Saturday, June 10, 2023

June 10, 2023

You are not saved because of your works; you work because you are saved. God’s work is not “work.” I’m not saying it isn’t challenging or labor intensive, but he gives you everything you need, including wisdom, knowledge, and the energy to complete the tasks he assigns to you. Once you commit to what you feel he has instructed you to do, I can assure you he will be like a bulldozer in front of you and a force behind you. Though the enemy may try everything in his power, nothing can stop you. It’s important to remember that your work is not what saves you; it comes out of your love for Jesus and your gratefulness for salvation. Nothing we can do would make us righteous enough for God; it is because he is merciful that he allows us to live on in paradise through our belief in Jesus.

But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:4-7

Friday, June 9, 2023

June 9, 2023

You are not the thief on the cross who made it into Heaven by the skin of his teeth! I don’t even want to know what will happen if you try to use that excuse for your complacency and not doing your part in spreading the gospel when standing before Jesus on judgment day. You know him now, and you still have life and breath in you. He saved you at such a time as this for a reason. Every moment of your life is part of the script God has written for you; don’t waste it on worldly passions and frivolous desires. Value Jesus more than anything else; he is your purpose in life; live for Him! Show him how grateful you are for your salvation. We are the people he chose for his own possession, and he expects us to be zealous for good works. The time seems right for the harvest, so at any moment, he could appear, but this time it won’t be as a lamb; it will be as our mighty Warrior and King! Are you ready?

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. Titus 2:11-14

Thursday, June 8, 2023

June 8, 2023

As Christ-followers, we should abstain from the appearance of sinful behavior and refrain from involvement in celebrating detestable things. It is not loving for us to participate in something we know is abhorrent to God, and it’s a slap in the face of Jesus, who died to cleanse us from such impurity. The minds of some have been overtaken by the evil one with hopes of turning as many away from Jesus as possible. It is not loving to stand by and watch as they plummet further and further into darkness. The best thing we can do is to show them the love of Jesus and try to convince them to turn away from evil and seek a better life filled with the love of the true Jesus, not some made-up image of a god that accepts their sinfulness. We must love them enough to want to see them deny such sin and accept Jesus as their Savior. The most loving thing we can do is to help snatch them from the fire and show them the narrow pathway to a better life. 

To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work. Titus 1:15-16

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

June 7, 2023

With the internet, YouTube, and other media outlets, we have access to many dynamic preachers, and you can find just about anyone who agrees with your way of thinking. However, we are not always good at knowing the scriptures as God intended, so if we are not careful, some of those preachers will lead us to eternal death. I know I probably push the issue of reading your Bible too much, but that's the only way to ensure you receive God's intended message. We need to verify that what is being preached matches the scriptures; the only way to do this is to know them. Like anybody else, I love the teaching on love, but there is more to God than love and tolerance, and if you don't know about God's wrath and justice, you may think you are fine skipping over those parts of scripture. Many will be sorry when they find out they have been led astray for listening to what their itchy ears wanted to hear. Pray for discernment, look up anything that sounds off, and like most good preachers will tell you, eat the meat and spit out the bones because even a good preacher can get it wrong occasionally.

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 2 Timothy 4:3-4

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

June 6, 2023

Last year, we removed many trees and underbrush near the house. One of the plants we removed grows from roots that spread, and it’s nearly impossible to eliminate them. As I was walking around the house, I tripped over one of those roots; thankfully, I didn’t fall, but it caused me to stumble. What we should have done to get rid of them would have been to pull them up root and all, which I expect will have to happen if we want to remove them entirely and become free of their existence. 

Sometimes issues in our lives cause us to stumble. There are forms of bondage from our past experiences that, no matter what we do, and because we didn’t deal with the issue and remove it altogether, keep rearing their ugly head, much like the root I tripped over. Unless we take action to eliminate the cause of the problem, it will continue to make trouble for us. You must first figure out where the problem began; many times, it started in childhood; possible trauma, some fear, and even rejection can block us from healing completely. You may not be able to deal with these issues on your own; it will take the Holy Spirit to bring to mind where the problem began. Ask Him for help, and he will guide you through healing. Jesus took on all of our trouble, past, present, and future, and He wants you to heal from it and set you free. Let him do that for you today.

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1

Monday, June 5, 2023

June 5, 2023

Our power went out last night and didn’t come back on until 2:30 am! We were uncomfortable without the air conditioning but were still able to sleep. I spent most of the day cleaning, hadn’t had a shower, and was still sticky from the sweat. Thankfully, our office had power and a shower, so I didn’t have to sleep dirty. Something like that makes you appreciate electricity and the people who control it. 

Most of you will agree that you will tend to get grimy while working in the world. We are surrounded by people who love their worldly ways and make no apologies for them but flaunt them, causing those who despise sin to become uncomfortable. Thankfully we have Jesus to run to. He is like a refreshing shower after being exposed to worldly filth. He keeps us perfectly comfortable in whatever atmosphere we find ourselves in. We never have to go to bed dirty when we put our trust in his ways. Even when the world gets crazy, we have a place to hide away from all the madness: Jesus. 

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. 2 Timothy 3:1-5

Sunday, June 4, 2023

June 4, 2023

I ordered a beautiful blown glass chandelier for my dining room. I was so excited to see it hung and assembled; however, it didn't light up after connecting it to power. There was no point in putting it together if you couldn't turn it on. Not only that, but some of the glass came broken. So, we are returning it and getting another one; hopefully, we won't have the same issue. A light that doesn't work is useless no matter how pretty it is; though it might look like a work of art, its light is what gives it life. 

As a Christ-follower, you must keep your light for him burning bright; he is what makes you beautiful. You can put on your Sunday best and have your hair perfectly coffered, but without Jesus, you are like a blown incandescent bulb with a black spot inside. I was looking forward to having a lovely fixture, much like the valuable vessels of gold and silver for honorable use, as a part of my home, but it turned out to be dishonorable. Part of God's plan is for you to pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace to become a useful vessel; don't disappoint him by blocking the light of Jesus in your life. 

Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 2 Timothy 2:21-2:22