Changed From the Inside out

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The Spirit of the Lord will come upon you, and you’ll prophesy with them and be changed into a different person. – 1 Samuel 10:6 
 After Moses and Joshua had died, God raised up Judges in Israel.  The Israelis would turn away from God and God would allow the enemies of Israel to be successful in battle against the them  When they wept and repented, God would raise up a judge to deliver them and to govern over them for a time.  Each time this happened, God had someone prepared to be the judge for the next few years.  Samuel was the last of the judges.  This was because the Israelis wanted a king over them, so they would be like the nations around them.  By asking God for an earthly king, they were rejecting God as their king.  Through Samuel, God warned them of the negative things that would happen if they chose an earthly king.  Still, that is what the people wanted and that is what God gave them. He chose Saul to be their king.  Before Saul could take his position as king, God gave him a new heart and filled him with His Spirit. God never chooses any of us to do something for Him and His Kingdom without the proper preparations.  If we are not already prepared, He will prepare us and give us everything we need to do His bidding. When we feel a special call from God, we may very well feel completely unprepared to complete the task.  But, we can be assured that by the time God puts His plan for us into action, He will have prepared us to do the job better than anyone else could possibly do it.  God chooses ordinary people and turns them into His extraordinary servants.  All He wants or expects from us is our willingness and obedience, He will do the rest.
10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. — Eph. 2:10 NLT
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 12-03-2018

Sometimes A Good Father Says “No”

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 26 “But the Lord was angry with me because of you, and he would not listen to me. ‘That’s enough!’ he declared. ‘Speak of it no more.  — Deut. 3:24-26 NLT

Deut 3:24-26 ISV

From a human viewpoint, if anyone deserved to enter the Promised Land, it was Moses. When God told Moses to speak to the rock to cause water to flow out, Moses in his anger, struck the rock.  Compared to all of the foolishness of the tribes of Israel, this seems like a small thing to us.  But God views things and events from a totally different perspective.  Whatever His reasons were, God’s answer to Moses’s prayer was “No”.  God gave Paul the same answer when Paul asked God to remove “the thorn in his flesh”.  We are not sure what the “thorn” was nor exactly why God said “No”, but Paul was assured that he needed the “thorn” to keep him humble.  In both cases, God heard the prayer and answered.  Not the answer the men wanted to hear, but He answered.  The prayers that we humans refer to as “unanswered” are the ones when God gives us an answer we don’t want to hear or when we don’t agree with His answer.  Neither Moses nor Paul rebelled against God because of His answer.  They accepted the answer as God’s will and continued to be God’s servants.  God did not “owe” Moses and Paul anything for their obedience. He owes us nothing and will never be indebted to us.  We, on the other hand, owe Him everything and will always be indebted to Him.  He blesses us simply because He loves us and it gives Him great joy to bless His children.  The good works that we do are to show God’s love to others and to show our obedience to God.  
35 “Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. 36 You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate. — Luke 6:35, 36 NLT
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 10-30-2018

We Need Workplace Witnesses

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12 May the Lord greatly increase your love for each other and for all people, just as we love you. -1 Thess. 3:12 
Paul’s love and concern for the new converts that he and his companions have led to Christ is a great example for us to follow.  We may never be missionaries in  a faraway land, but we are missionaries in a land that is not our home. We are aliens and strangers wherever we are on this earth. Therefore, we need to have the same concern for those new converts in our own churches. Every church body needs Barnabases and Timothys to encourage and teach new and older converts. We need Esthers and Priscillas to teach self-sacrifice, humbleness and obedience.

 15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16 “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.” 
–Esther 4:15, 16

We need Ezras to teach leadership, fasting, praying and complete reliance on God.

21 There, by the Ahava Canal, I proclaimed a fast, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask him for a safe journey for us and our children, with all our possessions. 22 I was ashamed to ask the king for soldiers and horsemen to protect us from enemies on the road, because we had told the king, “The gracious hand of our God is on everyone who looks to him, but his great anger is against all who forsake him.” 23 So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer. 
— Ezra 8;21-23
We need workplace ministers like Paul who witnessed while carrying on his occupation as a tentmaker and Lydias to encourage, support and provide for those laboring in God’s fields.
14 One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. 15 When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us. — Acts 16:14, 15
We are all servants in God’s army and God needs us to serve and stand firm wherever we are and complete the tasks He has called us to do, whatever that may be.He has a plan and a purpose for everyone He calls.

Have you discovered your purpose in the Kingdom?  If not, talk to Him today about it and get started.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 07-14-18

Our Ultimate Goal Is To Please God

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 So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him. – 2 Cor. 5:9 NLT
 
 
The ultimate goal for a Christian is to live a lifestyle that is pleasing to God. This doesn’t mean that all of us have to be involved in the traditional full time ministries.  It does mean that God expects us to use the abilities and the resources He has placed under our control to glorify Him.  It means that whatever position we are in that God has made us a steward over that part of His world and His business. We are accountable to Him for every second and every cent we spend. The time and the money are gifts from our Father and He expects us to use them to glorify Him and further His Kingdom. Besides the purchases of those things necessary for living, we need to be sure that the why, when and where we spend time and money brings glory to Him. As we spend more time with just us and God meditating on His Word, we find that our wants and desires begin to change.  As we focus on Jesus, the worldly things become less important and pleasing Him becomes our heart’s desire. God has a plan and a purpose for each of us. We don’t need to know the whole plan, we just need to walk in faith trusting Him. We can take the next step knowing that the path leads to an eternity with Him.
3. Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. — Proverbs 16:3 NIV
17 May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us;  establish the work of our hands for us — yes, establish the work of our hands. — Psalm 90:17 NIV
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 06-12-2018

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

We Will Receive What He Has Promised

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14 For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ. – Hebrews 3:14 NLT
When Jesus was still here on earth, He warned His disciples about being fooled by false prophets that would arise. These false prophets would claim that Jesus is coming this year or they may even claim to have seen Jesus.

 23 At that time, someone might say to you, ‘Look, there is the Christ!’ Or another person might say, ‘There he is!’ But don’t believe them. 24 False Christs and false prophets will come and perform great wonders and miracles. They will try to fool even the people God has chosen, if that is possible. 25 Now I have warned you about this before it happens. — Matthew 24:23-25 NIV
 

We have been forewarned of the danger of taking our salvation lightly.  We need to study the Word, pray and meditate on it daily.  Our flesh is weak and can be easily tempted to return to its old sinful ways.  It is up to us to “put on the full armor of God” every day.  The armor of God is designed to fight the spiritual battle that goes on in our minds all day long, every day.  

 

3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.  — 2 Cor. 10:3-5 NIV

Each day, we need to encourage each other and support each other with our prayers, so that we can persevere.

36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised— Hebrews 10:35 NIV

 

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

Post 05-04-2018

“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