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5/25/16 - The true purpose of Jesus Christ

From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”  Matthew 16:21-23

This is the first of three times recorded in Scripture that Jesus told His disciples that He would face death and resurrection. The disciples continued to have a difficult time accepting the death and resurrection of Jesus. As Believers, we know that Jesus died for the forgiveness of our sins. He was resurrected as a testimony and a guarantee that Believers would also be resurrected to eternal life. Why was it so hard for the disciples to grasp what Jesus was telling them? I believe there are many things that Jesus said that we have a hard time accepting today.

5/18/16 - Be a disciple and be free

If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.  Then, you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.   

John 8:31

It appears to be a normal activity for human beings to want to know the final, real, “for sure” truth about life.  Social Media (Internet, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) is frequently considered as the final truth. However, web sites have been developed to expose “hoax” generated on the Internet. The verse above is what the Bible says is the “real” TRUTH. It is a verse where the rubber meets the road in your spiritual life. 

5/11/16 - The world is not a place to put your hopes

Hear me, my God, as I voice my complaint; protect my life from the threat of the enemy. Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked, from the plots of evildoers.  They sharpen their tongues like swords and aim cruel words like deadly arrows.  They shoot from ambush at the innocent; they shoot suddenly, without fear.  They encourage each other in evil plans, they talk about hiding their snares; they say, “Who will see it?” They plot injustice and say, “We have devised a perfect plan!” Surely the human mind and heart are cunning. But God will shoot them with his arrows; they will suddenly be struck down. He will turn their own tongues against them and bring them to ruin; all who see them will shake their heads in scorn. All people will fear; they will proclaim the works of God and ponder what he has done. The righteous will rejoice in the Lord and take refuge in him; all the upright in heart will glory in him! Psalm 64:1-10

If we could gather one person from all of the ages of humanity, they would probably argue that their time of living was the worst ever for humanity. Today, we can say the same thing as we hear and see all of the evil done in this world. We can easily come to the conclusion that things are out of control. There appears to be no way out of the spiral of evil that seems to possess the world. We are not even looking for a Savior that could fix the broken monetary systems, governments, and countries that appear out of control. 

5/4/16 - Always be prepared to praise God

I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly; I do not seal my lips, Lord, as you know. I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help. I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness from the great assembly. Psalm 40:9-10

When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!” “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”  Luke 19:37-40

These two passages have the same spiritual truths although the first one is from the Old Testament and the second one is from the New Testament. There should be a third passage, but I will get to that one toward the end of this article.

Both passages reveal the spiritual truth and God is to be openly discussed among all people. The passage from Psalm 40 explains that the writer will proclaim the salvation that comes from God. He goes on to say that he will not be quiet about God’s faithfulness or how God provides help during tough times. He also wants to proclaim the love that comes from God. In other words, the Psalmist is so excited about God that he cannot keep his mouth closed. He wants everyone to know about God.

5/27/15 – Discerning God’s Will

“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!”  Romans 11:33

All Christians have experienced stress when trying to figure out God’s will in their lives, especially, for the more important things in life. If you think about how much God loves you then the last thing He would like to do is cause more stress in your life. There is a way of living the Christian life in God’s will without stressing about it.  There are two fundamental questions that people have when discussing God’s will:

1.        1..How can I discern God’s will for my life?

2.      2.  How do I know when He is telling me to do something and that it is not me talking to myself?

5/20/15 – Going God’s way will make your life fulfilled

As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless.  He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.   For who is God besides the LORD? And who is the Rock except our God?  It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.  Psalm 18:30-32

One thing you can learn from the verses above is that God’s way is perfect. What does “his way” mean? Think a moment about the “way” you live. How do you make decisions? How do you handle problems and setbacks? How do you treat others? What do you do in your spare time? If I could observe you in these situations, I would have a good idea about the “way” you live your life. 

5/13/15 – Humility means living your life under God’s Authority

So humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. 1 Peter 5:6

Humility is not an action or an attitude.  It is a decision to put your life under God’s authority in all that you do.  The humble person does something for someone else thinking only of the other person.  The thought of self is repugnant to humility.  Humility is a recurring theme throughout the Bible because the Lord Jesus was full of humility during his three years of ministry.

Humility is extremely difficult to maintain in the world today.  Everything screams for you to make sure you are recognized when something is done.  Many people want to make sure their name is included in those who helped with a project; and, it had better be spelled correctly.  People who try to act out humility are seen by others as focused on themselves.  If you even think that you are humble, it is assured that you are not expressing the humility of our Lord.

5/6/15 – As he is, so are we in this world

In this is love brought to perfection among us, that we have confidence on the day of judgment because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love.  1 John 4:17-18

The book of First John is more of a sermon than a letter like the other books in the New Testament.  John was the pastor of the church at Ephesus, and First John is a sermon that he gave the Believers of that church. The purpose of the sermon was to discuss the high standards that a Believer should live by in the world. Compromise was beginning to enter into the church similar to what is happening in many churches today.  God intends the church (made up of Believers) to be different from this world.  To take on some of the characteristics of worldliness was to move away from God.  As you read this article, ask the Holy Spirit if there are any areas in your life where the love of Christ cannot be found.  At the same time, celebrate your life in Christ when you are found to be like Christ.

God’s Promises: Regarding Living in the Past

18 This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot. 19 Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God. 20 They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart.   Ecclesiastes 5:18-20

The verses above come from the book of Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament.   Overall, it is a depressing book written by the wisest man that ever lived, Solomon, David’s son.  He researched the idea of what makes man happy in this world.  He actually experimented with many things himself with the conclusion that happiness cannot be found in the world.  If you will read the verses above again, you will note a certain depressed attitude.  I want to concentrate on what Solomon has to offer you that will drastically change your attitude toward your personal life.

End Times: Will you be considered a good or a bad seed?

Jesus told them another parable: “The Kingdom of heaven is like…“ ’No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them.  Let both grow together until the harvest.  At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’ ”  Matthew 13:24; 29-30

 

In this short parable, Jesus told of a man who had planted good seed.  While he was asleep, some of his enemies secretly sowed some bad seed among the good seed.  His servants came to tell him that there was now bad seed sown in with the good seed. They wanted to start pulling out the bad seed, but the owner said to wait until the seed had grown.  The weeds could be easily identified, pulled out of the ground, tied up in bundles, and burned.  The good seed that had produced good results would be pulled up and carried into the owner’s barn.

Kingdom of Power: Is Pure Power

“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of words or talk but of power.” 1 Corinthians 4:20

If you have ever wondered about the kingdom of God, then this verse summarizes it as of power. Pure, clean, Holy Spirit, Spiritual Power. There is nothing like it in this world. Jesus spent a large amount of time talking about the kingdom of God. He compared it to many things on this earth to try to help us, as Believers, to live the kingdom of God while we are living in this world.

Obedience: Let God review your obedience to Him on a regular basis

The name of the righteous is used in blessings, but the name of the wicked will rot.  Proverbs 10:7

If you look back over your life (regardless of your current age – young or old), God will show you the spiritual impact you have had on others.  He may show you someone that you had the opportunity to present the story of the gospel, and they accepted Jesus Christ by faith.  You may have encouraged someone in their spiritual living to “be strong and of good courage” in their faith and belief.  You may have given someone a spiritual truth from the Bible that they needed to get through some tough times here on earth.  They could not have done it without you.  You may have anonymously given financial aid that helped someone get out of the bondage of debt and become free to live a life for God.  Because of your obedience to God, their life changed and they now live a life for God.  There are many more examples where Christians have helped others with a pure and clean heart. Their obedience was proved by their actions.