“This Is the Key To Your Life”

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19 “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! 20 You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. — Deut. 30:19, 20a NLT

This choice was given to the children of Israel under the old covenant.  They lived under the old covenant and the law.  We live under the new covenant and grace.  The covenants have changed but the choices are still the same, we can choose life or death. We can choose to accept the sacrifice of Jesus as our redeemer or we can reject that sacrifice and choose death.  We were born in sin into a sinful world, we choose death by continuing that lifestyle.  We choose life by accepting Jesus, loving God, obeying Him and committing ourselves firmly to Him. This choice is “the key to life”.  Choosing Jesus and life unlocks doors so that we can access the abundant life.  Life is more about “being” than about doing. We are called human beings not human doers.  Before we do anything, we need to be in the presence of God. To be in His presence means we spend time at His feet learning His teachings and allowing Him to disciple us.  Maybe that is why all the “blessed are” verses in Matthew 5 are called the “be-attitudes”.  We need to learn to have the same attitude that Jesus has so we can be like Him. If we spend enough time “being” in His presence, the “doing” will be a natural outflow of our “being”.  Then we can live the abundant, blessed life He desires to give us.

10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. — John 10:10 NLT

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

Post 11-09-2018

Does Our Walk Match Our Talk?

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For this reason, the Scriptures say, when the Messiah was about to come into the world:  “You did not want sacrifices and offerings, but you prepared a body for me.  6  In burnt offerings and sin offering you never took delight. – Hebrews 10:5-6 ISV

When Christ came into the world, He came with the full knowledge of what His mission was.  He was to give His body as a once-for-all times sacrifice.  No longer would God be pleased or accept burnt offerings or offerings of any other kind to take away sins.  All the old rituals are now worthless.  Remission of sin that required the shedding of blood was completely satisfied when Jesus gave up His blood and His life for us on the cross.  Belief in His free gift to us is the only way to salvation.  Once we have accepted Jesus and experienced the liberty in Him, there is no longer any requirement for anything to physically die to achieve salvation.  But we do need to offer our bodies as “a living sacrifice” to Jesus. This is the only sacrifice that is acceptable to God.  To do that, means we have to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.  This is a process that we go through on a daily basis.  Just as Jesus gave His life for us on a cross, we also must take up a cross and follow Him.  Our sacrifice is not to take away our sins, but it is to give God the glory for all that He has done for us.  Our focus is now changed from the physical to the Spiritual, from things temporal to things eternal. We must “bring every thought captive”.  This requires us to walk out the consequences of every word and action before we speak or act.  Will our words and actions create life or destroy life?

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

Poat 11-04-2018

We Speak for Christ

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20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God! – 2 Cor.5:20 NLT
 
When we accepted Christ as our Savior, we were born again and became new creations clothed in the righteousness of Christ.  All of this is a gift from God because He wanted us to be reconciled to Him.  He had made us in His image to have fellowship with Him. Sin had broken that relationship. God fixed the relationship by sending His Son as the perfect sacrifice.  He no longer sees us as sinners, but as the righteousness of Jesus Christ.  Once we are reconciled to Him, we become His ambassadors here on this earth. We are aliens living in a foreign country. As His ambassador, God wants to use us to make His appeal to others.  For that to happen, we need to talk to others about our country, Heaven, and about our King,  Jesus Christ.  That is what ambassadors do.  They tell others the good things about their country in the hope that their leaders will gain favor in the eyes of the other peoples.  So, as God’s ambassadors, we are to tell His story in the hope that the other people will want to know Him.  The BIG difference is that, in this case, each person does have to choose and their are only two choices.   We will all soon be leaving this country and there are only two destinations and they are permanent.  One is hell and one is Heaven.  It is our duty as ambassadors to spend our time and resources in getting people to make the right choice.  Today is the day of salvation. Jesus is our example and here, in His own words, is the job description He gave for Himself and for us as ambassadors.
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,  because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,19  to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” — Luke 4:18, 19  NIV

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

Post 06-14-2018

What’s That Smell?

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15 Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing.  – 2 Cor. 2:15 NLT
 
In the first century, when a king or leader had conquered a new territory, he would bring the captives back to his country and parade them down “main street’.  This was to show his subjects how powerful he was and to receive their worship and praise.  It also reminded them of what could happen if they ever decided to be disloyal to the king.  These were unwilling captives. Paul is giving thanks to God that we are led in this triumphal procession as willing captives.  We are captives and bondservants because we have chosen Jesus as our Savior and King.  Now, it is time for each of us “to spread the aroma of the knowledge of Him everywhere”.  That Word will be good news to some because they will receive the Word with gladness of heart, accept Jesus and receive the gift of forgiveness and eternal life.  It will be a stench in the nostrils of those who refuse to accept our God as the only true and living God and Jesus as their Savior and King. That rejection will lead to death and eternal punishment.  Just as Paul felt inadequate to do that job, so should we. As he says, “who is equal to such a task?”  None of us can do this work alone, It must be Spirit-led and Spirit-fed.  As Paul also explains, “I can do all things through Jesus Christ”.  And so can we do all things through Jesus.  It is His plan, His purpose and it is accomplished by His power, not ours. We are to be faithful and follow His example.
1 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. — Eph. 5:1 NIV
We are to offer our lives as a sacrifice and a fragrant offering to God. Just as bees are drawn to honey, others are drawn to Jesus by people who live sacrificial lives.
Do our lifestyles release a sweet smelling aroma of life or a stench of death?


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

Post 06-04=2018

Agree With God!

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27 Unlike those other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices every day. They did this for their own sins first and then for the sins of the people. But Jesus did this once for all when he offered himself as the sacrifice for the people’s sins.
​- Hebrews 7:27 NLT​

Under the Old Testament law, the priests were required to make specific sacrifices at specific dates throughout the year.  One of the sacrificial rites was for the forgiveness of their sins, both intentional and unintentional. The high priest would slay a bull to atone for his sins.  Then he would sacrifice a goat for the sins of the people.  The blood of both the bull and the goat would be sprinkled on the atonement cover and the horns of the altar. He would then lay both hands on the head of a live goat and confess all the sins of Israel.  The goat was then taken outside the camp and released into the wilderness. This was done year after year, over and over again. But, thank God, we have a better covenant, a better Priest and a better Sacrifice. Jesus died once for all of our sins making the way to salvation very simple for us. But we still need to examine ourselves daily and ask God to forgive us of our sins, intentional and unintentional.  Yes, we are saved and our salvation is secure without any further blood sacrifice.  We just need to keep the Temple clean by admitting our failures and we can only do that if we follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit.

8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us. — 1 John 1:-10 NIV

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

Post 05-12-2018

Love So Amazing!

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31 “Then take him away and judge him by your own law,” Pilate told them. “Only the Romans are permitted to execute someone,” the Jewish leaders replied. – John 18:28-32

John 18:28-32 NLT

We humans are a mess! Look at these religious leaders! Here they are participating in a mockery of justice and falsely accusing Jesus of being a criminal of some sort. Yet, they would not go inside the Roman governor’s palace lest they become defiled and unclean. Then they would not be able to eat the Passover meal. The Jews had the authority to hold court and try their own people, so that is what Pilate tells them to do. But they wanted Jesus to be put to death and they did not have the authority to administer that kind of punishment. We, too, can be as hypocritical as these religious leaders. We judge unfairly and gossip about others, even our own Christian brothers and sisters. We can go to church every day of the week, but if we don’t love our neighbor, we are just as guilty as these people. Remember, every word of gossip grieves the Holy Spirit who is living inside us. As I write this, I am convinced that the Holy Spirit is guiding me because I need to be the first to hear this admonition. Thank you, Holy Spirit, my friend and my guide, for loving me enough to take the time to teach me again and again and again. Thank you for forgiving me even though you know I will fail and grieve you again. Amazing love!! Amazing grace that saved a wretch like me!!!


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

Post 12-03-2017

A Perfect Leader

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23 I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. – John 17:23 NLT
 

Jesus is our example of perfection. Perfect in His lifestyle because He was tempted but never sinned. Perfect in His love for us even unto death on the cross. Perfect in His unity with the Father and the Spirit.

God, for whom and through whom everything was made, chose to bring many children into glory. And it was only right that he should make Jesus, through his suffering, a perfect​ leader, fit to bring them into their salvation.-Hebrews 2:10

​​When we talk about perfection, we are really talking about maturing spiritually. Jesus was, is and always will be the only perfect person. When God talks about perfection, He is looking at us through the perfect blood of Jesus.


20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,​ 21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well​ pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.–Hebrews 13:20,21 (KJV)


Again, we see that “we” can’t do it, “we” can’t save ourselves, “we” can’t sanctify ourselves. “we” can’t make ourselves holy and “we” can’t perfect ourselves.. But with one act of perfect sacrifice, Jesus did all that for us.

14 With one sacrifice Christ made his people perfect forever. They are the ones who are being made holy.Hebrews 10:14 (ERV)

God in us is perfecting us daily, so that we will be prepared for the glory that is heaven

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

Post 11-27-17