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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Remember This

Most of us who have attended church on Easter have heard this Scripture: On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again. - Luke 24

In my tradition we love to proclaim; He has risen - He has risen indeed! But look at the next verse - Then they remembered his words. I believe there is message in this passage that we need to remember as well.
- Do your duty. (Very early)
- Impact your world. (They found)
- Rely on Jesus and the Holy Spirit. (Suddenly)
- Tell the Good News! (He has risen)
Be encouraged from the past to move in to the future with Christ, today and every day because – HE HAS RISEN!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Know the Plan

Do you ever struggle with what God wants you to do? Finding God's will is a universal problem. In fact we are in company with Jesus who said the Garden prayer; “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” - Luke 22:42

Jesus asked for what was to take place (crucifixion) to change, but was willing to be obedient to God's will. You may be thinking that is easy for Jesus but how about me. How do I find out what God's will is for me in my life?

Three critical things you must know to discern God's will:

1. Know the Savior. Is Jesus Lord of all in your life?
2. Know the Spirit. Are you full of  and following the Holy Spirit?
3. Know Scripture. Do you know God's Word?

Know these three things in an intimate and obedient way, and you'll be on your way to discovering God's perfect plan for your life. Amen?





Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Bad to Good

I did a Bible word search on "bad day". It came up with just one result from John 11:39, “Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”

Not what I was looking for, but Lazarus and his friends and family were certainly having a bad day. But it was about to get a lot better! I think that this a great lesson for us. Regardless of how bad your circumstances are Jesus can change them for the better in a hurry.
Isn't that amazing?

Today wherever you are and whatever your circumstances - call on Jesus. He brings dead things back to life, and makes a way that seems impossible to us.

Cry out He hears your cries.
Are you listening for His voice in response?

Monday, March 28, 2016

Kingship

When Jesus enters my life, a new power comes to me because He is my king.

“Are you the King of the Jews?” asked Pilate. “You have said so,” Jesus replied (Mark 15:2, NIV).

Jesus wasn’t going to lie. He couldn’t deny his kingship. His kingdom though is much more powerful and mighty than anything anyone has ever experienced. It is and eternal kingdom. That power is yours, too, if you accept the king because when Jesus enters your life, a new power comes to you because he is your king.

All the power of the kingdom comes when the king enters in.
That’s what Jesus meant when he told his first followers,

Anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these (John 14:12, NIV 1984).

Bold words, but true.

Allow King Jesus to enter in to your heart, and rule your life.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

He Is Alive!

 Happy Resurrection Sunday! Look at the excitement shared in Matthew 28:1-10.  1 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.  2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
   5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
   8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

He has risen indeed! Don’t be afraid – Go tell somebody. Great words for today and everyday!

Live the resurrection of Christ all year long. Amen?

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Eternity

In Matthew and Mark, it is reported that both thieves were mocking Jesus along with the crowd. As the hours wore on, however, one criminal’s conscience was smitten, and he repented. The repented thief rebuked the other and testified to Jesus’ innocence. His prayer reflected his belief that the soul  lives on after death; that Christ had a right to rule over a kingdom of the souls of me, and that He would soon enter that kingdom despite His impending death. His request to be remembered is a plea for mercy, which also reveals that the thief understood he had no hope but divine grace. All of this demonstrates true faith on the part of the dying thief. Christ graciously affirmed the man’s salvation, and offered paradise to the repentant thief on the cross

Luke 23:39-43 - One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: "Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!" But the other criminal rebuked him. "Don't you fear God," he said, "since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong." Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."   .

Remember your hope in eternity brings you hope today. Amen?

Friday, March 25, 2016

Good?

Good Friday – What’s so good about it? The day that Jesus, Son of God, dies for the world in the cruelest of ways, and we call Good Friday. The Sunday School answer would be it is good for what Christ did for me! I think there is more to it as we look at the Bible, and what it has to tell us.
1. All was completed! – Jesus had completed the mission He came to earth for. Philippians 2:5-11- Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

2. Scripture was fulfilled! – From Jesus’ birth to the resurrection was prophesied. Matthew 26:52 - Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?” At that time Jesus said to the crowd, “Am I leading a rebellion that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me.  But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.”

3. It is finished! – tetelesti! (transaction/deal was complete)- death has been defeated
1 Corinthians 15:55 - “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus gave up His Spirit in order that we can receive the Holy Spirit.
John 14:26 - But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Thank God that He is good all the time. Amen?

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Mandated


We will be having a service this evening at the Hopewell Baptist Church. Please feel welcome to attend in a spirit of introspection as we consider the words, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.


Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday, is the Thursday before Easter Sunday, observed by Christians in commemoration of Christ's Last Supper. The name Maundy is derived from mandatum (Latin for "mandate or commandment"). In many Protestant churches, Communion is celebrated during the evening service.  Christ gave his followers at the Last Supper a commandment that they love one another. (John 13:34).

We will be celebrating and remembering Christ's last supper and words from the cross. The service begins at 7 pm. We are at the corner of Hopewell Road and 850 West.


We also invite you to join us at Hopewell Baptist Church in Holton, IN on:


 March 25th – Good Friday 7pm presentation of              
The Sound of the Nails


March 26th – Community Egg Hunt at 10am


 March 27th - Resurrection Sunday Services at 7am and 9am with breakfast served in between.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

God's Light

After I graduated from college I shared an apartment with a friend of mine. We were two typical guys that didn’t pay a lot of attention to what was going on around us. One day someone came in to our place and ask why it was so dark. At first we weren’t sure what they were talking about. It didn’t seem dark to us. Upon further inspection we discovered half of all our light bulbs were burned out! We hadn’t noticed because they didn’t go out at once, but one at a time. Our eyes had adjusted over time, so we couldn’t tell the difference.

Sin is that way sometime. It can creep up on us, and before we know it we have pushed God out of our lives. That is why it is so important to keep the light of God shining on our lives. Jesus is called the Light of the World, and he does bring light in to darkness. We are also told, Your Word is a lamp to my feet, and a light for my path. – Psalm119:105. Stay in the Word! It brings clarity to your world, and guides you in truth.

Always keep God's light on! Amen?

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Responsibility

God will save all who place their faith in Jesus but gives people the freedom to receive or reject salvation. Look at this call to faith found in Romans 10:1-21.

1. We cannot save ourselves. (10:1-4)
Understanding Paul’s great passion for the Jews to be saved through faith should motivate all of us to have a similar passion for all people.

2. We can be saved by faith. (10:8-13)
Look for opportunities during the week to share our faith.
Think about: What causes you not too? How can we change our attitudes?

3. We can encourage others.  (10:14-18b, 21)
If you know Jesus then you know enough - do not be afraid to have conversations with others about your faith in Christ.

Remember the responsibility that has God given to all believers.
Share your faith. Amen?

Romans 10:1-21 - Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.Moses writes this about the righteousness that is by the law: “The person who does these things will live by them.”[a] But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’”[b] (that is, to bring Christ down) “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’”[c] (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,”[d] that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”[e] 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”[f]
14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”[g]
16 But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?”[h] 17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. 18 But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did:
“Their voice has gone out into all the earth,
    their words to the ends of the world.”[i]
19 Again I ask: Did Israel not understand? First, Moses says,
“I will make you envious by those who are not a nation;
    I will make you angry by a nation that has no understanding.”[j]
20 And Isaiah boldly says,
“I was found by those who did not seek me;
    I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me.”[k]
21 But concerning Israel he says,
“All day long I have held out my hands
    to a disobedient and obstinate people.”[l]

Monday, March 21, 2016

Eat Well

When we come to church services and go to our small groups we feast on the Word of God. Just like with real food, eating two times a week is not enough. We need to be fed everyday. God provided food called manna for Israel when they were wandering in the wilderness. Every morning they just had to go out and pick it up. We need to pick up our Bibles everyday and put it in ourselves through hearing, reading, studying, meditating, and memorizing Scripture.

He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. Deuteronomy 8:3

Think of it like this. If Jesus was in front of you and wrote something down specifically for you, would you want to know what it said? Of course! He has written something down especially for you. It’s His Word! Feast, dine, and be fed everyday from it. You’ll be healthier, wiser, and closer to Jesus.

Always be nourished through His Word to you. Amen?

Sunday, March 20, 2016

What Are You Shouting About?

The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” Hosanna in the highest heaven!” 10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” 11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.” - Matthew 21:6-11

The people's cries of 'Hosanna' came from Psalm 118:25-26; LORD, save us! LORD, grant us successBlessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD. From the house of the LORD we bless you

Hosanna means "save now." Despite what Jesus had foretold about his mission, the people were looking for a military Messiah who would overthrow the Romans and restore Israel's independence.

When we say “Hosanna” are we looking at the temporal or the eternal? Praise God! He can save us from our sin and punishment, so that we may be with Him now and forever.

  Hosanna!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Pleasing God

There are right and wrong ways to please God. Jesus shows us both ways in the book of Matthew.
We see seven blessings on the righteous in Matthew 5:3-10:
1. Theirs is the kingdom of Heaven (3&10)
2. They shall be comforted (v. 4).
3. They shall inherit the land (v. 5).
4. They shall be filled (v. 6).
5. They shall obtain mercy (v. 7).
6. They shall see God (v. 8).
7. They shall be called sons of God (v. 9).
We see seven woes on the unrighteous in Matthew 23:13-31.
1. They kept people out of God's kingdom (v.13).
2. They took advantage of widows (v. 14)
3. They misled men to eternal destruction (v.15).
4. They were covetous of worldly things (16-22).
5. They refused to show compassion (vv. 23-24).
6. They were inwardly corrupt (vv. 25-28).
7. They afflicted the righteous (vv. 29-31).
While the beatitudes express the true way to please God, the woes express the wrong way to please Him.
Remember to please God in all you do. Amen?

Friday, March 18, 2016

Up and Up

When we open up – Jesus shows up,
You must make Jesus Christ Lord and Savior of your life.
All who call on the Name of the Lord will be saved. Romans 10:13
When Jesus shows up – we will grow up.
We will want our lives to change and that means getting rid of the junk!
The bible supports this in 1 Peter 2:1-3 - Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
When we grow up, the church will be built up!
It’s not about us! When we do it God’s way great things will happen.
Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21
Always keep looking up! Amen?

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Who's Driving?

According to the Willow Creek Reveal Study there are mainly 4 kinds of people you will meet at church on Sunday. There are those that are:
 Exploring – looking to meet Jesus
- Growing – Accepted Christ and learning more about Him
- Close – Allows God to give direction to their lives
- Christ Centered – Jesus makes the decision for them in all areas of life
We can look at this like driving a car with the auto representing our lives.
-         We see Jesus through the window but no contact
-         We ask Jesus in to the car but put him in the back seat
-         We have Jesus move to the front and let Him be our “co-pilot”.
-         We let Jesus take the wheel and control our lives
Matthew 16:24-26 - Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. 26What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?
Remember – hands up! Amen?

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Strong Word

In Ephesians 6 Paul refers to the Bible as a sword. God’s Word is so powerful in the spiritual realm. If we would fill our hearts and minds and lives with the Word of God, oh how many areas of life would be strong!

In another place Hebrews 4.12, "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."

The Spirit will whisper in your ear - receive and obey it.
John 14.25-26 "These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you."

All throughout the Bible, we are encouraged to be men and women of the Word. Psalm 1.1-2 reminds us, " Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night."

Read through God's Word… Study it… Memorize it… Share it…Psalm 119.11 says, "Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You!"

Have you fallen and want to get up? Know and apply The Word of God in every aspect of your life. He can pick you up! Amen?

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Repentance


The Message of Repentance is vital because:
1. Jesus commands it. From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, 
Definition: NOT – just saying you’re sorry (rich young ruler), regret (Pilate) a resolution to be better, reformed, or some meaningless ritual.
It literally means: to change one’s mind- will – actions (like the Prodigal son, “came to his senses”)

2. Jesus commends it. “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
Benefits: shows God’s goodness and grace… Not Turn or Burn theology/motivation but one of love and mercy.

3. Jesus calls for it. Romans 2:4, “The goodness of God leads you to repentance.”
Mandates: The Lord’s grace, love, forgiveness, and goodness leads us to repentance! It takes repentance and faith (belief) in Christ to be right with God.
God’s goodness leads to our repentance. Amen?

Monday, March 14, 2016

Repent


For the next three weeks we will be looking at the Intentionality of Jesus. This week will be looking at the word Repent!  It is the message preached throughout the New Testament:

Matthew 3:1-2 – The Message of John the Baptist In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”  

Matthew 4:17 – The Message at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry From that time on Jesus began to preach, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

Luke 24: 46-47 – The Message at the end of Jesus’ ministry He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

Mark 6:12 – The Message of the apostles throughout the world They went out and preached that people should repent.

Acts 2:37-38 – The Message when the church was birthed at Pentecost When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do? 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.

Acts 17:30 – The Message of the mission work of Paul  In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.

Revelation 2:5 – The Message in the last book of the Bible Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.

Woven throughout the Bible but hardly preached today.

Have we become so seeker friendly that we forsake biblical truths and mandates?
May we all repent and have faith in Jesus, and share this message in our world. Amen?

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Balanced Life

The Scriptures teach the need for balance in one's life and attitudes. A good passage concerning proper balance is found in the Book of Ecclesiastes. It tells us that there is a time for everything under heaven:

"A time to give birth, and a time to die; A time to plant, and a time to uproot what is planted. A time to kill, and a time to heal; A time to tear down, and a time to build up. A time to weep, and a time to laugh; A time to mourn, and a time to dance. A time to throw stones, and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, and a time to shun embracing. A time to search, and a time to give up as lost; A time to keep, and a time to throw away. A time to tear apart, and a time to sew together; A time to be silent, and a time to speak. A time to love, and a time to hate; A time for war, and a time for peace." (Ecclesiastes 3:1-9).
Being a Christian does not mean a life without sorrow, sickness, or troubles. It does not mean that expression of sorrow is a sign of weakness. It does mean that we, with the help of God, can maintain a balanced perspective in all of life's circumstances. Acknowledge the eternal goodness of God, even when life is not so good.
Always – be balanced, obedient, and faithful. Remember: God is good all the time...

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Hurting World

We live in a hurting world, but  praise to the God, who knows your pain.  Look at what the Psalms have to say about it.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. - Psalm 34:18
For his anger is but for a moment. His favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may stay for the night, but joy comes in the morning.- Psalms 30:5
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. - Psalm 147:3
Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. - Psalm 61:1 

Remember that death is the consequence of sin. Jesus died on the cross to release us from the sting of death, which is sin. “Where, O death, is your victory?Where, O death, is your sting?”56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.1 Corinthians 15:55-57. The suffering caused by sin is enormous. Sin is something to cry about – cry out to Jesus. He knows, loves, cares, and eventually wants to bring us "home".

Always know - Jesus is your Hope. Amen?

Friday, March 11, 2016

Jesus is Hope

The world is full of lies, and half truths. Sometimes in our pain and confusion it's hard to know what we should believe. Here's some great news! God wants you to know the truth and the truth will set you free.

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32

Three Things to Remember:
(1) Believed in him - true faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord
(2) Hold to His teaching - obedience to the Word of God is the fruit or evidence of a changed life. A faithful follower in word and deed by the application of the Bible to your life.
(3) Know the truth. - Holding to the teaching of Christ who is the truth

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. John 14:6 

Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?”Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” John 18:37 (NKJV)

Make Jesus your Hope. Amen?

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Hard Times or Good Times

Most of us would agree that we hate going through trials and hard times. Interestingly enough the Bible tells us to glory in tribulations! Look what Paul has to say to the church of Rome, and to me and you.
  
Romans 5:3-5 says, Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;  perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

I admit I'm still learning, and had a crash course on all these things in the last few weeks. In this passage look at the promise and progression through our trial, hardships, crises, and tribulations that Paul describes.

1. Tribulation brings patience. - We learn to wait on God, and live in His timing not ours.
2. Patience brings experience. - We learn to trust in God, even when we don't understand.
3. Experience brings hope. - We learn the truth and the application of God's promises.
4. This hope enables us to not be ashamed.- We can live for Christ - even during these hard times.

If Jesus is for you who could come against?

He is for us! Amen?

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Dad's Work

Sometimes it is easier to understand a passage of Scripture by looking at a paraphrase of the text. Consider the language used here on what it means to be God's children as explained here in 1 John 3:1-3 from The Message.

What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it—we’re called children of God! That’s who we really are. But that’s also why the world doesn’t recognize us or take us seriously, because it has no idea who he is or what he’s up to. But friends, that’s exactly who we are: children of God. And that’s only the beginning. Who knows how we’ll end up! What we know is that when Christ is openly revealed, we’ll see him—and in seeing him, become like him. All of us who look forward to his Coming stay ready, with the glistening purity of Jesus’ life as a model for our own.

God's desire for His children is to grow and mature. He gives us all we need to accomplish our mission here - a way to communicate (prayer), instruction manual (Bible), spiritual gifts, and  the Holy Spirit as a guide and Counselor.

What kingdom work have you done this week?

Today and everyday be about the Father's work. Amen?

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Lifestyle

In Colossians 1:24-28 we see the attributes of how Paul models God’s heart to the world. The first thing that is required is to have the heart of a servant. We see this in verse 24: Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.
 Throughout the New Testament you hear him say, I  Paul have become a servant. His identity and life is consumed with sharing the Gospel.


 All believers are called to serve & proclaim the Gospel story of Jesus. The issue is not merely to serve Christ, but to serve like Christ. This kind of servant leadership is characterized by setting aside any interest in social standing or political power and submitting to others in order to share their burdens. Everyone can serve God with their everyday ordinary lives. It's incredible to look back at a humble Christ focused life and see how many countless lives have been touched. I am fortunate to have witnessed this in my Father's life. Praise God for good role models.


Serve God today and everyday by sharing His Word with your life. Amen?

Monday, March 7, 2016

Intentionally Focused


In order to live an Intentionally focused life for God we must be focused. Our focus is what separates us from going through life accidentally.  Colossians 3:2 says, “set our minds on things above”.  This leads to “This one thing I do.” as found in one of Paul’s letters to the church.
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14
We all know we must have focus to be a success in life. Why not focus on God things? Especially in areas of spiritual growth and intentional living for Christ.
Here are three ideas we can take away from this passage.
1. Define your goal and move forward as it defines you. “This one thing I do” (3:13)
2. Be passionate about life’s priorities “I press” (3:14)
3. Know where you are going. “Toward the goal for the prize” (3:14) (goal in Greek is skopos. It's where we get our word, scope, aim for the bull’s eye)
Is intentionally living for Christ your focus and goal?
Focus on Christ and He will put your life priorities in order. Amen?