their disobedience.  If we continue to walk the path of disobedience, we too will pay a huge price.  Only God can “Make America Great Again”.  He is calling us to return to Him and be saved. Only in returning to Him and resting in Him will we be saved. Let us return to Him or we, like Israel, will be disciplined severely for our prideful disobedience.

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

Post 06-30-2018

Unshakable!

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28 Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe. ​ – Hebrews 12:28 NLT


God sent Moses to deliver the children of Israel from the bondage in Egypt. Because of their stubbornness and disobedience to what Moses told them to do, the generation of people that left Egypt never made it to the Promised Land. Except for Joshua and Caleb, the whole multitude of people died in the land east of Jordan. Because of their faithfulness and obedience, Joshua and Caleb received the promised reward of entering into the Promised Land. They were allowed to partake of the blessings of eating crops they did not plant, drinking water from wells they did not dig, and living in houses that they did not build. We have a better message from a better leader than Moses. We have heard from God Himself. He sent His Son, Jesus, to die for our sins and show us the way home. Those that do not believe the message He brought will be shaken and separated like chaff from the wheat. But if we remain steadfast and unshakable, we shall sit at the banquet table and enjoy the wedding feast that Jesus has prepared for us. We shall live in a city not made with human hands and spend an eternity with Jesus Christ, our Savior and our Lord. A better way that brings a much better reward.

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

Post 05-16-2017

Reconciled Through Perfection

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​1 ​Remember what I said earlier about the role of the high priest, even the ones chosen by human beings? The job of every high priest is reconciliation: ​ – Hebrews 5:1a The Voice
 
Hebrews 5:1-4 VOICE

God appointed Aaron, the brother of Moses, to be the first high priest of the Jewish nation. After Moses followed God’s instructions in anointing Aaron and his sons, Aaron was then able to offer the prescribed sacrifices to God, Everything offered had to be without blemish or the sacrifice was not acceptable. These were offered on the altar and when they were offered properly, God would accept them as a sweet smelling sacrifice and forgive the sins of the people. Aaron understood the weakness of the people and their inability to refrain from disobedience. He suffered from the same weakness. (Read Exodus 32 for that story). So he could have empathy and compassion on the people as he offered the sacrifices for both his and their sins. This was a temporary fix that God allowed until a true sacrifice could be given.There is no remission of sin without the shedding of blood, Since sin came into the world through the disobedience of the first man, Adam, complete permanent remission of sin would have to wait on the sacrifice of a perfect man, Jesus Christ.
 
Hebrews 10:11-18 The VOICE


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

Post 04-27-2017