“The Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ” 12/18/2016 written by bruce r. mills

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org/

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

Written by bruce r. mills @  www.Godsmanforever.com

 

                       

      “The Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ” 

                              (Revised from 7/11/2013)

Here is the truth about sin, and how God’s grace through saving faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ is given by God, to those who understand and obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…

Romans 5:12… Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned— (NKJV)

 

Most people believe sin began in the Garden of Eden, but it didn’t.  Sin began when God’s top angel Lucifer, decided to flex his power, and wanted to become equal to God…Isaiah 14:12-14

Sin, by its very nature, is born into every human being, since Adam and Eve fell in the Garden of Eden, to the serpent’s (Satan’s) temptations.  This natural sin nature is part of everyone’s natural make-up, from the time they are young children, until the time that they pass on from this life.

That 3 year old, who is told NO by their parents, goes right ahead and disobeys their parents at the first chance they get.  This rebellion against their parents turns into rebellion against God, as a child grows older.  God hates sin, because it is independent rebellion against God; and will devastate the lives of everyone that remains living in sin…in bondage to Satan and the ways of the world…1 John 2:15-16

The sad truth about sin, is that it blinds the unbeliever…

2 Corinthians 4:4… whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. (NKJV)   (More about “the light of the gospel” of our Lord Jesus Christ, later)

Satan is the father of sin (John 8:44), and a master of disguise.  The Apostle Paul warns us about false prophets, and Satan himself, in...

2 Corinthians 11:12-14… For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. (NKJV)

Thank goodness God sent His Son Jesus Christ, born to the Virgin Mary (Matthew 1:18)…who’s shed blood on the cross at Calvary, will cleanse the sins of those who are first drawn in by God…

John 6:44… No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. (NKJV)

Upon understanding and obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, the sins of the unbeliever will be replaced with the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:9…&…2 Corinthians 5:21)…as God’s free gift of grace, through saving faith alone in Jesus Christ, fills the heart, mind, and soul of the new redeemed child of God.

Ephesians 2:8-9… For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. (NKJV)

There is nothing an unbeliever can do on their own merit.  No amount of good works done in the name of the Lord, can cleanse away sins.  All of our own righteousness is absolutely worthless…Isaiah 64:6…  Jesus warns those who falsely believe that their good works done in the name of the Lord (like going to church every week), will forgive sins…when Jesus warns those around Him (and us) about this, in.

Matthew 7:21-23… Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” (NKJV)

Having one’s lifetime of sins forgiven, is pure grace given to the unredeemed sinner by God.  God’s grace is given by God to those who seek Jesus Christ to become their personal Lord and Savior, through a personal one on One relationship, that is established between the unredeemed sinner and Jesus Christ.

This is accomplished through saving faith alone in Jesus Christ, through obedience to the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, when the sinner realizes they can in no way save themselves, and turns to the Lord to receive God’s grace… (More about obeying the Gospel of Christ later)

So why should you desire to become a redeemed child of God ??  Very simply, to be in-dwelt with the Holy Spirit by God, to be supernaturally empowered to defeat Satan’s temptations, and our own carnal fleshly desires constantly urging us to sin… 1 John 2:15-16

The Holy Spirit living with-in the “born again” Christian, has been given to them by God to guide and direct EVERY facet of the redeemed child of God’s life…  It is the Holy Spirit that helps the Christian grow and mature the fruit of the Spirit, which the Apostle Paul pens, in…

 

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  (ESV)

Look at this list of attributes the Holy Spirit will empower you with !!

Love, Joy, and Peace, are the most important of these 9 fruit of the Spirit…

How would you like to have a supernatural love that surpasses your mortal knowledge (Ephesians 3:19)…  A love empowered by the Holy Spirit that will enable you to love even someone screaming in your face, as Jesus tells us to do, in…Matthew 5:43-44

And how about having a supernatural  joy that enables you to go through life’s most difficult trial, and still be able to find joy…  The Apostle James tells us about this joy, in…James 1:2-4

 

 And wouldn’t you like to have a supernatural peace that will allow you to look upon your own death…knowing without a shadow of a doubt that you will be face to face with Jesus in heaven, the instant you breath your last breath here on earth !!  (2 Corinthians 5:8)

This supernatural peace surpasses our mortal understanding, as the Apostle Paul pens, in…

Philippians 4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God,which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (NKJV)

 

All of these God given blessings will be given to you by God, if you understand and obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…  How is this done ??  You must pray to God, with what some call “the sinners prayer”, that should go something like this…

 

“Father I am sorry for my lifetime of sins…  I believe with ALL my heart, that Your Son Jesus suffered and died on the cross, shedding His blood to cleanse away all of my sins…  I believe that Jesus was buried, and rose again in 3 days…  I repent and turn from my sins with godly sorrow and a repentant heart…seeking Jesus Christ to come into my heart to direct my life…  Father, hear my plea to receive Your grace…  Grant me eternal life with You…  Fill me with the Holy Spirit…and I thank You and praise You in Jesus’ most precious name…Amen”

 

I can only tell you from my own personal experience…that I made this prayer seeking salvation several times, before God graced me with salvation.  It’s not the prayer that saves us; it is a changed heart that is regenerated by God Himself…  God knows our heart, and He will only grant saving grace to those who seek Jesus with ALL of their heart, mind soul, and strength…

God finally graced me with salvation when I prayed with true godly sorrow and a repentant heart…and I absolutely knew beyond any doubt, that I was just then a redeemed child of God…(Romans 8-16) It is   God’s decision, and God’s perfect timing, to grace someone with eternal life with Him in heaven.

Failure to obey the Gospel of Christ before you die will result in eternal separation from God, and you will forever forfeit your place in heaven…

 

2 Thessalonians 1:8-9  in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,  (NKJV)

All Christians who are Walking in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16), should absolutely, positively know for sure, that they are indeed a redeemed child of God.  The Apostle Paul tells us this, in…

 

Romans 8:15-16…  For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”  16 The Spirit Himself  bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, (NKJV)

There should be no doubts for the Spirit filled Christian about where they will be headed upon their death.  No wondering if they are good enough to get into heaven.  Because none of us are good enough…

Romans 3:23…  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (NKJV)    

The power of the Holy Spirit can and will conquer sin, by those who without question, have placed their lives in the hands of the Lord.  The Apostle James says this best, when he penned this, in…

James 4:7-8… Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (NKJV)

 

My friends, these blessings of spiritual fruit are totally indescribable, and have to be experienced to be believed !!

For those who have been graced with salvation…we must do our best to remain walking in the Spirit…  We see this penned by the Apostle Paul, in…

Galatians 5:16…   I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.  (NKJV)

We as Christians can only remain filled with the Holy Spirit (as the Apostle Paul tells us in Ephesians 5:18-20), if we live in obedience to God’s will and God’s ways…  Any unconfessed sin will leave us in a state of broken (or at least hindered) fellowship with God…

 

To become righteous again in God’s eyes (from a practical standpoint, because we are always positionally righteous before God), we must confess our sins before the Lord…repent of them…and turn from them… We see this very clearly, as penned by the Apostle John, in…

1 John1:9… If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness(NKJV)

Living for the Lord, with the Holy Spirit in total charge of your life, is a blessing that I pray everyone will come to experience…

Heavenly Father, Your Word is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword…Hebrews 4:12-13… I pray Lord, that You would draw to Yourself those that don’t yet know You as their personal Lord and Savior…John 6:44…  And that the truth from Your Word through obedience to the Gospel of Your Son Jesus Christ, would set them free from Satan’s chains of bondage to sin and shame…John 8:32…  I pray for this fullness of Christ in all of our lives, in Jesus’ most precious name and for His sake…Amen…

 

Blessings in Christ, bruce r. mills

 

(Message me here, or send me an e-mail @ brucermillslast@comcast.net with any questions)

P.S.  For those who still believe they can earn their own way into heaven, listen to John Piper’s audio on… “Can My Good Works Outweigh My Bad?

https://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/can-my-good-works-outweigh-my-bad

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“Seeking Approval From Man or God?” 2/23/2019 Written by Pastor Dan Williams for “Shepherds’ Talk”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

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Written by Pastor Dan Williams for “Shepherds’ Talk” on 2/20/2019, for the Elders of his church…

“Seeking Approval From Man or God?”

Good (Snowy) Afternoon, Brothers.

So, listen, I have a confession to make: I am a recovering “approval-holic.”  You’ve undoubtedly heard of “AA” (Alcoholics Anonymous).  Well, I could be a card-carrying member–if not the president and spokesman for–“AA2” (“Approval-holics Anonymous).  You see, for as long as I can remember, I have struggling with the idol of approval–particularly, “man’s approval,” and not, as it ought to be, God’s approval.  When I was elementary school, it was my teacher’s approval.  In middle school, it was “girls’ approval.”  Then, when I was in high school, it was my coaches’ approval.  In college, it was my parents’ approval.  Early on in marriage, it was Laurie’s approval.  And, then finally, at the outset of my pastoral ministry, it was my church’s approval.  Virtually at each and every stage life, my heart has been enamored with and bent on chasing after the ever-elusive and always-fickle idol of man’s approval.  Perhaps you can empathize…(hey, do you want to join my AA2 meeting?!…just kidding)…

But, seriously, it has only been a few years since, by the grace and goodness of God, my heart has been liberated from the tyranny of seeking man’s fleeting approval.  Sure, I still fall back into old patterns and familiar snares from time to time.  But, generally speaking, by understanding that Jesus Christ has won God’s approval for me (and for all his church) and ever lives to intercede and plead my case before God, I have learned that the altar of God’s approval is stained by the blood of His righteous and risen Son and that my only hope and joy is to count Jesus’s life and death as my own.

In Galatians 1:10, the apostle Paul was dealing with a group of Christians who were wavering and waffling between resting in Jesus’ work as the source of God’s approval, on the one hand, and their own work of ritualistic rule-keeping, on the other.  And, Paul, I’m sure, felt the pressure to choose between two means of approval: the gospel of Jesus Christ or the “no-gospel” of self-righteous law-keeping.  However, as a former Pharisee, Paul knew that there was no life in law-keeping.  Paul’s pedigree and past religious zeal was now, by God’s grace, considered by him as “dung” (cf. Philippians 3:8).  Instead, through saving union with the crucified and risen Jesus, Paul had come to learn that real life and spiritual approval with God only comes through Christ.  Faith is Jesus brings the “new creation” for Christians (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:17).

And so, he (Paul) says to these believers, “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God?  Or am I trying to please man?  If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant (lit. “bond slave”) of Christ” (cf. Galatians 1:10).  Paul knew that there weren’t different “hues” of good news.  There is no gospel that permits us to set man’s approval above or beside God’s approval of those who trust in the death and new life of His Son.  And so, this means that those of us who are prone to being “intoxicated” with the cheap approval of teachers, coaches, relationships, vocations, parishioners, etc., need to sober up to the reality that there is only one kind of approval that truly gladdens the heart; namely, God’s approval by grace and through faith in Jesus.

How and where are you seeking approval these days?  My earnest prayer is that it is solely through Jesus, and not, as is too often the case with me, in people’s feeble, fleeting approval.  What helps to reorient our hearts when we succumb to the temptation of seeking the wrong kind of approval?  Well, of course, it is remembering the gospel; it is repenting of such idolatry and vain-worship.  It is resolving to rest in nothing less, and nothing else, than the all-satisfying, all-sufficient approval of Jesus.  Listen, brothers; may we all strive for His glorious “Well done” alone.  Friends, I’m praying precisely for this important area of your lives.  God bless you.

Blessings,

Dan Williams, Lead Pastor

Trinity Bible Fellowship Church, Blandon, Pa.

P.S. (from bruce) When there is no other place to turn…turn to God !!  If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ??  Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com/2016/12/19/the-gospel-of-our-lord-jesus-christ-12182016-written-by-bruce-r-mills/

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…

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“Everyone is Merely a Breath” 2/22/2019 Posted by David Kitz for “I Love the Psalms”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

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Posted by David Kitz for “I Love the Psalms” @  https://davidkitz.wordpress.com/

Original post found @   https://davidkitz.blog/2019/02/22/everyone-is-merely-a-breath/

 

Everyone is Merely a Breath

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Reading: Psalm 39
(Verses 6-13)

“Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom;
in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth
without knowing whose it will finally be.
“But now, LORD, what do I look for?
My hope is in you.
Save me from all my transgressions;
do not make me the scorn of fools.
I was silent; I would not open my mouth,
for you are the one who has done this.
Remove your scourge from me;
I am overcome by the blow of your hand.
When you rebuke and discipline anyone for their sin,
you consume their wealth like a moth—surely everyone is but a breath.
“Hear my prayer, LORD, listen to my cry for help;
do not be deaf to my weeping.
I dwell with you as a foreigner, a stranger, as all my ancestors were.
Look away from me, that I may enjoy life again
before I depart and am no more” 
(NIV).

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Reflection
Today’s reading is the concluding portion of Psalm 39. In this psalm we find David in a silent, reflective mood. He contemplates the brevity of life and the certainty of the grave. In the previously posted psalm portion he prayed, “Show me, LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is.”

Why would knowing the number of our days matter? Well, it should focus our minds on making the most of the time available to us. Our days on this earth are not infinite. We are each allotted a predetermined number of days. In Psalm 139, another psalm attributed to David, we read,Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:16).

We have no control, or at best limited control over the number of days we live on this earth. But how and with whom we spend those days is within the range of our effective will. I can break my marital vows and my wife’s heart, or I can be true to her and my words spoken before God. I can love and raise my children in godly discipline, or I can neglect them, or alienate them through harsh punishment. I can be faithful to my Redeemer or I can turn my back on Him. These are decisions that fall within the scope of my will. In this life and the next I will be accountable for the decisions I make. Undoubtedly, this is why David cries out, “But now, LORD, what do I look for? My hope is in you. Save me from all my transgressions.”

Response: LORD God, I need your saving help. Through the redemptive blood of Jesus keep me from being trapped and controlled by my transgressions. I need your presence in my life so that I can make the most of my days. May your Kingdom rule extend to me and through me to others. Amen.

Your TurnDo you think you would live your life differently if you knew how many days you had left?

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P.S. (from bruce) When there is no other place to turn…turn to God !!  If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ??  Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com/2016/12/19/the-gospel-of-our-lord-jesus-christ-12182016-written-by-bruce-r-mills/

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…

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“What are the different types of fasting?” 2/21/2019 Posted by www.gotquestions.org

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The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

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Original post @   https://www.gotquestions.org/types-of-fasting.html

 

What are the different types of fasting?

Question: “What are the different types of fasting?”

Answer: Usually, fasting is the abstaining of food for a certain period of time. There are different types of fasting in the Bible, however, and not all of them involve food. Many people in the Bible fasted, including Moses, David, and Daniel in the Old Testament and Anna, Paul, and Jesus Christ in the New Testament. Many important figures in Christian history attested to fasting’s value, as do many Christians today.

Biblical fasting is often closely linked to repentance, as in the examples of David, the nation of Israel, and the city of Nineveh. Fasting is also related to passionate prayer, as in the examples of King Jehoshaphat and Queen Esther. Biblical fasting comes from a humble heart seeking God (Isaiah 58:3–7). John MacArthur comments on Isaiah 58: “The people complained when God did not recognize their religious actions, but God responded that their fastings had been only half-hearted. Hypocritical fasting resulted in contention, quarreling, and pretense, excluding the possibility of genuine prayer to God. Fasting consisted of more than just an outward ritual and a mock repentance, it involved penitence over sin and consequent humility, disconnecting from sin and oppression of others, feeding the hungry, and acting humanely toward those in need.”

The regular fast is done by abstaining from all food, both solid and liquid, except for water. This is the type of fasting Judah’s King Jehoshaphat called for when his country was confronted with invasion (2 Chronicles 20:3). The Lord defeated their enemies, and the men of Judah blessed the Lord (2 Chronicles 20:24–27). After the Babylonian Captivity, the people returning to Jerusalem prayed and fasted, asking God for His protection on their journey (Ezra 8:21). The Lord Jesus fasted during His forty days in the wilderness being tempted by Satan (Luke 4:2). When Jesus was hungry, Satan tempted Him to turn the stones into bread, to which Jesus replied, “Man shall not live by bread alone” (Luke 4:4).

Another type of biblical fasting is the partial fast. The prophet Daniel spent three weeks fasting from certain foods. In Daniel 10, the prophet says, “I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over” (Daniel 10:2–3). Note that Daniel’s fast to express his grief on this occasion only omitted “choice” food, and it also involved relinquishing the use of oils and “lotions” for refreshment. Today, many Christians follow this example and abstain from certain foods or activities for a short time, looking to the Lord for their comfort and strength.

Also mentioned in the Bible is the absolute fast, or the full fast, where no food or water is consumed. When Esther discovered the plan for all the Jews to be killed in Persia, she and her fellow Jews fasted from food and water for three days before she entered the king’s courts to ask for his mercy (Esther 4:16). Another example of an absolute fast is found in the story of Saul’s conversion. The murderous Saul encountered Jesus in His glory on the road to Damascus. “For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything” (Acts 9:9). Immediately following that time of blindness and fasting, Saul dedicated his life to preaching Jesus Christ.

In the cases of Esther and Saul, the absolute fast only lasted three days. However, Moses and Elijah took part in miraculous, forty-day absolute fasts. When Moses met God on the mountaintop to receive the tablets of stone, he ate no bread and drank no water (Deuteronomy 9:9). And, after Elijah defeated the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel, infuriating Queen Jezebel, Elijah fled for his life and spent forty days of fasting in the wilderness (1 Kings 19).

The Bible also mentions a sexual fast, although not by that name. In Exodus 19:15, the people of Israel were to prepare for their encounter with the Lord at Mt. Sinai, and part of their preparation was to abstain from sexual relations for three days. And in 1 Corinthians 7:5 Paul says that a married couple can mutually agree to abstain from sex for a short period of time in order to devote themselves to prayer. But then they are to “come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”

The purpose of fasting is not to get God to respond as a genie in a bottle to grant our every wish. Fasting, whether it is regular, partial, absolute, or sexual, is a seeking after God’s heart, all other blessings and benefits being secondary to God Himself. This is what sets apart biblical fasting from other religious and cultural practices around the world.

Recommended Resource: A Hunger for God: Desiring God Through Fasting and Prayer by Piper, Platt, & Chan

More insights from your Bible study – Get Started with Logos Bible Software for Free!

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P.S. (from bruce) When there is no other place to turn…turn to God !!  If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ??  Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com/2016/12/19/the-gospel-of-our-lord-jesus-christ-12182016-written-by-bruce-r-mills/

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…

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“Are you willing to relocate?” 2/20/2019 Written by Efua for “Grace over Pain”

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The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

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Written by Efua for “Grace over Pain” @ https://graceoverpain.com

Original post @  https://graceoverpain.com/2019/02/11/are-you-willing-to-relocate/

 

Are you willing to relocate?

Inasmuch as we don’t like change, the truth is that we change daily. From physiological changes, to personal views, from marital status to employment status. Change is something synonymous with life. Whether we like it or not, we are changing in some way.

Despite this, there are certain changes that we naturally don’t gravitate towards. The more we live, the more we realize that we have made several changes in life. Maybe our friendship circle has changed, we have changed church, if you are like me, you have changed location. All of which comes with their own challenges.

Some times change is necessary for growth. In the bible, God told people to leave their location. Some others relocated as a result of situations orchestrated by God. Abram, Sarah, Jacob, Moses, Joseph, Daniel, Esther and many others left what they knew and moved into an environment where they became strangers.

Detachment from the known makes way for a new mindset. It helps unclog our minds from those things that has prevented it from thinking clearly. The air of a new environment brings new views and new perspective. Along with that also comes new challenges. Now you have to figure out where the corner shops are and you have to know where to catch the bus or train and how to befriend your new neighbors.

But how about if this is the sacrifice you have to make for that new opportunity that you’ve been looking for for years? How about if the new neighbor is the managing director of a firm in your industry and a reference from him can open a whole new world for you? How about if the new church brings you into a community of believers you never know existed – the type that pushes you to Christ. How about if the relocation brings you into a neighborhood of youths who you can pour eternal values into?

Perhaps God was done with you in that place and your next level of growth was dependent on the fact that you moved.

Oh wait a minute. Could it be that it is your mind i am referring to here?

What is the state of your mind? Are you still holding on to those destructive views that have hindered your peace for years? You might not have to change you home address maybe you have to change the state of your heart.

A relocation from fear to faith.

Unbelief to believe.

I can’t to i can.

No to yes.

Yes to God’s will and directions.

Yes to purpose and no to mediocrity.

Yes to love.

Yes to submissiveness and meekness.

Yes to humility and self control.

Perhaps a yes will unclog your heavy heart and remove that weight that unbelief has placed on you.

God wants us to relocate. I am saying yes. Will you?

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P.S. (from bruce) When there is no other place to turn…turn to God !!  If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ??  Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com/2016/12/19/the-gospel-of-our-lord-jesus-christ-12182016-written-by-bruce-r-mills/

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…

Picturecredit: https://www.google.com/searchrlz=1C1SQJL_enUS832US832&q=image+live+for+Christ&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwimsrOUp8rgAhXy01kKHWFeCjQQsAR6BAgFEAE&biw=1239&bih=845#imgrc=QBKWEi1–JwC4M:

Posted in Are you willing to relocate?, Daily Devotion | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

“BE LISTENING TO GOD!” 2/19/2019 Written by Pastor Randy Burbank for “Kingdom Pastor”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

Image result for image are you listening to God ?

Written by Pastor Randy Burbank  for “Kingdom Pastor”  @  https://kingdompastor.wordpress.com

Original post @  https://kingdompastor.wordpress.com/2019/02/18/be-listening-to-god/

 

BE LISTENING TO GOD!

Listening To God Leads To Learning And That Learning Leads To Holiness. Hearing God doesn’t accomplish that. Hearing only captures the sound. Listening Captures The Listener. We need to Listen to God for Kairos Time to invade this Chronos Time culture that surrounds us.

 

This is Message #3 in my current Series

Quick review:  We have only 1 word for “time” but the Greek has these 2 words.  Here is the difference between the 2:

Chronos Time is Time measured by the ticking of the clock.  Kairos cannot be measured by the ticking of a clock, But By The Beating Of The Heart.  Kairos Is When God Steps Into Our Time And Space And Does Something Incredible.  Chronos Is Measured by Quantity.  Kairos Is Measured By Quality.

We live in a Chronos World—but God offers us more than the ticking of the clock kind of life.  He offers us the Kairos Life, and it’s found when we recognize Kairos Moments.  So today we look at another way we can be in a place where the Kairos Time invades and overwhelms our Chronos Time.  Turn in your Bibles, tablets or phones to Hebrews 1:1-3 and I want to share it with you in The Passion Translation.  It spoke to my heart and I hope it speaks to your heart.

Here’s one of my personal observations:  Most People Tend To Be Listening Impaired Rather Than Hearing Impaired.  There is a difference between Hearing and Listening.  Hearing is simply the act of perceiving sound by the ear.  Unless you are hearing impaired, Hearing just happens.  However, Listening is something you Intentionally choose to do.  Listening requires concentration so that your mind can process those sounds.

How we live each day is rooted in what we choose to listen to.  Hearing is simple enough: the ears register the sounds produced and the brain interprets them.  But in the act of Listening, we must be paying attention.  Sometimes we may be distracted by something we see, or we may be lost in our own thoughts and we are Hearing but not Listening.

Think about this worship service.  Do you Hear worship in Chronos Time or do you Listen to it in Kairos Time?  Here is an easy way to tell if you are Hearing or Listening.  If you are waiting for the service to end—then you are Hearing in Chronos Time and your worship happens As Chronos Time.

But—if you wish the service wasn’t over because you have been captivated and caught up in this moment of Worship—then you are Listening In Kairos Time and your worship becomes a Kairos Moment.

If you can remember only 1 thing from today’s message, this is it:  Listening To God Leads To Learning And That Learning Leads To Holiness.  Hearing God doesn’t accomplish that.  Hearing only captures the sound.  Listening Captures The Listener.  We need to Listen to God for Kairos Time to invade this Chronos Time culture that surrounds us.

To remember this, we need to intentionally cultivate some Holy Habits that will move us from Hearing God to Listening To God.  What I am about to share with you is not natural, nor is it easy.  But when we do them Intentionally it opens our hearts and minds to the invasion of Kairos Time.  To help you remember how to Intentionally develop this, the Spirit has reduced it to only 3 words:  Each word comes with its own example from the Bible.

1.  Be Alert

Become Aware Of Your Surroundings With A Sensitized Heart, Not A Desensitized Mind.  Do you understand the difference between being sensitized and being desensitized?  Sensitized means to quickly detect and respond to even the slightest changes in the moment.  It’s being tuned into your surroundings. Desensitized means we are emotionally insensitive or detached.  It numbs us so much that we fail to act for the sake of The Kingdom.  Be aware of what is ordinarily going on around you.

When ordinary surroundings change, then it is likely to be a Kairos Moment.  Moses is a great example of this.  One day he was taking care of his father-in-law’s sheep.  He would have been in that area many times, taking care of those sheep.

He walked by that mountain so often that his mind could have become desensitized to any changes.  But on that day—Moses knew something was different.  A bush was burning, but not burning up.  He was alert and he went to investigate.  And because Moses was alert and went to investigate, here’s what God said in Exodus 3:5“Do not come any closer,” the Lord warned. “Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground.”

When we are alert to God’s presence, Ordinary Chronos Time becomes Extraordinary Kairos Time.  An Ordinary Place becomes Holy Ground.  Alert means to be on the lookout for what’s happening—and if in your ordinary day-to-day life, you do not expect to find Holy Moments and Holy Ground, guess what—you won’t find it.  But, if like Moses, you are alert to your surroundings, any moment will become the place that Kairos invades the Chronos.

2.  Be Sensitive. 

Love God So Deeply That Whatever Moves Him To Act, Causes Your Heart To Act.  One of the things Jesus manifested in His daily life was His sensitivity to the people around.  He was so sensitive that one day He knew when a woman touched the hem of His robe.  Jesus was sensitive to Zacchaeus, sensitive to the lepers, sensitive to the hungry crowds.  He’s sensitive because He knows the right time to move.  Samuel is a great example.  After King Saul had turned against God, God sent Samuel on a quest—to find the next king of Israel.  God led Samuel to the family of Jesse.

And we read in 1 Samuel 16:3“Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you which of his sons to anoint for me.”  But God doesn’t tell Samuel which son.  Samuel is ready to pick the tallest, strongest, oldest and most handsome son to be the next king.

But that wasn’t the one and God said in Verse 7“The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them.  People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 

God thinks, plans and operates on a different level than us.  He wants us to know and to see what HE knows and sees, so we need to be sensitive to God because He is aware of what lies within people—both their needs and their potential.  We need to be sensitive to God because He is on the move and working in the hearts and lives of the broken and fallen All The Time.

3.  Be Ready

When God Steps Into Our Time And Space He Is Ready To Act—And So Should We.  God steps into our space and time Intentionally.  Readiness on our part needs to be Intentional, too!  Being ready means that we seek and anticipate the movement of God—in the culture and in the lives of people.

Isaiah is a great illustration on the importance of being ready.  In chapter 6 we find Isaiah grieving the death of King Uzziah.  Naturally he goes to the Temple to grieve.  And in that moment of grief, Isaiah sees God—but he thinks his goose is cooked—that he is about to die.  Isaiah admits his condition—that he’s a sinner surrounded by sinners.  But God redeems and purifies Isaiah, and then He asks this question in Isa. 6:8—“Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?”  I said, “Here I am.  Send me.”

Isaiah was ready to go!  And here’s the thing you need to really pay close attention to in Isaiah’s response:

  • He didn’t know where he would be sent,

  • didn’t know what he would have to do,

  • and he didn’t know what that message would be. 

  • But he was still ready to go!

If he was only Hearing God I don’t believe he would have been excited nor even wanted to go.  But because he was Listening to God, Intentionally processing that Kairos Moment, he was ready to go implement that plan of God.  God is looking for people to implement His plan without their corrections or additions.  God doesn’t need us to improve his plans. We need to respond like Isaiah:

  • We must be ready to go not knowing where it might be 

  • Ready to do not knowing exactly what we will be doing

  • Ready to speak not knowing exactly what He wants us to say.

  • Just be ready.

God is always looking for ordinary lives through which HE can do extraordinary things.  I mean, if it takes being extraordinary to do what God wants—then how would the world know that it’s God doing it?  They would think it’s the result of extraordinary people.

Sometimes things you may not even want to do can open the door for the Lord to use you to impact the life of another!  Let me tell you the story of John Egglen.  John had never preached a sermon in his life—until that morning.  In January 1850, snow buried his town of Colchester, England.  He thought about staying home. Who would go to church that day?  But he reconsidered.  He was, after all, one of the leaders and if leaders didn’t go, who would?

He put on his boots, hat, and coat and walked the six miles to the Methodist Church.  Only thirteen people were present: 12 members and 1 guest.  Even the pastor was snowed in.  Someone suggested they go home.  John would hear none of that.  They’d come this far; they would have a service.  Besides, they had a guest; a thirteen-year-old boy.  But who would preach?  John was the only leader there, so it fell to him.  His sermon lasted only ten minutes.

It didn’t make a lot of sense, he struggled to make any point at all.  But at the end, a Kairos Moment stirred him, and He looked straight at the boy who was that guest and said:  “Young man, look to Jesus. Look! Look! Look!”

Did the challenge make a difference?  This boy grew into a man and when he told this story he said, “I did look, and then and there the cloud on my heart lifted, the darkness rolled away, and at that moment I saw the sun.”  The boy’s name? Charles Haddon Spurgeon—England’s prince of preachers.

Tens of thousands of people came into a relationship with Jesus, and even more deepened their commitment to Jesus through the life and preaching of C.H. Spurgeon.  It would not have happened, except that John Egglen recognized his own Kairos Moment.  And If You Don’t Have This Hope And Belief That You Can Make A Difference, Then Chronos Time Has Devoured You.

John Egglen was Listening to God.  Could it be, that somewhere around here, is the next C. H. Spurgeon, Mother Teresa, Billy Graham, E. Stanley Jones, C. S. Lewis, Charles Swindoll, Charles Stanley?

Who knows what impact 1 person will make down the line, when we are Listening to God!

Here Are Your Next Steps:

  1. Are you hearing God or Listening to God?  Make an intentional decision to Listen.  This is a decision you need to make each day and several times during the day.

  2. Partner with someone with whom you can deepen each other’s spiritual life.  Have 2, 3, 4 no more than 5 who will love you enough to tell you the truth about yourself, and who will allow you to do the same.

  3. Look around here to see what needs to be done, and volunteer.  There’s always something to do, something that needs to be done.  These are Kairos Moments waiting for you.

  4. Allow your complaint to become your job description.  Look around this community to see what needs to be done and do something to help out.  Whatever is wrong, work to make it right!

***********************************************************************************

P.S. (from bruce) When there is no other place to turn…turn to God !!  If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ??  Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com/2016/12/19/the-gospel-of-our-lord-jesus-christ-12182016-written-by-bruce-r-mills/

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…

picture credit:  https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1SQJL_enUS832US832&q=image+are+you+listening+to+God+?&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiNppDr6cfgAhVEo1kKHShhDEUQsAR6BAgFEAE&biw=1239&bih=845#imgrc=vMlheT4Xlel3TM:

 

Posted in BE LISTENING TO GOD, Daily Devotion | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

“Lamenting over our Sins” 2/18/2019 Posted by David Kitz for “I Love the Psalms”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

                        Image result for image lamenting over sin

Posted by David Kitz for “I Love the Psalms” @  https://davidkitz.wordpress.com/

Original post found @  https://davidkitz.blog/2019/02/18/lamenting-over-our-sins/#like-17014

 

Lamenting over our Sins

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Reading: Psalm 38


A psalm of David. A petition.
(Verses 1-8)

LORD, do not rebuke me in your anger
or discipline me in your wrath.
Your arrows have pierced me,
and your hand has come down on me.
Because of your wrath there is no health in my body;
there is no soundness in my bones because of my sin.
My guilt has overwhelmed me
like a burden too heavy to bear.
My wounds fester and are loathsome
because of my sinful folly.
I am bowed down and brought very low;
all day long I go about mourning.
My back is filled with searing pain;
there is no health in my body.
I am feeble and utterly crushed;
I groan in anguish of heart 
(NIV).

2017-12-11d

Reflection
Psalm 38 is a psalm of personal lamentation. The psalmist, David, laments the state of his personal and spiritual health. Notes of joy and triumph are absent from this psalm; instead we find David in a state of deep melancholy.

What is the cause of this melancholy—this depression verging on despair? David attributes his current ill health to sin. He has sinned and is bearing the consequences of his sin. His words of confession make this perfectly clear. Because of your wrath there is no health in my body; there is no soundness in my bones because of my sin. My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear.

What a refreshingly different approach to one’s problems! Rather than blaming others or blaming God, David takes responsibility for his self-inflicted difficulties. How different from the pop-psychology of today! Rather than deal with the sin issue we are often advised to pop a pill, blame a parent, a colleague or society in general. Rather than take our problems to God the world encourages us to indulge ourselves with another bottle, another doughnut or another spouse, meanwhile, our putrid load of sin piles ever higher.

David was on the right track when he confessed his sin to the LORD. He laments, My wounds fester and are loathsome because of my sinful folly.”

Thanks be to God! He can handle our sinful folly. He sent Jesus to die on the cross to wipe away our sins. Healing, forgiveness and redemption are available through the blood Jesus shed.

Response: LORD God, I thank you for Jesus. I am thankful that I can put my complete trust in you. You forgive me and cleanse me from all my sins. I am saved by your amazing grace not by my effort. Amen.

Your TurnWhen was the last time you truly lamented over sin in your life?

*********************************************************************************

P.S. (from bruce) When there is no other place to turn…turn to God !!  If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ??  Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com/2016/12/19/the-gospel-of-our-lord-jesus-christ-12182016-written-by-bruce-r-mills/

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…

picture credit: https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1SQJL_enUS832US832&q=image+lamenting+over+sin&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiWvPGOpcXgAhUIo1kKHfVUDFEQsAR6BAgEEAE&biw=1239&bih=845#imgrc=1z8FwXoSDxWm-M:

 

 

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“Faith Without Action is Dead” 2/17/2019 Posted by Don Merritt for “The Life Project”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie http://www.harvest.org/devotional

       Image result for image faith without works is dead

Posted by Don Merritt for “The Life Project” @  https://lifereference.wordpress.com

Original post @  https://lifereference.wordpress.com/2019/02/13/faith-without-action-is-dead-2/

 

Faith Without Action is Dead

Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?  Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

James 2:12-17

James now transitions from his discussion of favoritism into putting our love into action. Verses 12 and 13 accomplish this transition by reminding us that we cannot operate behind God’s back or in secret. If we speak and act in ways that are not demonstrative of God’s love in us, we will have a problem with God. This takes us to verses 14-17 where the old arguments take place; quite the battlefield with casualties littering the field.

“Faith versus Works”: Oh my, here we go again!

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve written this, but this argument is a complete non-starter and entirely invalid; they are not mutually exclusive. As I have written time and again, salvation is by grace through faith. Salvation, however, is not the end of the story, it is the beginning. Deeds are part of our response to this grace, they come after salvation. They are not the way we earn it, for salvation cannot be earned. The real difficulty comes when we receive our salvation by grace through faith and then boldly declare that all is done and we never need to “do” anything; this is a contradiction of Scripture, no matter how many verses you cite out of context.

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?  James drops a rhetorical question here and then continues with a hypothetical. This hypothetical gives us a fairly obvious situation where action is required, in which any sane person would agree that action is required, and then points out that the kind of faith that would just wish the destitute person well but do nothing to help them is dead.

But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”

Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

James 2:18-19

If we are followers of Jesus Christ, then we will do as He did. If we love one another, our love must be active as His love was active. If we are servants of Jesus Christ, then we must serve Him by serving others and putting their interests ahead of our own. If we would share the love of God with others, then we must actually share it, and that involves much more than mere empty words. Having His love and compassion for others means more than preaching sermons and then saying we want higher taxes (on someone else) and then letting the government handle the problem, for the pagans and atheists do that much: We are different from the world! As His followers, we are called to actually share His love in an active way with those around us.

Yes, this requires that we DO something!

***********************************************************************************

P.S. (from bruce) When there is no other place to turn…turn to God !!  If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ??  Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com/2016/12/19/the-gospel-of-our-lord-jesus-christ-12182016-written-by-bruce-r-mills/

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…

picture credit: https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1SQJL_enUS832US832&q=image+faith+without+works+is+dead&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwio_vih48LgAhVEjlkKHYlQCIYQsAR6BAgEEAE&biw=1239&bih=845#imgrc=Yi1Ud_hxzx0ANM:

 

 

 

Posted in Daily Devotion, Faith Without Action is Dead | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment
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