He’s Coming Back – Be Ready

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Later, Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives. His disciples came to him privately and said, “Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will signal your return and the end of the world? – Matt. 24:3

Ever since Jesus ascended into heaven with His promise of returning, people have asked the question — When?  The disciples had even questioned Jesus about this before His death and resurrection.  Is when important and if so, why is it important?  If we knew for sure Jesus was coming back at the end of this month, would it make a difference? Would it cause us to be more diligent in witnessing to our family, friends and neighbors?  Would we be more committed to living a Holy lifestyle?  Would it change our priorities?  Would we gather our families around us and hold on to them tightly?  Would we mourn or rejoice?  Would we say. “even so, Lord, come quickly” or would we ask Him for a few more days to be sure our families were all saved?  If we are truly honest with ourselves, would it really make any difference?  If it would, then why doesn’t it make a difference even now?   Only the Father knows when Jesus will return and only the Father knows when each of us will leave here.  Since we don’t know either of these times, doesn’t it make sense to assume that it is today and live our lives accordingly?  Shouldn’t we live each day seeking first the Kingdom of God and trust God to take care of the rest?  If we could get to that point, then peace would overflow our hearts and life here on earth would be  “joy unspeakable and full of glory”!  Then “when” would become unimportant.


You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls. — 1 Peter 1:8, 9 NKJV

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

Post 10-19-2018

The Lover and the Loved

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27 The man answered, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”  28 “Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live! — Luke 10:27, 28 NLT

In any love relationship, there is the lover and the loved.  For the relationship to work, each participant must be both at all times.  You can’t choose to just be the lover today and the loved tomorrow.  That would never work, because the flesh would want to be only the loved everyday. Being the loved is easy, being the lover can be hard work. This is true in human relationships and it is true in our relationship with God.  He loved us first and He loves us more than we can love Him, but He still wants and desires all the love we can give Him.  He desires to spend time with us alone, just the two of us.  God, as our lover, sent us His Son as a gift, the greatest gift ever given by any lover to His beloved.  He also gave us a book containing many love letters, statements of His love for us and reminding us of the many things He has done to show His love for us.  In that book, He assures us that He will always be with us and never forsake us.  In a true, legitimate love relationship, when one party says to the other “I love you”, that requires a positive response from the other party, namely, “I love you, too.”
Have you ever just said “I love you, Lord”  for no other reason than the fact that you love Him and not because of something special He did for you?  Is he the last person on your mind before you go to sleep and is He the first person you speak to when you wake up?   Just try it in the morning.  Before your feet hit the floor, just say “I love You, Lord, I love You, Father, I love You, Holy Spirit, I love you, God.”   He will always respond with a gift of peace and joy.  He can’t help Himself, He will do it just because He is God and God is love.

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

Post 10-10-2018

Living Water

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10 Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”11 “But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water? — John 4:10, 11 NLT

This Samaritan woman had gone through five husbands and was now living with a man that was not her husband and she still had not found the peace and the happiness for which she was looking.  How many of us have chased after what the world calls happiness and found it to be emptiness?  We turn to the world looking for something to fill that emptiness and that void in our hearts.  The pleasures and happiness brought by a new possession or a new experience turn out to be short-lived.  All the fads and the “new” things promising eternal joy turn out to be nothing more than smoke and mirrors.  The devil tells us you just need a little more of this or a little more of that.  Happiness is just around the corner, he promises, and we continue the chase.  And it will always be a chase, because what we are looking for and what we really need can not be bought.  It has already been purchased lock, stock and barrel by Jesus at the Cross and it isn’t for sale.  He owns the whole supply and it is given freely to those who give up the worldly chase and turn to Him for forgiveness.  Stop running and chasing every new thing.  Sit at the feet of Jesus and drink in the living water.  Don’t take a little sip and leave, grab the bucket and pour the water on your head. Immerse yourself in His Word and peace and joy from a never ending stream will flow through your mind and body continuously.  Get under and stay “under the spout where the glory comes out”.  That is anywhere the unadulterated Word of God is preached and taught.  Find a place where you can immerse yourself in God’s Word every day and joy and peace will chase after and overcome you.

 
165 Those who love Your law have an abundance of peace, and nothing along their paths can cause them to stumble. — Psalm 119:165 The Voice

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

Post 10-04-2018

Spreading the Word Produces Joy

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You became imitators of us and of the Lord. In spite of a great deal of suffering, you welcomed the word with the joy that the Holy Spirit produces.
​- 1 Thess. 1:6 ISV​

God has chosen each of us and has a plan for each of us.  We are sanctified, set apart, for a particular purpose.  Our faith produces works that are a part of that process. We show our love for Christ by laboring and helping others. We are able to endure because of the hope we have in us, the hope that we have because God has poured His love into us. When the Gospel is preached, it goes forth with power to accomplish whatever purpose God has intended for it.  The power is the Holy Spirit which can cut us to the bone and convict us of our need for redemption.  This is the message Paul and his companions preached among the Thessalonians and in all the other places they traveled.  They were successful, not because of their powers of persuasion, but because they were completely obedient to the leadership of the Holy Spirit. It is the same message that each of us should be preaching every day with our lifestyle and as St Francis of Assisi encouraged us to do: “Preach the Gospel at all times and if necessary use words.”  We should follow the example of Paul and live lifestyles that are worthy of imitation, just as we have become imitators of Christ.  Then those who are suffering will receive the message with great joy.  Their joy will be observed by others who will want to know the source of such great joy.  The kind of joy that endures in the midst of suffering and persecution, the kind of joy that is caught, not taught.

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

Post 07-09-2018

Learning Obedience Through Suffering

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Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered. ​- Hebrews 5:8 NLT
Jesus suffered many things in His walk here on earth. He was exposed to every temptation that we are exposed to but never sinned.  Again, we sometimes forget that Jesus was completely human when he suffered these temptations.  We need to be very careful in assuming that Jesus did not sin because He was all God as well as all man.  He suffered as a human. His sufferings taught Him obedience because he was totally submitted to the will of His Father. We might say that Jesus knew He was going to be tempted and suffer here on earth, so He had an advantage. But if we read, study and really believe the Scriptures, we also know that we are going to suffer. The difference is that we often give into the desires of the flesh rather than trust our Father to deliver us. Suffering is not to let God know what our response will be, He already knows.  It is so that we will know where we are in our walk with God. Our sufferings are not to be avoided, they are to be embraced. Testing and temptations are stepping stones to maturity and to help us become more intimate with Jesus.

 

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 NIV

17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. 18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.— Romans 8:17, 18 NIV

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

 

Post 05-08-2018

“All Glory, Majesty, Power and Authority”

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11 All power to him forever! Amen. -1 Peter 5:11
 
We must remember that we are in a war at all times. We must continually resist the devil and not give him any hold on us in any way. That means that our daily lifestyle should be one that “shuns the very appearance of evil”.  We must stand firm in the faith, not murmuring or complaining about the situations we find ourselves in. If we are where we are because of our own bad decisions, we certainly don’t need to complain. If God has put us where we are, there is a reason for it and we should endure it with joy.  We are not experiencing anything that thousands before us have not already experienced and remained faithful. Our sufferings are to make us strong and steadfast and to bring glory to God. As Paul said.

18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. — Romans 8:18, 19 NIV

Our suffering here is but a very short time, then God will deliver us from it all.  He has all power and authority to do so and He has never failed on a promise to us.
24 To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.— Jude 24, 25  NIV


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

Post 04-24-2018

“Be Very Glad”

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13 Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world. – 1 Peter 4:13 NLT

Some of us have thought or been taught that once we are saved, life is just sunshine and roses. This can be true for us inwardly because we have the joy of the Lord abiding in us as our strength. But on the outside, satan is still around and sin still abounds, so we are going to have to face some offenses and situations. We should not be surprised when these issues arise.  Instead, we should rejoice in the situation.  Not because of the situation or offense, but because we know that if satan is confronting us with his garbage and lies, we must be messing with his plans. Sometimes it hurts deeply, but warriors on the front lines are the ones who get wounded. Should we complain?  Was Jesus not “wounded for our transgressions”?  Yes, He was and He suffered silently. Is the created better than the Creator? No, we are not.  We should count it a privilege and a joy to participate in the sufferings of Christ.

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. — James 1:2, 3 NIV

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

Post 04-20-2018