“Today Is The Day”

even-smaller-bug-light1

28 So Jesus told them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I AM, – John 8:28a ISV
 


The Pharisees and the ruling class were still trying to find a way to be rid of Jesus.  They were always trying to catch Jesus in some error or saying something that they could define as blasphemy.  This would allow them to take Him to the Romans and ask for the death penalty.  As Jesus taught the people,  His words had again infuriated the Jewish leaders with His claim about who He was.  In this passage, He not only tells them who He is, He also prophesies that He will die by being hung on a cross.  He also refers to Himself as “I  AM” in this translation.  The same way God had always referred to Himself in the Old Testament.  God and Jesus both referred to themselves in the present tense, never in the past and never in the future.  We say God was, God is and God will always be. They just say “I AM”.   They live in and refer to life in the present or the “now”.   We should follow their example and live our lives the same way.  As Mother Teresa once said:  “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”   Though Jesus knew that He would die on a cross in a few days, He did not let that deter Him from doing what our Father had sent Him to do.  We should not let regrets from yesterdays or worries and fears about tomorrow deter us from accomplishing God’s purpose and plan for us today.

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

Post 11-17-2018

Press Onward and Upward

even-smaller-bug-light1

49 “The Lord will bring a distant nation against you from the end of the earth, and it will swoop down on you like a vulture. It is a nation whose language you do not understand, 50 a fierce and heartless nation that shows no respect for the old and no pity for the young. — Deut 28:49, 50 NLT​

Deuteronomy 28 is probably best known for all the blessings that God promises if His people are obedient.  If the Israelis obeyed God by keeping His laws and commandments, they would be the most blessed nation on earth.  In this chapter, God also explains to them what will happen if they are disobedient.  If they fail to keep His commandments and laws, they will be the most cursed nation on earth and will eventually not be a nation at all, but a scattered people.  While the law was fulfilled when Jesus gave His life for us on the Cross and was resurrected, He still expects His people to be obedient.  God’s commandments in the Old Testaments were not just suggestions and His commands to us to be holy even as He is holy and to love Him above everyone and everything and our neighbors as ourselves are not suggestions.  He is the same God, yesterday, today and tomorrow, so we can be sure that if we are not obedient under the new covenant, the same curses will befall us.  We may or may not be a “Christian” nation, but we are a nation with millions of Christians living here.  We can make a difference if we spend time on our knees before a holy God and petition Him continuously for mercy and grace for our nation.  Jesus gave us the example of the persistent widow (Luke 18:1-8).  Let us follow that example in keeping on keeping on with our requests for our nation.  God told Abraham that He would not destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, if He could find five righteous people there, let us pray that He will show us the same mercy.

 
17 Never stop praying. — 1 Thess. 5:17 NLT

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

Post 11-05-2018

Establish A Daily Spiritual Regimen

even-smaller-bug-light1

And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. – Col. 2:6 NLT
The words that Paul wrote to encourage the Church at Colossae are just as true today as then.  Receiving Christ as our Savior is the first step in our journey to heaven. The next steps are allowing Him to be Lord of our lives as well. When we were saved, we received the Holy Spirit as an earnest of the fulfillment of the promises God has made to His children. He lives in us, therefore we live in Him. We need to become rooted in His word so that our lifestyles will reflect His examples and give Him glory.  We need to study His word and meditate on it daily. We need to spending time talking WITH Him, not just to Him. After we have thanked Him, given Him praise and laid our petitions before Him, we need to sit quietly in His presence and see what He has to say to us. There is always a word from the Lord, if we listen for it. We need this time in His presence early in the day to prepare ourselves for the spiritual battlefield.  Jesus gave up His place in glory and lived as all man to set the example for us. He set the example of spending time alone with the Father so that He would be strengthened for the battle. He lived a perfect life and has been restored to all His glory and made ruler over all things.  We can’t be perfect but we can have a full and true life if we follow His example on a daily basis.

41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. — Luke 22:41-43 NIV

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

Post 06-29-2018

Homeward Bound

even-smaller-bug-light1

14 Obviously people who say such things are looking forward to a country they can call their own. ​- Hebrews 11:14 NLT
Perfection could never come through man. The law that established a human priesthood was given to show us that we could never live up to the standard that God required — perfection. Knowing this, the Trinity, long before the foundations of the earth were laid, set in motion a plan for our redemption. A new priesthood wherein the new Priest would not come from the tribe of the Levites, but rather through the tribe of Judah. This Priest would not be ordained by man but by the Creator of heaven and earth, God Himself.  This Priest would lay aside his royal garments and become like man in every respect. He would be tempted and suffer persecution but still remain obedient, even unto death on a cross. He was and still is our Shepherd and our Savior. He has every right to expect us to allow Him to be Lord of our lives. We do that by following His example under the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Our allegiance is changed completely. Once we walked in darkness on a path of constant chaos that led only to eternal death.  Now, we walk in the light on a path of peace that leads to life everlasting in our Father’s house. Every day, from the day we accept Christ as our Savior until we arrive in heaven, we are on our way, we are going home.

5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”  6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”— John 14:5-7 NIV

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

Post 05-11-2018

“Teach Your Children Well”

even-smaller-bug-light1

1 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. 2 I praise you for remembering me in everything and for holding to the traditions just as I passed them on to you. 3 But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.—1 Cor. 11:1-3 NIV

Paul is encouraging the Corinthians to continue in following the practices of Christianity just as he has taught them to do. He has lived his life in front of them, as much as it is humanly possible, as an example of how Christ lived.  But there had been some reports of problems during the worship service.  Paul points to the fact that we are all to submit ourselves to Christ as the head of the Church, His body. We submit to Christ because He loved us enough to die for us.  So, this is the example for us to follow. Those who would be leaders in the Church must display the same kind of love that Christ did.  This is what Jesus was inferring to Peter when He asked Peter three times: “Will you feed my sheep?” Jesus was talking about more than physical food, He was asking Peter if He was willing to feed them spiritually, even to the point of death, if that became necessary. This is exactly the same kind of love that a husband should show for his wife and his family.  Husbands and Fathers need to ask themselves the same question that Jesus asked Peter.  “Will I feed this flock that Jesus has given me?  Will I not only provide for their physical needs, but also their spiritual needs?  Will I remind them daily how much Jesus loves and cares for them?”   If we do that, then we won’t have any problems being the “head” of the family.

6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.—Deut. 6:6,7 NIV

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

Post 02-28-2018

One Example – Jesus and Only Jesus

even-smaller-bug-light1

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

Taking Care of the Family

even-smaller-bug-light1

15 I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. – John 17:15 NLT
 

We have the privilege of listening into a personal conversation between Jesus and our Father. As we read through the prayer that Jesus is praying for His disciples, we get a little glimpse of His love and compassion for them. Jesus is not asking God to remove all the bumps, He is asking Him to keep them safe as they travel the rocky road. He is also asking our Father to teach them the truth. Jesus, as the oldest of all God’s children, is taking the responsibility of being sure that the family is being taken care of while He is separated from them. Of course, He knows that our Father is going to take good care of the disciples, but His compassion demands that He set the example for them to ask. Not only that, but He is paying in advance for their care by giving His life on the cross. Jesus is the perfect example of a servant, a brother, a friend and a Redeemer.

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

Post 11-25-2017