Bible Studies, Christian Growth, Devotionals, Missions, Salvation

The Great Compelling

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The Great Commission…

“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen (Matthew 28:18-20 KJV).”

What is my reaction, my response?

Am I compelled to obey by a sense of compassion and urgency?

Has the Great Commission of Jesus become the great compelling need?

“And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled (Luke 14:23 KJV).”

Christ followers are commissioned, called to go, to share the gospel.

I can’t help but notice the opening and close of the Great Commission.

It opens with “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth (Matthew 28:18 KJV).”

The passage closes with “lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ Amen (Matthew 28:20 KJV).”

Jesus is the authority behind the commission. He provides His presence and power to carry it out.

 

Bible Studies, Christian Growth, Devotionals

Horseshoes Superstition

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The superstitious believe that horseshoes bring them good luck.

I’m not superstitious; I don’t believe in luck (good or bad). In case you’re wondering; I don’t have a horseshoe hanging over my door.

I do believe in blessings.

“Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, ‘Thus you shall bless the sons of Israel. You shall say to them:

The Lord bless you, and keep you;

The Lord make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance on you,
And give you peace.’

So they shall invoke My name on the sons of Israel, and I then will bless them (Numbers 6:22-27 NASB).”  

Blessed by horseshoes?

No; yet, my feet are shod with the gospel of peace.

Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,  and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace (Ephesians 6:14-15 NASB).”

 

 

Bible Studies, Christian Growth, Devotionals, Redemption, Salvation

We hide; He seeks

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Ready or not, here I come!

Most have played the childhood game of hide-n-seek.

God found Adam and Eve in their hiding place.

“Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.

And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, ‘Where are you?’

So he said, ‘I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself (Genesis 3:7-10 NKJV).”

Why hide from the LORD?

He seeks to save. 

“And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.’ So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully.  But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.’

Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, ‘Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.’

And Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:5-10 NKJV).”

 

 

Bible Studies, Christian Growth, Devotionals, Prayer

The Intercessors

photo credit: David Paul Ohmer <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/50965924@N00/10464291346″>Cincinnati – Spring Grove Cemetery & Arboretum “Praying Hands”‘</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a> 

 

Solitary confinement…

Do you feel confined?

Those who are shut in and home-bound often become powerful prayer warriors. True; there is strength in numbers. Yet, alone we draw close to the LORD. He seeks intercessors.

“He saw that there was no man,
And wondered that there was no intercessor;
Therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him;
And His own righteousness, it sustained Him (Isaiah 59:16 NKJV).”

All people need our prayers of intercession.

“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men (1 Timothy 2:1 NKJV).” 

We must persevere.

“… praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— (Ephesians 6:18 NKJV).”  

As we pray, the Holy Spirit intercedes on our behalf.

“Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession  for us with groanings which cannot be uttered (Romans 8:26 NKJV).”

We are weak; yet, we’re conquerors through the intercession of Christ.

It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us (Romans 8:34b NKJV).”

 

 

Bible Studies, Christian Growth, Devotionals, Redemption

No Fishing!

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Discovering areas are off limits to us; we are restricted or refused entrance in certain places.

‘Keep off the grass.’

‘Keep out’

Land owners set property boundaries.

‘Posted: No Hunting or Fishing’

Authorities and private property owners make the point very clear; we are not welcome there.

If we choose to ignore the warnings the law is on their side; we could be arrested.

Does God post an invisible ‘No Fishing’ sign?

As His children, we might decide to disobey His restrictions.

Our confession of sins is followed by His generous forgiveness.

The merciful Father removes sins and the weight of guilt.

“He will again have compassion on us,
And will subdue our iniquities.

You will cast all our sins
Into the depths of the sea {Micah 7:19 NKJV).”

Deep sea fishing is outlawed.

I refuse to take the bait of Satan’s accusations.

No fishing!

 

Bible Studies, Christian Growth, Christmas, Devotionals, Redemption, Salvation

Son of the Highest

photo credit: Prayitno / Thank you for (12 millions +) view <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/34128007@N04/32513795737″>(25 March ) The Annunciation of the Lord</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

God sent…

“And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,

To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.

And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women (Luke 1:26-28 KJV).”

Troubled…

And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be (Luke 1:29 KJV).”

Favored…

“And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God (Luke 1:30 KJV).”

Conception…

“And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus (Luke 1:31 KJV).”

Son of the Highest…

“He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:

And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end (Luke 1:32-33 KJV).”

How?

“Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man (Luke 1:34 KJV)?”

The Holy Ghost…

“And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God (Luke 1:35 KJV).”

 

 

Christian Growth, Christmas

Christmas Bells

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Shh, I think I hear Christmas bells…

Someone is ringing out the story of Jesus’ birth.

Bells come in a large variety of shapes and sizes. Many churches often include a hand bells group in their music ministry. Bell-ringers stand together with a large assortment of bells on a table before them. Patiently they wait for their turn to ring out notes. Each carefully grasps a bell in white gloved hands; gently, they play their bell. Their note, when joined with others, creates a beautiful Christmas Carol.

Each year, I eagerly wait for my chance to wear Christmas clothing and jewelry. I’ve even worn a jingle bell necklace and matching jingle bell earrings. Friends heard me coming and going! Do you have a pet companion? This is the perfect time of year to add jingle bells to your pet’s collar. Include them in your holiday fun.

We can turn the ringing of bells into Christmas blessings. Salvation Army buckets are located at many shopping areas. Listen for the sound of ringers bells as pocket change jingles among other donations. Their collections will be used to bring the miracles of Christmas to needy people in your vicinity.  

“Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7 NASB).”

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