The Soul of the Gospel

Believe me – there can never be peace without forgiveness. Forgiveness is one of the central lessons in life and teachings of Jesus. It provides us with spiritual health. When we forgive we share the love of God with others and rid ourselves of dangerous poisons that prevent us from growing spiritually.

Without Forgiveness – we feel resentment, frustration, anger and anxiety. It is also something that society says is counterculture. Jesus said “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

Who are your enemies, do you prayed for them? Don’t forget the everyday things people do to wrong you.

Forgiveness and generosity are two things that Jesus challenges us to do.

Point to Ponder: Everybody has someone to forgive.

Verse to Live: Matthew 6:14

Question to consider or comment upon: How seriously do you take Jesus’ invitation to forgive.

Prayer: Jesus you forgive me even when you know I’ll fall short again and sin. Teach me to be that generous with my forgiveness. AMEN

Living the Good and Godly Life!!!

Living the Good and Godly Life!!!

This next week we will examine the ways of living a Godly life.

K-Love put out these tips… and I think they fit with our program on Living the Godly life..

1. Read the Bible Daily – spend time in God’s word. Ask God to give you the wisdom and understanding we recently talked about it my blog.
2. Pray with God Daily – does not need to be official – down on your knees prayer, but talk with him often throughout the day. Ask God to help show you how to live your life.

3. Depend on God and the Holy Spirit. Remember the Holy Spirit dwells with you. The Spirit will teach you, guide you and strengthen you in times of need.

4. Attend church regularly. Church family is important. Christian life is not singular it is growing in fellowship with other Christians.

5. Be of Service to Others – Serve and give your life to others. Mark 8:35
The more you give yourself in service to others, the more you will enjoy your Christian life.

The Bible says that you are a “new creation” (2 Corn. 5:17) when you decide to follow Christ. Your old “self” is gone and the new is here!!!

Holding your Tongue

I have held my tongue most of my life, but I do occasionally mess up and say bad words. I even have been known to say the “F-word.” Am I proud of this fact… no, but only human comes to mind.

I do really work on my language skills and my husband sometimes laugh at the way I say certain words… because of my mid-western accent.

I always told my children you will get farther in life with politeness then anything else. I guess it has paid off for them. One a successful Minister and the other a successful Junior High School teacher.

God wants us to reflect his image – not our own or even worse the world’s image. So if we work hard at not using bad language and use language that builds people up instead of tearing them down – we will project a better image of our faith in Jesus Christ.

God bless you my friends – hope you all have a Happy Holiday – I’ll be tomorrow with the last Habit – Living a Good Godly Life.

Tongue from Evil and Your lips from speaking deceit.

When talking about your tasteful tongue, we are not talking about your dental hygiene, but how you speak to people and treat them with your words.

Read James 3:2-10 – says that the tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life and set on fire by hell… tongue is a small member of the body, yet it boasts of great things….

Psalm 34:13 says: Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.

A few tips:

1. Recognize that swearing does damage.
2. Think positively
3. Make your point politely
4. Stop complaining….

Just a few to start with…

The things we say or fail to save serve as a barometer of our Christian character, according to James.

Prayer
O God, your word to us is the good news of Jesus Christ. Yet too often our words to others are not good news.
We use your gift of speech to boast or speak harshly or criticize.
Forgive us, O Lord, Help us to choose our words carefully and faithfully and to use them for good.
May our words be like fresh water from as spring that gives life, health and joy. Amen.

Tasteful Tongue

Tasteful Tongue – hmmmm enough said!!!!

Ok – maybe not. The Bible has a lot to say about our tongue.

James uses metaphors from common experience to illustrate his cardinal point that great results can be achieved by small means. The tongue is a small part of the body that is capable of creating great disasters.

Psalm 120:3-4; Prov. 16:27
Tongue is fire. An uncontrolled tongue is likened to a fire that rages out of control.

Staining – evil speech (including blasphemy, gossip, slander, lying, false vows and the like) HAS THE POWER TO STAIN, SPOT AND CORRUPT the entire moral character of a person.

This week we’ll look at how our tongue can built people up and how it can tear people down. Let’s try to build people up this week.

Maze to a Treasure

This morning I leave for work to mail my Christmas cards at the Post Office. The city of Rock Island has many streets tore up for repair. So it was like a maze trying to get to the Post Office. Then leaving there was another Maze to get to the Arsenal.

Do you feel like you are in a game of life. That you either are spinning on a hamster wheel or running a maze and finding you are getting stuck. Reminds me of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl of Great Price in Matthew 13.

Discovering God’s kingdom is like stumbling across hidden treasure or finding the one pearl of great price. God offers his kingdom as incomparable treasure at a price we can afford!! We cannot pay the full price for the life which God gives us, but we can exchange our life for the life God offers, we receive a treasure beyond compare.

When you are running the race of life – on that wheel or maze – remember the treasure we need to seek is Jesus. Job 22:23-23 says – “If the Almight is your gold and your precious silver, then you will delight yourself in the Almighty.” Is the Lord the treasure you seek?

I hope God reveals to you his purpose for your life, but remember his Gift is free. That we’ll be able to freely give all of ourselves to Him. May we find joy and delight in God’s presence.

Communication – Leader – Jesus

Matthew 13

Parable of the Sower

Paraphasing a bit – Jesus told the crowds the story of a farmer who sowed his seeds. Some fell on rocky ground, where it sprung up quickly, but then the sun scorched the plant and it withered away. Other seed fell on thorns and was choked out. Still other see fell on good soil where it produced a great crop.

Jesus said “Whoever has ears, let them hear.”

Then disciples said – why do you use parables to tell stories to the people.

The parables are to things people can relate too, but it to reveal to the people who need to be “convicted” without making a direct accusation, so they can apply to a vast audience, each in a different way. Parables are very common way to communicate. Jesus used them often.

He sais to the discples:

:This is why I speak in parables: “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. In them is fulfilled the prochecy of Isaiah:

“You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiging. For this people’s heart has been calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, heart with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.”

He goes on to say: “Blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they heart. For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and ot heart what you hear but did not hear it. Listen to the parable of the sower – when anyone hears the message bout the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and sntaches away what was sown in their heart.

Great stuff in this chapter… more tomorrow

Habit Five – Avid Listener

Habit Five – Avid Listener

Remember playing the telephone game, by the end of the game the story gets so messed up and humorous because no one is listening to the words. We all laugh, but communcation isn’t happening.

I personally have trouble listening because my perception of what is said gets in the way!!!.

Most Christians would say Jesus was a phenomenal leader. he could identify with his audience – he would break down the message in a way they would understand. He would connect with them. We can become great communicators by using Jesus as our model.

Read Matthew 13 and will discuss it tomorrow.

So what is the pursuit of truth?

So what is the pursuit of truth?

Some pursue thruth through observing nature, studying books, through science and others dig deep insite themselves. Christians would say the study of scriptures, but I think that is half right – Truth is a person, Jesus. He told his followers, “I am the Way, The Truth and the Life” (John 14:6). So if we are pursuing truth in its fullness, we must be pursuing Jesus.

I believe that is focusing everything toward Jesus.

No matter what we are doing, we should be connecting it to our relationship with Jesus.

Finding Jesus in Bible and everything. We will never find complete truth apart from Jesus. Truth is found in the focused pursuit of Him. Amen.

Read Col 2:9-17, Hebrews 1:2-3 and Matt 17:5

Nature of the Truth

Nature of the Truth

Ok let us dive into the nature of truth.

Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness.” (Eph. 6:13–14)

“The original Greek word for “girding your waist” is perizōnnumi, which can literally mean “to put a belt on.” This armor belt in Roman tradition was used for three primary reasons. The first is that it held a dagger, whereas the sword was slung around the shoulder.”

” The second reason for the belt was that the belt was a symbol of the soldier’s honor. They wore decorative metal plates of brass, bronze, or silver around the belt with other decorative metal plates that hung down at the groin.”

“The third reason the belt was used was for supporting the breastplate. The belt itself served as the foundation for the breastplate, without which the breastplate would be too heavy of a burden to bear.”

“However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth…” (John 16:13) The Holy Spirit and His leading are the center of all our truth. For when we are led by Him, He leads us into ALL truth. Not partial truth, not half-truths, but all the truth in all its entirety.”

“Do not be complacent and do not be self-seeking, but seek the truth and be fervent for it. For by the truth, we are purified in Christ. Therefore, love fervently and obey the truth through following the Holy Spirit.”