Our Ultimate Goal Is To Please God

even-smaller-bug-light1

 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

even-smaller-bug-light1

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

even-smaller-bug-light1

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…”

even-smaller-bug-light1

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

“Accentuate the Positive”**

even-smaller-bug-light1

16 Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. – Romans 6:16 NLT
 


We were all born in sin into a sinful world, We live in a fleshly tent that desires to sin. In our own strength, we will never be free from those desires. The flesh lusts after money, power, and pleasures. When we lived a sinful lifestyle, we were being obedient to the flesh and the flesh was our master. Though we didn’t realize it at the time, we were slaves to sin and we were held in bondage by satan. But Jesus died and rose again that we might be free from that bondage.  Now, we can make a choice to live a life that is obedient to Jesus Christ. We are covered with His righteousness. But our freedom does not give us license to live a sinful lifestyle. We will all still sin occasionally, but our focus should not be on sinning, but on living a Christlike lifestyle. We used to have a carnal mind and followed after carnal things, Now, we have the mind of Christ and follow after Spiritual things.

Phil. 2:1-5 NLT


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

**Lyrics by Johnny Mercer

 

Post 03-25-2018

We Are Only the Messenger

even-smaller-bug-light1

34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. 36 You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.—Acts 10:34-36 NIV

Just as Peter had to be shown that Gentiles were not “unclean” in the sight of God, we sometimes need to be taught that same lesson.   We are all “unclean” in the sense that we are sinful, but the reference here is whether or not we are worthy of consideration for the gospel. Peter was speaking about nations, but let’s bring that down to groups and even further, let’s bring it down to individuals. How many times have we felt the nudge to speak to someone about the message of Jesus Christ and we have not been obedient?  Have we not, in that instance, said “No, Lord, they are unclean.”?  Reread verse 36, it says “through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all”.  God has already decided that He wants everyone to hear the gospel.

3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.–1 Timothy 2:3,4 NIV

We need to pray that God will release us from the fear of rejection and failure, so that we can witness to those He puts in our path each day. It helps to remember that we are not responsible for the outcome, we are only responsible to God to be obedient to the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Our success in witnessing is determined by our obedience, not by the final results. We obey, God takes care of the rest.

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

Post 03-10-2018

Obedience and Self-Control

even-smaller-bug-light1

Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control. – 1 Cor. 7:5b NLT

Since we don’t know the exact questions that the Corinthians had asked Paul, it makes it harder to understand his answer. There are two things we can know from the history of the church at that date. One thing is that some of the Corinthians had taken Paul’s teaching on sexual immorality to the extremes. Husbands and wives were using the teachings to completely deny each other. Some were even using it as an excuse to divorce unbelieving mates. The second thing is that about this time in history, Stoics were teaching complete celibacy for everyone. But, either way, Paul says that because this was causing a great deal of sexual immorality, it was better for a couple to stay married and fulfill their conjugal duties to each other rather than commit sin by having sex outside of marriage. Inside the marriage, each spouse should always consider the needs and desires of the other spouse to be more important than their own desires. Everything concerning the sexual relations of a married couple should be by common consent with no pressures or demands made by either. It’s not about the husband nor the wife, it’s about the couple being obedient to God.

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

Post 02-17-2018