Friday, February 28, 2014

Acts 4:32

Acts 4:32 - All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had.

It was never God’s desire for us to live divided lives. We see in the Word that as believers we are the body of Christ. There is not supposed to be division among us, yet we divide on the littlest things. We call ourselves Methodists, or Baptists, or Pentecostals, or Evangelicals, or even make a denomination called “Non-Denominational”. This was not God’s plan; It is not His desire.
There is one God, and one Jesus, and one Holy Spirit. They are separate, but united as one. Jesus is the only way for us to get to God. He makes us righteous and Holy. Then the Holy Spirit is God inside us and works as our helper and direct link to God. This is the basic truth. It comes straight out of the bible. As Christians I think we can all agree on these points. We should be united in it.
Here in the book of Acts we see the believers “were one in heart and mind.” They were unified in their belief in Christ and worked together. And it goes on from there. They shared all they had. It was a community. No one claimed their possessions as their own, but instead shared with each other.
Now in order to get into this mindset we must first recognize that nothing we have is really ours to begin with. All we have comes from God and we are merely stewards over what He has entrusted us with. If we adopt this way of thinking it will be easier to return to the idea of church being a community of believers.
We see through the book of Acts that the early church had a power that we have yet to experience. In the Word we see that the number of believers increased daily. This is what we want today, but we are missing it. We must get past our narrow way of thinking and get into unity with other believers.
God has placed the Truth in our hearts and we need to unite on it and work together to see the kingdom of God expand. And as we are doing this help each other. You see someone struggling, help them, then when you are struggling, others will help you. This is how it should be. Pray that God renews our mind to how He wants the church to operate so we can see His power return.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Acts 3:6

Acts 3:6 - Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”

After the Holy Spirit came upon him Peter had boldness like never before. This man was crying out for money. Everybody knew who he was because he would sit by the gate called Beautiful everyday, begging. Peter saw this as an opportunity to bring glory to God and also show the Love of God to this man. He called him out and told him to look at him. Then he said this, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”
This man was begging for money because he was used to just scraping by. He had been a cripple from birth and could not work for a living. His expectation was maybe some change to add to his collection, so he could eat a little something that day. He asked for one thing, but got so much more.
Peter opened up the kingdom of God to this man and healed him in Jesus name. After this everyone wanted to know what had happened. They knew who this man was and were amazed that he was now walking. When asked Peter gave all glory to God. That is the most important thing we can learn from this story.
God wants to work through you, but you need to know that it is not you, but Him. We are to give Him the glory for all we do. Without Him we can do nothing, but with Him we can do all things. And again I say that we need to give HIm the Glory. If we try and take credit for it He will pull His hand back and we will fail, because we are nothing without Him. It is God who is glorified when we walk in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Acts 2:38

Acts 2:38 - Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off - for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

Peter spoke this on the day of Pentecost after the Holy Spirit was poured out on all the disciples. They were all together waiting, as Jesus had instructed them, and then it happened. God’s Spirit came upon each one of them. At this time the people around them did not understand what was going on. They could all hear the disciples speaking in their own languages and probably acting a little crazy.
With the Holy Spirit in Him Peter stood up with a boldness that he never knew before. He began speaking to the crowd and explaining all that had happened. First he told them of Jesus and that He had been turned over and been crucified. As he spoke these words it brought conviction to those he was speaking to. They asked him what they could do to be saved and this was his answer, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.” He explained how Jesus would forgive their sins and then give them the gift of the Holy Spirit.
This was true for them and it is true for us today. When conviction comes don’t let it condemn you, but let it inspire you to change. Turn from your old ways and receive the promised gift of the Holy Spirit. It is for you and your children and everyone that God calls, and it is His desire that all men be saved. God wants to see everyone walking in the truth with His Spirit inside them. He has made this promise to all mankind. This gift is available to all of us, but we have to choose to receive it.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Acts 1:8

Acts 1:8 – “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

This was not the first time that Jesus told His disciples that He would be sending them the Holy Spirit. His whole life on earth was building up to this moment. He would be going back to the Father and sending the Holy Spirit. Because of what Jesus did for us we are all able to receive the Spirit of God upon us. 
Now the Spirit comes and connects us to God, but also helps us here on earth as well. In 1 Corinthians 12 Paul tells us that the Spirit of God manifests itself each us as it wills, but we all have the same Spirit. He goes on to talk about some of the Spiritual Gifts that we have because of the Holy Spirit. As we begin to understand more of the Spirit we know that it comes upon each one of us, but not always in the same way.
One thing we know for sure though is what Jesus says. In this verse He tells us that the Spirit will bring power. This power comes from heaven and we all have access to it. What is this power for, you ask? Jesus tells us in the next part of this verse that we are witnesses, and not just any witness, we are His witnesses. We are to go into the world and tell others of what Christ has done in us and through us. In order to do this we must be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. That is one of its purposes; to lead and guide us, showing us when and where to act and giving us the words to say. So the Spirit is our helper, He will help us in our mission as witnesses.
Jesus tells us we will be His witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Now, He is not telling us that we have to move to Jerusalem and start our ministry there. Think about who He is talking to directly. He is speaking to His disciples, who were currently in Jerusalem. What Jesus is saying here is that we need to start where we are at. Start being a witness at home, in your workplace, school, city or town. Begin small and then build up. Jesus has called you to be a witness to the world around you and His Spirit is on you giving you all you need to fulfill that calling.

Monday, February 24, 2014

John 21:22

John 21:22 – Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.”

          To lay out the situation here, Jesus was talking to Peter after He had been raised form the dead. He had just gone through the process of asking him the same question, “Do you Love me?” three times in slightly different ways. After the third time Peter was a little bit frustrated and said, “Lord, you know all things. You know that I Love you!” 
          In response to Peter's answers Jesus had been saying, “then feed my sheep”, or “take care of my sheep.” He did the same this time, but continued on to reference how Peter would die for the gospel. Jesus said that right now Peter could make his own choices and do what he wanted, but a day would come when he couldn’t, someone else would be doing it for him.
          Naturally after Jesus said this to him, Peter was curious about some of the other disciples. He pointed to John and said, “What about Him?” This verse contains Jesus answer. “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” Basically Jesus told him that it didn’t matter and not to concern himself with others and their future. Peter needed to make the decision for Himself to follow Him.
          That is the same message that Jesus gives us. Too often we get caught up in the lives of others. We base our life and decisions on how others are living. That needs to stop. There will be others that come along side you to work and serve the gospel with you, but you can’t make your decision about God based on them. You must make your own commitment. Jesus says, “You must follow me.”

Sunday, February 23, 2014

John 20:21-23

John 20:21-23 – Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Jesus had been crucified, but now has returned. As His disciples were gathered together He appeared among them with this message. I imagine they were pretty worried at this time. Earlier in chapter 20 we are told that they had the doors locked for fear of the Jews. Jesus had been arrested and put to death and now they were worried for their own lives as well. Then Jesus, who they thought was dead, appeared among them while the doors were still locked. This would freak me out as well, but Jesus begins by reassuring them, “Peace be with you!”
After that, though, He hands His mission off to them. He says, “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” Think about this for a minute. These men had been around Jesus since He first began His ministry. They had seen Him perform miracles, heard Him speak to the masses and most of all watched as He gave God the glory for everything He did. All that Jesus had done, they had been there to see it. They truly knew how Jesus lived. Now they are charged with the same mission.
Thankfully, Jesus didn't leave it at that. He passes on the Holy Spirit as a helper. Jesus knew that in order to carry on his ministry they would need a helper that could connect them to God so He says, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” This helper and the charge to carry on His mission were not just for the disciples, but for us as well. This is our mission; our purpose in life. We are to walk as Jesus walked and speak His words. The Holy Spirit will be our helper and guide for this mission.
Jesus goes on to tell us, “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” This is a hard one to wrap my mind around. I say this because even the religious leaders of that day called it blasphemy when Jesus forgave sins and He is the Son of God. Now Jesus says we can do the same. As His disciples and children of God we have authority to forgive sins. This puts a lot of responsibility on us; to walk as Jesus walked and to forgive as He forgave, but we have the Holy Spirit to help us.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Life and Kids: Random Thoughts

In today's world it is so difficult to now what is right and wrong in raising our children. We want to protect our kids, but we don't want them to be shell shocked when they get in to the world. It is natural to try and give your kids a better life than the one we had as kids, learn from our parent mistakes, but then we make all new ones. How spoiled is too spoiled? How strict is to strict? I don't have the answers to all these questions, but one thing I do have is the bible. As God's children it is like His instruction manual to us; a guide to life, if you will. So as we raise our children we should be looking to it for answers.

Recently I was reading a post that my brother wrote in his blog titled "An Ideal for dads" where he presents an idea. The idea is to buy a bible for your child, but don't give it to them right away. Instead, read it and write notes in it over a ten year period, then give it to them. It doesn't matter when you give it to them, on their 10 year birthday (having started when they were a newborn) or at graduation, or even later in life, depending on how old your child is. This will be a way you can prophesy and speak life into your child through the Scripture. I thought this was a great idea, but it got me thinking.

A few days before that I was reading in Proverbs and a verse jumped out at me, "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it" (Prov. 22:6). We have heard this verse many times before, but have we stopped to think about what it is really saying. It doesn't say "raise" a child in the way he should go, it specifically uses the word "train". When you enter training for something it is because you want to learn a skill or become good at something. If you want to play football you would train for football. You would have a coach, go to practices at least once a day; in essence you would live football. It would be in your thoughts and mind all day long. But if you train all the time for football, you will probably be a lousy baseball player. What are you training your kids for?

Training our kids is more than just protecting them. Yes, you want to protect your children from the "world" and all the bad that is in it. That is natural, but we must do more than that. There will come a time when our kids will have to make decisions for themselves. They need to know how to do it. How to choose what is right or what is good for them. It is our duty as parent to protect them, but we must also teach them to make these decisions on their own. As my children are young I sometimes struggle with the balance between this. Many of their decisions we make for them, like bedtime and what's for dinner. There are times however when we need to let them make some decisions and learn from them. Think about it this way. Are you training them to be a good child or an effective adult? Sometimes letting go is the hardest thing.

I am the father of four children between the ages of 2 and 8 and I am far from figuring out how to do everything right. One thing I did figure out: with each new kid I realized I had a lot more to learn. It's like the old saying, "the more I know, the more I realize I don't know." I'm not saying this to scare anyone out of having kids, but to open your eyes to the fact that all kids are different. There is no "secret" to parenthood that will make everything better. Just because something works great on one kid doesn't mean it will work on the next one. Don't let your kids run your life, but be open and attentive to their wants and needs and let them teach you.

Experience is sometimes the best teacher. Have you had someone give you advice about how to raise your children that has never had any? I used to get frustrated with this. Now I just smile and laugh inside because they have no idea, and I'm going to be there when they figure it out. :) But really, if you have a question about something consult those who have been there before. Proverbs 13:20 says, "He who walks with the wise grows wise." This goes for parenting as well. If you know someone that has already raised their kids and was successful at it, go to them. Take their advise and then personalize it to you and your child.

Lead by example. Another thing I have learned as I grow as a parent is this lesson. You can tell your kid something until you are blue in the face, but until they start to see you doing it, they will never get it. If you want your child to take their dishes to the kitchen after dinner, start doing it yourself. Clean up after yourself and your kids will start to do the same. Are your kids disrespecting and talking back to their mother (or father)? Take a look at how you are treating your spouse. I find that most of the things that irritate me the most about my kids are the bad habits they learned from me.

To be a parent is more than just protecting your child and telling them what to do. You need to live life with them. Join with them in their successes and help them in their failures. Teach them how to live by living yourself. Let them join into life with you. It may not always be convenient for you, but it will change their life. If you want your child to live a godly life, let them see you do it. This really works. Here's an example from my life:

My oldest son Tristen is 8 years old. He is my mini-me, all my bad and all my good. Now I spend time daily in the Word and I have a note book that I write verses in from my daily reading. Then I later write out the verses in another note book and write my thoughts about what I read. This is where the majority of my blog posts originate. I've been doing this for awhile and my kids have noticed. One day Tristen comes up to me and shows me a notebook that he's been writing in. I take a look at it and see that he has been writing out bible verses. And this is his own doing. He learned by watching me.

I tell this story to illustrate my point. We must spend time living with our kids, we must lead by example, and we shouldn't expect our kids to do something that we ourselves would not even do. Our kids will learn most by watching us in action. Show them how to live. Teach them how to make good choices. And most of all just Love them for who they are.

John 19:30

John 19:30 - When He had received the drink Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, He bowed His head and gave up His Spirit.

There were many people gathered around the cross on this day. Some were there because they wanted Jesus dead. Many were there because they Loved Him and were hoping for a miracle. Jesus disciples were there, His mother was there. They were watching in horror as the one they Loved was dying right before their eyes. He was hurting and suffering and there was nothing they could do about it. To them, this moment ended his suffering and His life. They did not understand what Jesus was finishing here on the cross.
To us, as we look back on this moment we see pain and suffering, but we can look beyond that and see so much more. We can see the purpose behind what Jesus was doing. All that was happening was not just circumstance or chance, but it was all according to plan. It was all based in Love. We can see God’s Love for us through this moment, that He gave up His one and only Son for our sins.
A sacrifice had to be made. Sin deserved death and God was willing to let His Son be that sacrifice. When Jesus Loved ones were watching Him die that day they did not understand that He was making a way for mankind to reach the Father. He was paying the price for our sins so that we could be purified and made righteous before God.
Such a dark time; such a tragic moment. Yet it was a moment driven by Love and ending in victory. This moment marked the end of all Jesus was doing here on earth, and marked the beginning of all we can do for the kingdom of God. Christ did this.
Christ died for you, because He Loves you. If you have not yet accepted Him into your life I encourage you to examine your heart today. Take a moment to reflect on the Love that God has for you and that He wants you as His child. God has called you to live for Him and receive the abundant life that you can only have through Jesus. There is not a better time to make the decision. Decise today, ask Him into your heart and your life will never be the same.
If you need some to pray with or talk to about this decision follow this link to my contact information. Follow this link to my contact info.

Friday, February 21, 2014

John 18:37

John 18:37 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. So when He says, “For this reason I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth,” He is speaking of Himself. He came into the world to tell us about Him. It was His “mission” to let us know that He is the Way to God. His whole life proclaimed truth, and we are to be examples of it.
Jesus showed us how to live truth and to testify to this truth in words and actions. If we want to believe truth then we believe Jesus. Anything else is a lie. Jesus has made the way for us to be in Him and therefore be in Truth. We just have to accept it and receive it.
When Pilate was questioning Jesus he found no basis for the charges that had been brought against Him. Jesus answered with such wisdom and truth that Pilate had nothing to say against it. He wanted to side with truth and in fact tried to get the people to ask for His release over Barrabas the murderer. In the end Pilate showed that he feared people more than God and ended up handing Jesus over to be crucified.
Of course it had to happen this way. It was Jesus plan to go to death as an innocent man, so that He could take the sin of the world upon Him. He fulfilled God’s plan for His life and made a way for you and me to enter into the Truth that is Jesus. If you want to be on the side of Truth you will listen to His words.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

John 17:20-21

John 17:20-21 - “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in me so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”

Jesus was praying here for unity of the believers. He wants us to be united together just as He and the Father are together. Let’s take a look at that connection. Jesus and God, along with the Holy Spirit make up what has been referred to as the Trinity.
Now the Trinity is a union that is beyond our ability to fully understand, but one thing we do know is that it means three in one. So God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are three in one. They are three separate entities, but they are joined together as one, inseparable. That is what is hard to comprehend.
They are separate beings, but we do not know where one stops and the next one begins. Whatever they do they are unified in it and working together for the same purpose and goal. Like Jesus said, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” They are one in the same.
That is the same unity that God desires for the church. We are to be unified and joined together with Him and each other. Just as Jesus is in the Father and the Father in Him, we ought to be in Him and in one another. That is how the world will believe in Jesus; through us. When they look at us they ought to be able to see Him.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

John 16:13

John 16:13 - “But when He, the Spirit of Truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come.”

Jesus was directly linked to the Father. He only said and did what He heard from Him. When Jesus was on earth He was the only one directly linked to God. Jesus went to death to take our sin and purify our hearts and minds so that we can be righteous before God. This way the Holy Spirit could also make His home within us. Basically, through the cross and resurrection Jesus multiplied Himself in us. Now we too, have direct access to the Father. We need to imitate Jesus in this.
When Jesus acted and spoke it was direct from God. We have the Holy Spirit in us, who, as we see in this verse, will lead us into all truth. He will speak through us, directly from God. As we let the Spirit guide us into truth we need to let Him take control, because He is our link to the Father.
In addition to connecting us directly to God, the Holy Spirit is also our helper. We will see trouble in this life, but He will help us through. He will comfort us when we need it and give us wisdom to make the right choices and decisions. Since He is God’s Spirit He also brings all of God to us, so we can be connected to God’s heart and mind.
This verse also speaks of the Spirit telling of things yet to come. God knows all, from beginning to end and through His Spirit we will receive a vision for our future. As we stay in tune with the Spirit we will be able to see the plan the God has for us as it unfolds in our lives.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

John 15:5

John 15:5 - “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

Jesus paints us a picture of how our life in Him works. He is the vine, we are the branches. Think about that for a moment in the sense of a grapevine. First the vine; the vine is the main part of the plant. It is attached to the roots. All of the food and water come through the vine to feed the branches. If a branch gets disconnected or broken off the vine it can no longer receive what it needs to live; so it withers and dies.
In order to maintain the plant you trim off the branches that do not bear fruit, or at least the parts of the branch that are not doing anything. That way the food and water will be better dispersed to those parts that are producing good fruit.
Again, this is a picture of how our life is in relation to Jesus. If we become disconnected from Him we will wither and die. Jesus is our source of life and growth. Without Him we have nothing. Apart from Him we know that we can do nothing. We must stay connected  to Him in order to grow and flourish.
But what about the trimming part? Think about your life. We all have areas that could use a trimming. There are things that are not producing fruit, but we are still putting a lot of energy into them. Those may need to be trimmed. If you cut those off, or at least “trim” them back you will be able to put more time and energy into those things that bring life.

Monday, February 17, 2014

John 14:12-14

John 14:12-14 - “I tell you the Truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”

Wow!! What a Promise! “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” Jesus opens up wide the possibilities here, but first He gives us some instructions. He says, “Anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. Jesus tells us that if we truly have faith in Him we will do what He did. So if you want to know how to act and live, look to Jesus, He is our example.
First we see that Jesus walked in Love. He Loved God and Loved people and it was evident as He preferred others to Himself. With the attitude of a servant He met the needs of those around Him. As we continue in this chapter we see Him talking about how He is in the Father and the Father is in Him. He does nothing without the Father, and as we see here we see that He wishes that God be glorified through Him.
So that is the example of how we are to live our lives. When we put our faith in Jesus we are brought into Him. We become the body of Christ, and we know that Jesus is in God and God is in Jesus. So since we are in Jesus we are also in God and He in us. That is where we need to start. Realize that we are in God and from there we need to give all glory to Him. If we walk as Jesus walked our goal and desire will be to please the Father.
Now let’s look back at verse 14, “You may ask for anything in my name and I will do it.” In order to receive this promise we must fulfilling what Jesus instructed us to do in the prior verse. We must be living our live as He did. So as we put our faith in Him and begin walking in Love as He did, we know that we have been given the authority to ask for anything in His name and it will happen.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

John 13:34-35

 John 13:34-35 - “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have Loved you, so you must Love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples.” Love; the most important thing we need in our lives. Often times Love is thought about as an emotion; which there are feelings that come with Love, but that is not all that it is. Love is so much more. We were created in Love and designed to Love. It is because of Love that Christ came to earth and died. Love is what gave Him the drive to complete all that He did for us. It is the most important charge we are given. In this passage Jesus passes on the responsibility of Love to us. He says, “As I have Loved you, so you must Love one another.” He came to earth and gave us an example of perfect Love and then said to do as He did. So, in order to see what Love truly is we must look at the life of Jesus. Love is an attitude of service. It is putting others needs before yourself. This is not natural. That is why Jesus goes on to say, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples.” He’s saying that by Loving each other we will stand out in a crowd. Most people don’t live this way, they live for themselves. So now think about this. You have one man preaching the gospel on the street corner. Yelling at the top of his lungs about how people need Jesus. Most people will see this man and think he is a crazy person. They will pay no attention to him, and probably be pushed further away from the truth. Then you have a man who goes out and buys a bunch of food. He then takes the food to the street corner and starts passing it out, with an occasional “Jesus Loves you”, or “Can I pray with you?” Which man will be more effective? Obviously it is the one who is showing Love and meeting needs. Jesus is telling us that it is not so much in what we say that will bring hearts to Him, but it is in what we do. It is about how we act towards each other and to them. Are you walking in Love? Are you preferring others above yourself? Jesus set the example and now we must follow in His footsteps. This is how the world will know we belong to Him, and even more than that, this is how the world will know Jesus. We need to be a reflection of who He is so that others can come to know Him through us.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

John 12:23-24

John 12:23-24 - Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies it produces many seeds.”

When Jesus said this He was speaking of His death. It was coming and He was trying to explain to His disciple why it had to happen. Basically He was telling them that if He remained alive it would just be Him. He would be the only one connected directly to God, walking in the power of the Holy Spirit. If He died, however, He would be able to multiply Himself in those who believe in Him.
When Jesus brought us into the kingdom of God it was as children of God. We became heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ(Romans 8:17). Therefore, since He was the light to this world we now are also lights. We are the reflection of God, just as Jesus was and still is. By dying Jesus duplicated all that He was in each of us.
So now when we look at this verse we must apply it to ourselves. Jesus spoke of the seed dying and was referencing His own death, but now we are the seed. We too must die to ourselves and let the seed be multiplied in those around us. This is not necessarily a physical death, but a death to our flesh. Paul said, “ I have been crucified with Christ, therefore it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me(Galatians 20:20).”
We must put to death our sinful nature and let Christ reign in our bodies. That way when we live we are living for Christ and further spreading the seed. God’s desire is that all men be saved (1 Timothy 2:4), and we have been given the charge to spread His Word and share the message of Jesus. So put to death your old ways of thinking and enter into true life with Jesus.

Friday, February 14, 2014

John 11:25-26

John 11:25-26 - Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

For hundreds of years people have been searching for the “fountain of youth.” It has been the subject of countless books and movies. People want to live forever. They don’t want to age, they don’t want to die. Many people spend their whole lives trying to find ways to keep their body from aging. Now as far as the body I don’t have an answer. Our bodies are just shells that house who we truly are. They are for us to live here on earth and then they will be discarded for our new eternal bodies that won’t age.
I do, however, have an answer for living forever. His name is Jesus Christ. He is the resurrection and the life. Jesus is our “fountain of youth”. In Him we find everlasting life and will never die. Again, I am not talking about your body, that is not you. I’m talking about your true self, your spiritual self, along with your soul. These two parts make up the real you and through Jesus you will live forever. That is what Jesus is saying here, “He who believes in me will live, even though he dies.” Your physical body may die, but you will not.
Once you receive Christ you enter life. Your spirit is revived and you become immortal. Jesus spoke these lines to Martha after her brother Lazarus died and I repeat it to you, “Do you believe this?” Jesus is our “fountain of youth”, we just need to receive Him.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

John 10:10

John 10:10 - “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

With so much going on in our lives, all the busyness, we sometimes question whether a situation is from God or the enemy. I’ve heard people say, “I’m going through a hard time. God is testing me.” Some people think that God brings trouble into our lives to help us grow and to strengthen us. I've even heard it said that God decided to take someone “home early’ when they die at a young age. They've said, “Well, God knows best and He decided to take them home.” This kind of talk really gets under my skin, but let’s not talk about my thoughts, let’s look at what the Word says on this matter.
“The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy,” Then on the flip side, “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” Sounds pretty clear to me. On one side you have death and destruction, on the other side you have life. So let’s look again at the situations I mentioned in the first paragraph.
First we’ll look at the situation I mentioned of someone dying at a young age, or any age for that matter. Is that Life or Death? Obviously it is death! So that means it comes from the enemy. Death was brought into this world, not by God, but by the deception of the enemy, which brought sin. Now that is a pretty drastic event but let’s look at another one.
What if you get fired from your job? Well, you need a job to bring an income. At our jobs we are to work as if working for the Lord, so if we leave it should be on good terms. Does this situation bring life to the fullest? No it does not. Now we know that God works all things for the good of those who Love Him (Romans 8:28). So we know that better things will come out of it, but the act itself is not good. Therefore, this also is from the enemy.
Every situation that comes up in our life we need to view in the light of the scriptures. Thank God for the good things and trust Him to bring good out of the bad.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

John 9:4-5

John 9:4-5 - “As long as it is day we must do the work of Him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

          Jesus was speaking of His time on earth when He spoke these lines. “As long as it is day,” He said, referring to the time He had before He was crucified, “we must do the work of Him who sent me.” There was so much that needed to be done. Everywhere Jesus looked there were people that were lost and hurting. Some in pain and physical ailment and others downcast and defeated. As long as He was on earth He was the Light in their darkness.

          Jesus knew a time was coming when He would be leaving and would not be there to help them anymore, so He didn't want to waste the time He had. Now that He is not here anymore in the natural He has given us the task of continuing His work. While on earth He showed us how we are to live and what we are to do. He is our example.

          Therefore, we must apply this verse in our own lives. While we are here on earth and are healthy and capable, we need to do the work of God. We must be the ones to minister to those who are lost and hurting. There will be a day when we will no longer be able to carry on the work of God, but until then we must never tire of doing what is right. Now we are the light of the world through Jesus. Let your light shine to those around you.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

John 8:12

John 8:12 - When Jesus spoke again to the people He said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

“The Light of Life”. Life is a light and you only find it by finding Christ. He is the light of the world, a beacon to help us find our way. imagine being in a boat, traveling in the dark through the fog. This is a thick fog. You can’t hardly see your hand in front of your face, let alone anything in front of the boat. As you navigate through, trying to make sense of where you are, you realize there is no use. Your instruments don’t work and you can’t see anything. All you can do is hope and pray.
Then you see a light. It’s coming from a lighthouse on the shore. You still can’t see what’s around you, but you can see that light. It gives you enough of a bearing of where you are to safely navigate through the dark until you are in the full light of day.
I think many of us have been here in life, wandering through the dark, not knowing where we are or where we are going. Maybe some are still here. We need to be looking to Jesus. He is like the lighthouse, giving us something to latch onto in the dark. And the darker it gets the brighter His light will shine. He will give us what we need to get out of the dark and into the light.
Once we receive Him, His light shines through us and we become the lighthouse to those around us. It is now our job to guide people out of the dark and into the light of life, which is Jesus. It is time to stop wandering like a boat lost in the fog. Let Jesus enter your heart and truly light up your life.

Monday, February 10, 2014

John 7:37-38

John 7:37-38 - On the last and greatest day of the feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”

 We all have that thirst, that hunger, that desire for something greater. If we will admit it we are not satisfied with the ordinary and want more. We want something supernatural. That is what Jesus is talking about here. Nothing else will satisfy or quench that thirst, only Jesus. He tells us, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me to drink.” Go to Jesus. Let Him quench your thirst. There is nothing else that will satisfy.
Jesus not only quenches your thirst, but also fills you so that you can help others. Now we can see that Jesus has streams of Living Water in Him. We see it in the form of the Holy Spirit, flowing from heaven through Jesus and touching the earth. When we go to Jesus He baptizes us with “fire” and we receive this same Spirit in us. This is the Holy Spirit of God that we have on the inside of us.
So, just as Jesus had the “streams of living water” flowing out of Him, we too have these same “streams” flowing out of us. The same Spirit that was in Jesus is now alive and active in us. This is amazing. Now we must be careful not to dam up these rivers. They are made to flow and we need to follow Jesus example and let them flow through us and touch the lives of those around us. You have life in that will quench spiritual thirst, and it is your responsibility to share it with others. Let the water flow freely through you.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

John 6:35

John 6:35 - Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and He who believes in me will never be thirsty.”

As Jesus was ministering to the people He knew their hearts and what they were thinking. He knew that they had all been following Him for awhile. They were with Him when He fed 5000 with the five loaves and two small fish (John 6:1-14). Now they were with Him again, not because they knew He was the Son of God, but because they wanted another free meal. Jesus would give them something, but not in the way they expected.
“I am the bread of life,” Jesus said, “He who comes to me will never go hungry, and He who believes in me will never be thirsty.” We are all created with a hunger and thirst for something greater than ourselves. This is not in the natural, but in the Spiritual. When God created man in the beginning it was to be in fellowship with Him. After man sinned this fellowship was lost and there became a void in man’s life that could only be filled with God.
We can see this today too, because that void is still there. If you look around you will find all sorts of different ways that people are trying to fill that void. Some spend their whole life searching, but the Truth is right in front of us. Nothing else will satisfy of quench that thirst. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Through Him we can come back into that relationship with the Father that our spirit has been hungering for since we were born. Jesus fills that void in our heart and brings us back to God. He is the bread of life. Come to Him and you will never go hungry . Believe in Him and your thirst will be quenched.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

John 5:24

John 5:24 - I tell you the truth, whoever hears my Word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. Recently I watched a movie called “Warm Bodies”. This movie tells the story of a zombie. It starts out like a typical zombie story, with the zombies preying on the people that are alive. They chase them in an attempt to take their life from them and turn them into zombies as well. As the movie progresses we see this zombie starting to fall in love with a human girl. With love growing in his heart it actually begins to bring him back to life which makes me think of this verse.

"Love brings us from death to life"
 This is the true and most amazing miracle that God ever performs. Bringing a dead soul to life in Christ. Before we knew Christ we were dead, even though our bodies were alive. Kind of like zombies, going around from one thing to the next, no sense of purpose; basically just wandering. And, like zombies, all you were doing was trying to pull those with life down to your level, stealing the life from them.
When we are born into the natural we are born into sin and death. We can’t help it, that’s just the way it is, since this is a fallen world. Then we hear the Words of Jesus. He speaks straight from the Father through those who have already received Him. So you hear His Word, which is powerful, and you have a choice to make. You can choose to believe the Words of Jesus or you can continue to live life as a “zombie”, with no sense of purpose. If you believe, you will enter life, and not just now, but forever, because your new life is eternal. This is the true miracle. We often ask for miracles that we can see, because in our minds that is cool. Which it is, don’t get me wrong, but we need to believe for the miracle of true life and salvation. That is the most awesome miracle, because it takes place in our true selves; our spirits. Salvation brings a person from death to life through the Love of God. In the romantic zombie flick “Warm Bodies” you see love bringing life to the zombies, so also the Love of God brings life to us. Love brings us from death to life.