“Be Holy”

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16 For it is written, “You must be holy, because I am holy.” – 1 Peter 1:16 ISV

1 Peter 1:13 -16 ISV

God has made each of us different, but there is one thing that every human has in common, we were all born in sin into a sinful world.  We have all succumbed to those fleshly desires that kept us from enjoying the freedom that Jesus died to purchase for us.  When we have those thoughts that we might be better than others we need to be reminded that there was a time when we lived in ignorance of the goodness and the graciousness of God. Paul warns us in Romans not to think of ourselves as better than others.

 
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. — Romans 12:3 NIV

In Philippians, Paul takes it a step further and advises us to put others and their interests above ourselves and our interests.

3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. –Phil. 2:3, 4 NIV

If we practice doing this instead of being judgmental, we will be following the example that Jesus set for us.  If we have this mindset and focus on the fact that the only difference in us and them is the grace that God has so generously given unto us, it will cause us to show those around us the same kind of grace and forgiveness that God has shown to us. That is a step toward being holy even as God is holy.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 08-20-2018

Overflowing With Thankfulness!

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6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. — Colossians 2:6 7 NIV

The most important thing to be thankful for is salvation.  So, from the very moment we are saved, our hearts should begin to be filled with gratitude.  From that point on, all the blessings that we receive daily should continue to fill our hearts with thanksgiving and praise for our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.  To the extent that we follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit, our evil thoughts and desires are changing to good thoughts and desires.  There has/will come a day when we should be overflowing with joy and gratitude because of the goodness and greatness of the God that we serve.   Each day should bring less complaining and more reason to give God praise and thanksgiving. The praise and gratitude that fills our hearts will be reflected in the words that we speak.


 45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. — Luke 6:45 NKJV

Every time we bring our petitions before the Lord, we need to remember to bring with them an offering of thanksgiving and praise!  

 

4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
5 For the Lord is good;His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.  
— Psalm 100:4, 5 NKJV

This is for now and  all generations, not just the future when we enter into the gates of heaven and the courts of God. Every time, we speak His Name, we are entering into His gates and His courts. Let our hearts and our mouths overflow with praise for His goodness and mercy!

 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 08-09-2018

“Taste And See”

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Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
 or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers.
But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night.
They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.
– Psalm 1:1-3 NLT

 
There are thousands of books written in an attempt to make us feel better about ourselves. Do this and get rich, do this and influence people, do this and look better. Money, power and good looks do not come with bags of joy that can be opened at any time we need to feel good. All of these things are external and have nothing to do with the real problems of today.
The changes we need are from the inside out. It isn’t our natural diet that makes us who we are, contrary to what we have been told, we are not what we eat. The diet that determines whether we will be full of peace and joy is our Spiritual diet. Be filled with the Holy Spirit! The third person of the Trinity really is a person. He abides inside us to give us all the peace, joy and hope we need or desire. He knows our every need and is waiting patiently to give it to each of us. He weeps with us and when our hearts are broken, so is His. He feels the pain that we feel and He wants to restore our joy and hope when we are down and out. We need to learn to praise God and tell others what He has done for us. While we are praising Him, we will find that our joy will start to flow out from us to those around us. Praise and pray! God hears the praises and the prayers. He will not reject our prayers or withdraw His love from us. Eat your fill of Spiritual food each day, it is non-fattening, fulfilling and it purges us, pushing out all the sadness, worry and fears. Start with a taste and soon you will find that it takes a lot of Spiritual goodness to keep you satisfied!8 Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. —​Psalm 34:8

 

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

Post 05-27-2018

Empowered to Do Good

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He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. – Titus 3:4 NLT
God sees the big picture and is concerned with eternity. He is also concerned with each of us and the “now” , the present.  The present is where our lives intersect with eternity. It is the only part of eternity that humans can see and deal with. We can’t change the past and we don’t control the future. Yes, our past experiences affect our present decisions and those decisions certainly may have future consequences, but what those consequences will be are not in our control.  So, right now, today, let us “devote ourselves to doing what is good”.  That is the example that Jesus set for us.

38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him. — Acts 10:38 NIV

God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and power. We have access to this same anointing today. Without it, we are incapable of accomplishing the work God has for us to do.  With the anointing, all things are possible and we can do things that are “excellent and profitable for everyone”. Ask God and He will give us everything we need to accomplish His good works.
32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?  — Romans 8:32 NIV


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

Post 05-01-2018

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

The Same Joy as Jesus!

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11 I have told you these things so that you can have the same joy I have and so that your joy will be the fullest possible joy. – John 15:11 NCV
 

Jesus wants each of us to know the same joy that He knew because of His relationship with the Father. Because of the Holy Spirit, we have access to that same joy. Happiness is temporary and fleeting but the joy that we have is a fruit of the Spirit. Since the Spirit never leaves us, we always have access to that joy.
22 But the Spirit produces the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness–Gal. 5:22 (NCV)
We also have access to the same love and the same knowledge. As we learn to love Jesus, obedience becomes an act of adoration and not an act of obligation. One of the results of loving Jesus is that we will also love those around us and it will be easy to show them that we love them thus making it easier to obey the command that we should love each other. The Holy Spirit produces love and joy all the time. The question for us is this: If we are not full of love and joy, why not? Maybe we need to check our connection to the flow of the Spirit. Or as Zig Ziglar said (and I paraphrase here) We need a “checkup from the neck up to get rid of stinking thinking and replace it with an attitude of gratitude”.

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

Post 11-10-2017

His Timing is Perfect!

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11 Then he said, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but now I will go and wake him up.” – John 11:11 NLT

The followers of Jesus asked a reasonable question, one that we would most likely ask had we have been there. Why would anyone want to return to a place where the people had tried to kill him? While the question shows their love for Jesus it also shows again their lack of faith in His ability to protect them and Himself. Had they not just walked away before? How quickly we forget the goodness and mercy of God when danger seems to lurk at our next step. Jesus uses the illustration of natural sunlight, but the followers had much more than that to watch over them. They had the Light of the world leading them. Jesus knew that Lazarus was dead and the purpose for which Lazarus had died. “And I am glad for your sakes”! Think of it, the followers are concerned, but Jesus is rejoicing! They will see the miracle of a friend being raised from the dead and their faith will be strengthened. Walking in the Light of Jesus, we are always safe from harm. If we live, He walks with us and if we die, we walk with Him. We should rejoice and be glad! Jesus does all things well and in His timing.
36 You must hold on, so you can do what God wants and receive what he has promised. 37 For in a very short time,​ “The One who is coming will come​ and will not be delayed.​ ​—Hebrews 10:36-3​7​ (NCV)

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

Post –10-11-2017