Posts belonging to Category Insights For Today



Press On to Win the Prize…

Press onYou have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. Psalm 139:1-4

Paul writes, We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! Romans 7:14-15, 7:21-25a

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, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-15

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away (getting old), yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen (Jesus), since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

AMEN!!!

The Lord Almighty…

The Lord AlmightyWhen I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? Psalm 8:1-4

Who can fathom the Spirit of the Lord, or instruct the Lord as his counselor? Whom did the Lord consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way? Who was it that taught him knowledge, or showed him the path of understanding? Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales; he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust. Isaiah 40:13-15

Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you. Blessed (happy) are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, Lord. Psalm 89:14-15

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7

Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. One thing God has spoken, two things I have heard: “Power belongs to you, God, and with you, Lord, is unfailing love”; Psalm 62:8, 11-12a

AMEN!!!

The Way…

The WayIn the way of righteousness there is life; along that path is immortality. Proverbs 12:28

Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father (God) except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” 

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? John 14:5-9a

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

For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 1:17

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12

AMEN!!!

A son belongs to it forever

“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) Jesus is speaking to the Jews who believe Him that if you hold to my teachings you are my true disciples. The Lord says that if we obey His words we will know the truth and the truth will set you free. Every word is God’s word in the Bible if you read, reflect and obey these words then this truth will set you free. My time in the word has changed me through the scriptures the Spirit of Jesus Christ has convicted, revealed, and loves me. The truth has set me free to live each day at a time for others and not for myself.

They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:33-36) A son holds to the teaching of Jesus Christ and obeys the truth and is set free and a son forever. But, the man who does not hold the truth and does what he wants is a slave of sin and he has no place in the family. The Son speaks of Jesus Christ and anyone who obeys the truth in the word and repents and believes on Jesus Christ will be free indeed. (Acts 11:21; 17:30)

“I know you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are ready to kill me, because you have no room for my word. I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you do what you have heard from your father.” (John 8:37-38)  The Jews through the years took on more than was given to them by Moses. We like to add instructions or policies into our church doctrines that are not written in the Bible. So, when someone starts sharing the gospel we are on the offensive because we are no longer following you’re made up rules. You have no room for the true word that was given from the Father; you have only room for your father’s word.

“Abraham is our father,” they answered.

“If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would do the things Abraham did. As it is, you are determined to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things. You are doing the things your own father does.” (John 8:39-41) These Jews could not see or hear because they didn’t recognize that Jesus Christ was the Messiah for they had no eyes to see or ears to hear. For their love of power and the things that power in detail blinded them to the truth. The word says but their idols are silver and gold, made by the hands of men. They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but they cannot see; they have ears, but cannot hear, noses, but they cannot smell; they have hands, but cannot feel, feet, but cannot walk; nor can they utter a sound with their throats. Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them. (Psalm 115:4-8) We will be like these men when we worship rules and regulation within our churches instead of the truth within the pages of our Bibles.

“We are not illegitimate children,” they protested. “The only Father we have is God himself.”

Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but He sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!” (John 8:42-45) Again, they could not hear if they wanted to because they lived and breathe the law and their own desires. Because their hearts were far from God they were listening to the father of lies. The voice of Jesus Christ couldn’t get through and unrepentant heart that thirst for law. There are people in our congregations who want to go by the book and normally this book is outside the truth. They will not back down because their way is right and your way is wrong. These people do not know or love Jesus Christ their Father but their love is in justice and their father is Satan.

“Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” (John 8:46-47) No one could prove that Jesus Christ was in sin. True believers were hearing but the ones who belong to Satan could not hear because their heart was not right. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.

Do you belong to God? Or do you belong to Satan?

Do you hear the Father, he calls for you. Do not harden your heart? God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave (to sin), but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir. (Galatians 4:4-7)

The word says if you believe in Jesus Christ His only Son, (you) shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

Thank you, Jesus that I am no longer a slave to sin but a son in the family of God. Thank you, Father for your love for me that you sent your Son to redeem me. I pray for the family of God that we read the truth and obey the truth so that we can be counted as your disciples. The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want for anything but you dear Lord. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He makes me read His word and obey His precepts so that you can lead me beside the still waters, he restores my soul. (Psalm 23:1-2) Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. (Psalm 51:10-12) Guide me in paths of righteousness for His name sake. Guide me to the paths that lead me to your truths and great mercy so that even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Even though my day is full with struggles and though the people you surround me are your enemies you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house forever. (Psalm 23:3-6) In Jesus Christ name I pray; Amen.

 

The Word of Life…

The Word of LifeThat which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life (Jesus) appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father (God) and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 1 John 1:1-3

But your dead will live, Lord; their bodies will rise—let those who dwell in the dust wake up and shout for joy—your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead. Isaiah 26:19

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

After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began. John 17:1-5

AMEN!!!    

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Everlasting Grace…

Everlasting GraceJesus said “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again.  John 10:14-15, 17

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. John 10:27-28

On this mountain he (God) will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth. The Lord has spoken. Isaiah 25:7-8

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. Revelation 21:3-7

AMEN!!!

Fulfilling Prophesy…

Fulfilling ProphesyFulfilling Prophesy

(Isaiah was written around 800 years before Christ)

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor (in spirit). He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favorIsaiah 61:1-2a

Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.

He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
    because he has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
    and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
     to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Isaiah 61:1-2)

Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him.  He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” Luke 4:14-21

Jesus said, You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, John 5:39

He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. Luke 24:44-45

AMEN!!!

Who will save us?

Save me. Who can save us? Who has the power to save me? Can Superman save us or Captain Marvel save us? No, these are make-believe heroes written in fiction to entertain us. So, who in all of history came to save us? I only know of one man who was sent from His Father to be born among us. You might know Him or you may not but whatever the answer He came in obedience to His Father to claim us as His own. This man wasn’t great looking or ten feet tall He was quite ordinary until He spoke and commanded demons to leave and a wither hand to heal. (Isaiah 53:2; Matthew 12:10) He performed miracles and spoke wisdom to crowds with authority from on high. (Matthew 28:18) He was a man of ordinary means sent from on high to do extraordinary feat. He was like you and me but He was different because He drew His strength from His Father. (John 15:1-8) This man fed on every word that came from His Father’s mouth. This man’s Father is the ruler of this world who spoke everything into existence. (Genesis 1) This Son worship His Father’s every word with thanksgiving and praise and when the Father told His Son to go and save us. (Matthew 6:9) He did without question. Who is this man?

Who is this man?

Who is this man? This man was given a name that means ‘our Savior’ and Savior means deliverer. (John 4:42) Why were we given a deliverer? Thousands of years ago when this Father which we will call God put into existence this world He had a garden where He had a couple. This couple was the first humans and their names were Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve took care of the garden for God. God had but one rule that was the tree in the center of the garden was not to be eaten. That tree was called ‘the knowledge of good and evil’ and if they ate from that tree they would die a spiritual death. One rule was given to them but one day a serpent came into that garden and enticed the woman to eat the fruit and she did as well as her husband. That day they brought sin into this world and the couple was cast out of the Garden and Eden to live off the sweat of their brow and to eat from the ground. (Genesis 3) Why do we need a deliverer? For the sin that enter this world through Adam and Eve. Each generation of people continue in their sin and the sin got worse and worse until God devised a plan that would change human life and He gave His people the Ten Commandments. (Exodus 20) Now, the Ten Commandments were given as a law to be kept where they would also give pure animals (Leviticus 4) to be sacrifice if they committed these sins. The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies (animals) are burned outside the camp. (Hebrews 13:11) The Ten Commandment did not stop sin but it enticed them to do worse sins in rebellion against the Ten Commandments and God. So, who is this man our Savior?

Who is this man our Savior?

God heard the cries of His people who were struggling with sin and the harshness of their environment. God sent His One and Only Son to be born of a virgin so that He will carry on the plan to save us from eternal damnation. Our Savior grew up in this harsh environment and lived among God’s people. He endured being different from others and lived a blameless life among others. (2Corinthians 5:21) God had a plan for our Savior’s life and when He was old enough He executed that plan and gathered around Himself followers. He drew His strength from His Father through abiding in His Father (John 10:30) our Savior grew stronger until He was taken into custody. (Luke 22) They were trying our Savior on the case that He committed treason against His government. Treason is when you are disloyal to your government for instance: when you do not give alliance to your king but to someone else. Our Savior was not like by many religious leaders and for that reason they incited the people against our Savior and told the court to crucify Him. (Luke 23) What the people did not know was this was the plan? God needed His Son to go through this so that He would become that perfect sacrifice for His people. So, without a word our Savior walked outside the city with a cross on His back to Skull where they nailed His hands and feet to a cross. Our Savior died and then He rose on the third day to the surprise of all and is seated at the right hand of the Father to reign for us and intercede for us. (Luke 24) And so our Savior also suffered outside the city gate (like the animal sacrifices) to make the people holy through His own blood. (Hebrews 13:12) Our Savior’s own blood makes us pure through the giving us His life for us. (Acts 20:28) So, God’s plan worked with the death of His Son we can have eternal life. The word says “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and an only Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16) This death cancels out our sin for all times and it gives us new life in Him if we choose. Let us, then, go to Him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace He bore. (Hebrews 13:13) We do not need to clean up or dress up just come as you are and our Savior will wash you white as snow and He will give you His white robe. Acts 22:16; Luke 15:22) Believe that our Savior came as a baby, died on a tree, resurrected and is seated at the right hand of the Father.  (Acts 16:31) Believe that you are desperate and lost without your Savior and then turn and repent of your sins. (Acts 11:21) Our Savior commands all people everywhere to repent and be saved. (Acts 17:30)

Our Savior saves but not this earth for here we do not have an enduring city (earth), but we are looking for the city that is to come. (Hebrews 13:14) This city will come to an end and we will live forever looking forward to our Savior’s return. Our Savior will return when all His children are saved. (Revelation 7:13-17) Who is our Savior? Jesus Christ.

 

Thank you, Jesus Christ that you are my Savior who saved me from my sin. Thank you, Father that you gave your one and only Son to me to be sacrificed on a cross so that I would have eternal life forever. Thank you, Lord that you are master of my heart today.

I pray for your people who have not chosen you this day and struggle with sin and their own depraved heart. May they not continue in their sin any longer but Believe on Jesus Christ and be saved. Jesus says in His word “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28) I pray that your children will turn from the wicked ways and repent and be forgiven and live and eternal life with you. Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

 

Overcoming Stress and Anxiety…

Overcoming StressSearch me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Psalm 139:23

Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward (when you die) you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:23-26

For this is what the high and exalted One says—he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite (remorseful) and lowly (humble) in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite. Isaiah 57:15

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. James 4:10

Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Psalm 62:8

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. James 1:12

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 2 Corinthians 4:17

AMEN!!!

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Daily Encouragement…

Daily EncouragementPaul writes, My goal is that they (you and me) may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Colossians 2:2-3

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans 15:4

God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. Hebrews 6:18-19a

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 2 Corinthians 4:17

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 15:5-6

Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you. 2 Corinthians 13:11

AMEN!!!

Forgiving Sin…

Forgiving SinSalvation (being forgiven) is found in no one else, for there is no other name (Lord Jesus) under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12

“Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? 

But I want you to know that the Son of Man (Jesus) has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home. ”He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!” Mark 2:7-12

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:12-14

AMEN!!!

Image: Lake Malawi, Africa

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Victory over Death…

Victory over deathWho can live and not see death, or who can escape the power of the grave? Psalm 89:48

Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Our God is a God who saves; from the Sovereign Lord (Jesus) comes escape from death. Psalm 68:19-20

But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:22-23

For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

“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. 1 Corinthians 15:53-57

AMEN!!!

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A Treasure Money Can’t Buy…

TreasureBlessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she (wisdom) is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Proverbs 3:13-15

Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn away from them. Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. Proverbs 4:5-6

… indeed, if you call out (to God) for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. Proverbs 2:3-6

What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? Matthew 16:26

No one can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for them—the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough—so that they should live on forever and not see decay. Psalm 49:7-9

For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. 1 Timothy 2:5-6a

… keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Jude 1:21
AMEN!!!

The Beginning of Time…

The beginning of time.In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God (the Holy Spirit) was hovering over the waters.

And God said, (the Word) “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day. Genesis 1:1-4 

The “Word” Becomes a Human Being …

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God  He (the Word) was with God in the beginning. Through him (the Word) all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

The Word became flesh (a human being named Jesus) and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:1-4a, 14

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn (most important) over all creation. For in him (Jesus, the Word) all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers 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. Colossians 1:15-17

John writes, And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 1 John 4:14

AMEN!!!

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Paul remained faithful

Leave it all behind. Jesus said “Pick up your cross and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24) Leave your brothers or sisters or fathers or mothers or children or fields for my sake and you will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.” (Matthew 19:29) Leave it all behind and pick up your cross and follow me.

What is the cost to follow Jesus Christ? Paul states in 2Timothy 4:8 now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for His appearing. The Holy Spirit witness to Paul that a crown of righteousness was his for staying faithful to the Lord and to the gospel.

While we wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people that are His very own, eager to do what is good. (Titus 2:13-14)

Are you eager to do what is good and right before the Lord Jesus Christ? Are you having trouble leaving it all behind? Have you replace the Lord with another love that is stronger than you? In the Old Testament in Genesis 29 Leah was Jacob’s first wife because her father tricked Jacob into marrying her. Jacob wanted Rachel but was given Leah. Leah became pregnant and she thought Jacob will love me now because a son was born. But, no Jacob did not love her and this hope of her husband desiring her continue until Leah cried out to the God and God saw her pain. See Leah was striving to be loved and she felt incomplete without his love. Leah tried for 10-15 years to get her husband’s love but something happen in her heart that turned her life around. Leah became pregnant a fourth time and during her pregnancy she began to seek the LORD for Himself. Leah fell in love with the LORD and when she gave birth to her son she said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” She named her son ‘Judah’ which means praise. Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but longing fulfilled is a tree of life. (Proverbs 13:12) All your worrying about your family and friends just makes you sick because you deferring your hope somewhere other than the Lord. Once you put all your hope in the Lord you become a well spring tree of life.

Seek the Lord for Himself and not what you can get from Him. Have your desires become your gods? Do you desire wealth and everything that comes with it? Are these desires ruling you this day? If this desire is the reason you follow Jesus Christ so that He will give you your desires then your life will not change. Look again at Leah’s story with Jacob; her life was miserable it wasn’t changing until she left it all behind. She left those feelings of ever becoming complete with Jacob and gave her life completely to God. What did God do for Leah? After Leah and Rachel had died Jacob was dying he told his sons. “I am about to be gathered to my people; bury me with my fathers in the cave…which Abraham bought…for a burial site. There they burden Abraham and his wife Sarah, there they buried Isaac and his wife Rebekah, and there I buried Leah.” (Genesis 49:29-31) “…there I buried Leah.” The LORD was looking out for Leah and Jacob came to love Leah. The Lord can do remarkable things for the ones He loves when we do not defer our hope to others. Delight yourself in the LORD; and He will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)

Leave it all behind…Pick up your cross and follow me. (Matthew 16:24) How did Paul remain faithful to the Lord and the gospel? The Lord gave the Holy Spirit to His followers. Jesus says to His disciples “Now I am going to Him who sent me, yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ Because I have said these things, you are filled with grief. But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned. (John 16:5-11) The Lord had to leave because the Holy Spirit comes to live inside of us. The Holy Spirit came to convict us of sin in our lives so that we will turn to Jesus Christ for forgiveness. The Holy Spirit witnesses on righteousness: that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died and was resurrected, justified and Lord of all. Holy Spirit shows us what sin is and how to overcome the world. The Holy Spirit witnesses judgment: Satan’s defeat at the cross (John 12:31), world’s judgment (Romans 1:18-32), and future judgment (Matthew 16:27). The indwelling of the Holy Spirit in Paul’s life is the reason that Paul was able to stay faithful.

Thank you Father, for your Son who died and rose on the third day; so that you could send the Holy Spirit to us. Thank you, Jesus Christ for your sacrifice for me that has brought me so much victory. Who would ever dream that I could have so much love in my life?  Thank you for convicting my heart that I was deferring my hope to something else. You complete me Lord we look nowhere else but to you. There is no one like you in all the earth. We seek you no other person or thing will distract us from you. You are our all in all and forgive us for using you for stuff…forgive us for loving family, friends, church, and things more than you. Help us leave behind people and things that have become our idols and pick up our cross and follow you. Protect our hearts from the evil ones and bullies in our life. I pray that our sense of fulfillment comes from you Lord and that we will delight in you. Create in us a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you. (Psalm 51:10-13) In Jesus Christ name. Amen.