Our Ultimate Goal Is To Please God

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 So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him. – 2 Cor. 5:9 NLT
 
 
The ultimate goal for a Christian is to live a lifestyle that is pleasing to God. This doesn’t mean that all of us have to be involved in the traditional full time ministries.  It does mean that God expects us to use the abilities and the resources He has placed under our control to glorify Him.  It means that whatever position we are in that God has made us a steward over that part of His world and His business. We are accountable to Him for every second and every cent we spend. The time and the money are gifts from our Father and He expects us to use them to glorify Him and further His Kingdom. Besides the purchases of those things necessary for living, we need to be sure that the why, when and where we spend time and money brings glory to Him. As we spend more time with just us and God meditating on His Word, we find that our wants and desires begin to change.  As we focus on Jesus, the worldly things become less important and pleasing Him becomes our heart’s desire. God has a plan and a purpose for each of us. We don’t need to know the whole plan, we just need to walk in faith trusting Him. We can take the next step knowing that the path leads to an eternity with Him.
3. Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. — Proverbs 16:3 NIV
17 May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us;  establish the work of our hands for us — yes, establish the work of our hands. — Psalm 90:17 NIV
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 06-12-2018

“Always Yes”

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20 For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory. – 2 Cor. 1:19-22 NLT
 
There are testimonies upon testimonies of God’s faithfulness, not just in the Bible, but in the lives of Christians since the first century until today.  I am constantly amazed when reading the personal testimonies of our brothers and sisters who are persecuted, imprisoned and questioned by the authorities on a daily basis.  They tell story after story of how God strengthens them and comes to their rescue.  We have all of these testimonies plus the stories of modern day miracles with which God still so richly blesses us.  Then, of course, each of us have our own stories of how God saved us from eternal punishment and condemnation, the miracle of resurrection power. We can look back over our own lives and see how the hand of God has delivered us from bad situations and even saved us from physical death. If we don’t see any, perhaps, we are looking for what we consider to be “big” things.  Every good thing that happens to us is a fulfillment of the promises of God. The fact that we are alive today is a gift from God.

16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. — James 1:16-17 NIV

He has promised that He will never leave us nor forsake us and He has kept that promise. Because He put His Spirit in our hearts, we can never go anywhere without Him. We are constantly surrounded by angels who watch over us and protect us.

16 “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17 And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. — 2 Kings 6:16, 17 NIV

We thank you, Lord, for your faithfulness and your mercies which are new every morning!

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

Post 05-30-2018

Remain Faithful

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Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery.
– Hebrews 13:4 NLT

Hebrews 13:4-8 NLT

God warns us over and over not to participate in immoral sex because it is more than just a physical act. It involves the intertwining of the body, mind and spirit. Those illicit desires quickly become much too strong for the flesh to handle. Those who continue to participate in these sins will soon learn they have become captive to their fleshly lusts. It will become an abomination to our bodies, the very Temple of the Living God.

18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price.Therefore honor God with your bodies. – 1 Cor. 6:18-20 NIV
We need to flee from this sin and God always opens a door for us to leave if we choose to do so. The lust for money and power is almost as strong as the lust for sexual immorality, so we must be sure that our choices of how we use our finances and our positions honor God.  It is very easy to become addicted to any of these sins.  We don’t have to be millionaires or CEOs to misuse the resources God has entrusted to us.  We can sin in finances by refusing to help those in need around us. We need to watch for the opportunities that God gives each of us to do good in His name. It isn’t the amount or the “bigness” that impresses God, it is the willingness and the attitude with which we perform the tasks.
43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” 
— Mark 12:43, 44 NIV

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

Post 05-24-2018

Our Eternal Hope

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39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, 40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect. — Hebrews 11:39, 40 NIV

The eleventh chapter of Hebrews is often referred to as “The Hall of Faith”. Under the leadership of the Holy Spirit the writer of Hebrews gives us a long list of people from the Bible who were faithful. They were jeered, flogged and persecuted in many ways, but they remained faithful, many of them even unto death. As we read through the chapter (which we need to do quite often) we are probably thinking that these people received some great earthly rewards for their obedience in the face of all this adversity.  But, we find that verse 39 makes a surprising statement; “none of them received what had been promised”.  So, had God lied to them?  No, of course not. What they understood and what we need to understand is that our rewards are in heaven, not here on earth. They fully believed God and carried inside themselves an eternal hope.  The same eternal hope that you and I have inside of us. Earthly blessings are nice but they are nothing compared to what is in store for those faithful ones from the past, for us and for those who will come after us.  The blessings we receive here will pass away and so will our natural bodies.  But the “promise”  will be fulfilled with an eternal reward and an eternity in heaven. We need to stay focused on Jesus and remain faithful and obedient to God and His Word. We must remain confident of what we believe and persevere just as our Savior and our ancestors did.

 

35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.  36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.— Hebrews 10:35, 36

 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 05-18-2018

Perseverance Brings Rewards

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35 So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! ​-Hebrews 10:35​
As Christians living in the “free” countries, we need to be very thankful that we do not have such memories of persecution as the writer of Hebrews has listed here.  At the same time, we need to be cognizant of the fact that our brothers and sisters in Christ who live in other nations are enduring these kind of persecutions right now.  We need to suffer along with them as they are beaten, driven from their homes and imprisoned under false charges. Some of them stay in prisons for years awaiting a trial date and suffering things that we can’t even imagine.  We need to be faithful in supporting them in our prayers and other ways that are available to us.  These brothers and sisters have beautiful testimonies of how God strengthened and sustained them through these times. The ones that were not executed speak of the joy they received because they were counted worthy to suffer with and for Christ. They have and are persevering and their reward will be great.  We also need to be cognizant that such times are approaching for us in our own “free” countries. When we go through these times, are we prepared to “count it all joy”?  Will we persevere and be awarded crowns in heaven to cast at our Savior’s feet? Or will we stand before our Lord empty-handed and receive few or no crowns to cast at our Savior’s feet?

 

2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. – James 1:2-4 NI​V​

12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. – James 1:12 NIV

 

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

Post 05-14-2018

Just Taste It!

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1 Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. — 1 Peter 2:1-3 NIV

Do you remember the first time in your life that “you tasted that the Lord is good”?

I actually don’t remember the date but I do remember that it was about 9 in the morning on a hot summer day and I could take you to the exact place that the Holy Spirit miraculously moved in my life and “saved me to the uttermost”. Tears of joy and relief streamed down my face so much that I had to stop on the side of the road and just praise God for His goodness. Since that time I have not lived a sinless life but I can tell you that when I do sin, it grieves the Holy Spirit, breaks the heart of God Himself and now, thanks to His enduring goodness, faithfulness and mercy, it breaks my heart as well.
His love motivates me to rid myself of all malice and sin of any and every kind. When I pray and receive the forgiveness that Jesus bought for me on Calvary, I taste again and again of His goodness and mercy. I crave His Word and a day without it would be a dark, dreary and lonely day. My heart’s desire is to know Him more and more every day. I look forward to the day when I can move from the “milk” of the Word to the “meat” of the Word, so I might grow to be the mature son He wants me to be. Nothing less and nothing more.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 04-16-2018

“Praise to the One Who Gave Us His Son”

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3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. — 1 Peter 1: 3-​5​ NIV

Because of what Jesus has done for us, we owe Him everything and yet we owe Him nothing. Our salvation is free and can’t be purchased, so, in that sense we owe Him nothing.  But in the sense that we can be nothing and have nothing without Jesus, we owe Him everything. We owe Him praise, honor and glory at all times. We owe Him our allegiance and our faithfulness. We have to go through trials and hardships here on earth but we have an inheritance laid up for us in heaven.  This inheritance gives us a living hope that we are totally secure here and now and for eternity. We are saved now but we will not realize the full extent of what that means until we are at home with Jesus for eternity. But we do know enough to know that we owe Him all of our praises, so let’s just praise Him continuously.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

 

Post 04-11-2018