Show Appreciation for the Church Elders

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12 Brothers, we ask you to show your appreciation for those who work among you, set an example for you in the Lord, and instruct you. 13 Hold them in the highest regard, loving them because of their work. Live in peace with each other.
 – 1 Thess. 5:12-13 IVS
We are instructed to pray for and respect those that are in leadership positions and have authority over us. This is true in the natural and spiritual areas of our lives. It is God that has lifted them up or has allowed them to be lifted up to those positions. God can use these people, be they good or evil, to accomplish His plans and purposes. As long as their instructions to us do not violate man’s law or the Word of God, we should follow their directives.  So, it is imperative for us to pray for and support our pastoral staffs as long as they hold to Biblical principles. Our support should not only be financial, but we should support them with our time and our presence at the activities they have planned for the church.  Love them, pray for them and  be there for them when they need someone. The leaders of the church are worthy of double honor.
 
 17 The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. 18 For Scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,” and “The worker deserves his wages.” — 1 Timothy 5:17, 18

God has raised them up and if they are no longer worthy of that position, He is their judge and He will bring them down. We should live in peace, not only with the leaders of our congregation, but also with our brothers and sisters in our church, our community and throughout the world.

 
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 07-18-2018

Thoughts Eventually Lead to Actions

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Each of you must know how to control his own body in a holy and honorable manner, not with passion and lust like the gentiles who do not know God. – 1 Thess. 4:4 ISV
 
 
Paul, in his letters, to the churches reminds them of the things he has taught them about how to live a Christian lifestyle. He continually encourages them to study, to pray for and encourage each other.  These letters were written to churches whose members understood persecution.  They lived with it every day. He was a great example to them because of all the beatings and persecutions that he endured on an almost daily basis.  We don’t have to face those types of offenses every day like they did. But, the temptations of the flesh that Paul warns them against are just as real today as they were then.  As long as we are on this earth, we will be tempted to sin. But, we are also told that we will never be tempted above that which we can bear and there is always a way out, if we want to avoid the sin badly enough. Our flesh tempts in some many areas, we can sin when we gossip, when we hate others, when we withhold our abundance of worldly goods from those around us, when we see others hurting and don’t take the time to comfort them. When we think unkind thoughts about others, even though we don’t say the words, the harm is done to us and our relationship with God. The world is a cesspool of temptations for the flesh.  All of these sins are outside the body, except for sexual sin, which defiles the temple of the living God, Our bodies were created by God to glorify God.  When we participate in illicit sexual activity, whether in thought or action, our bodies and souls are bound with those bodies and desecrate the Temple.

 
 15 Surely you know that your bodies are parts of Christ himself. So I must never take the parts of Christ and join them to a prostitute! 16 It is written in the Scriptures, “The two will become one body.” So you should know that anyone who joins with a prostitute becomes one body with the prostitute. 17 But the one who joins with the Lord is one spirit with the Lord.. — 1 Cor. 6:15-17 NCV

So, we must be careful to avoid all temptations, but, especially sexual temptations.  So, when you feel that nudge to walk away from a situation, don’t just walk away, Run!

 

18 So run away from sexual sin. Every other sin people do is outside their bodies, but those who sin sexually sin against their own bodies. 19 You should know that your body is a temple for the Holy Spirit who is in you. You have received the Holy Spirit from God. So you do not belong to yourselves, 20 because you were bought by God for a price. So honor God with your bodies. — 1 Cor. 6:18-2​0

 

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

Post 07-15-2018

“Render Unto Caesar…”

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17 Respect everyone, and love the family of believers. Fear God, and respect the king.– 1 Peter 2:17 NLT
We should obey the laws of the land unless they contradict the Scriptures. We do this so that people who are watching will not have a reason to criticize the body of Christ. We are free to live as we choose, but that does not give us a license to go around violating the laws of the land. Violation of the law is a sin in God’s eyes. Our lives should reflect the example that Jesus showed us while He was here on earth. As hard as the religious leaders looked, they could not find one legitimate reason to arrest and/or imprison our Savior much less put Him to death on the cross.  They had to resort to hiring people to lie against him on the witness stand. We may or may not agree with the official holding the office, but we are still to respect the office and give due honor to it. Paul shows us this example in the book of Acts:

4 Those who were standing near Paul said, “How dare you insult God’s high priest!”  5 Paul replied, “Brothers, I did not realize that he was the high priest; for it is written: ‘Do not speak evil about the ruler of your people.’ — Acts 23:4,5 NIV

We must constantly battle the flesh to show love and respect for those with whom we disagree. But we must never use the freedom we have in Christ Jesus to do anything that would cast the slightest shadow on His Name. Fearing God requires us to show others respect and love.

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

Post 04-18-2018

Honor Your Leaders But Fear God

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15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. 16 Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. 17 Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.–1 Peter 2:15-17 NIV

Jesus instructed each of us to “render unto Caeser that which is Caeser’s” and that we must do. We need to pay our taxes in an attempt to keep our nation free. We need to obey the law to prevent chaos. But there is a line we cannot cross. It might have been legal for the money changers to conduct business in the Temple (at least, it was allowed by law), but it did not keep Jesus from chasing them out of the Temple.  
​Dr. James Dobson said:  “​We will render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s, but in no wise will we render unto Caesar that which belongs to God.​”
1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.–Gal. 5:1 NIV
This nation is on a path to become a slave to greed and lust. Whether it is an individual or a nation, that path is a dead end street.

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 03-19-2018

“The Truth and Nothing But the Truth”

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18 Those who speak for themselves want glory only for themselves, but a person who seeks to honor the one who sent him speaks truth, not lies. – John 7:18 NLT
 

It doesn’t seem to matter how many miracles Jesus had performed or how many times He had spoken, the people were always surprised when they heard Him. Jesus told them that the message He was giving them was not His own but it came from God the Father who had sent Him. Jesus reminded them that they had Moses law which said “Thou shalt not kill” but the leaders were determined to have Him killed, thus disobeying the law handed down by Moses. In today’s world, we must follow the example Jesus set. We must deliver a message based on truth as given to us by the Holy Scriptures. Our message should not glorify us, but it should glorify our Father, who is in heaven. As John the Baptist said:

30 He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.–John 3:30 (NLT)


When we speak the truth as it is given to us by the Holy Spirit to speak and that message is rejected, it is not us that is being rejected, but, rather, it is Jesus that is being rejected. So, don’t be concerned about being offended, just speak the truth in love and God will take care of the results.


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

Post 09-14-2017

Life-Giving Power

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26 The Father has life in himself, and he has granted that same life-giving power to his Son.  ​– John 5:26 NLT

God the Father has honored His Son by giving Him complete authority to judge us. It is the Father’s desire for us to honor His Son just as He has honored Him. If we dishonor the name of Jesus, we dishonor God our Father as well. God breathed life into us, when He created us, He is the source of our physical life, as well as our spiritual life. The Father has given this life-giving power to His Son. Because of His obedience, even unto death on the cross, Jesus has been given all authority in heaven and on earth.
18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.—Matt. 28:18 (NLT)
Now that we are in Christ and Christ is in us, we have access to the Name and the authority of the Name of Jesus. Just as Jesus only did what He saw the Father do and only said what the Father said, we must speak only those words that we hear Jesus speak and do only those deeds that the Holy Spirit leads us to do.

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

Post 08-26-2017

Glory! Majesty! Honor!

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24 Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault. 25 All glory to him who alone is God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen. – Jude 24-25 NLT

Our prayers should always contain adoration and praise for our Creator. He alone is worthy of our praise. Just as any parent wants to hear their children say “I love you”, so does our Father want to hear us say it. Take the time to sit in His presence and commune with Him. He has something to say to you, so don’t talk “to” God, talk “with” God, Speak to Him and then wait on Him to respond. Most of all, remember, not every prayer has to be a request, sometimes He wants to hear from us just because we love Him. Consider the possibility that if God answered each of our prayers immediately, He knows that He wouldn’t hear from us again until another need arose. He is our Creator, but He is also our Father. Once we have acknowledged Him as our Lord and Savior, He also wants to be our closest Friend. So, as we pour out what is in our hearts to Him, we also need to praise Him and just love on Him. He is waiting to hear from each of us.

This gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 07-29-2017