“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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“In the Morning I Will Sing of Your Love” 4/18/2019 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 give me ears to hear God

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

Original post found @   https://davidkitz.blog/2019/04/16/in-the-morning-i-will-sing-of-your-love/

In the Morning I Will Sing of Your Love

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Reading: Psalm 59
(Verses 10-17)

God will go before me
and will let me gloat over those who slander me.
But do not kill them, Lord our shield,
or my people will forget.
In your might uproot them and bring them down.
For the sins of their mouths, for the words of their lips,
let them be caught in their pride.
For the curses and lies they utter,
consume them in your wrath,
consume them till they are no more.
Then it will be known to the ends of the earth
that God rules over Jacob.
They return at evening, snarling like dogs,
and prowl about the city.
They wander about for food
and howl if not satisfied.
But I will sing of your strength,
in the morning I will sing of your love;
for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.
You are my strength, I sing praise to you;
you, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely (NIV).

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Reflection
David began Psalm 59 in great distress, fleeing for his life, and calling out for God’s deliverance. But as is often the case in the Psalms, there is a transition point. What began with desperate pleading on David’s part, ends with confident faith and praise to God for His unfailing help. Apparently, David met with God. The LORD heard his cry and answered him. David makes this assertion, “God will go before me…”

Can you make that assertion too? Have you met with God in prayer? Have you poured out your heart before Him? What is more important, has God answered you? Above all, true prayer is a two-way communication. Have you taken time to listen for His voice? Is He going before you?

There are many who assert that prayer is the answer. That’s nonsense! Prayer is not the answer. God is the answer. What we need is God. We need to hear the Holy Spirit speaking into our spirits when we pray. Prayer is simply a means to connect with God. Prayer is part of the divine equation. But it’s God whom we seek. He is the solution—the eternal amen—the reward at the end of the quest.

David learned how to seek God through prayer, praise and worship. He was taught by God. God will teach us too, if we will take the time to seek Him with all our heart. Then we can say, “You are my strength, I sing praise to you; you, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely.”

Response: LORD God, teach me to pray like David prayed. Give me ears to hear your voice when I come before you. Direct my thoughts into the path you have chosen for me. Amen.

Your TurnHas God spoken to you at various times?

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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…

Picture credit:  https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1SQJL_enUS832US832&q=image+give+me+ears+to+hear+God&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiJg5PdnNXhAhWGjVkKHfmqBH8QsAR6BAgJEAE&biw=1074&bih=897#imgrc=8OdXhPdm7qW_oM:

 

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“THE WAY, THE TRUTH, THE LIFE!” 4/17/2019 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

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

Original post @  https://kingdompastor.wordpress.com/2019/04/16/the-way-the-truth-the-life/

 

THE WAY, THE TRUTH, THE LIFE!

(Final message in the series “YAHWEH–The I Am Sayings Of Jesus”)

The Eternal Name—The Name for all generations to remember—The Name that God has chosen to reveal to us all is YAHWEH—I Am!  His Name says that He exists as Himself.  He isn’t shaped or twisted by our own ideas and conceptions.  Whatever it is that we may think about HIM, doesn’t change who He really is.  Whatever you say about God doesn’t change Him.  Whatever you may believe about God, does not change the identity and nature of our God.

He is who HE says He is; not necessarily who we think He is and not necessarily who others say He is.  He exists as He truly is

  • In Indescribable Glory,

  • Immeasurable Power,

  • Overwhelming Holiness,

  • Pure, Uncontaminated Beauty

  • And All This In Awesome And Breathtaking Majesty.

He has never been weaker nor stronger than He is right now in eternity, nor will He ever be.  Think about the changes that have happened in the history of humanity.  We have gone from walking everywhere to riding a horse to an automobile, to flying across the skies, even made the journey to the moon and back.

Think about all the changes that have happened just in your lifetime.  Yet, God has never ever changed—not even a fraction.  He Is Constant And Consistent To The Point We Really Cannot Describe All That He Is.  This Is The Eternal Name For All Generations To Remember.

As we have been looking through John’s Gospel, Jesus has been publicly using His Eternal Name.  And it has caused a lot of discomfort and anger with the Pharisees because we are not supposed to say that name—even though God wants His Eternal Name remembered by all generations.

They felt like, “We can’t have this guy going around calling himself God.  We’ve got to put a stop to it.  We’ve tried to be reasonable.  We’ve tried to show that He’s a phony, but many don’t believe us.  We must put an end to Jesus!”  So they begin to formulate their plans, but what they don’t understand is that God already has a plan.  They want to wait until AFTER Passover, but God has ordained that this Passover is THE time for THE perfect sacrifice that will end all sacrifices. And now, it is time for THE Passover.  Jesus has gathered His inner circle in that upper room.  Everything is in place and they think it’s just another Passover.  They know the ritual; after all, they grew up with it.  But Jesus now changes everything.  In public He had been using the Eternal Name, and now in a very private moment, He uses it once more.  Let’s turn to John 14:1-7 (NLT)

 “Don’t let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God, and trust also in me.  There is more than enough room in my Father’s home.  If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?  When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.  And you know the way to where I am going.”

“No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said.  “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?”   Jesus told him, “I am The Way, The Truth, And The Life.  No one can come to the Father except through me.  If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is.  From now on, you do know him and have seen him!”

All that Jesus said He is–The Great I Am—The Living Bread, The Light Of The World, The Door, The Good Shepherd—is so true—truer than you may even realize.  But here, in a private and intimate moment, Jesus reveals the Deepest Part Of The Heart Of God.  He Doesn’t Say This In Public, But Rather To Those Hearts That Are Longing For God’s Heart.

This leads me to The one thing you need to remember:   You Do Not Follow Jesus In Order To Love Him.  You Love Him In Order To Follow Him.

Love comes first—before the following.  But—If you follow Jesus in order to love Him, it becomes a list of rules and things to do. This way becomes legalistic.  And after a while, you either love the rules more than you love Him; or you will give up.

But…if you love Jesus first—it gives you the desire to follow Him.  Here is how it works:  You see His beauty and that Beauty pulls you in deeper.  Then You Begin Seeking His Beauty, And His Heart So That You May Be Transformed BY His Beauty INTO His Beauty.  In Other Words, You Follow Him!

In this very sacred moment, Jesus says something to every heart.  For inside every heart is that deep, deep longing to be near to and close to God’s very heart.  The heart knows what the heart needs but the problem is we don’t always listen to it.  Many try to ignore it, but the longing is still there.  Others try to fill it with everything else, but the heart is still empty.  Jesus Knows What Their Hearts Long For, Thirst For, Hunger For—So He Reveals What Every Heart Around That Table Longs To Know.  And it is true in your heart.  Listen with your heart what Jesus is saying to it.

1.  He Is The Way!

When Jesus said He is The Way He means He is the ONLY way to find release from the guilt and shame of our sin.  And we have to get rid of all that sin because it’s standing in the way of us entering God’s heart and God entering our heart.  He Is That Entrance Into Freedom From All That Holds Us Back, All That Puts Us In Bondage, And All That Chains Us To Fear And Condemnation. Jesus is the only entrance to God’s heart.  Contrary to the view of many, there are not many ways to discover God.

There is only ONE way and that way is Jesus.  And The Way is a Journey, and The Journey is first to fall in love with God.  Not what He does.  And not by falling in love with His ways.  Falling in love with God—with HIM!  Being captivated by His Glory—which is His love for you.  Until you see HIS Glory—you cannot love Him the way He deserves to be love Once we are in love with HIM, then He is The Way that leads us into that Holy Journey with God.  The Way means that God invites us into this Journey with Him.

  • It Is A Journey Filled With Adventure And Excitement Where God Uses Us To Reveal Jesus To Our World.

  • It’s A Journey That Can Be Difficult At Times, Especially When Things Don’t Work Out Like We Hoped, And Even When We Can’t See Where This Journey Will Lead Us. 

  • It’s The Journey That Requires We Surrender Control To Him.  It’s The Journey Where We Will Be Stretched At Times. 

  • It’s That Journey Where At Times The Only Thing We Can Hold On To Is God Himself.  It May Even Be Frightening To Some. 

  • But It’s Not A Journey We Make Alone.  Jesus Is Right Here With Us Every Step Of The Way.

Jesus didn’t say “I am the pew.”  But many treat Jesus that way; confident and comfortable in the pew.  But Jesus didn’t say that, He said, “I Am The Way!”  He invites us to travel this road called Grace, and it’s a road that is meant to be a life time journey.  Along the journey we will see, do and experience so many things.  The journey at the end will be different than at the beginning.  But one thing will remain throughout this lifetime journey:  Jesus walks every step with us.  It’s the journey with Jesus where He leads us to wherever and whatever He wants for us.

2.  He Is The Truth

Since it is The Journey that Jesus invites us into, we need some guideposts, road signs that help us keep us on the right path for The Journey.  And here is what it looks like to call Jesus The Truth.

  • The Truth Is He Loves Us Unconditionally And Completely. 

  • The Truth Is He Has Saved Us And Forgiven Us Completely And Not A Single Sin Brought Under His Blood Exists In His Heart Or Memory.

  • The Truth Is He Lives In Us To Empower Us. 

  • The Truth Is He Gives Us A Holy Calling And Task That He Wants And Expects Us To Do. 

  • The Truth Is He Holds Us Accountable To Share The Grace He Has So Extravagantly Given To Each Of Us.

  • Truth Is We Live Each Moment Of Each Day By And IN The Truth. 

  • The Truth Is That People Are More Important Than Things—Jesus Did Things For People Even If It Violated The Way Things Had Always Been Because People Are More Important Than Things. 

  • The Truth That We Must Grow In This Grace—Grow More Confident—Grow Wiser About The Truth—Applying The Truth In Real Life Situations.  “What Would Jesus Do?” is more than a cute saying for shirts, bracelets and bumper stickers, it’s the way we live and respond to every situation life throws at us. 

  • The Truth Is Persistent And Consistent For All Times, Places And People.  It Doesn’t Change Or Fluctuate With The Times, Nor The Culture.

  • The Truth Is That Service And Sacrifice Are Part Of The Way. Service And Sacrifice Are What Truly Marks Us As Disciples Of Jesus And Members Of The Body Of Christ.

  • This Truth—Lived By Jesus Every Day He Walked This Earth As One Of Us—Is The Anchor For Every Age, Every Generation, And Every Moment Of Every Day We Walk This Earth. 

  • Jesus As The Truth Is More Than A Creed Or Belief.  It is the convictions that hold us, hold us closely when we need assurance of God’s love—and that challenges us to follow Jesus in The Way!  The Truth Is That Jesus Is The Alpha And Omega, The First And The Last, The Beginning And The End. And whatever it is we do as believers in Christ, makes each day all about him and not anything about us!

Truth isn’t a weapon we use against others.  It’s the discipline that reminds us that we are in love with God—and that God is in love with us.

3.  He Is The Life!

The Life gives the journey meaning.  It is The Life that should be the force that makes our feet hit the floor every morning.  Jesus is The Life that brings us to life with a passion and excitement to be a part of what God is doing in our world.

Some people are waiting to die.  They have given up on the excitement and adventure of life.  If Jesus is really in your heart, you don’t have to wait to die to experience life, but you can start living, really living with that sense of joy, purpose and anticipation of all that God wants to show you every day.  Jesus didn’t suffer and die on that Cross for you to be sad and miserable; cranky and whiny; to grumble and complain.

His Life Is About Life That Has An Eternal Meaning In The Here And Now.  Jesus wants you to live and breathe, not exist.  And The Life is offered to you through The Gift—the Gift of Perfect Love when Jesus went to the Cross to die for you.  But He didn’t just die for you—He conquered death for you, too.

And the Resurrection Life isn’t just for that day when the body dies.  The Resurrection Life Is For Here And Now. It begins with the Journey.  And the Journey begins with falling love with God.  God is in love with YOU.  Not with what you can do or ought to do.  He is in love with YOU right now!  Jesus is The Way into that love.  Truth reminds us of this—that God is in love with us.  Truth isn’t a set of creeds—it is more—Truth is a Person—Jesus Christ—And this makes Truth a Love Relationship.  This Is The Life!

Life is knowing we are loved by God—being in love with God—in the way that causes us to be His Agents, Agents of Redemption for the world.

Next Steps

  1. Are you simply waiting to die?  Do you feel that life has become too hard to do anything significant?  Do you think it was easy for Jesus to forgive the crowd while hanging on that cross?  Stop waiting to die—decide today to begin living.

  2. What are you doing that is life-giving to others?  Have you heard of that TV series The Walking Dead?  It’s about the Zombie Apocalypse.  Some call it science fiction.  It’s truer than you may realize.  The Walking Dead are all around us.  The thing is they don’t look like those zombies on TV—they look like us.  But they are dead on the inside.

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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…

Posted in Daily Devotion, THE WAY, THE TRUTH, THE LIFE! | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

“Three Things Anxious People Should ask For in Prayer” 4/16/2019 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 be anxious for nothing

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

Original post @  https://elihuscorner.com/2019/04/12/three-things-anxious-people-should-ask-for-in-prayer/

 

 

Three Things Anxious People Should ask For in Prayer

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“Hello, my name is Elihu and I am a control-aholic. It’s been 24 hours since my last surge of anxiety and 3 days since I felt the need to control a situation.”

I do not post the above to tease programs like NA or AA. Such programs wisely demand honesty, confession, and accountability. Accountability forces us to think twice about our choices, whether we wrestle with gambling, alcoholism, drug addiction, pride, selfishness, anger, etcetera. Confession encourages repentance because we do not want to bear the shame of confessing the same failures again and again.

For control-aholics, the urge to regulate every piece of our world damages our relationships—particularly our relationship with the Father. Anxiety and anger become our constant companions as we fight to regulate every aspect of our life.

Self-control is different than being a control-aholic. Self-control seeks to discipline the mind and body so as to be effective in the service of the Lord. External control—that is, control of people or circumstances—seeks prominence rather than service.

There is an old prayer not found in the scriptures, but one that carries scriptural truth. It is called “The Serenity Prayer.” Some may object to memorizing and reciting prayers, but I have found prayers like this one helpful when I am at a loss for words. I also highly recommend memorizing certain Psalms and using them in our prayers. The Spirit intercedes for us in our prayers, so it is unnecessary to be eloquent. God doesn’t need perfect prose of the mouth; he desires perfect honesty of the heart. Praying Psalms and prayers do have a time and a place, however. When we find ourselves unable to focus, or perhaps our prayers are becoming dry or infrequent, such tools can help us to center our minds and hearts on following Christ.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can,

And the wisdom to know the difference.

(Reinhold Niebuhr)

There are some key ideas in this prayer worth our examination.

What Is Serenity

In our hustle to control the world around us, we create our own anxieties. God calls us to stillness of the soul, not swiftness to control. Paul writes:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4.6-7, ESV

In this life, we inevitably face situations that create anxiety. Every person of faith within the Bible faced anxiety.

Abraham worried about Abimelech.
Moses worried about Pharaoh.
Elijah feared Jezebel’s wrath.
Esther feared facing the King Xerxes without an invite.
The Apostles feared capture when Jesus was arrested.
Paul worried over the fate of the churches to whom he wrote.

Anxiety will confront us, but it does not have to control us.

God calls us to tranquility, no matter how violent the storm. Lay your requests before His throne. Keep on laying them down and refuse to pick them back up. Continue laying them down until your soul discovers the unfathomable peace of God.

God-given peace provides protection from the enemy. Satan works diligently to draw us away from the safety of trusting in God, but we do not have to stumble into his trap. Find refuge in the Father. In His arms is life, peace, and safety.

We should be asking for the following three things each time we pray:

1. Acceptance of What I Cannot Change

About two years ago, one of my acquaintances encouraged me to listen to a particular motivational speaker. I listened for about 15 minutes until I couldn’t stand listening any longer. I shut her off after she mockingly remarked, “There is a place in hell for those sanctimonious people who say, “well, if it’s the Lord’s will…” 

Her aim was to encourage people not to make excuses for their circumstances. While it’s true we can accomplish much when properly motivated, it is also true that we cannot control everything.

Cancer.
Death.
Betrayal.
Weather.
Government.

There is a huge list of things outside our control.

We can influence. We can pray. We can work. However, we will have more peace the sooner we accept that there are things beyond our control.

Acceptance is seeing the storm and trusting that somehow, God will pull you through it. When we accept the good and the bad and place it in the hands of the Lord, we have peace.

2. Courage to Change What I Can

One of the great ironies of humanity is the furious effort to control what we can’t while refusing to control what we can. We may not be able to control cancer, but we can control how we respond. We cannot keep an addict from their addiction, but we can choose to encourage them, pray for them, and intervene wherever possible.

I cannot control every circumstance, but I can control my every reaction.

Will I take my worries to God in prayer?
Will I trust Him with today just as much as I trust Him with my eternity?
Will I seek Him even when nobody else does?
Will I serve others even when nobody will serve me?
Will I stop letting anxiety rule my heart, or will I simply label myself as a victim?

We control our attitude, our actions, our reactions, and our words. May God give us the courage to change when we know we must change and to choose right even when it is much easier to do wrong.

3. Wisdom to Discern What I Can and Cannot Change

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

James 1.5, ESV

God promises wisdom to those who seek it. Failing to properly recognize what is inside or outside of our control is common. The control-aholic (and pretty much everybody in this world), we desperately need God’s wisdom. We will never find peace without it and we will certainly find joy with it.

Seek God. Seek His Ways. Seek His wisdom. It is only within the refuge of His everlasting arms that we will find peace.


This month’s scripture writing plan is “Rest, Refuge, and Peace.” If you’re looking for a new way to engage with the word or simply want some focus on this particular subject, download the plan here! It’s totally free, and you control how often or how much you write down!

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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…

Picture credit:   https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1SQJL_enUS832US832&q=image+be+anxious+for+nothing&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwicl-GAscvhAhUDnOAKHUDiAVwQsAR6BAgJEAE&biw=1119&bih=749#imgrc=VWZy9NfyhVh0OM:

 

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“Follow Me to the Cross” 4/15/2019 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

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

Original post @  https://lifereference.wordpress.com/2019/04/14/sunday-sermon-notes-april-14-2019/

 

Sunday Sermon Notes: April 14, 2019

Title: Follow Me to the Cross

 

Text: Mark 1:118; Matthew 28: 18-20

As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen.  “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”  At once they left their nets and followed him.

Mark 1:16-18

The earthly ministry of Jesus began right here when He began to call disciples. For our parts, we need to recognize the fact that this was His very first command to the disciples: “Follow Me!”

The truly remarkable thing about this calling is that they complied immediately and without hesitation, and in simply dropping their nets in obedience to His call, they left not only their regular daily lives aside, but their very livelihoods as well.

Would we dare to do that in obedience to His calling?

Over the next three years or so, they followed Jesus where ever He went; they traveled together, ate together, prayed together, laughed together, cried together, slept together… they were together nearly all of the time. During these years, Jesus taught them God’s ways, God’s priorities, God’s love for humanity and God’s way for them to move forward in His service. They came to discover that the ways of God ran counter to the ways of Men for living as God’s servants was quite different than what they would probably have expected it to be; it was both counter-intuitive and counter-cultural.

In ancient times there were no great universities as we know them, and a person was educated and trained as a disciple of a master in the way Jesus taught and trained His disciples. When that process ended, the disciples were said to be those who knew what the master knew, and then who did what the master had done: They were to become makers of the next generation of disciples as masters themselves.

On that fateful day when Jesus rode into the city of Jerusalem in triumph, as the Son of David, Messiah, His disciples were not simply following Him into town, they were following Him to the cross.

Over the next few days a great many things would happen. One of the Twelve would betray Jesus into the hands of those who would kill Him, the other eleven would be scattered and flee into hiding, and Jesus would be murdered.

Oh, and by the way, Jesus would accomplish His Father’s eternal purpose and save Mankind from sin and even from death itself.

Yet even then, Jesus had not quite finished His job; He had one final command to give to His remaining disciples, but not before He confirmed everything He had taught them and rose from the grave:

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Matthew 28:18-20

With this Jesus passed the torch to the disciples, and they became Apostles. With this Jesus demonstrated what the whole purpose of the prior three years had actually been, what following Him really entailed− Jesus showed them (and us) what God’s righteousness and love looked like in actual practice: Making disciples who in turn, make disciples.

In this act, God’s love is actively on display for it entails bringing the Good News of God’s amazing love to all who will receive it so that they may receive not only forgiveness of sin, but victory over death in the gift of eternal life. Yet as great as that is, it is only the beginning, for in sharing that love, we continue to mentor and nurture until the recipients of God’s amazing grace are able to share it with others, and in this process we find the greatest and most selfless act of love in existence: Building the Kingdom of God as a beacon of hope to all the world.

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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…

Picture credit:   https://www.google.com/search?q=image+come+follow+me&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiM17Pr6NDhAhXrYd8KHfHMArAQsAR6BAgIEAE&biw=810&bih=472#imgrc=9rvkAYDT64t44M:

 

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“Holy Week” 4/14/2019 Written by Beth Andrews for “Deeper Roots”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

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

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

Original post @  https://dbethandrews.wordpress.com/2019/04/13/holy-week/

 

Holy Week


 

“When the days were coming to a close for Him to be taken up, He determined to journey to Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51 HCSB).

Tomorrow is Palm Sunday and the start of Holy Week – which marks the days leading up to Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection.  Some denominations don’t make as big a deal over the traditional Holy Week events as others.  For 18 years, I was the Admin Assistant at a United Methodist church and Holy Week meant extra work for me. Bulletins had to be prepared for all the services: Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Sunrise Service and Easter Worship. For two of those years I also doubled as the custodian and Holy Week meant extra hours scrubbing and polishing to make the facilities shine. By the time Easter Sunday rolled around, I was exhausted.

Since leaving that position, I’ve been able to approach Holy Week with more reflection and worship – and rest. But it makes me think of the Lord throughout that week, how His mind, body and spirit must have been strained to the breaking point, even before the nails tore through His hands and feet. There was no rest for Jesus. There was no shopping trip to buy new shoes and a spring outfit. No day off for Good Friday. No Easter basket piled high with chocolate bunnies. Jesus’ experiences the days between the triumphal entry and the empty tomb were grueling, and they are what make the week truly Holy.

I want to encourage – maybe even challenge you to spend this coming week studying Holy Week in all four of the Gospels – stopping short of the resurrection passages until Easter Sunday. Take note of all that Jesus did and endured in the span of 7 days – and try to envision the physical, emotional and spiritual toil it took on Him. Those passages are: Matthew 26-27; Mark 14-15; Luke 19:28-chapter 23; and John 12-19.

Then come to the resurrection.

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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 ABOUT JESUS?” 4/13/2019 Written by KD Manes for “KDMANESTREET”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org/

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

                                      Image result for image who is Jesus ?

Written by KD Manes for “KDMANESTREET”  @   http://kdmanestreet.com

Original post @  https://kdmanestreet.com/2019/04/12/what-about-jesus/

 

 

WHAT ABOUT JESUS?

“What about Jesus? ‘And you shall call his name Jesus,’ the angel told Joseph, ‘for he will save his people from their sins’ (Matt. 1:21). More than a great teacher, more than an enlightened man, more than a worker of miracles, more than a source of meaning in life, more than a self-help guru, more than a self-esteem builder, more than a political liberator, more than a caring friend, more than a transformer of cultures, more than a purpose for the purposeless, Jesus is the Savior of sinners.” –  Pastor Kevin DeYoung

10 MORE NAMES AND TITLES OF JESUS

Prophet – “And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.”Mark 6:4

Redeemer – “And as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth.”Job 19:25

Risen Lord – “…that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.” 1 Corinthians 15:3-4

Rock – “For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.”1 Corinthians 10:4

Sacrifice for Our Sins  “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 1 John 4:10

Savior – “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”Luke 2:11

Son of Man –“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”Luke 19:10

Son of the Most High – “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David.”Luke 1:32

Supreme Creator Over All – “By Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities– all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”1 Corinthians 1:16-17

Resurrection and the Life –“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.’”John 11:25

This may sound shocking to some, but Jesus is the only way to heaven. The Bible clearly teaches that there is no other way to salvation than through Jesus Christ. If you haven’t checked out what the Bible teaches about where we go after life here on earth, and how we can attain eternal life, then I encourage you to not put it off for later. A great starting place is to explore via questions. I like gotquestions.org. Type in a question, or topic, in the search field and you’ll find some concise and insightful biblical teaching. Here is one such post to explore: Is Jesus the Only Way to Heaven?

Wishing you a wonderful week!

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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…

Picture credit:  https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1SQJL_enUS832US832&q=image+who+is+Jesus+?&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi8ne2FjsvhAhViQt8KHfTyDNMQsAR6BAgJEAE&biw=1119&bih=749#imgrc=PVTZbxH1kN5kEM:

 

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“Understanding Our Trials Will Help Us Deal with Them” 4/12/2019 Posted by Mark Clements for “Bogart Press Daily Devotion”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org/

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

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Posted by Mark Clements for “Bogart Press Daily Devotion”

Original post @   https://truthinpalmyra.wordpress.com/2019/04/07/bogard-press-daily-devotional-understanding-our-trials-will-help-us-deal-with-them/

 

Sunday, April 7

Understanding Our Trials Will Help Us Deal with Them

1 Peter 4:12-16

“If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified,” 1 Peter 4:14.

In the early history of the church at Jerusalem, the apostles were often faced with trials. On one such occasion after preaching the gospel and seeing God’s hand of blessing upon them, the apostles were arrested and put into prison. Very soon, God miraculously released them and told them to continue preaching. When the religious Jewish leaders realized the apostles were preaching in public again, they brought the disciples to them, beat them, told them to stop preaching in the name of Jesus and let them go. As the apostles left the council, they were celebrating with one another. They didn’t celebrate because they were freed, but because they were counted worthy to suffer mistreatment for the cause of Christ (Acts 5:17-41).

Imagine being mistreated, abused and even beaten because of your faith in Jesus Christ, but instead of complaining, you give high fives to your fellow church members in celebration! In today’s cultural climate, many Christians are anxious—clinging fearfully with tight-clenched fists to the few remaining liberties they have. This stance tends to produce anger instead of compassion and fear instead of faith. But what if you could see oppression the way the apostles did? Instead of becoming fearful, you were able to celebrate the fact that your faith was making an impact! What if you saw your trials and loss of freedoms as a sign that your faith was making the enemies of God tremble? Then, your faith would probably grow even stronger. Perspective can make all the difference between joy and despair.

JUST A THOUGHT: God knows best how to strengthen your faith.

Bogard Press Facebook Page

 

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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…

picture credit:  https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1SQJL_enUS832US832&q=image+understanding+our+trials&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjdzpWaucrhAhVSm-AKHYVeDo4QsAR6BAgJEAE&biw=1142&bih=798#imgrc=secQLcS3hyrjVM:

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