Tag Archives: love

Message From A Basket

Turn with me in your Bibles to Acts 9:15.

Last week we saw a man named Saul knocked down on the Damascus Road by Jesus Christ our Lord. The man was arrogant. The man was self righteous. The man was murderous. The man was calloused, with a hardened heart. But Jesus had a plan for this man’s life. Knocked down and blinded, this now repentant man was led to Damascus, where he waited three days without sight, food, or water (Acts 9:9).

Saul waited on the Lord … and on the Lord’s servant Ananias. On the third day Jesus spoke to Ananias and told him to “put your hand on him, that he might receive his sight”. Jesus was talking about more than just physical sight. When Ananias touched Saul, he would gain both physical and spiritual sight.

Saul Is A Chosen Vessel

Ananias was scared to go to Saul, but the Lord assured him. Read with me:

Acts 9:15-18 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: 16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake. 17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy {Spirit}. 18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized … Continue reading

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A Difficult Text For Wednesday Night

Turn with me in your Bibles to Galatians Chapter Six. Galatians is a book written by the Apostle Paul to the Church at Galatia. The Church was largely composed of Gentile Believers, but had recently been visited by Christians with a Jewish background. These Jewish believers told the Galatians that they were not fully saved because they did not keep the festivals and the rituals (like circumcision) that they themselves did. The Apostle – himself a Jew – wrote to correct the error that the Christ following Jews were introducing.

When the Apostle Peter wrote of Paul’s writings, he said:

2 Peter 3:15-16 (ESV) And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures…. Continue reading

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Loving Hands, Loving Lord

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit had not come on the Church at Samaria as of yet. You who are Bible Scholars know that the Holy Spirit comes on every believer at the moment of salvation. Jesus told Nicodemus:

John 3:3-7 … Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

The Holy Spirit gives life to the believer. The Holy Spirit also indwells the believer. The Apostle told Timothy:

2 Timothy 1:13-14 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 14 That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy {Spirit} which dwelleth in us.

And told the Church at Rome:

Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

The Holy Spirit baptizes every believer at the moment of new birth. The Apostle wrote in:… Continue reading

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The Most Important Thing

1 Corinthians 9:16-23 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! 17 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me. 18 What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel. 19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. 20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; 21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. 22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. 23 And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.

Paul Kept The Main Thing The Main Thing

The Apostle Paul saw His calling as a preacher of the Gospel to be a great blessing from God. He said “Though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!”. When Jesus knocked Saul down on the Damascus Road, He set Saul (soon to be Paul) apart to preach the Gospel. God told Ananias:

Acts 9:15-16 Go thy way {to Paul, and help him}: for {Paul} is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: 16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake. … Continue reading

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What Does Love Demand?

1 Corinthians 8:1-3 Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. 2 And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. 3 But if any man love God, the same is known of him.

I’m sure you’ve all been in a room with someone on a telephone. Nearly everyone carries cell phones nowadays. It’s common today to be speaking with someone, their phone rings, and they put you on hold while they talk to the person on the other side of the phone line. That’s the best way to describe this chapter. The Apostle was visited by three men from Corinth, Stephanas, Fortunatus and Achaicus (Acts 16:17). These men were some of the first Gentiles saved as the Gospel was preached in the Roman Province of Achaia (Acts 16:15). Professor Daniel Balge (Martin Luther College) notes:

“We don’t know whether the(se) three Corinthians walked to Ephesus, a journey of about 900 miles, or spent a week or more crossing the Aegean Sea by ship. … But this we know: Out of love for Jesus they served God and people well in a humble, but vital, task. They reliably carried two letters and linked a pastor to his people. Thus in his letter Paul could speak timely words to urgent problems and timeless truth (in Corinth).”… Continue reading

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The Glory Of His Grace

When Paul wrote the Book of Ephesians (under the leading of God the Holy Spirit – 2 Peter 1:21), he was in his first Roman imprisonment. Paul was under house arrest, living in his home, but guarded by Roman soldiers. Acts 28:16 tells us that “Paul was {allowed} to dwell by himself with a soldier that {guarded} him.” He was not chained in a prison cell until his second imprisonment, and could still receive visitors. Acts 28:30-31 tells us that “Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.” Paul’s imprisonment is a picture of the great Grace of our God. Though we may go into valleys, our Lord will be with us. If we are in a valley, our Lord will adjust the situation so that we can minister to others for Him. Though Paul’s home is invaded by the enemy, Paul is joyous. Why? We read:

Ephesians 1:2-6 Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father… Continue reading

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It’s All About The Bread

“After these things”. After Jesus healed the crippled man by the pool of Bethesda (remember the FIVE porches around the pool. FIVE is the number of Grace). After the Pharisees sought to kill Jesus for healing someone on the Sabbath (John 5:16). After Jesus told the Pharisees that He, the Son of God, was both equal to God the Father, as well as a follower of God the Father. After Jesus told the Pharisees that the Scriptures they studied – the Old Testament writings – were all about Him. Jesus said:

John 5:39-40 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. 40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.

John 5:46-47 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me. 47 But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?

John 6:1 After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias.

The Bible has no accidental words, but every word is the pure Word of God. It all has meaning. The body of water Jesus crossed was called the “sea of Galilee” by the Jews, but the “sea of Tiberias” by the conquering Roman forces. The two sets of names are given because Jesus did not just come for the Jews – but for all people. The Bible says:… Continue reading

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Live Graciously, Not Grudgingly

God does not want His children to carry grudges. He wants us to love Him, and love others.

When you carry a grudge, it doesn’t take long before the grudge is carry YOU. Believers in God are NEVER to harbor grudges. In the Lord’s Prayer – a prayer I say often, and I’m sure you all know, God tells us to pray:

Matthew 6:11-12 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

We who are blessed of God are to forgive. Recently in our country people have pulled down statues and monuments, attempting to get rid of our checkered past. God does not want us to do that. God wants us to forgive. … Continue reading

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Christ The Foundation Of All Salvation

Under the Old Covenant God was far away, but the Law was near, ever condemning, ever judging. Under the New Covenant God is near, ever aiding, ever loving and writing His Law in our hearts. His Law is near!

If you are under the New Covenant, saved by faith in Christ, then God says to you “I WILL PUT MY LAW IN YOUR INWARD PARTS, AND WRITE IT IN YOUR HEART; AND WILL BE YOUR GOD, and YOU shall be ONE OF my people”. Under the Old Covenant the Law of God was written on stone, and on scrolls. Under the New Covenant God’s Law is written in our hearts by the One Who saved us.

Jesus is the Mediator of the New Covenant. At the first Lord’s Table Jesus said:

Luke 22:20 (KJV) ….. This cup [is] the new testament (New Covenant) in my blood, which is shed for you.

How does one know that they are under the New Covenant? We know by the Presence of God in our daily lives. I am saved – not because some doctrine or denomination tells me so, but because I have the Divine Witness. Jesus is there. God is there. He is in my daily walk. I am not perfect by any means, but God is faithful. Jesus is with us. … Continue reading

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What Love Looks Like

The world struggles to see what “love” is. You hear it’s cry in secular songs. The Rock Group Foreigner sang, “I Want To Know What Love Is”. Tina Turner sang “What’s Love Got To Do With It? What’s Love But A Second Hand Emotion?”. Elvis Presley “Can’t Help Falling In Love”. Dolly Parton sang “I Will Always Love You”. For Willie Nelson, “You Are Always on My Mind”. Heavy D is happy, “Now That We Found Love”.

If you want to see what true love is, then you need to look at Jesus Christ. Look at Him as He willingly laid His life down for us. Jesus said in:

John 10:17-18 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself.

God laid His life down willingly for us, that we might be saved. This is love. We see what love is when we look at Jesus, and how He responded to the Cross.

1 John 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

As Jesus laid His life down, He calls us to lay our lives down. He laid His life down for us on Calvary. He expects us to lay our lives down for Him. If we are to be friends of God, we must have this type of love. A sacrificial love. A willing love. Jesus said: Continue reading

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