Never Alone

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It is not because you are so good or have such integrity that you are about to occupy their land. The Lord your God will drive these nations out ahead of you only because of their wickedness, and to fulfill the oath he swore to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. You must recognize that the Lord your God is not giving you this good land because you are good, for you are not—you are a stubborn people. — Deut. 9:5, 6 NLT

It is very easy for us to read the account of the journey from Egypt to Canaan and criticize the children of Israel for all their stubbornness and lack of faith.  God chose them, called them out of Egypt, provided for them and kept them safe by His own arm and great power.  Their response was to moan and groan about the things they didn’t have instead of being thankful for what God was doing for them. Had it not have been for the prayers of Moses, God would have completely destroyed these people and started over with just the family of Moses. God reminds them that it is not because of any goodness in them that He has allowed them to come this far.  It is because of the wickedness of the people that live in Canaan and the oath He has sworn to Abraham, Issac and Jacob.  Let us look at our lives today.  How often do we, who live in the lap of luxury compared to ninety percent of the world, moan, groan and complain?  How often do we consider what we don’t have instead of being thankful for what we do have?  Let us honestly and truthfully consider our thoughts and how we spend our time and resources.  Are we not just as stubborn and rebellious as these people were?  If Jesus came to our house today, would He feel welcomed by what He sees or would He wonder if we even knew Him?  If Jesus walked with us everyday, is there anything in our lifestyle that we would change?  If the answer is “Yes”, then let’s not be stubborn, let’s change it today because Jesus is walking with us everywhere we go.

20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” ​ — Matt. 28:20 NLT​

 

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

Post 11-01-2018

Fully and Totally Committed To Him

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28 “The Lord heard the request you made to me. And he said, ‘I have heard what the people said to you, and they are right. 29 Oh, that they would always have hearts like this, that they might fear me and obey all my commands! If they did, they and their descendants would prosper forever. — Deut. 5:28, 29 NLT

God chose the children of Israel to be His people and as long as they were obedient, He blessed them and provided for them.  But, oftentimes, they were disobedient and God had to discipline them.  He has chosen us to be His peculiar people in today’s world.  It is His heart’s desire to bless us daily and provide everything that we need to live Godly lives.  We, like the children of Israel, often require discipline.  Because of choices we make, a just God cannot bless us during our times of disobedience.  This does not mean that every rough patch we go through means we have sinned, some of those times, God allows so that we can grow spiritually.  God is not looking for times to discipline us, He is looking for times that He can pour out His blessings on us.  He is looking for those whose hearts are totally committed to Him.  As we read in verse 29, God says “Oh, that they would always have hearts like this, that they would fear me and keep all my commandments.”   If we have that kind of heart, then God promises us that we will prosper forever.  He is still looking for those with that kind of heart today, hearts that are fully committed to Him.

9 The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. — 2 Chronicles 16:9a NLT
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 10-31-2018

“You Feed Them”

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35 Late in the afternoon his disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. 36 Send the crowds away so they can go to the nearby farms and villages and buy something to eat.”  

37 But Jesus said, “You feed them.”

“With what?” they asked. “We’d have to work for months .”— Mark 6:35-37a NLT

Jesus is still saying the same thing today — “You feed them”.  We are still doing the same thing the disciples did, we are asking –“With what?”  When we have a worldly view of things, we see the impossibilities, when we are focused on Jesus and see through His eyes we see the possibilities.  What an opportunity and what an honor it is for us to be asked to feed the multitudes.  This situation with the huge crowd and little resources was an opportunity for Jesus to teach the disciples.  Even though they had walked with Jesus for quite a while and had seen all the miracles that He performed, they still had not gotten the message. I am sure that if Jesus had said “tell them to sit down and I will feed them”, the disciples would have had little trouble believing that, but when He instructed them to feed the crowd, that was a completely different issue. We, like the disciples, sometimes hear the words but misunderstand our part.  Jesus needed their hands and feet to walk and hand out the food, He would provide the food.  When Jesus instructs us to do something, just obey and watch the miracle happen.  When you look at your resources, they may seem too little to accomplish the task, but there will be more than enough.  There were plenty of leftovers after everyone had eaten their fill and in the Old Testament, the widow’s cruse of oil did not run out, there was always plenty to fill the next vessel.  God’s Spirit will not run out, there will always be plenty to fill the next person. Our part is to be carriers, God is the supplier.

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

Post 10-18-2018

WDP- Weapons of Divine Power

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We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. -2 Cor. 10:5 NLT
 
After admonishing the Corinthians for allowing impurities in their worship service and then expressing his joy because of their repentance, Paul expresses his concern that some of them still haven’t gotten the full message. They are still trying to bring the world into the church instead of carrying the church into the world. Just as with the Corinthians, our actions do not always back up our teachings.  Paul starts teaching the Corinthians and us about where the problem is and how we should attack it. The problem is our mindset and that is not a battle that can be won with worldly weapons. The world and satan hits us with a constant barrage of violence, sexual innuendos, and all manners of chaos.  To protect our minds, we need to fill them with the knowledge of God and be constantly filled with the Holy Spirit.  Every thought that comes to our mind, must be immediately processed and either deleted or stored in our arsenal of divine weapons.  We can’t dilly-dally or play games or we will be overpowered with fleshly desires. Be on the alert! Be ready to punish and cast out every vile and sinful thought.

8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the ​world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. — 1 Peter 5:8, 9 NIV

 

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

Post -6-20-2018

Like Us or Like Jesus?

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13 As a result, other Jewish believers followed Peter’s hypocrisy, and even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. – Gal. 2:13 NLT
 
 
Paul continues his crusade to help people to understand the freedom they now have since Jesus fulfilled the law. New converts then and now are not compelled to travel to Jerusalem and make sacrifices each year nor are we expected to meet any requirements of the law. We are required to love the Lord, our God, with all our heart, strength, mind and body. If we do this, we will see changes in our lifestyle. Not because of some written laws but because the love of God constrains us. We respond to the love of God. It is His love for us that keeps us.

2 ​ ​fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him​ endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.–Hebrews 12:2 (NASB)
6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.—Philippians 1:6 (NASB)
Our focus is not to be on requiring others to take communion as often as we do or if they worship more reverently or loudly than we do (I could go on but you get the picture). We should be focused on making disciples that obey Jesus because they love Him, not in making clones that worship and/or serve like we do.

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

Post 12-27-2017

Freely Submitted!

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17 Respect everyone, and love the family of believers. Fear God, and respect the king.– 1 Peter 2:17 NLT

1 Peter 2:13 -17 NLT

As Christians, we are to follow all the laws of our land as long as they are not immoral or cause us to deny our faith. When we are speeding down the expressway and we see a cop, we get a little nervous, and we should. The law enforcement officers are agents of the government to punish us when we do wrong. But that same action should cause us, as Christians, to be ashamed because we have dishonored our Father. We should live the kind of lifestyle that pleases our Father and then we won’t need to be fearful or ashamed. Outsiders will not be able to speak evil of our Lord because of what we have done. The world watches us closely to see if our walk is up to our talk. If it isn’t, we cause others to shy away from Christianity instead of wanting to be a part of God’s family. We should never use our liberty and freedom in Christ to hurt others. We must respect and love others. If we fear God, we will respect all those He has raised up in authority over us. For us, as Christians, it is completely possible to value all human beings without embracing their values.

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

Post 06-21-2017

Faithfulness Has It’s Rewards

even-smaller-bug-light1So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.  ​- 1 Peter 1:7​b NLT

1 Peter 1:6-8 NLT

We must have genuine faith to endure the trials and hardships here on earth. Our faith will be tested on many occasions. Through these tests and temptations we will grow stronger in our walk with the Lord. We must remember that we will never be tempted with anything that is not common to others, it will never be more than we can bear, and there is always a way out it we want to escape the temptation.


13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.​-1 Cor. 10:13 (NLT)​
 

So we must press on to heaven. We will have our reward when Jesus Christ is revealed. “Trust and obey, for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus”. (Hymn by John H Sammis, circa 1887) We love and trust Jesus because He gave Himself for us. That hope is what brings us joy and peace.

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

Post 06-13-2017