Archive for the ‘Salvation’ Category

WISHBONES

November 23, 2017

photo credit: Steve Corey <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/22016744@N06/38582927741″>Invited to Dinner !</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

 

“Make a wish!”

As a youngster, I made many wishes on turkey wishbones.

Evidently those bones failed to fulfill the wish of the turkey. His fondest wish to avoid capture and death did not come true.

Paul, with faith in the Lord and love for his people wished to see the salvation of his kinsmen.

“I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, who are Israelites (Romans 9:1-4a NASB).”

Israel’s orthodox Jews were in need of conversion and confession. Paul made their salvation his heart’s desire.

“Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. For not knowing about God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God (Romans 10:1-3 NASB).”

Our salvation, our forgiveness of sin is ample reason for thanksgiving and praise.

“He made him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21 NASB).”

Wishing on bones from a turkey carcass is foolish. I do pray for the salvation of many I hold dear. May God’s Spirit break my heart and give me a heightened sense of urgency to persevere in prayer.

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MEN ON MISSION

October 7, 2017

Peter and John, once common fishermen…

“Then Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit and said to them, ‘Rulers of the people and elders: If we are being examined today about a good deed done to a disabled man—by what means he was healed—  let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene—whom you crucified and whom God raised from the dead—by Him this man is standing here before you healthy.

This Jesus is the stone rejected by you builders,
which has become the cornerstone.

There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people, and we must be saved by it.’ When they observed the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed and recognized that they had been with Jesus (Acts 4:8-13 HCSB).”

They stumped the religious authorities.

“What should we do with these men? For an obvious sign, evident to all who live in Jerusalem, has been done through them, and we cannot deny it (Acts 4:16b HCSB)!”

Men on mission for the Messiah!

“And now, Lord, consider their threats, and grant that Your slaves may speak Your message with complete boldness, while You stretch out Your hand for healing, signs, and wonders to be performed through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus. When they had prayed, the place where they were assembled was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak God’s message with boldness. (Acts 4:29-31 HCSB).

Peace in the Pasture

August 18, 2017

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Learning that I’m originally from New York State, most wrongly assume I’m a NY City girl.

I was born in the city of Syracuse but raised in the rural neighborhood of Mycenae. I was a country girl; with one cow pasture across the road and another right next to our home. There, a picturesque creek divided farmer May’s pasture property from ours.

We had no nearby sheep pastures; yet, I assume Mr. May protected his dairy cows in much the same way as a shepherd.

Seeking peace in the pasture…

“Bethlehem Ephrathah,
you are small among the clans of Judah;
One will come from you
to be ruler over Israel for Me.
His origin is from antiquity,
from eternity.
Therefore, He will abandon them until the time
when she who is in labor has given birth;
then the rest of His brothers will return
to the people of Israel.
He will stand and shepherd them
in the strength of Yahweh,
in the majestic name of Yahweh His God.
They will live securely,
for then His greatness will extend
to the ends of the earth.
He will be their peace (Micah 5:2-5a HCSB).”

Trusting the Good Shepherd…

 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep (John 10:11 HCSB).”

 

 

 

Acting Out & Acting Up

May 31, 2017

Unclean & unruly, acting out and acting up.

“Then they came to the other side of the sea, to the region of the Gerasenes. As soon as He got out of the boat, a man with an unclean spirit came out of the tombs and met Him. He lived in the tombs. No one was able to restrain him anymore—even with chains— because he often had been bound with shackles and chains, but had snapped off the chains and smashed the shackles. No one was strong enough to subdue him. And always, night and day, he was crying out among the tombs and in the mountains and cutting himself with stones.

When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and knelt down before Him (Mark 5:1-6 HCSB).”

The man was about to go through total transformation.

Legion to liberty…

“And he cried out with a loud voice, “What do You have to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You before God, don’t torment me!’ For He had told him, ‘Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!’

‘What is your name?’ He asked him.

“My name is Legion,’ he answered Him, ‘because we are many.’ And he kept begging Him not to send them out of the region.

Now a large herd of pigs was there, feeding on the hillside. The demons begged Him, ‘Send us to the pigs, so we may enter them.’ And He gave them permission. Then the unclean spirits came out and entered the pigs, and the herd of about 2,000 rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned there. The men who tended them ran off and reported it in the town and the countryside, and people went to see what had happened. They came to Jesus and saw the man who had been demon-possessed by the legion, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. The eyewitnesses described to them what had happened to the demon-possessed man and told about the pigs. Then they began to beg Him to leave their region.

As He was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed kept begging Him to be with Him. But He would not let him; instead, He told him, ‘Go back home to your own people, and report to them how much the Lord has done for you and how He has had mercy on you.’ So he went out and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and they were all amazed (Mark 5:7-20 HCSB).”

Tombs to testimony!

 

 

 

Listen!

April 20, 2017

‘Listen!’

Dr. Charles Stanley voices the command repeatedly.

Was the crowd listening to Apostle Peter that day?

Did they hear the truth?

“Men of Israel, listen to these words: This Jesus the Nazarene was a man pointed out to you by God with miracles, wonders, and signs that God did among you through Him, just as you yourselves know. Though He was delivered up according to God’s determined plan and foreknowledge, you used lawless people to nail Him to a cross and kill Him. God raised Him up, ending the pains of death, because it was not possible for Him to be held by it (Acts 2:22-24 HCSB).”

Death had no hold on Him. King David had prophesied…

“Seeing this in advance, he spoke concerning the resurrection of the Messiah:

He was not left in Hades, and His flesh did not experience decay.

“God has resurrected this Jesus. We are all witnesses of this. Therefore, since He has been exalted to the right hand of God and has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit, He has poured out what you both see and hear (Acts 2:31-33 HCSB).”

Did they hear; were they alert and listening?

“Therefore let all the house of Israel know with certainty that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah (Acts 2:36 HCSB)!”

 

 

 

Women, They Were First

April 14, 2017

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Resurrection morning is not scripted by any of the disciples…  
 
Before full daylight, faithful women begin a mission of love. Laden with spices to anoint His body, they approach the Master’s tomb contemplating how to remove the large stone barrier.  

Finding it open puzzles them. The stone lay off to the side, affording them access to the burial place. Consider the women’s frame of mind as they discover Jesus is not inside His place of burial. Where is He? 
 
Suddenly, they encounter two men dressed in radiant clothing. Fright grips them as they fall to the ground. The men ask a pertinent question.

“Why do you seek the living among the dead (Luke 24:5b NKJV)?” 

A messenger continues. “He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again (Luke 24:6-7 NKJV).” 

But… They saw Jesus die. Three days have passed since His lifeless body had been placed inside the sealed tomb. Yet, hope and joy rise in their hearts as the rays of the morning sun.  

“So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word (Matthew 28:8 NKJV).” 

On their way with their witness, they meet the risen Christ who calms their fears.  

“Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me (Matthew 28:10 NKJV).” 

The message is true; Jesus is alive! 

In the current culture, prejudice against women prevails as they share their experience with the disciples. 

“And their words seemed to them like idle tales, and they did not believe them (Luke 24:11 NKJV).” 

The disciples receive their own affirmation of Jesus’ resurrection in the remainder of the 11th chapter of Luke’s Gospel. Jesus is indeed alive and the women’s message is verified. 
 
Don’t lose track of the women’s prized privileges. They are the first to see the open tomb, first to hear an announcement of His resurrection, first to behold the risen Savior. They are first appointed messengers to carry the gospel, the good news of Jesus conquering death.

No Trespassing

February 23, 2017

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No Trespassing

Posted, Keep Out

 

 

Get the picture?

Someone posted signs at the boundaries to their property. They serve as clear warnings.

No Trespassing

“We have redemption in Him through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace (Ephesians 1:7 HCSB).”

I had been guilty of trespassing, I crossed the clear boundaries given by the Father. I am forgiven through the manifold riches of His grace.

“As far as the east is from the west,
so far has He removed
our transgressions from us (Psalm 103:12 HCSB).”

Heading toward heaven?

Look for the Welcome sign!

 

 

 

Announcement & Affirmation

December 14, 2016

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“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them (Luke 2:8-20 KJV).”

 

Favoured & Faithful

December 7, 2016

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Mary was favoured.

“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.

And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.

And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.

And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.

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.

Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?

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.

And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.

For with God nothing shall be impossible (Luke 1:26-37 KJV).”

Mary was faithful.

“And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her (Luke 1:38 KJV).”

Terrified to Testimony

November 30, 2016

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“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds (Luke 2:8-18 KJV).”

 

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