Press Onward and Upward

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49 “The Lord will bring a distant nation against you from the end of the earth, and it will swoop down on you like a vulture. It is a nation whose language you do not understand, 50 a fierce and heartless nation that shows no respect for the old and no pity for the young. — Deut 28:49, 50 NLT​

Deuteronomy 28 is probably best known for all the blessings that God promises if His people are obedient.  If the Israelis obeyed God by keeping His laws and commandments, they would be the most blessed nation on earth.  In this chapter, God also explains to them what will happen if they are disobedient.  If they fail to keep His commandments and laws, they will be the most cursed nation on earth and will eventually not be a nation at all, but a scattered people.  While the law was fulfilled when Jesus gave His life for us on the Cross and was resurrected, He still expects His people to be obedient.  God’s commandments in the Old Testaments were not just suggestions and His commands to us to be holy even as He is holy and to love Him above everyone and everything and our neighbors as ourselves are not suggestions.  He is the same God, yesterday, today and tomorrow, so we can be sure that if we are not obedient under the new covenant, the same curses will befall us.  We may or may not be a “Christian” nation, but we are a nation with millions of Christians living here.  We can make a difference if we spend time on our knees before a holy God and petition Him continuously for mercy and grace for our nation.  Jesus gave us the example of the persistent widow (Luke 18:1-8).  Let us follow that example in keeping on keeping on with our requests for our nation.  God told Abraham that He would not destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, if He could find five righteous people there, let us pray that He will show us the same mercy.

 
17 Never stop praying. — 1 Thess. 5:17 NLT

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

Post 11-05-2018

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

Healthy Food to Help the Spirit Grow

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5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.— 2 Peter 1:5-​7 NIV

We have accepted Christ as our Savior, what now? We are now new creatures in Christ Jesus and the new creature needs different food.  Our fleshly desires will want us to continue in the old ways consuming the same old garbage, but these ways will not satisfy the new spiritual man. There will be a hunger and a thirst that we have not known before and that hunger and thirst can only be satisfied by the goodness of the Word of God. We need to add some spiritual food to our daily diet. Here in these verses, Peter has made us a short list of what is to be included. The list ends with love, which holds all the others together and without love, the diet would be incomplete and ineffective. We have been saved by grace through faith, now we need to add goodness and the knowledge of God. This is done by studying and meditating on the Word of God. It also includes prayer and conversations with other Christians. God has called each of us to a work that He planned for us long ago. But, first we need some training because God will never send us where He has not prepared us to go. We are sent to make disciples, but first, we must become disciples.

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. — Romans 1:16 NIV
This verse must become alive in us and be the force that drives us to be a disciple. It can only be accomplished through “the power of God”.
 
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 04–09-2018

God’s Faithfulness

even-smaller-bug-light136 There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem. — Luke 2:36-38​ NIV

What faithfulness and perserverance was shown by Anna​. We don’t know how many years she was at the temple, but if she married at the normal age for that time, it could have been sixty years or more.  She “worshipped night and day, fasting and praying”.  Anna had given up everything to fast, pray and worship God   Her faithfulness led to her being allowed to speak to the parents and others telling them that Jesus was the long awaited Redeemer of Israel. It also led to her being one of the first few people to see Jesus and to her becoming one of the characters in the story of the greatest birth ever recorded.  What a reward for her faithfulness. These three verses are probably the least known of the verses in the story in Luke, yet, they announce the fulfillment of the prophecy that a Redeemer would come to Israel and His name would be Emmanuel.  Anna’s words became part of the basis for one of the most well-known Advent carols ever written.  This short passage is a great encouragement for us to remain faithful to God through the good times and the bad times.  God is always faithful and He always rewards faithfulness. 
22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.” — Lamentations 3:22-24 NIV
Let us use these two passages of scripture to remind us to be faithful throughout the year, through the good times and the rough times.  In the fullness of time, our Redeemer will come again to ransom us and our reward will be an eternity spent with Him.
Post 12-28-2015