“Stop Fighting With Each Other”

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You ask for something but do not get it because you ask for it for the wrong reason—for your own pleasure. – James 4:3 ISV
 
Let’s think back over the last few “discussions over differences” that we have had with a loved one, an acquaintance or someone ever the phone. In what percentage of the statements that we made, did the word “I” come up?  Were our thoughts, desires, and words based on “just judgment” or on our fleshly desires? Were we seeking justice or desiring to convince the other person(s) involved that we were right and they were wrong?  Or, if we are honest, were we just wanting to have it “our” way?  If we just wanted to have it our way, that is pride and we were more than likely wrong and just didn’t want to admit it.  When these “discussions over differences” get a little ugly, the flesh desires to kill and we satisfy that desire by using unkind and hurtful words.  Those words kill relationships. We covet the approval of our opinions from the other(s) involved in the discussion. so, we try to change their minds with our gift of persuasion. Instead, we should understand our limitations and ask God to change the minds of the ones who are wrong, accepting the fact that that might be us and not the others.  If we truly want God to answer our prayers (and He always does), then we need to be ready to accept the answer He gives.  Because the passage ends with the words “that you may spend what you get on your pleasures”, we tend to limit it to mean money. But, it applies to more than possessions and money, it also applies to time and talents. Are we using the time, talents and possessions that we have now for the glory of God?  We need to remember that all these “things” are really God’s anyway, they are just on loan to us and we could lose them quickly. Before we ask God for anything, we should be sure that what we are desiring will bring glory to His name.

17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. — Col. 3:17 NIV

 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 08-07-2018

“Gotta Tell Somebody”

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46 “We have never heard anyone speak like this!” the guards responded. – John 7:46 NLT

The religious leaders and the Pharisees, the very ones that God had entrusted to shepherd His flock, were the ones that refused to believe that this man, Jesus, was the Messiah. They were well versed in the Old Testament and should have known all the prophecies. It would have been fairly easy for them to find out exactly where Jesus was born and how many of those prophecies His birth and life, up to this point, had fulfilled. The problem was this; if they acknowledged Jesus as the Messiah while He refused to set up an earthly Kingdom, then they would lose their positions and authority to rule over the people. The flesh is stubborn, even in the presence of overwhelming evidence, the flesh wants to hang onto the old ways, so they allowed themselves to be deceived.. Accepting Jesus as the Messiah would have turned their society upside down. Our flesh is the same today. We want a better life but we don’t want to give up fleshly pleasures. We cannot allow ourselves and those around us to be deceived. It is our responsibility to spread the Good News. Jesus died for our sins and we can be set free.
13 For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14 But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?–Romans 10:13-14 (NLT)

Today, ​​t​ell somebody about Jesus!​​!


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

Post 09-20-2017

Not Me, Lord!

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13 And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong and he never tempts anyone else. ​ – James 1:13 NLT


God never tempts us. So, if God isn’t tempting us, then where do those temptations originate? That’s right, they come from 
our fleshly desires and from satan. We know that satan was allowed to tempt Jesus with promises of wealth and grandeur. Jesus, being human, yet perfect, did not give in to those temptations. Why? Because Jesus had one desire and that was to please our Father, God. We are not perfect, so when satan tempts us with his beautiful pictures of what could be if we only let him in, we give into those temptations. Why? Because our fleshly desires are stronger and more immediate than our desire to please God. We are enticed and we allow our desires to mislead us. We think that we can turn our desires off and on like a water fountain. But, we find that once we have compromised with satan, we lose control. Then that sinful idea or thought starts to happen more often and soon it takes on a life of its own. So, we grab a little pleasure here and a little pleasure there. Suddenly, those little pleasures have grabbed us and we can’t shake them. That is when sin latches onto us, takes us further than we want to go, and keeps us longer than we want to stay. Pride says “I would never”.  But reality says we did and we must confess our sins.  
Ask Peter.

 

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

Post 05-24-2017

True Repentance

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Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other. — Titus 3:3


Repentance is feeling remorse for our wrong actions, But, in a Biblical sense, it goes much deeper than that. It requires not only feeling remorse and turning away from our old lifestyle but it requires us to turn to something new and different. That something new is a holy lifestyle. We place ourselves under a new authority. We turn from being led by our flesh to being led by God’s Holy Spirit. His leading will cause us to submit to those put in authority over us in the home, the church, the workplace, school. and society. We should no longer use foul language or be quarrelsome. Remember that we were once slaves to all kinds of lust and pleasures. We were mean-spirited and jealous. Lovers of ourselves and haters of everyone else. Sometimes we might think, “Oh, I was never that way”. If we truly believe that then we would also have to believe that Jesus died in vain. But we know that God gave His only Son to save us. Not because we deserve it, but just because He loves us. We walk in the Spirit, but sometimes we need to be reminded of where we once were.
 
“Listen to me, all who hope for deliverance—
    all who seek the Lord!
Consider the rock from which you were cut,
    the quarry from which you were mined. — Isaiah 51:1 NLT

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

Post 04-15-2017

“I Once Was Lost in Sin…”

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Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other.

— Titus 3:3 NLT


We all know that we once lived disobedient lives. We did foolish things and our minds were filled with covetous and unkind thoughts. We were envious of others and always complaining about our 
situations. We were convinced that others had it so much better than we did. Satan tries to get us to remember, so that we feel condemned, but God wants us to remember so that we stay humble. So, God revealed Himself to us through His Spirit, we were convicted and repented of our sins. He washed away our sins with the blood of Jesus. Not because of some wonderful, powerful act that we did, but simply because of His mercy and grace. We should ask God to fill us with the same kind of compassion that Jesus had for others and gently lead them to Christ. We must remember to remain humble because we were once in that same sinful condition.

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

Post 071-17-2017

Lift Up Jesus!

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Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other.
— Titus 3:3 NLT
We should always remember that all of us were once sinners and slaves to sin.  We lived ungodly lives satisfying the ungodly desires of our flesh.  We wasted our lives chasing after earthly pleasures that fade away with the dark of night. But, Jesus Christ, through His mercy died for us and we have been justified by His grace. We could not and can not do anything to save ourselves. So, we need to keep those thoughts in mind and always live our life remembering that we owe a debt of love that we can never repay.  We need to thank God may times every day for all that He  has done and is doing for each of us.  We can show our gratitude by telling the old, old story that is still true today. We were born in sin and needed a Savior. Jesus is our Savior and our Lord. The story never changes. Tell it to those God puts in your path today. And tell it with love.  Let our thoughts, words and actions lift up Jesus.  We live in a fallen world filled with lost people looking for an answer to their feelings of loneliness and worthlessness. Our lifestyles should show them that there is only one answer and that is Jesus.
Post 10-14-2016

Ignore the Roar!

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11  You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing.  You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy,
12  that I might sing praises to you and not be silent.  O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!– Psalm 30:11, 12 NLT

God is so good to us all the time.  He is always working for us, turning evil into good and our times of mourning into times of joy and praise.  It is His heart’s desire for us to live lives full of joy.  Not happiness and pleasures, which are fleshly and temporary, but abiding joy deep down in our hearts.  Joy that no one can take from us.

John 16:16-24

Joy, that is not pretended or unrealistic, but joy that is the fulfillment of the promise that Jesus made to His disciples and to us.  It isn’t because we deserve it or have earned it in some way.  It is simply because He loves us and wants us to love Him.  He gives us His peace and joy so that we can be free to praise Him in every situation.  ​So, that we can sing praises to Him and not be silent.  It is true that there are roaring lions out there and one.in particular, that is trying to destroy our joy and us physically.  ​It is hard to ignore a roaring lion, but as Spurgeon points out, Samson’s roaring lion yielded honey.  God can produce joy and sweetness from the worst of situations.
Post 04-07-2016