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Christ's Love on the Cross Changes Everything!

He Is Who They Say He Is

“And the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us—what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.” 1 John 1:2-3 NASB
     John, the Beloved Apostle, repeats and rephrases in verse two and verse three pretty much what he already said in verse one. This may seem redundant, but how many of us do that when we feel we need to get a point across? How many of us do this with our kids when we want to be sure that they understood what we were saying before we let them go off with friends, or to employees before we cut them loose to go handle a job?
     Before we dismiss this as John simply repeating himself, we have to ask why is he repeating himself? What is his point for doing this? I think that we would be right if we said that his point was to be clear that Jesus manif…

The Word of Life

“What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and our hands have touched, concerning the Word of Life—” 1 John 1:1 NASB      This is such a profound verse to me. John was one of the 12 Apostles. He is the John, writer of the Gospel of the same name and the brother of James, both of whom are sons of Zebedee. We first meet John in a boat with his father and brother, tending to the nets (Matthew 4:21); and we realize that John and his brother James, were also partners with Peter (Luke 5:10). Yeah. The Peter. Which would mean that John knew the Apostle Andrew well, too, because, he was Peter’s brother (Matthew 10:2). So, here is a man, an entrepreneur, who was there, in the boat working as a fisherman with his brother James, his father Zebedee, and their partner Peter, and Peter’s brother Andrew at the very beginning of Christ’s ministry.
     John was called out of that boat, which was his very livelihood and he was one of the …

Ouch. The Toes!

“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”—Ephesians 4:31-32 NASB
     In our culture today, as well as some of us within the Body of Christ, these two verses can smash some toes. I know that for me, I have struggled with being hateful towards people who come across as arrogant, better-than or snobbish. When I was younger, I straight up clamored against and was deliberately irreverent towards those who tried to impose their will on my life. Where I grew up, we called that having a little buck in us.
     We all struggle with these things on some level. Whether it is the resentment toward a person who gets to work a part-time job while we have to hold down three jobs and are killing ourselves to get by; or being envious that someone has a gift or talent that we don’t and talking smack about them to feel better about…

Grievant

“Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”—Ephesians 4:30 NASB      At some point we have all struggled with areas of our lives that either grieve the Holy Spirit, or certainly tiptoe the line. I know that I have tiptoed the line and grieved the Holy Spirit with some of my choices and decisions. While I am not where I was 12 years ago, and I am certainly a long way from where I was just last year, back in February of 2018, I still have moments of frustration and anger that I have to turn over to God before I allow myself to sin. After all, the Word says be angry but do not sin! Wasn’t that just a few verses before this one?
     However, I know that getting angry and saying something harsh grieves the Holy Spirit, just as drinking to drunkenness, smoking marijuana (as it is illegal and we are commanded to obey the authority of the land), looking at porn (the statistic is 92 million viewers a day, most seeing nothing wrong with it—althou…

Rotten Words=Foul Mouths

“Let no unwholesome (literally: rotten) word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.”—Ephesians 4:29 NASB

     Summer is hectic. Added to that, having a four-year-old that struggles with authority and is awaiting pediatrician referred testing for ADD and ODD, simple outings can turn into wars. As a parent, this can be very trying. I am not a doctor; I am not qualified to diagnose my son. However, I am intelligent enough to know that he has behavioral issues that have at times caused me to give pause and wonder if he is on the spectrum or possibly does have ADD or ODD. We’ll only know for sure when the testing ensues, and he is diagnosed by a licensed psychiatrist.
     Yet, it makes for difficult times. For example, yesterday I went to get my car’s oil changed and tires rotated. My kid was good for a while but then he started to get bored, wouldn’t sit still, wanted thi…

"Nobody likes...a Thief"

“He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one has need.” –Ephesians 4:28 NASB
     The Scripture is pretty cut and dry here. Any time I hear the word steal it makes me think of thief. Growing up, I often heard my elders say, ‘Nobody likes a liar or a thief.’ Looking back, I get what they were talking about. If you can’t trust a person not to take your things, then that creates a rather uncomfortable situation. If a family member or a friend helped themselves to your wallet whenever you visited, that would create tensions and resentments. Personally, I would love them regardless and just lock my valuables in the car while praying they grew out of that season of life. However, at the heart of the matter stealing creates an environment of distrust.
     Interestingly, the Greek word for steal is klepto. That is the same word we use today to describe someone who is addicted to s…

LIES*LIES*LIES

“Therefore, laying aside falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH EACH ONE of you WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another. Be angry, and yet do sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity.” –Ephesians 4:25-27 ESV
     Knowing as verse 24 says that I am to put on the new self that is created in the likeness and holiness of God, Paul following up with this verse makes sense but can also step on a lot of toes. It’s easy to get caught up in telling lies. Some of us do it through white lies in order not to hurt people’s feelings. Some of us do it in fear of people seeing us for who we truly are, so we lie on others or about situations so that we may be seen in the best light. The reasons for and the levels of the lies are not of importance here. What is important is where and whom it is from.
     Jesus makes it clear that the Devil is the father of lies, and those who were against Christ were of their father, the Devil. Consider that the Devil pitc…