A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

In the whole Bible there is hardly another chapter which can equal this triumphant text.  – Martin Luther

It’s only because of Christ and all He’s done for us that we have eternal life.  His grace is the key to our salvation.

Adam’s sin resulted in death for all who are in him, but Jesus Christ’s obedience in going to the cross resulted in justification of life for all who are in Him. Adam’s sin was credited to all his descendants, but Christ’s righteousness is credited to all who are His descendants through faith in Him.  – Stephen J. Cole

We don’t earn eternal life – but we humble ourselves with grateful hearts before the cross of Christ.  We rely upon His grace and mercy in our lives and for our afterlives.  We can make Heaven our home forever if we believe and claim His sacrifice on Calvary’s cross.

Yes, Adam sank our spiritual ship, but God has thrown a life preserver to us. His name is Jesus! What Adam did was the worst thing that ever happened, but what Christ did was the best thing that ever happened.  – Keith Krell

Grace is free to us but very costly to God. – Keith Krell

Even at our worst God loves us.  – Jerry Cosper

God’s the only One who could possibly provide the perfect sacrifice for the horrific sin of man.  As much as we want to think that being a “good person” is enough to earn life in Heaven one day, it’s just not true.  Without the cleansing blood of Christ, we cannot be saved.

We’re not keen on being represented by Adam, but the truth is, if any of us had been the first man, we would not have done anything differently.  The fact is, sin is in this fallen world – but the good news is the gospel of Christ!  He died on Calvary’s cross and that is the only hope for fallen man.  Believe today on Him and you will be saved.  🙂

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A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.  – Titus 3:4-7

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The hope that every Christian has hinges on what Christ did – it has nothing to do with us, except for the fact that we’ve come to believe in Christ and His sacrifice on Calvary – just as we are.  Our righteousness is not even almost good enough, but God’s grace and mercy are what we place our faith and trust in.  That is why we have the hope of eternal life, but we hold on to the Lord because we love Him above all else.

I want to show you something I found on my facebook newsfeed.  I was taken aback a bit when I first saw it – and then I read the article and decided that this guy has a pure heart and pure intentions – he really wants people to see Easter in the right way – so look what he did at this FRED’S store in Tennessee…

http://www.gracecentered.com/freds-store-displays-easter-crosses-mr-pibbs.htm

Every day in this world we watch people backstab and hate each other, but it’s the duty and joyous privilege of God’s children to love one another.  Why?  Because once we realize that Christ has delivered us from our miserable condition by HIS mercy and free grace, and has given us HIS precious Holy Spirit – we understand that love is the cornerstone of our faith.  Without love, it’s a lie.  God is love and He wants us to not only love Him, but love one another as He loved us and sent His precious Son to this earth to live and die for our sins.

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How will you share your faith today?  Maybe you can do it through your job – in creative ways when you stock the Mr. Pibb…  or maybe as a retired secretary, you want to start writing a little blog that shares faith, hope, and love with others.  There are so many ways to share your faith – but one thing is for sure – if you feel God’s Spirit prompting you to share your faith in some way, you will be miserable if you don’t do it.

Christ is the fountain from which the precious Holy Spirit flows.  It’s only through Him we are able to teach and mentor others with patience and prayer.  What a blessing to have the Holy Spirit in our lives each day.  Because we have Him, we can practice true love and kindness in our daily walk.  Think about it…  His love and His grace have such great power to change a human heart.  Commit the lost to Him and be patient as you share and teach.  Remember His timing is not our timing.  Never give up on anyone because the Lord did not give up on you.  🙂

 

 

 

PSALM 9:1 ON 9/1

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For the director of music. To the tune of “The Death of the Son.” A psalm of David. I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.  – Psalm 9:1 

Sometimes the most difficult thing to do is live your life in spite of the broken dreams that lie strewn behind you.  No, I’m not suicidal – don’t worry…  but it’s been a challenge lately to grab ahold of real purpose for living.  I suppose part of the problem is that I keep seeing my friends on facebook…  some of them I’ve known since high school.  They have raised their children and are now spoiling their grandchildren.  It’s as it should be and I’m very happy for them!  I just question LORD…  why is that not the way my life turned out?

I wonder what I’ve done that was so awful to be overlooked.  I am not perfect by any stretch, but neither are those who have been blessed with people in their lives.  They have big people, little people, dysfunctional people, quiet people, loud people…  what a blessing!

Does anyone else think this verse holds a great deal of irony?  I mean, do the words and the tune really mesh up?  The tune is called “The Death of the Son” – but the wonderful, uplifting praiseworthy words are…  I WILL GIVE THANKS TO YOU, LORD, WITH ALL MY HEART, I WILL TELL OF ALL YOUR WONDERFUL DEEDS.

Wow…  epiphany!  Here’s the key to living a happy, good quality life!  Regardless of the cards you are dealt in life, you find the good parts and PRAISE GOD FOR HIS GOOD DEEDS.  Although there are shattered pieces of dreams behind me, I wake up every morning and praise GOD for HIS goodness, for HIS love, for HIS grace, for HIS mercy, for HIS provision in my life.  He is all-sovereign, all-strong, all-powerful.  He is all I need in this life.

There are situations and circumstances I’ll never understand…  but then I remember that regardless of my circumstances, the LORD has done wonderful deeds in my life.  That is when I can be thankful to the LORD for my life.  Maybe He’s not done with me yet.  I’m just being still and know that HE is GOD and HE holds my simple little life in the palm of HIS great big hand.I TRUST YOU, PAPA GOD

Today let’s take a cue from David…  no matter how far you think you’ve sunk – and no matter how many tiny pieces of broken dreams lie scattered on the path behind you, trust God for answers and for hope.  Yesterday is over.  Press on, knowing that God has a wonderful plan for your future!  🙂

GENESIS 6:14 ON 6/14

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So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out.  – Genesis 6:14

Just as God told Noah to build an ark to prepare for the coming flood, God wants families who belong to Him to stay in His Ark of Salvation and Safety.13346679_1768103460100783_573288816226553365_nThis verse is an outline of how God wanted the ark built.  It was not Noah’s plan or design, it was God’s.  Noah followed His directions to the letter.  Do we follow God’s plan or design to the letter to build our Ark of Salvation and Safety?  Do we add to or subtract from God’s plan of salvation?  God sent His only Son, Jesus, to sacrifice His life on the cross at Calvary.  He is our way to eternal life in Heaven.  He is our Ark of Salvation and Safety.  Those not in the Ark of Salvation and Safety are not safe from God’s wrath.

Notice that before the flood, God had allowed fallen men to go on in evil and sin.  We’re in the last days, and once again, God is allowing fallen men to go on in evil and sin.  It doesn’t mean He doesn’t care – quite the opposite.  God gave every one of us a free will to choose to follow Him or not.  He didn’t create us to be robots.  He wants us to love Him.

Just as Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord, there will be a remnant who remain faithful and true to the Lord.

Noah’s ark was built of durable gopher (cypress) wood.  It had rooms in it for the animals and the people.  It was coated with pitch inside and out.

Christ is our Ark of Salvation and Safety.  We are saved from eternal separation from God and safe from the wrath of God.  I’ve always been a pre-tribulation believer and pray that we don’t see all of the last days – the tribulation will be horrific, and while I know God is faithful to see us through anything, I really hope and pray that we get to leave before it gets so awful.  I don’t know.  I’ve heard both sides of the argument, and I plea ignorance – I just don’t know.  I trust that I’ll go to Heaven when God’s ready for me.  How’s that for an answer?

The ark that Noah built was divine provision from God.  The ark that every person builds for themselves and their family is also divine provision from God.  God purposed in His heart to redeem His creation to Himself.  Will you accept Jesus Christ into your heart and life today and begin building an ark for yourself and your family?  Today is the day of salvation.  🙂

 

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (14)I was sitting in the waiting room at my doctor’s office the other day.  A million thoughts ran through my mind because it was so quiet except for the sound of a bubbling fish aquarium.  I don’t have a cell phone and I won’t touch a magazine in a waiting room because I don’t want to pick up germs.  Think of it logically…  who goes to the doctor?  People who are sick go to the doctor.  If they read the magazines in the waiting room and leave germs on them.  It’s cold and flu season…  ’tis the season…  fa la la…  need I say more?

So I watched the fish swimming around with not a care in the world.  I observed a mother with her small child, an elderly man struggling to walk with a cane, a young woman with her nose stuck in a book she brought with her and a teen scrolling through his phone.  I see that a lot in waiting rooms – tweens and teens with their phones.

There were no pleasantries exchanged among us.  Have you ever felt lonely in public?  It’s a strange sensation that makes you feel as though you’re almost invisible.  You know you’re physically in the room, but when you receive no smiles, no nods, no acknowledgement whatsoever, it’s as though you don’t exist.  Everyone is so busy with their own task at hand – interacting with a child, moving from point A to point B with a cane, reading or texting on a phone.

Have you ever wondered if you’ve exceeded your SELL BY date???  I mean, really – when we’re children we have such promise and we’re blessed with great eyesight and quick, rhythmic fingers and we set the world on fire.  Suddenly, we are two beats behind and wondering what the heck happened!!!

Is there a place for me in life?  Would anyone notice if I was not here?  Do I have anything to contribute to society that makes a difference to anyone?  These are not questions of self-pity or self-loathing, but questions from a heart that desires a sense of purpose.

There is a special place in life that needs my humble skill,

A certain job I’m meant to do which no one else can fulfill.

The time will be demanding, and the pay is not too good.

And yet I wouldn’t change it for a moment – even if I could!

There is a special place in life, a goal I must attain,

A dream that I must follow because I won’t be back again.

There is a mark that I must leave, however small it seems to be.

A legacy of love for those who follow after me.

There is a special place in life that only I may share,

A little path that bears my name, awaiting me somewhere.

There is a hand that I must hold, a word that I must say.

A smile that I must give for there are tears to blow away.

There is a special place in life that I was meant to fill.

A sunny spot where flowers grow upon a windy hill.

There’s always a tomorrow and the best is yet to be,

And somewhere in this world, I know there is a place for me.

It seems the older I get, the less useful I become.  Some of it is by choice, I admit.  I keep remembering when I was twelve years old – how everyone encouraged me to play the piano in church.  The church encourages the youth to serve and make the older people feel unnecessary in service.  I don’t understand.  Do we not need to feel useful as we age?  Do we not need to be encouraged to be a part and serve?  I keep hearing that there is not a retirement age in church service.  Talk is cheap.  It sounds like lip service.

Young people are encouraged and old people are forgotten…  left sitting at the sidelines as though they are no longer useful.  My fingers are arthritic and my eyes can’t tell a natural sign from a sharp anymore, but it’s my prayer that God will find something for me to do for Him.  For now He seems to want me to write.  I will do what I’m able to do.  I will continue to write until He tells me to stop.

Of course, I can pray – I will always pray.  If I can’t be on the front lines anymore, I can sit on the sidelines and watch…  and pray! 

God has a wonderful plan for your life – and mine.  May we seek His will and way this year!  🙂

ROMANS 10:9 ON 10/9

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 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  – Romans 10:9

https://youtu.be/a5V6xqc0RkE

We live in a society that thinks it is ENTITLED to everything.  We deserve everything for doing nothing.  We put in very little effort or none at all.  That tiny word “IF” really bothers some people.  IF they have to put forth one iota of effort, forget it – they don’t want it.

When it comes to your eternal life, don’t you think it’s worth investing some time, talent and treasure?  The Savior of your soul, Christ Jesus – He invested more than you ever will.  He willingly gave Himself – literally – painfully – lovingly.  So, IF you think the conditions are too strenuous or too demanding, I suggest you take a look in your Bible at the account of Christ’s crucifixion.  You know, if He had not followed through (and by the way, He most certainly would not have had to), where would you and I be?  We would be lost for all eternity – and that’s not a thought I like to dwell on for very long.  Eternity is forever…  jus’ sayin!

We should be praising God and humbly thanking Him every moment of every day for the sacrifice He made so that we could have life everlasting in Paradise!  So many think they have found Paradise on this earth, but just wait…  the best is yet to come!  Sometimes I envy my family because they are already there.  I’m still stuck down here where there is anything but peace!

I guess God’s not done with me yet.  I guess I’m still here to write about God’s plan for man.  His plan for our salvation and eternal life.  Life forever with the Savior of the world.

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… So I will declare with my mouth that JESUS IS LORD and believe in my heart that God raised Christ from the dead and He now sits at God’s Right hand!  I believe that one day I will be in Paradise, Heaven, God’s perfect place where there is no war, no racial tension, no financial concerns, no sickness, no pain, no more separation from loved ones and no more death!  In God’s Heaven there is joy, peace, contentment, wellness and one dandy reunion with loved ones – and we get to cast whatever crowns we’ve gotten in this life at the feet of Christ – which is totally cool.  It’s ALL about Him because if it were not for Him…  I wouldn’t be there!

Who would not want that???  I guess those who have a problem with that little word…  IF.  🙂

ROMANS 8:26 ON 8/26

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Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.  – Romans 8:26

LIFT WITH YOUR KNEES

Hands up, everyone who readily admits that they are weak.  Our ego rarely permits us to make such a bold statement, but as we’ve discussed before, as we pray there is no room for false pride or cover-ups.  He already knows what we need before we ask, so being completely forthright and honest before Him behooves us.

Jesus knew exactly what He was doing when He left His Holy Spirit, the Comforter, with us before He ascended to heaven.

No, I don’t know how God’s Holy Spirit can help all of us at the same time.  No, I don’t know how He can hear each of us when we pray – and treat each one of us as though we were the only child.  My human mind cannot even begin to fathom the “how”, but my faith tells me it is so.

The concept of the Trinity is amazing to me.  I mean, what an awesome plan, to have God, the Creator and Father of us all, then send Jesus to earth to save mankind once and for all.  As though that was not enough, we were not left alone to navigate this life.  The blessed Holy Spirit helps us every step of the way!  He is the One who lends comfort when we are distressed, and helps us to pray when all we can do is weep with no audible words.  He knows our thoughts and our needs before we even bow before God the Father.

Christian, know that today you are surrounded by supernatural power from on High.  God the Father loved us so much that He gave Jesus to be the perfect sacrifice, sinless and loving.  Even when Jesus ascended to heaven, He was thinking of us.  He left His precious Holy Spirit to live in our hearts to love us and help us along.  All we have to do is ask Him for help.

No, it’s not a natural thing to be weak, but if we can just be humble before God, He will be there and the Holy Spirit will make intercession on our behalf.  🙂