Oil to Keep Our Lamps Burning

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1 The Lord said to Moses, “Command the people of Israel to bring you pure oil of pressed olives for the light, to keep the lamps burning continually. — Leviticus 24:1 NLT

Consider the olive.  The tree grows in stony soil where other trees cannot grow.  A new tree is started with a seed or a cutting and then transplanted.  It grows for seven years before it has any berries on it and it is about fourteen years before the crop reaches maturity.  In Old Testament times, the fruit was harvested by shaking and beating the tree with a reed or a stick.  This injures the tree so much that it will only produce fruit every other year.  Once it starts to produce fruit, it will continue to produce fruit for centuries.  After the fruit is harvested, it is pressed to get the oil from it.  This oil was then used to keep the light in the Tabernacle lamps burning continually.  Jesus said that we are now the light of the world.  For us to be the pure light that we should be, we must go through much of the same process as the olive.  God transplants us from the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of Light  and we start on a journey.  It will take some time for us to mature and produce fruit. We need to be shaken at times to get us out of our comfort zones.  We need to be disciplined at times to get us back on the straight and narrow path.  We have sinful, fleshly desires and those desires are not going to go away without a fight.  So, God allows us to be pressed down until there is nothing left but a heart with pure motives.  Then and only then are we able to be the light to the world and deliver it from the darkness of sin.

8 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9 We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.10 Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.– 2 Cor. 4:8-10 NLT
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 10-09-2018

“Out of Darkness”

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But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9 NLT
 
We were born in sin into a world filled with the darkness of sin. Some of us spent more years than others stumbling through the darkness thinking we could make it on our own.  Then the Holy Spirit called us out of darkness and into the wonderful light of Jesus Christ. It was then and only then, that we realized our inability to even walk upright without God’s help.  As new creations, we realized that we were foreigners and aliens in this world. Our fleshly desires had held us in bonds and chains, now we are free to live the good lives that God has called us to live. It should be our heart’s desire to please God in every way, every day. We are in a war and there is no neutral ground.  There is no standing still, if we aren’t making progress everyday, we are regressing. When we are in love with someone, we want to spend time alone with them. God is in love with each of us and He is overjoyed when we choose to spend time alone with Him. The time we spend with Jesus is the way we get the strength to wage the war. If we don’t spend time preparing for the battle, we will be defeated daily, even though the war was won at the Cross. Spend a minute with God right now and often throughout the day. He will give you peace in the middle of the chaos and strength to wage the war.


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

Post 04-17-2018

“The Right To Do Anything”

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12 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. 13 You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. —1 Cor. 6:12,13 NIV

When we accepted Jesus as our Savior, we were set free from the bondage of sin. We no longer were bound to satan and the flesh. Just as our physical freedom has limits, so does our Spiritual freedom have limits.  The physical limits are set by the laws of the land.  Our Spiritual limits are set because of our love for our Lord and Savior. Free to do anything?  Yes, but would doing just anything the flesh wanted glorify our Lord? No, of course not.  The flesh is weak and if we give into fleshly desires, they will become our master. We are free to choose who we serve. We can serve Jesus and live or we can serve the flesh and die. We are free to give into temptations, but that doesn’t mean that we should. There are dire consequences to choosing a sinful lifestyle.

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.–James 1:15 NASB

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

Post 02-15-2018

True Food and True Drink

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55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.  –John 6:55 NLT


Earthly food sustains the natural, fleshly body. Just as earthly food rots away, so does the fleshly body grow old and die, But if we partake of the living bread that came down from heaven and drink the blood of Jesus, we will have eternal life. Jesus is, of course, not talking about cannabilism. He is talking about us hearing and accepting His Word, which is the Bread of Heaven and receiving the Holy Spirit, which is the well that will never run dry. This is why we can say that we have Jesus abiding in us. Jesus lives because the Father who sent Him to us lives. He is the Creator of everything and breathed His life into us at our Creation. The fleshly tents we live in now will die and decay, but we, who have accepted Jesus as our Savior and Lord, will live forever. As the Holy Spirit, Jesus lives in us and we are in Christ Jesus by His doing
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30 But​ ​by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption—1 Cor. 1:30 (NASB)


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

Post 09-09-2017

True Freedom

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1 So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law. – Galatians 5:1 NLT
 
When we were born physically, we were born into a sinful world. We live in bodies of flesh that have carnal desires.  Because sin is still in the world and we are all infected and affected by it, we follow(ed) after those fleshly, carnal desires. The lifestyles that we live(d) are/were not pleasing to God. Jesus sent His Son to redeem us from this fallen state.  When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we are born again spiritually, we become new creations in Christ Jesus. We get a new heart with new desires but, the flesh does not just automatically and instantly give up and die. The old desires are still there and it is a constant, second by second battle to defeat the desires of the flesh.  To kill those fleshly desires, we not only need open heart surgery, but we need major brain surgery.  Our mindset and our attitudes have to be changed. When carnal, evil, unkind, sinful thoughts “pop up” in our minds, we can be sure that those thoughts do not come from God, but, rather from satan and his minions. We must always remember that they are liars and they are here only to destroy us.
 
8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. — 1 Peter 5:8
We are tempted by these evil thoughts.  If we allow ourselves to be enticed and follow those fleshly desires, they lead us to sin and sin eventually leads to death. But we have a way out, we have a redeemer and a High Priest who has suffered those same temptations and understands our weaknesses. He defeated satan at the cross, so that we could live full, abundant lives.

 

10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. — John 10:10 NKJV

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

Post 07-04-2017

Dead, Yet Alive With Christ!

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And God will use this persecution to show his justice and to make you worthy of his Kingdom, for which you are suffering. — 2 Thess. 1:5 NLT

Most Christians in the Western World have not experienced the kind of persecution to which Paul is referring. Probably the worst persecution that we receive is losing (temporarily, hopefully) the friendship of someone close to us because of our belief in the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Here, Paul is talking about those early Christians who gave their lives for the Gospel. I would guess that most of us have wondered, at some time or other, how far we would go for the Gospel. Would I really lay down my life for Jesus?  Paul tells us that we should consider our physical bodies as dead already. 

For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. – Col. 3:3 NKJV

Since this is true, we should consider our physical bodies already dead. But our Spirit will always be alive because of what Jesus did for us at Calvary. So, if we are attempting to live the lifestyle that Jesus wants us to, isn’t the decision already made? We agreed to die with Christ and mortify (put to death) our fleshly desires so that we will be raised with Christ in our new immortal bodies. It is all about faith and trust. Will God do what He said or not? The answer is “Yes, of course, He will.” In His mercy, He will protect and perfect us and in His justice, He will repay the persecutors


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

Post 03-22-2017

Change Your Thought Patterns

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Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.
— Col 3:2 NLT

Paul tells us in Romans about the struggle he had with the flesh. He always wanted to do right, but found himself doing the wrong things. He knows what is right, but doesn’t always live up to that standard. We have the same struggle and as long as we are in this tent of flesh, we will always have it. We have to put to death our fleshly desires and focus on Jesus. The devil wants to keep us “sin-minded’”, but we need to follow after God’s Holy Spirit and be “Christ-minded”. If we have the mind of Christ, His attitude, and if we always try to see things through His eyes, then we can focus on things above and those fleshly desires will become less and less important. This does not mean that we live in some fantasy world, but rather, that the things of Christ become more real to us as we mature in our journey with Him.

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

Post 03-09-2017