“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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“LUKE 5 – FOLLOW ME” 12/06/2019 Written by Kathy Boecher for “atimetoshare”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

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

 

Image result for image come follow me, I will make you fishers of men

                                 

Written by Kathy Boecher for “atimetoshare” @   http://atimetoshare.me

Original post @  https://atimetoshare.me/2019/12/05/luke-5-follow-me/

 

LUKE 5 – FOLLOW ME

Laborers   READ LUKE 5

Jesus was beginning to gather large crowds.  His message was one they’d been longing to hear for ages.  The promised Messiah was in their midst and they were eager to hear what He had to say.

It was the end of the work day for the fishermen of lake Gennesaret.  Jesus had been pressed by the crowds and saw a boat, which belonged to Simon and asked him to pull out from shore so He could speak to all the people. When He finished speaking, He requested that Simon take the boat out further and let down the fishing nets.

Simon had been fishing all day without success. He was tired, sweaty and parched by the sun, but he followed the Master’s instruction.  The nets became full to the point that some had broken through.   They had to call on others to help them bring in the abundance of fish.  This miracle frightened Simon, because he didn’t feel worthy to be blessed in such away, but his faith in the Master was what caused it to be.  Jesus assured  that this was just the beginning.  He said to all of them, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men. Thus the first disciples gave up everything and followed Jesus.

The group of vagabonds covered a lot of territory.  Jesus did many healings, including those with leprosy or diseases which had disabled them from birth.  The crowds continued to grow and even the leaders of the church were anxious to hear what this man had to say.  They became suspicious at the faith of the people and the words of the man.  How could this Jesus heal the body and mind? He also claimed to forgive sins.  This wasn’t acceptable.  No one can forgive sins except God.  It was probably then that the leaders began their plot to kill Jesus.

Levi, the tax collector, was the next disciple to be called.  Obviously tax collectors had a bad reputation in those times, because they often skimmed off the top and pocketed a great deal of those taxes.  A letter from the IRS, can cause us to go into panic mode. Imagine how these poor citizens felt being overtaxed by thieves.  Jesus’ mission was to bring the grace of God to all sinners – which means all of us.  We’ve all sinned and fallen short of His expectations.  We are equal in His eyes.  It’s by God’s grace that we have forgiveness.

Each of the disciples had their own gifts and talents and Jesus knew exactly how they could serve the work of His Father.  We’re called to be disciples of Christ.  Are you ready to answer that call?

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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/

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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“Christmas Presents – or Christmas Presence” 12/05/2019 Written by Beth Andrews for “Deeper Roots”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

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

                        Image result for image Christmas Presents – or Christmas Presence

Written by Beth Andrews for “Deeper Roots”  @  https://dbethandrews.wordpress.com

Original post @  https://dbethandrews.wordpress.com/2019/12/05/christmas-presents-or-christmas-presence/

 

 

Christmas Presents – or Christmas Presence

O Immanuel . . . God is with us.  Isaiah 8:8, 10

My best friend and I are separated by almost a hundred miles.  We chat often on social media and text and talk with one another on the phone, but when I have the chance to see her face-to-face my heart rejoices.  There is something about presence—about being together physically that touches the heart more than a phone conversation ever could.

In the beginning, in the Garden, God and His first children, Adam and Eve enjoyed one another’s presence regularly.  The Bible tells us that they delighted in spending time together “in the cool of the day” (Genesis 3:8).  But sin forever altered that.  The fellowship was broken by disobedience and man was physically separated from God. A few select people encountered God for specific purposes, like Noah, but God no longer walked with His creation like before. After Noah, the Bible shows no interaction between God and man throughout many generations, until Abraham.

God promised His presence with Abraham and his descendants and He was faithful through their escape from bondage and their desert wandering and settling in The Promised Land. He was with them, but still not in the same way as He had been with Adam and Eve. The Israelites built a temple where He could dwell among them, though still separated from them by walls and heavy curtains.  When Israel’s apostasy reached a certain point, the Lord withdrew His presence from the Temple—and the people.  But He promised His presence would one day return to them, in the person of the Messiah.  And as He always does, The Lord kept His promise.

The hope of Christmas is the hope of God with us – in the flesh. It is the fulfillment of the promise of His presence. God – in the person of Jesus was born as a flesh-and-blood baby in a stable in Bethlehem. He had tiny toes and tiny fingers, and He cried for the comfort of His mother.  He walked with His creation. He talked to them. He touched them – healing, comforting, and cleansing them. Imagine being able to reach out and touch God’s own hand. The most wonderful Christmas present is the presence of God. That is the promise of Immanuel—God with us.

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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/

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&sxsrf=ACYBGNSpNGxP_CX09U_h3pS2LSm2g3S3FA:1575552357545&q=image+Christmas+Presents+%E2%80%93+or+Christmas+Presence&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiasuL0zZ7mAhVCc98KHUSgBcoQsAR6BAgKEAE&biw=1272&bih=922#imgrc=TUhC6y_dWaV42M:

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“Giving Thanks-Psalm 100” 12/04/2019 Written by Wally Fry for “Holly Springs Missionary Baptist Church”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

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

                    Image result for image give God the glory for all things

Written by Wally Fry for  “Holly Springs Missionary Baptist Church

Original post @  https://hollyspringsmbaptistchurch.wordpress.com/2019/11/27/giving-thanks-psalm-100/?fbclid=IwAR1klRbSfoqxq1QPjqkoVvscYkS_fhpKhbOU2iLQP7TCuK2HiGkMVDjetoA

Giving Thanks-Psalm 100

Psalm 100 is a great one. Okay, they are all great, but right about now it seems extra great!

So, just what should we be thankful for? The answer is all things whether good, bad or indifferent. Did you put your feet on the floor this morning under your own power? Give thanks. Were you only able to open your eyes and look up at the ceiling? Give thanks.

Thank Him for the fact that we are even here. Remember that little verse, “In the beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth?” If He had opted not to do that, we would not even be here.

Obviously, thank Him for the blessings in our lives. Food, clothes, jobs, family and this list goes on and on. If we believe what we say we believe, then we have to acknowledge they all came from God. Remember this?

James 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”

Thank God for the not so seemingly blessed things. In other words, thank Him for the trials. They likely have a purpose, even if we don’t understand it. Again let’s go to the Book of James:

James 1:2-4  My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

Finally, the thing for which we should be most thankful is the gift of salvation God offers through His Son Jesus Christ. Did you know that God loves you? Did you also know that without His Son we are all doomed? Did you know that the famous John 3:16 actually doesn’t stand alone but has some very important information following? Read and see:

John 3:16-18 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

God loves us with all of His divine heart. If fact, He loves us this much; knowing from eternity past we would be rebellious sinners, He made away for us to be saved anyway:

Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Yes we have all failed Him and we are all sinners by nature and choice:

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

The outlook is grim, “For the wages of sin is death“, but God made us a solution,”but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” That was all Romans 6:23. It’s easy, confess your sin, repent of it, and ask for His salvation. It’s that easy. Who can be saved? See Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.“

I would say that is something to be thankful for; that is if you have it. If not, you can today, just read above my friend.

Let’s go back to our Psalm briefly.

Psalm 100

 Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

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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/

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&sxsrf=ACYBGNTtB_So3YiKF_y3oykw-cFTPWttGg:1575460815717&q=image+give+God+the+glory+for+all+things&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi2y5zy-JvmAhXDMd8KHbIVDx8QsAR6BAgHEAE&biw=1272&bih=922#imgrc=X1KFqevQAFcwfM:

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“How can we have our sins forgiven, and forgotten ??” 12/02/2019 Written by Louis Mize, a Facebook friend

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

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

Image result for image jeremiah 31:34

 Written by Louis Mize, a Facebook friend  @  https://www.facebook.com/louis.mize

“How can we have our sins forgotten ??”

As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
Psalm 103:12

Most distances can be calculated and measured. They can be measured in inches, feet, yards, and miles. But there is one distance that is immeasurable. That distance is the space between the east and the west. That distance is an infinite number that defies measurement. For you see, once a person sets out traveling east, he can never go west until he turns around in that direction. It is different from the northern and southern poles of the earth.

When Christ shed His sinless blood on the cross at Calvary in payment for my sins and the sins of the world, He made the only way a person can have their sins removed. He made total and complete restitution to God the Father for our sins. And He separated us from those sins with the greatest distance possible. He has promised that when we approach Him by faith and repent of our sins, that He will not even remember those sins.

In life, man travels great distances. This morning, I thanked and praised God that He has chosen to reveal how far He has gone to demonstrate His love for us, by showing us that you and I can’t begin to measure His mercy, His grace, His kindness, His compassion, and His love. God has removed our transgressions from us in the greatest of all ways and all distances. And this my friends, is something to give Him thanks for!

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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/

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?sxsrf=ACYBGNSB_lKUYHPj5S3pkz0ob-6hLdCebA:1575227644032&q=image+jeremiah+31:34&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjgoKahlJXmAhUNd98KHYnvC-oQsAR6BAgKEAE&biw=962&bih=552#imgrc=hMBI3pfTf4slRM:

 

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“This Sunday at Church: Pray for the preaching” 12/01/2019 Written by Pastor Jim Lee for “THE DOMAIN FOR TRUTH”

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

Written by Pastor Jim Lee forThe Domain for Truth” @  https://veritasdomain.wordpress.com

Original post @  https://veritasdomain.wordpress.com/2019/12/01/this-sunday-at-church-pray-for-the-preaching/

 

This Sunday at Church: Pray for the preaching

 

This Sunday at Church I want to encourage you to do the following:  Pray for the preaching.

This passage stood out to me.  Hear 2 Timothy 2:15: “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.”  The command here is that those who do ministry should handle God’s Word carefully.  They should handle it in such a way that would not be ashamed.

Consider how important this is.  Given how important this is for those of us hearing preaching we should pray for those who are preaching and teaching.

Pray for the preacher.  Pray for the moral and spiritual life of those teaching and preaching God’s Word.

Pray for the preparation before you go to church.  Pray for God’s Word to have been handled and studied with care.

Pray for the during preaching during the preaching.  Yes, pray for God’s guidance and also for the right insight and application.

Pray.  Because God’s Word is important.

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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/

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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“Be Prepared” 11/30/2019 Written by Elihu Anderson for “Elihu’s Corner”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

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

Image result for image 1 peter 3:15

Written by Elihu Anderson for  “Elihu’s Corner”  @   http://elihuscorner.com/

Original post @  https://elihuscorner.com/2019/09/13/be-prepared/

 

CHRISTIAN LIVING · STUDY · THE WORD OF GOD

Be Prepared

“…in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.”

1 Peter 3.15-16, ESV

We are on day 13 of this month’s scripture writing plan about “The Armor of God”! Within the plan, we are currently focusing on the “shoes of readiness.” These spiritual shoes are pretty important. Without them, we will be stumbling in our faith.

In today’s passage, Peter tells us to “be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.” As I read this (or write it out), the question I must ask myself is, “Am I prepared to answer anyone?” and “How do I prepare???”

Preparing to Defend the Faith

The phrase, “give a defense” is translated from the Greek word apologia which means “a speech in defense.” A deeper definition would be: “properly, a well-reasoned reply; a thought-out response to adequately address the issue(s) that is raised.”

If I had to stand in court and supply evidence or a reasoned response for my faith, could I do it? If a friend asks me, for instance, why I trust the Bible, could I supply a response beyond, “because it’s God’s word”? If someone asked why I decided to follow Jesus, what would I say?

Honestly, I have learned many of my responses throughout the years simply by finding myself challenged by real people. It’s not the ideal way to begin, but it does force you to reflect on what you know and dig deeply into what you do not know.

Soon after being baptized into Christ, my eighth grade science teacher started saying things like, “Christians are stupid because they don’t believe in Evolution.” Thirteen-year-old-me didn’t know enough to challenge him, but it forced me to do some digging and answer my own nagging doubts about faith and science. Another teacher engaged me in a discussion on existentialism during my senior year of high school. Thankfully, I had been a student of the Bible for a long time and was able to form logical responses. I don’t think I made any difference to that teacher, but it did help me to grow in my experience on how to respond to some of the philosophical challenges to Christianity.

If we are living for Christ, we are going to be challenged by people who are not. Sometimes they’ll simply be curious and sometimes they will seek to destroy us. Begin your preparation by asking yourself questions you’ve heard people ask, then write or run through a scenario in your mind as to how you will respond.

Some questions/comments include:

  • How can you believe in a loving God when bad things happen to good people?

  • Why do you believe Jesus was anything more than a man?

  • Doesn’t your faith reject science since you don’t believe in Evolution?

  • How can you say what I’m doing is sin if truth is relative?

  • How can you believe in the Bible when it’s just a book written by men?

  • Do you need a crutch? Is that why you’re a Christian?

  • Too many bad things have happened to me in my life. I can’t believe there is a God.

There are, of course, many more questions. Responding effectively, with “gentleness and respect,” is our job. How we answer these questions may plant the seed of the gospel in someone’s heart. We may never see the growth of that seed, but someone else might!

Here are some additional things you can do to prepare:

  1. Pray for wisdom daily (James 1.5-8)

  2. Commit to reading and internalizing the Bible

  3. Prepare answers!

  4. If you don’t know how to answer, start researching. Ask a brother or sister in the faith with experience how to answer the question.

  5. Practice quietness, gentleness, and humility so that you will be able to compose yourself when faced with rage and disrespect.

This last point is vital. People do not want to be treated like the dirt beneath your feet. We need to listen to their words and what is behind their words and we must remember that we are talking to a soul. That soul is often held captive by Satan’s deceit. Do we love that soul? Do we care about that soul? When we speak, are we communicating that love or are we simply wanting to prove ourselves “right.”

Don’t let your pride or laziness hinder the gospel.

Put on those shoes of readiness!

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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/

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&sxsrf=ACYBGNTrf-J8Dnkhf4HPIrX5ZbpJGmkeAg:1575118862135&q=image+1peter3:15&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiTp4aC_5HmAhUEw1kKHZB2AmMQsAR6BAgKEAE&biw=1272&bih=922#imgrc=fMqrBozzplj8ZM:

Posted in CHRISTIAN LIVING · STUDY · THE WORD OF GOD, Daily Devotion | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

“Walk in the Truth” 11/29/20196 Posted by Alister Begg for www.truthforlife.org

Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

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

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Posted by Alister Begg   for   www.truthforlife.org

Original site  @  https://info.truthforlife.org/devo-nov28-2019?ecid=ACsprvuHk2AlEt8rI_3Rnbi_p79SvSX3KN3pbgmdIxzoUDvcR1vZMuAfId4qyze8-B2WMqQbO35k&utm_campaign=Daily%20Devotion%20Emails&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=79931518&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-8YwWu3vS_pZpOfsCZ2PBbyRnD_r1oZoaveQbEl4vTZGm15Vt5Ms1Yf01xiypSLQEOIze9hnwt5pJ4TOyMKDO-pXaw4FensvZ9SKwz5-XVw0ANWWDY&_hsmi=79931518

 

Daily Update

November 28

Hear Today’s Program

Walk in the Truth

For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth, as indeed you are walking in the truth.

 3 John 1:3

The truth was in Gaius, and Gaius walked in the truth. If the first had not been the case, the second could never have occurred; and if the second could not be said of him, the first would have been a mere pretense. Truth must enter into the soul, penetrate and saturate it, or else it is of no value.

Doctrines held as a matter of creed are like bread in the hand, which provides no nourishment to the body; but doctrine accepted by the heart is like food digested, which by assimilation sustains and builds up the body.

In us truth must be a living force, an active energy, an indwelling reality, a part of the warp and woof of our being. If it is in us, we cannot then part with it.

A man may lose his clothes or his limbs, but his inward parts are vital and cannot be torn away without absolute loss of life. A Christian can die, but he cannot deny the truth.

Now it is a rule of nature that the inward affects the outward, as light shines from the center of the lantern through the glass: When, therefore, the truth is kindled within, its brightness soon shines in the outward life and conversation.

It is said that the food of certain worms colors the cocoons of silk that they spin: And in the same way the nutriment upon which a man’s inward nature lives gives a tinge to every word and deed proceeding from him.

To walk in the truth conveys a life of integrity, holiness, faithfulness, and simplicity–the natural product of those principles of truth that the Gospel teaches and that the Spirit of God enables us to receive.

We may judge the secrets of the soul by their appearance in the man’s behavior. Today, O gracious Spirit, let it be ours to be ruled and governed by Your divine authority, so that nothing false or sinful may reign in our hearts, in case it should extend its malignant influence to our everyday lives in the community.

Devotional material is taken from “Morning and Evening,” written by C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg. Copyright © 2003, Good News Publishers and used by Truth For Life with written permission.

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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/

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&sxsrf=ACYBGNQHs923GzJKvos_hXiyZL_R1djqqA:1574971848345&q=image+walk+in+the+Spirit&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj607Ss243mAhXEslkKHTtXDpcQsAR6BAgKEAE&biw=1272&bih=922#imgrc=BGsw4RP-hxihbM:

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