“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

“The Great Escape”

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12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. 14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak as to wise men; you judge what I say.—1 Cor. 10:12-15 NASB

God exalts those He chooses to exalt for times and purposes that He chooses. Just because we prayed for someone’s healing and they were healed, we should not get the idea that we can decide who to pray for and when they will get healed. We need to understand that we can do nothing for the Kingdom unless we are empowered by the Holy Spirit. God often times can’t use a person for a particular job because it would cause that person to become prideful. God only allows those things in our lives that He knows He has strengthened us to handle. There is nothing happening in our lives that has not happened to others before us. Yes, there is a larger quantity of ways to present the temptations. but as King Solomon said “there is nothing new under the sun”.(Ecclesiastes 1:9). When the tempter comes with his temptations, we need to look for the open door and run, just as Joseph ran from Potiphar’s wife. This is wisdom, we need to get wisdom and with it, get understanding.7 Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.–Prov. 4:7 NKJV

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

Post 02-26-2018

Focus On Jesus – He is the Message

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I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren’t ready for anything stronger. And you still aren’t ready – 1 Cor, 3:2 NLT


Up until the death of Jesus, the people would follow after certain Rabbis, the great teachers of religion in that time. These Rabbis taught the Old Testament laws and rules, as well as those who taught idol worship. Now there was a new plan of salvation instituted with the death and resurrection of Jesus. In a sense, it is understandable that the people, at that time, would have been inclined to follow the teachers and not just their teaching. Paul is telling the Corinthians that they aren’t yet able to understand the message. They must first learn that it is the message that is important and not the messenger. Until they understand this and have accepted Jesus as their Savior and Lord, he is not able to teach them in more depth. We still have the same thing happening in our society today. We have people who are misled and think that the messenger is the savior, thus we have cults and incidents such as Jim Jones, where people follow their leaders even unto death. Paul was concerned that the people in Corinth would turn back to the law or false religion. He wanted to be able to get them grounded in the faith by teaching them about living a Holy life after being saved, so that they, in turn, could make disciples of others. Today, we have many people who are saved and then become unsatisfied with Christianity because we don’t teach them to live holy lives. They drop out of church because we don’t teach them that living for Jesus is hard, but the joy and the end result is more than worth the effort.

57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.–1 Cor. 15:57 NIV


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

Post 01-31-2018

Focus on Following Jesus

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22 Jesus replied, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? As for you, follow me.”  – John 21:22 NLT

Jesus seems to be saying to Peter​, mind your own business. Your duty is to follow me, not to be overly concerned about what others are doing. That is good advice for us in today’s world as well. We need to stay focused on Jesus and not those around us. Yes, we need to respect those that are in spiritual authority over us, but we are not to make them idols. Sooner or later, the flesh will fail, but Jesus never has failed and He never will fail. What we need to do is accept Jesus as Lord of our life, obey His commands, follow His example and do what He has called and gifted us to do in His Kingdom. If we stay faithful in doing that, we will  have ​little, if any, time to criticize and judge our brothers and sisters. Doing this means we cannot and do not accept blindly the words of others. We must make sure they are aligned with the Holy Scriptures.
20 Do not scoff at prophecies, 21 but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. 22 Stay away from every kind of evil.–1 Thess. 5:20-22 (NLT)

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

Post 12-17-2017

Been There! Done That!

even-smaller-bug-light117 The woman asked Peter, “You’re not one of that man’s disciples, are you?” “No,” he said, “I am not.” -John 18:17 NLT

John 18:15-18 NLT

When Jesus was arrested in the garden, all the disciples fled, However, two of them came back at some point on the journey from the Garden to the priest’s house. One of them we are sure is Simon Peter, The other follower is assumed to be John because, in the book of John, John does not normally refer to himself by name, but with a brief description such as “the disciple that Jesus loved”. John went inside the house with Jesus, but Peter stayed outside near the door. John shows us that Jesus has taught him to care about others since he went into the house with Jesus, seemingly not caring if the others knew he was a follower of Jesus. Then he comes back out to have Peter brought inside. A nice gesture on a cold night. But when the girl goes to bring Peter inside, she recognizes Peter and she asks him if he isn’t also one of the followers of Jesus. Peter answers that he is not. Peter makes his first denial of the evening. Now he will have to keep lying about his relationship with Jesus. As we know, one lie always leads to another and it gets easier each time we tell it. Peter failed Jesus with words, how many times have we done that? And just as hypocritical, how many times have we betrayed Jesus with our silence? How many times have we grieved God the Holy Spirit with our refusal to allow Him to lead us? Everyday, with our actions or lack of actions and our words or our lack of words, we deny God the Father and grieve God the Holy Spirit.


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

Post 11-30-2017

“Yet I Am Not Alone”

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33 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
 

As Jesus spoke plainly to His disciples, they found it easier to understand the things He was telling them. Now they understood and believed that Jesus was the
Son of God. Now Jesus tells them that each one of them will abandon Him in His time of suffering. But He assures them that He will not be alone, even when they all leave Him. Jesus explains to them that they will have trials and sorrows in this world, but they can still have peace because He has overcome the world. We will have our times of trials as well. But we have someone now that the disciples didn’t have until later. When Jesus left, the Holy Spirit came to take His place. The Holy Spirit is not another god, He is the same God in a different form to perform a different function. We should not fear the trials and temptations that will come our way, because we have someone inside us who is more powerful than anything in the world.

4 But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.—1 John 4:4 (NLT)
How can we be called “over-comers” and “more than conquerors”, if we never have any problems to overcome or battles to win?

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

Post 11-20-2017

Be Careful of Riches

even-smaller-bug-light1Your gold and silver are corroded. The very wealth you were counting on will eat away your flesh like fire. ​– James 5:3 NLT

God does not have a problem with us having money. He realized how important it is but He also realized, that as humans, we could become too attached to money and the material things that we could purchase with it.  Jesus talked about money more than He did Heaven and Hell combined. Jesus talked about money more than anything else except the Kingdom of God.

11 of 39 parables talk about money.
1 of every 7 verses in the Gospel of Luke talk about money.–Answers.com


Jesus wants us to understand that money, in and of itself, is neither good nor evil. Whether it is good or evil in our lives depends on how we acquire it, what we do with it, and whether or not money becomes our “god” .  
This passage is a warning to those who would get their riches using the wrong methods and use it to purchase the wrong things for the wrong reasons. God will not take second place to anything or anyone.

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.–Matt. 6:24 (NKJV)

Mammon means more than just money. In earlier times, mammon was the god of wealth and riches, so it refers to money, material things and false gods. It can also refer to a wicked spirit that causes people to do sinful acts to accumulate wealth of any sort. Jesus knew that we needed money to buy what we need to sustain life, but He also knew it could be a huge problem. Now we can see why Jesus talked about money so often and why He warned us about getting attached to it.  Having no money or very little money can be a problem as well as having too much. Having too much seems to be the bigger problem. There are more Christians who fail the “prosperity” test there are who fail the “poverty” test.


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

Post 06-09-2017