“God Always Makes A Way of Escape”

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28 When they heard this, the people in the synagogue were furious. 29 Jumping up, they mobbed him and forced him to the edge of the hill on which the town was built. They intended to push him over the cliff, 30 but he passed right through the crowd and went on his way.  — Luke 4:28-30 NLT

After His temptation in the wilderness and at the Temple in Jerusalem,  Jesus went to the region of Galilee.  He had taught in their synagogues and ministered to people in that area and was praised by the people.  When He came to His boyhood home of Nazareth, He went to the synagogue on the Sabbath where He read from the scroll.  As He began to teach, He explained that what He had read was being fulfilled before their eyes that very day.  (Luke 4:14-27)  He went on to explain to them that He could not do the miracles here that He did in Capernaum because no prophet was accepted in his hometown.  In other words, it is hard to witness to those who really know us because “familiarity breeds contempt”.   Those that know us best sometimes have less respect for us because they feel that we are trying to be more holy than they are.  To them, Jesus was just a carpenter’s son, but to the rest of the world, He was the Son of God.  Their contempt for Him caused them to become angry at His words.  So, they mobbed Him and took Him to the top of the cliff intending to push Him off the cliff and murder Him.  However, it was not His time to die nor was He to die in this manner.  In an amazing miracle, Jesus simply walked through the crowd and went on His way.  God protected Him in some fashion, we aren’t told how.  The takeaway from this story is that as long as we are obedient to God, He will protect us from all danger.  If we speak the words He wants us to speak, we will not die before our time or in any manner that was not planned beforehand. We should never be afraid to speak the words that are given to us by the Holy Spirit.


10  Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.  Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.  ​ — Isaiah 41:10 NLT​

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

Post 11-15-2018

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

“Your Will Be Done”

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42 “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” 43 Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him. — Luke 22:42, 43 NLT

As we read about all the miracles that Jesus performed while He was here on earth we sometimes forget and need to be reminded that He, like us, was fully human.  He did all of His works as a man, not as God.  He even told us that He could do nothing in and of Himself but that He could only do the works of the Father.(John 5:19).  We are told by the writer of Hebrews that even though Jesus was the Son of God, He still offered prayers and pleadings to the One who could rescue Him from death (Hebrews 5:8).  Jesus knew and understood His mission because He had been in on the planning session that occurred before the foundations of the earth were laid. But in the flesh, He was not looking forward to the experience of being separated from His Father for the first and only time in His life.  Separated because when He took our sins upon Himself, the Father could not look at Him or comfort Him in any way.  While Jesus was in the flesh as a man, God sent Moses and Elijah to talk with Him about His death on the Cross (Mount of Transfiguration, Luke 9:31).  As Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, God sent an angel to strengthen Him.  What we need to realize is that God does the same thing for us.  If we listen carefully and heed His words, we will find that there is nothing that happens to us that He has not carefully prepared us to bear.
Jesus lived every day knowing the cruel death that awaited Him on the cross.  Yet, He set His face toward Jerusalem and never turned back. Do we live every day prepared to die for what we know is true?  If we do, then we can die prepared to live forever and that knowledge should remove any fear of death that we have.

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

Post 10-05-2018

Purpose, Plan, Complete

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You, too, must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, because the coming of the Lord is near. – James 5:8 ISV
 
God has a plan and He reveals as much of that plan to us as we need to know to do His will. As Paul pointed out to us:

 

26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. — Colossians 1:26, 27 NIV

For whatever reason, He has chosen to keep the timing of His return a secret from us at this time.  We could get into huge discussions about this, but it would be an ultimate waste of the time God has granted us to be here on this earth.  We need to spend the precious days that we have doing the good works that God has prepared for us to do.  We need to do that without accusing, grumbling or judging others.  We need to spend our time in praise, prayer, worship and leading others to Jesus.  This is the kind of work that will endure the fire when it is tested.  This is the kind of work that will earn us crowns in glory.  The more crowns we earn, the more we will have to cast at the feet of Jesus in honoring Him when we get to heaven.  Our concern is to be sure that we persevere and complete the work that God has planned for each of us. He will be the judge of all that is said and done.

36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For,  “In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.”  — Hebrews 10:36, 37 NIV

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

Establish A Daily Spiritual Regimen

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And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. – Col. 2:6 NLT
The words that Paul wrote to encourage the Church at Colossae are just as true today as then.  Receiving Christ as our Savior is the first step in our journey to heaven. The next steps are allowing Him to be Lord of our lives as well. When we were saved, we received the Holy Spirit as an earnest of the fulfillment of the promises God has made to His children. He lives in us, therefore we live in Him. We need to become rooted in His word so that our lifestyles will reflect His examples and give Him glory.  We need to study His word and meditate on it daily. We need to spending time talking WITH Him, not just to Him. After we have thanked Him, given Him praise and laid our petitions before Him, we need to sit quietly in His presence and see what He has to say to us. There is always a word from the Lord, if we listen for it. We need this time in His presence early in the day to prepare ourselves for the spiritual battlefield.  Jesus gave up His place in glory and lived as all man to set the example for us. He set the example of spending time alone with the Father so that He would be strengthened for the battle. He lived a perfect life and has been restored to all His glory and made ruler over all things.  We can’t be perfect but we can have a full and true life if we follow His example on a daily basis.

41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. — Luke 22:41-43 NIV

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

Post 06-29-2018

Strong Ties of Love

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 I want them to be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love. – Col. 2:2a NLT
 
Paul continually intercedes with God for the churches that he has planted and for those churches that his coworkers have planted. He realizes that when there are only a few believers present, it is easy for them to become discouraged and start to drop out.  He wants them to be encouraged and united in love. All Christians, particularly new Christians need to be encouraged and taught the riches of the Gospel.  We do new converts a disservice when we fail to mentor them in their walk with Christ. The world, satan and his gang are going to immediately start a concentrated effort to make the new converts doubt that there has been a change in their lives.  We must strive to get them rooted and established in the depth of the riches of the word of God. If we or they are not consistent in our study and our walk with God, it is easy for satan to separate us and make our lives to be miserable and ineffective for God. We must understand and teach others that regardless of our own feelings and the exterior circumstances, there is great wisdom and greater joy in serving Jesus and living a lifestyle that follows His example. Just a glimpse of the vast expanse and depth of His love and power should be sufficient reason for us to carry on.
 

16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. — Ephesians 3:16-19 NIV

 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 06-27-2018

Hearts Like This

even-smaller-bug-light128 “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.
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
Post  03-06-2016