Changed From the Inside out

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The Spirit of the Lord will come upon you, and you’ll prophesy with them and be changed into a different person. – 1 Samuel 10:6 
 After Moses and Joshua had died, God raised up Judges in Israel.  The Israelis would turn away from God and God would allow the enemies of Israel to be successful in battle against the them  When they wept and repented, God would raise up a judge to deliver them and to govern over them for a time.  Each time this happened, God had someone prepared to be the judge for the next few years.  Samuel was the last of the judges.  This was because the Israelis wanted a king over them, so they would be like the nations around them.  By asking God for an earthly king, they were rejecting God as their king.  Through Samuel, God warned them of the negative things that would happen if they chose an earthly king.  Still, that is what the people wanted and that is what God gave them. He chose Saul to be their king.  Before Saul could take his position as king, God gave him a new heart and filled him with His Spirit. God never chooses any of us to do something for Him and His Kingdom without the proper preparations.  If we are not already prepared, He will prepare us and give us everything we need to do His bidding. When we feel a special call from God, we may very well feel completely unprepared to complete the task.  But, we can be assured that by the time God puts His plan for us into action, He will have prepared us to do the job better than anyone else could possibly do it.  God chooses ordinary people and turns them into His extraordinary servants.  All He wants or expects from us is our willingness and obedience, He will do the rest.
10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. — Eph. 2:10 NLT
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 12-03-2018

We Plant – He Gives The Increase

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During the forty days after he suffered and died, he appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. And he talked to them about the Kingdom of God. Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” — Acts 1:3-5 NLT

Jesus spent forty days on earth after His resurrection.  He would often appear to the apostles and talk with them, giving them further instructions about what they should do and how they should do it.  The most important instruction was not to leave Jerusalem until they had been baptized with the Holy Spirit.  That instruction is still just as important to God’s children today.  When God calls us to do something specific for the Kingdom, we should immerse ourselves in prayer and wait for the moving of the Holy Spirit before we attempt anything.  The reason for this is that we are merely mouths, hands and feet for God, He will accomplish the work to be done.  What God speaks to us, we speak to others.  We take the message wherever He instructs us to take it and we minister to those who He puts in our path.  That is how the message gets to the ends of the world.  We are carriers, He is the activator.  The results are not in our hands, they are in His hands.  We are to be concerned about being obedient and God will take care of the results.

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

Post 11-23-2018

“He Is Risen Indeed”

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37 They were startled and terrified, thinking they were seeing a ghost​.​ – Luke 24:37 ISV

Luke 24:36-40 ISV

All day Sunday and Sunday night, Jesus appeared to different people.  As He revealed to each who He was, they were frightened.  The truth of all the things that Jesus had told them had still not become a reality to them.  Though for the better part of three years, Jesus had taught them in an effort to prepare them for His death and resurrection, it was still hard to accept the truth–Jesus is alive!   Could this really be Jesus resurrected from the tomb?  Yes, it must be so!
Looking back from this side of the cross, it would be very easy for us to criticize the disciples for their slowness to accept the truth.  It would be very easy for us to say, “how could they not believe?”  Yet, today when Jesus reveals Himself to us through the Holy Spirit, aren’t we just as slow to accept the Gospel as the truth?  Aren’t we just as doubtful?  Could this story really be true?  Does such love exist?  We have an abundance of information, both Biblical and historical, that these events occurred just as they are recorded in the Gospels. We have three witnesses, one of which the disciples didn’t have at this time and would not have until after Jesus ascended.  Our mission is to spread the Good News knowing that the Holy Spirit will confirm it as the Truth.

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

Post 11-22-2018

A Never-Ending Gift

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2  The Spirit of the Lord will rest upon him, ​- Isaiah 11:2a ISV​
This passage from Isaiah is one of the many prophecies about Jesus in the Old Testament.  It gives us several of the characteristics of Jesus; wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge and the fear of the Lord.  Notice that not only did He have the “fear of the Lord”, but He delighted in that fear.  Though, He was God, He came to us as all man.  As a man, His access to divine knowledge was limited.  He did this voluntarily so that He might live as all man so that He might be an example to us.  

 

6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.– Phil 2:6, 7 ESV

We, as humans, have access to that same Spirit.  In fact, that Spirit lives inside each of us.  He gave us this Spirit as a gift.  So, our lives should exhibit those same characteristics, at least to some degree.  To what degree depends completely on our commitment to spend time in His presence praying, meditating on His Word, and listening to His voice.  The reason we need to do this is that there is so much more Jesus wants to give us but He will not force it upon us, we have to ask Him for it and delight in receiving it.  How can we know that He will give us more?
 

32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? — Romans 8:32 NIV

4 Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. — Psalm 37:4 NIV

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

 

Post 08-27-2018

“Love The Lord Thy God…..”

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9 Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by eating ceremonial foods, which is of no benefit to those who do so. 10 We have an altar from which those who minister at the tabernacle have no right to eat. — Hebrews 13:9, 10 NIV

Ever since lucifer revolted and was thrown out of heaven, there have been those who disagree with God.  This will continue to be true until Jesus returns to establish His Kingdom here on earth.  They teach all kinds of differing philosophies in an effort to deceive people.  Some are openly opposed to the Bible and easily discerned. There are those that are very subtle in the way they teach their beliefs and the misconceptions are hard to discern.  Everyone needs to believe in something and therefore everyone establishes someone or something as their “god”.  There are those who will never consciously admit that they have an allegiance to some false deity because they do not want to be accountable to anyone or anything.  They choose to think that they are “in control” of their lives. No matter what we hear, it is our responsibility to pray for a discerning Spirit so that we will not be misled. It is up to each of us to decide who our god or gods are going to be.  Do not be deceived there is only one true and living God.  

7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction;whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. — Gal. 6:7, 8 NIV

29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ — Mark 12:29, 30 NIV

He created us and loves us so much that He sent His Son to die on a cross for us. Our Savior, Jesus Christ, is now at the right hand of God interceding for us. He is the one God has chosen as worthy to be Lord. He and He alone is worthy of our allegiance, our praise and our worship.

11 “You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,  and by your will they were created and have their being.” 
— Rev. 4:11

 

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

 

Post 05-25-2018

Mind Control

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12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. — Hebrews 4:12,13 NIV

Since God knows our every thought we need to be very careful of the thought patterns that we allow to develop. Of course, thoughts drift into our mind and that is beyond our control to a point.  But we do have control over whether or not we dwell on those thoughts.  In Corinthians, we are instructed to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ”.  We can also take some control of our thought patterns by making better decisions about the things we read, the things we see, the conversations that we have and the people we associate with daily.  We must be careful that our pride doesn’t lead us into believing that we are influencing others more than they are influencing us. The things and the people that we spend the most time with are the ones that influence us the most. Pride says “I would never” but we all have at some time or other done or said those things that we are not proud of later.  Those things that we did and the words that we spoke are results of thought patterns that we have developed over the years.  We need to ask the Holy Spirit to help us purify our hearts and minds. We can help by studying God’s Word and making it a bigger part of our daily thought patterns.

 11  I have hidden your word in my heart
    that I might not sin against you. — Psalm 119:11
 10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me. — Psalm 51:10 NIV

23 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus— Phil. 4:7 NIV23 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. — Proverbs 4:23 NIV

 

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

Post 05-07-2018

We Must Be Holy

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15 But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. 16 For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.”–1 Peter 1:15,16 (NLT)
22 You were taught to put away your former way of life, your old self, corrupt and deluded by its lusts, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to clothe yourselves with the new self, created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.–Eph. 4:22-24 (NLT
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When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, His Holy Spirit sets up a residence in our hearts. God has sent His Spirit to “lead us into all truth”. There are some things (and those things are different for all of us) from which we are immediately delivered. We could make a long list of those things: smoking, drinking, overeating, gossiping, lying, bitterness, hatred and we could go on and on. And those instant deliveries should encourage us to continue on in the faith. But none of us are instantly delivered from all our erroneous ways and habits. It is a daily process of being led by God’s Spirit and learning more of the truth. As we study God’s Word, we find more things that we need to allow God to change so that we can be transformed into His image. We all still sin, but we have to stay on guard and not let satan bring us down with guilt. We must repent. That means more than turning away from the sin, it means we turn to something else. Each time we empty a spot in our heart, we must allow God’s Spirit to fill it with something new. Pay close attention to Paul’s instructions in verse 24, “clothe yourself with the new self”. When we put off the old, we should be careful to put on the “new”. The “new” will guard us against the fiery darts of our enemy.

But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.—Romans 7:6 NASB

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

Post 03-02-2018