“Lay Up Treasures In Heaven”

14 Through Christ Jesus, God has blessed the Gentiles with the same blessing he promised to Abraham, so that we who are believers might receive the promised Holy Spirit through faith. — Galatians 3:14 NLT

Galatians 3:13-18 NLT

God blessed Abram with abundant natural blessings and changed his name to Abraham.  What did Abraham do to deserve these blessings?  He did nothing to earn them. Blessings are gifts from God, they are not rewards for good works. We can never do enough or be good enough to earn blessings from God.  The greatest blessing we receive is salvation.  That gift is free and cannot be earned. Since the greatest gift of all was freely given, why do we feel that we have to earn the lesser gifts?  The blessings come because of God’s great love for us and His covenant promise to Abraham that all nations would be blessed through his seed (or child), not seeds or children.  It is singular meaning only one and that one is Jesus Christ.  So, all of our blessings come through Jesus Christ and because He gave His life for us at Calvary.  The debt was paid in full for all  the blessings we receive.   If good works can earn salvation or any blessing then Jesus Christ died in vain. The good works are to lay up rewards in heaven and to earn crowns that we can lay at the feet of Jesus.  Good works are a part of our worship here on earth.  The rewards we receive for those good works are laid up in heaven and will be used to worship Jesus there.  The blessings we receive here are a taste of what is to come and to encourage us to continue and never turn back

Treasures In Heaven

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

Post 01-11-2018

Be Continually Filled With the Holy Spirit

even-smaller-bug-light1

17 ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on everyone.
Your sons and your daughters will prophesy,
    your young men will see visions,
        and your old men will dream dreams.
​- Acts 2:17 ISV​


The pouring out of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost was a beginning of the fulfillment of this prophesy from Joel in the Old Testament.  God continues to pour out His Spirit on His people even today.  This will continue until Jesus returns to take all of His children home.  Then the Holy Spirit will be removed from the earth and satan will reign. When will this be?  Only God the Father knows.  If we are saved, it doesn’t really matter when it happens, we will be ready.   What does matter is how we spend our time until then.  When we accepted Jesus, we were saved and we are still saved.  Works will not make us more saved, they are an outward sign of who we serve as Master and Lord. The works we do here are also how we earn our rewards in heaven.  We are not to live as we used to live, but through the direction of the Holy Spirit and studying of God’s Word, we are to determine those things that please God and do those things only.  When we see sinful things going on, we are to expose them, not participate in them. We must learn to live wisely and not as fools. We are to spend our time, not in grumbling, whining and complaining, but in joyfully serving the Lord doing everything He asks us to do wherever He has planted us.

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

Post 11-25-2018

The Guide and Teacher Arrives

even-smaller-bug-light1

They saw tongues like flames of fire that separated, and one rested on each of them.  – ACTS 2:3 ISV
 
 
Pentecost is the Greek name for Shavout (Hebrew for “Weeks”).  Shavout was the celebration for the giving of the law to Moses at Mount Sinai.  That occurred fifty days after the Passover in Egypt.  It was now the fiftieth day since the Passover had been celebrated in Jerusalem.  The Holy Spirit was given at this time confirming the New Covenant of Grace and the beginning of what we call the “church” age.  When the Bible says that we can do nothing without Jesus (John 15:5) but we can do all things through Christ (Phil 4:13), the verses are referring to the strength and direction that we receive from the Holy Spirit who abides in us.  He gives us the words to say and the ability to say those words.  We need to make plans, study and be prepared to always give a reason for our hope in Jesus Christ, (1 Peter 3:13), but we should always be flexible enough to make an adjustment in our plans.  Why?  Because we can’t plan for every conceivable event but the Holy Spirit can and does.  It is He Who will give us the exact words to speak and the strength to speak them in any situation. (Luke 12: 11-12).  Just be obedient and trust the Holy Spirit for strength and safety.

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

Post 11-24-2018

“Devote Ourselves to Good”

even-smaller-bug-light1

This saying is trustworthy. I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have put their faith in God may devote themselves to good actions. These things are good and helpful to other people. ​- Titus 3:8 ISV​
Paul started chapter three by asking Titus to remind the church at Crete of certain things, such as  ”be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.”  In verses 2 and 3 ,he reminds them of how they used to act and in verses 4-9, he tells them why they should act differently now and in the future.  They have been saved from the wrath to come, redeemed from their sins and justified by the grace of God.  They are now heirs of God with the hope of eternal life. The same is true for us today. Because God has placed the Holy Spirit in us as an earnest of this hope, we can be sure of its fulfillment. These things still need to be stressed in today’s world, so that we will also devote ourselves to “doing what is good”.   Jesus said that He did the works of the Father and in the book of Acts, we read this verse:

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 

So, “doing what is good” means to follow the example of what Jesus did while He was here on earth. The “works of the Father” are accomplished by living a lifestyle modeled after Jesus. A list of “works” would be very long but would definitely include witnessing and disciplining. We can’t do these works alone but, just as Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit and power, so are we.
Ask God today, what “good works” He has planned and purposed for your life. Then be obedient in following the leadership of the Holy Spirit in accomplishing those “good works” . Do not become disappointed if you don’t see immediate results. Just remember three things:
1. Not everyone accepted the message when Jesus gave it, so not everyone will accept it from you.
2. We are not responsible for the results, that is the work of the Holy Spirit.
3. Wherever we are and whatever we are doing, we are witnessing for good or for evil, which one will we choose?
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 07-24-2018

The Veil Has Been Removed

even-smaller-bug-light1

17 For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. – 2 Cor. 3:17
 
Even though the veil was rent when Jesus died on the cross, there are those who who will hear the news and not accept it as truth.  Whether they claim to believe the law or not, their refusal of the offer of salvation leaves them under the law. Therefore, when the Old Testament is read, a veil covers their heart. They hear but they refuse to understand.  The veil is not removed from our eyes and hearts until we accept Jesus as our Savior. The law and the veil keep us in bondage and lead to death.  When we accept Jesus as our Savior, the veil is removed and the Holy Spirit comes to abide in us giving us freedom and life. At that moment, we are saved from the wrath of God and eternal punishment.  But, God wants us to have more than just salvation, He wants us to understand that now we are being sanctified or set apart for His service and for His glory. He wants us to get to know Him, to have a relationship with Him and participate in the abundant life. For that to happen, we must spend time contemplating and meditating on His Word. As we spend time with God, the Holy Spirit is transforming us into the image of God.2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3 All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. — 1 John 3:2, 3 NIV

 

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

Post 06-06-2018

Empowered to Do Good

even-smaller-bug-light1

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

Keep the Temple Clean and Holy

even-smaller-bug-light1

16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.1 Cor. 3:16,17 NASB

When Solomon built the first Temple in Jerusalem, it included the Holy of Holies or the Most Holy Place. That was where the Ark was placed and that is where the Shekinah glory of God came down. There was no sun or artificial light in the place, the glory of God was the only light that lit up the Most Holy Place. If anyone defiled the Most Holy Place in the Temple, they were sentenced to death. The priest that entered the Most Holy Place wore a rope around his ankle, so that if he erred in his duties and God destroyed him, his body could be pulled out. This should let us know how serious God is about the defilement of His Temple. Now, we are that Most Holy Place. It is hard for us to grasp the concept that we are a Temple of the Living God. There is the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, actually living inside us. The Holy Spirit is a person with emotions. He can be grieved and hurt. If we choose a lifestyle that defiles the Temple, our bodies, we will be destroyed as well. Does this mean that we will die and go to hell? No, not if you have accepted Jesus as your Savior. It could very well mean that you depart from this earth at an earlier age than you expected.

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

Post 02-02-2018