Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Would you rather rent a home, or own one? When you rent a home, your landlord is in charge of the maintenance of the house, and providing insurance in case of fire, or damage of any kind. It can be quite expensive. And if you own your home, you have all this expense.
When I apply this to our spiritual lives, I am so glad that I belong to Jesus. The Apostle Paul in our text uses the analogy of crucifixion to explain His spiritual status with the Lord Jesus Christ. When Paul gave his life to the Lord Jesus Christ, he gave is whole life. "I have been crucified with Christ" In essence he is saying that his life of self interests and selfish pursuits is gone, dead. When he wrote this, his life was focused on living totally for the Lord Jesus Christ, and allowing Him to be Lord, and in total control.
As Christians we should be glad that the Lord Jesus, is calling the shots in our lives. That He is in the driver's seat of our lives, and not us.
How many times have we been in trouble because we didn't know what was right. We made decisions that caused so much stress, and despair.
The key to a well balanced life in our journey is "faith." Faith in the one who loves us, and gave Himself up for us." How glad we should be that Jesus owns our souls, and will direct us, and care for us, now, and for all eternity! GP
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Labels: Lordship Of Jesus
Monday, May 22, 2017
Yesterday (5/21/2017) was graduation day for the students where I reside. One of our graduates was a foreign exchange student from Germany. All the time he has been here in our midst, I felt that it took a lot of courage to leave his home, and what he was used to, and come and experience not only a new place, a new community, and new church family, but a whole new culture.
As Christians, we are like foreigners in a strange country. We are not citizens of this world, but citizens of heaven. While we are here, we are dependent on God to show us His will for our lives. He has given us the freedom to plan our way, according to His direction, established and maintained by His Holy Spirit.
So often I am off track concerning God's direction for my life, because I (like a lot of people) plan my life around my own wants and wishes. Would God be upset if I went fishing today? Or went hiking, or went with some friends to do some shopping? Surely not! But when we neglect to be in His Word, in prayer, and in service for God's Kingdom, then our Heavenly Father is concerned.
The Lord wants us to enjoy our lives, but He wants us to remember who we belong to. We don't belong to the world, we belong to Him. And the path we journey, is to be led by Him, not ourselves, and certainly not by the world! GP Photo: Free Digital Photos (freedigitalphotos.net)
Thursday, May 18, 2017
I believe that every Christian church should emphasize, and promote Bible classes for all ages. Not only on Sunday morning, but whenever the opportunities present themselves. Our children need to learn about Jesus Christ early, so they can embrace Him as Savior and Lord of their lives, at a young age.
In many churches Sunday School is being replaced by fellowship programs; where we make sure that we feed the body, but we neglect to feed the soul. I am not against times when we can eat together, but more important are the times when we gather to study and apply God's Word to our lives.
All Scripture is for our spiritual growth and maturity, and for our effectiveness in service for the Kingdom. Bible Studies, Sunday School, VBS, youth Bible studies, are vital.
Let's not allow the enemy to talk us into majoring in miner things!
Our spiritual well-being is too much at stake! GP
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Labels: Bible Study
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
If there is one thing that I would list as a major challenge in people's lives, it is the setting of priorities. And what should be at the top of the list? As Christians, what Jesus mentions in our text, is to be the most important pursuit in our lives. "But seek first His Kingdom, and His righteousness."
I like what Matthew Henry writes in his commentary: "We must mind heaven as our end, and holiness as our way."
Whatever God wants us to be, and whatever He wants us to do, must come first. And in all things with our relationship with God, there must be faith. To be what He wants, and to do what He wants, requires faith in Him, to help us to accomplish His will for our lives.
Personally, too often, I try to step ahead of God, and His will for my life. If things are not going the way I think they should, I try to take things on, by myself. I don't Go God's way, I go my way. And then I find myself in trouble. I become very disappointed with myself, because I cannot obtain it on my own.
The promise in our text is: If we make God's business our business, He will take care of our business, and things will be better than one's selfish pursuit.
What ever is needed for our well-being, God will provide (Philippians 4:19) God wants us to always put our relationship with Him first, and service for the Kingdom first. And in the process of accomplishing this, our needs will be met. This is a promise that you can take to the bank! GP
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Tuesday, May 16, 2017
I am going to a funeral today, for a man who as a child, was adopted by a family. Each one of his siblings were adopted by different families. I don't know what goes through the mind of a child that goes through this kind of experience; but I would think you would be sad to have lost your parents, but yet, grateful to have a family that wanted you, and promised to take care of you.
In our text the Apostle Paul writes to the Christians at Ephesus, concerning their adoption into the family of God. This pertains to us as Christians today. Through Jesus Christ, we are adopted by God into His precious family.
All of us were born into a world of sin and disobedience. It wasn't long before we entered our own path of sin. As Paul writes in Romans 3:23 "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Sin had placed a wedge between us and our creator. And Jesus by His sacrificial death for us, took that wedge away, and made it possible for us to become God's adopted children.
We are deeply loved by God. This should make us feel very special.
To me, in v.5 the word "predestined" means to intend beforehand. It is God's will for us, that we ben His children forever, and that we be under the umbrella of His care for eternity.
Does it get any better than this? GP
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Friday, May 12, 2017
No one can calculate the amount of excitement, and anticipation for the future, a couple has, when they first become parents. It is the greatest feeling in the world. They hope that their child will grow up, and really make them proud.
Of course we know that, that isn't always the case.
There are so many sad stories out there, of children who rebelled against their parents, and got involved in things that brought destruction and death.
With Satan wanting to destroy families, and all the other evil, negative influences out there, Christian parents, have their work cut out for them.
We still need to hold on to this advice, and promise: "Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it." (Proverbs 22:6) As Christian parents, that should be our goal, and our hope, as we trust the Lord to help us, in raising our children.
I want to say Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers, especially to my mother who is 82, and still going strong! Happy Mother's Day Mom! Thanks for everything! GP
Photo - Patrick Patterson
Labels: Mother's Day
Thursday, May 11, 2017
There isn't a person who doesn't want to mean something to someone. That's what I believe.
It's an unspoken statement, but it is communicated every moment of our lives: We want to be valued, and cared about.
It is true that we as humans make others feel very small and insignificant. But I am encouraged when I get in circles, where each one will write their names on a get well card, and send it to a person in their circle, who is struggling with an illness. I am sure the recipient feels valued and appreciated. If everyone was made to feel that way, what a different world this would be.
But what about those times when we feel like a lonely sparrow.
We feel alone, and unappreciated. We feel like we are the only people in this world. Jesus shared how God feels about us.
In our text, He said: "Fear not, therefore, you are of more value than many sparrows." The God that sees the sparrow that falls, is the same God, that gave us His Son, so we could have the best that He has to offer.
We are never alone, and we are a great treasure to God. When we get to feeling like we don't mean anything to anyone. We are loved by God.
We are very special to Him. When those around us, make us feel small and unimportant. We will always mean everything to Him! GP
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Wednesday, May 10, 2017
consume you." (Isaiah 43:2)
Wouldn't it be nice if we could get through this life without any trouble? What would life be like if it was void of any trials whatsoever?
I noticed in our text that God (speaking through the prophet Isaiah) didn't say that we wouldn't have to pass through the waters, and the rivers, and the fire. He says that when we do, He will be with us, and that none of this will overwhelm us.
How can we be calm in the midst of trial? The answer is found in these words. When I am in the midst of a trial, I have a hard time keeping calm. I have a tendency to become angry at the negative situation,
and my family gets caught in the cross-fire. (Have you been there?)
It's easy to walk through a forest on a beautiful sunshiny day, and feel
a sense of calm in our hearts. But if we were caught in a forest fire, and the flames were all around us, how would we feel then? I hope that we would not panic, or worry, or become angry; but that we would trust the Lord to see us through.
Trials are certainly a test of calm. And will we pass that test? We need to always remember who we belong to. Who will always have our back today, and for all eternity. To know that so strongly will help us to keep a feeling of calm, in all situations. Let's read Philippians 4:6-7, and work on having that peace that passes all understanding! GP
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Tuesday, May 9, 2017
When I think about the word "legacy"
I think about someone wanting to leave behind something for family and friends to remember them by. Or leaving behind a cause, or a purpose, for others to continue pursuing.
In our text the Apostle Paul shares with his son in the faith Timothy, how grateful he is that Timothy's grandmother Lois, and his mother Eunice instilled in him a strong faith in God. Of all the things that we can possess in this world, our faith is the most valuable of all. Peter said that our faith is more precious than gold, and even when it is tested by fire (trials) it will remain. (1 Peter 1:7)
I can honestly say, that my family passed on to me a legacy of how valuable God is, and yes, how vital it is to put our trust in Him. My family was not rich in the things of this world, but they were rich in faith.
When we think about what we can leave to our children, not only to remember us, but something that will help them in their lives. There is nothing better than "faith" When the things of this life begin to crumble around them, they will be able stand firm upon the foundation of Jesus Christ, because of their faith in Him.
Mother's Day is this Sunday. Let's thank our mothers for their influence in our lives, helping us to have a faith that will see us through the challenges of our journey, and a faith that will sustain our children as well! GP
Monday, May 8, 2017
There are many who struggle with this verse of Scripture. If it is something that we feel would be in line with God's will for our lives, or the lives of others, why doesn't God grant our petition?
If someone we know is struggling with a terminal disease, and we prayed that God would heal them, but God doesn't; what good is prayer? Are we wasting our time with prayer?
As a child of God, I have to remember that God has a plan for all of man-kind, and He has a plan for me. When I stop and count my blessings,
I realize that God has blessed me with a number of wonderful blessings.
The Son of God encouraged us to ask, to knock, and to seek the will of the Heavenly Father.(Matthew 7:7-8) What we will be given, what door will be opened to us, and what we will find, may not be in line with our will for our lives, or the lives of others.
But as children of God, you can count on the fact that our heavenly Father will provide for us, what is good, and what is necessary. I cannot begin to explain the mysteries of God, and His providence. But one thing I know, that when I pray, I am praying to the one who loves me so much, that He was willing to give His best (His Son) so that I could have His best. Those precious eternal blessings that no one can take away!
Prayer for me is a a feeling of the presence of God with me, and a confirmation, that He will take care of me, no matter what!
What is prayer to you?
Philippians 4:6-7 GP
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Friday, May 5, 2017
(TCJ Monthly Newsletter) written and sent out. When you pastor a church, and are involved in a work such as The Christian Journeyman, you stay busy most of the time.
We need to make more people aware that we exist, and that we want to be an encouragement to fellow Christians.
Right now the amount of followers we have on Twitter (R) is 716. That is not very many compared to other accounts, but I am thankful for all those who follow us. I need to keep in mind, that it is not about the numbers, but how we can be a shining light to those who do follow us on a regular basis.
We are looking at ways to fund this work. There may be some changes on this. But we are hoping to come up with a good way to financially support The work of The Christian Journeyman.
Spring is definitely here, and I am enjoying every moment of it.
Take care and God bless! Until next week! GP
Labels: TCJ Weekly Reports
Thursday, May 4, 2017
Last night we had five high school teenagers who were baptized. It was great to see these young people begin their walk with the Lord Jesus Christ at a young age. They are like as Peter writes in our text ..."newborn infants" who need to be on the "pure spiritual milk" of the Word of God.
They need to come to understand the basics concerning their relationship with Jesus Christ. They need to learn His teaching, on various day to day issues. They need to understand what to do, when they face challenges in their lives. They need to learn how important prayer is, and how important Christian fellowship is. They need to (not just know about the Lord) but they need to get to know Him, personally.
It is a day by day development. And the church has a great responsibility to help new babes in Christ grow and mature. Too many times, churches drop the ball when it comes to this responsibility.
It is a new and exciting time, but it is also a dangerous time, because Satan our enemy, knows how vulnerable they are. To be swayed back to the old life, is a threat every step they take.
The church is to embrace them, and prepare them, for what the enemy will do, when he gets a chance.
For us who have been Christians a long time, let's help these babes in Christ, to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ! GP
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Labels: Christian Nurture