Where Do We Go From Here?

We must also consider how to encourage each other to show love and to do good things.

We should not stop gathering together with other believers, as some of you are doing.

Instead, we must continue to encourage each other even more as we see the day of the Lord coming.

Hebrews 10:24‭-‬25 GW

Also, make it your goal to live quietly, do your work, and earn your own living, as we ordered you.

Then your way of life will win respect from those outside ⌊the church⌋, and you won’t have to depend on anyone else for what you need.

1 Thessalonians 4:11‭-‬12 GW

Nothing makes me happier than to hear that my children are living according to the truth.

Dear friend, you are showing your faith in whatever you do for other believers, especially when they’re your guests.

3 John 1:4‭-‬5 GW

As Christians, we are meant to be encouragers.

Not just in words, but also in deeds.

It certainly takes a lot of courage to live a life of faith.

How do you do that?

Trust in the Lord.

His one time sacrifice took the punishment for everyone’s sin.

Not just mine.

Not just yours.

Everyone’s.

Some people aren’t aware of that fact.

Some people are living as if they’ve forgotten that fact.

We need to remind them of the truth.

Jesus Christ died and rose again so that you could inherit eternal life and live your life freed from the power of sin and death.

That’s some Good News, my friend!

Today, I want to share some helpful tips that I’ve found useful in elevating the conversation when you’re gathering with other believers.

  1. Ask better questions
  2. Listen to understand
  3. Invite and offer prayer

They’re all pretty self explanatory, but let’s discuss further nonetheless.

The purpose of gathering with other believers is to strengthen and encourage one another.

The opposite would be to weaken one another’s faith and tear each other down.

Obviously, that’s not what we want to be doing.

So, ask better questions.

Bland, worldly questions are not better questions.

You need to lead with purpose in mind.

A couple of my favorite conversation starters are:

“What’s the Lord been showing you lately?”

“What’s the Lord been doing in your life this week?”

If they don’t have an answer, you might want to skip ahead to asking what they need prayer for.

Perhaps it’s a personal relationship with God.

A huge problem that we all seem to have is that we seem to think we know everything.

Or at least, we think our opinion is of prime importance.

Perhaps I’m the only one who struggles with that.

When having a conversation, we need to realize we’re not using “social media.”

We’re not just broadcasting our views and opinions and looking for likes and comments.

Social media is a disease on public discourse in my humble opinion.

To have a conversation, we must acknowledge one another as equal partners in the quest for a greater understanding of our Creator.

We’re not here to understand ourselves.

We already know we’re sinful creatures prone to wander.

No, we need a better understanding of God so that we can become more like Him.

Conversations aren’t opportunities to talk endlessly about ourselves.

If you want to do that, post on social media.

It’s a time to ask questions.

Esteem others as better than yourself.

At least, that’s what the Bible says.

And finally, don’t use gatherings as forums to complain, fault-find, and have pity parties.

That’s all negative garbage.

We’re supposed to be loving and hopeful.

Steer the conversation back to the Source.

At some point, it will become obvious that the next question should be: “Can I pray for you?”

We’re all called to minister.

We can all pray for each other.

This weekend, I encourage you to get together with other believers and live in the truth.

Fellowship around the mystery of the Gospel.

Pray for one another.

Get to know each other.

Serve one another in love.

May God be glorified in your words and deeds!

Amen.

Set Free

O Lord, what are humans that you should care about them? What are mere mortals that you should think about them?

Humans are like a breath of air. Their life span is like a fleeting shadow.

Psalms 144:3‭-‬4 GW

Jesus answered them, “I can guarantee this truth: Whoever lives a sinful life is a slave to sin. A slave doesn’t live in the home forever, but a son does. So if the Son sets you free, you will be absolutely free.”

John 8:34‭-‬36 GW

God’s divine power has given us everything we need for life and for godliness.

This power was given to us through knowledge of the one who called us by his own glory and integrity.

Through his glory and integrity he has given us his promises that are of the highest value.

Through these promises you will share in the divine nature because you have escaped the corruption that sinful desires cause in the world.

Because of this, make every effort to add integrity to your faith; and to integrity add knowledge; to knowledge add self-control; to self-control add endurance; to endurance add godliness; to godliness add Christian affection; and to Christian affection add love.

If you have these qualities and they are increasing, it demonstrates that your knowledge about our Lord Jesus Christ is living and productive.

If these qualities aren’t present in your life, you’re shortsighted and have forgotten that you were cleansed from your past sins.

Therefore, brothers and sisters, use more effort to make God’s calling and choosing of you secure.

If you keep doing this, you will never fall away.

Then you will also be given the wealth of entering into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 1:3‭-‬11 GW

What is impossible for man is possible with God.

Like living a life free from sin.

Like never falling away.

Like patiently enduring until the end.

Sure, it’s a tall order but it’s not impossible.

God gives us the power to overcome our carnal, fleshly, sinful nature.

Without God it is impossible to be saved from ourselves.

No matter how hard you try to be righteous, without the indwelling Spirit of God, all your efforts will be in vain.

There’s no such thing as a good person.

Only God is good.

When we get born again, we are born of the Spirit.

We take on a new nature.

The divine nature.

That’s what gives us the power to live godly lives.

We were all slaves to sin before we came to know Christ.

Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God.

But our spirits can.

The soul is the middle ground.

Is your soul submitted to God’s Holy Spirit or is it still a slave to your flesh?

Souls are eternal.

Our bodies die.

We’re just inhabiting these tents of flesh for a season.

When the season ends, we put on immortality.

This is all a test.

Consider this life your placement exams.

How faithful you are to God determines your reward.

Jesus lived a perfectly sinless life of obedience to the Father’s will.

Therefore, all authority in Heaven and on Earth has been given to Him.

We are parts of Christ’s Body.

As we faithfully perform our duties, we align with the Father’s will and give glory to God.

We’re going to be set free from these mortal bodies.

Don’t confuse the temporary with what’s eternal.

This present world will be destroyed by fire.

Everything that makes up the universe will be consumed.

The material is passing away.

The spiritual endures forever.

God’s word will not pass away.

Jesus has saved us from the punishment for our sins.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Having His Spirit live in us and direct our worship is the abundant life in the here and now.

We are living sacrifices.

We have sacrificed our carnal lives and fleshly desires for something greater.

As a former addict and alcoholic, I know that living a sinful life of carnal pleasure and selfishness is unsatisfying.

I have explored that lifestyle and can conclude in agreement with Scripture that it is not wise and ends only in death.

Thanks be to God for delivering me from my demons and my carnal nature.

Glory to God for sharing His divine nature with me so that I may enjoy freedom and life eternal.

May God’s infinite kindness, love and mercy find a home in your heart.

In Jesus’ Name I pray.

Amen.

The Bread of Purity & Truth

It’s not good for you to brag. Don’t you know that a little yeast spreads through the whole batch of dough? Remove the old yeast ⌊of sin⌋ so that you may be a new batch of dough, since you don’t actually have the yeast ⌊of sin⌋. Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. So we must not celebrate our festival with the old yeast ⌊of sin⌋ or with the yeast of vice and wickedness. Instead, we must celebrate it with the bread of purity and truth that has no yeast.

1 Corinthians 5:6‭-‬8 GW

Now, concerning food offered to false gods: We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge makes people arrogant, but love builds them up. Those who think they know something still have a lot to learn. But if they love God, they are known by God.

1 Corinthians 8:1‭-‬3 GW

After all, I passed on to you what I had received from the Lord. On the night he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took bread and spoke a prayer of thanksgiving. He broke the bread and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.”

1 Corinthians 11:23‭-‬24 GW

I was thinking this morning about the communion elements.

The bread and the cup.

I didn’t understand communion for a long time when I became a believer.

Why do we do what we do?

To remind ourselves of truth.

It’s interesting that the bread used is unleavened bread.

It represents Christ’s body.

It’s not puffed up with pride.

It’s not full of hot air, appearing bigger than it really is, lacking real substance.

It’s humble but serviceable.

It’s not sugar-coated.

When we take communion we are admonished to consider ourselves.

Have we put aside all anger and malice?

Have we forgiven everyone who has sinned against us?

Are we walking in the purity of the truth of Christ’s love?

You don’t have to know everything to be saved.

You don’t have to understand God’s ways to enter into relationship with Him.

In fact, we only need to have faith like a child.

We only have to first believe that God exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.

Christ will teach us all things by the Holy Spirit.

Belief in Jesus is the doorway to a relationship with God.

I overheard someone talking to a hopeful agnostic yesterday.

He probably was getting filled with information and knowledge because his girlfriend was a church going Christian.

Had anyone shared the Gospel with him?

I don’t know.

And neither did I.

I was disobedient.

I didn’t want to be rude and barge into his conversation with someone else.

He was ripe for harvesting.

And I ignored the still, small voice which said, “Introduce Me.”

Salvation is the beginning of eternal life.

All of the angels in heaven rejoice when another lost sheep gets found.

I let down my team.

Lord, forgive me for my sin.

Please strengthen me from within so that it won’t happen again.

Always be ready to share the reason for your hope.

Be ready in season and out of season.

We’re often bench players.

And when the coach says to get in the game, don’t duck your responsibility.

People were getting saved, baptised and filled with the Spirit on Saturday night.

Saturday’s only a memory now.

Monday was game day.

I failed to show up when it mattered most.

I was just another face in the crowd.

I’m sure he’ll get to where he needs to go someday.

But he also could have died that night.

I wouldn’t want that hanging over my conscience.

And think about it.

How hard is it?

It’s as simple as saying, “I’d like to introduce you to my best friend, would that be okay?”

What’s His Name?

His Name is Jesus.

He’s knocking on the door of your heart.

Won’t you invite Him in?

Repeat after me.

Lord God,

I open my heart to receive You as Savior.

I want to believe the truth.

Help me God to know You more everyday.

I invite You into my life right now to be my Lord and my God.

Fill me with your Holy Spirit, Lord.

Thank You for saving me.

I love You, Jesus.

Walk with me the rest of my days.

In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit baptise me with the Holy Spirit and fire, in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, amen and amen.

Congratulations my friend!

Welcome to the family.

The forever family.

We got to keep practicing.

How do you explain the Gospel?

Share the Gospel, not your opinion.