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2 Thessalonians 1- 1 Timothy 4- If it doesn't sound right, take time to figure it out!

One week of "lockdown" complete!
How is your daily Bible reading coming along?  Do you have more time to read now that everything has been canceled? I would love to hear what has stood out to you in the reading!

On Friday, a distant friend called to check to see how I was doing with the new way of life due to the coronavirus.  She was busy watching her granddaughter and was also listing her concerns with other family members and how she was helping them. She ended with, "I hope the man upstairs sees how hard I am trying to help everyone and gives me extra credit for it, and lets me in!"

Well...that's not exactly how it works...but I didn't feel it was the time to get into a theological discussion, so we signed off with love and good tidings. However, I was left reviewing in my head that nothing we "do" will earn our entrance into heaven, except the "doing" of having faith in Jesus and what he did on the cross.  That's it!  Everythi…

Colossians 3- 1 Thessalonians 5- This is a long one if you are interested in going deep! :)

Was your church service canceled today? If so, maybe, like our church, you can watch your service online.  And since you may have a lot of extra time on your hands, now that much of your busy schedule has been wiped clean, you can watch some interesting videos that I will be including in this blog!

I find it so interesting when God seems to talk to me using a theme that keeps coming up in my daily reading and continues in other areas as well (i.e. YouTube).

It was recommended to me that I should watch a movie called, "American Gospel: Christ Alone"
I did not see the whole movie, which is 2 hours, but I watched a one hour version that was very interesting.  It's a documentary critiquing how the Gospel in America has been diluted down or even lost in the teaching of prosperity or morality.  It's definitely worth watching so here is the link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocHm18wUAGU&t=2747s

I found it interesting that one of the pastors on the film said his goal wa…

Ephesians 6 - Colossians 2- Keep looking ahead!!

We are flying through the letters now!!
There is so much to comment on!  I would love to hear what is standing out to you!  Please share in the comment section!

For me..something I read on Friday stood out.  When Paul was writing to the Philippians he was talking about those that are enemies of the cross. "Their mind is set on earthly things."(3:19)  That was a convicting statement!! What is my mind set on?  What do I think about the most?

I love how Paul refocused me!  "But our citizenship is in heaven.  And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body." (3:20-21)

Again, I am asking myself questions...do I eagerly await the Savior?  Why not?  Why do I keep getting caught up with the hear and now? Why don't I keep that heavenly perspective?
Our reading this week was as if God was trying to remind …

Galatians 5- Ephesians 4- We can be strong with His power!

In light of what I commented on last week, it doesn’t surprise me that the verse below stood out to me this week.
“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.” (Eph. 3:16).

The Holy Spirit will strengthen our “inner”being.

I liked reading that!! I often feel very weak physically but more often, I feel very weak with things like self control, patience, trust, you know, those inner things. I know what to do to improve my physical weakness; eat right, exercise, get rest.....but how do I fix the inner weaknesses? Paul gives such hope with his prayer for us! By the power of the Holy Spirit, I can have power over those inner weaknesses!

Like I mentioned last week, we are not guaranteed a life without physical ailments or healing from those ailments, but Paul encourages us with something very special! He reminds us that by the Spirit’s will, we are strengthened in our in…

2 Corinthians 11- Galatians 4- Watch out for false teaching!

A friend of mine has alerted me to a teaching that is occurring in a particular Christian church right now that, to me, sounds dangerously false.  Jesus warns us to watch out for false teachers (Matt.7:15), so I thought I would bring this to your attention, least you get "taken in" by something that sounds so good.  Our reading this week reminded me of the truth, so I thought this would be a good time to explain the false teaching I heard.

Here it is.
Bill Johnson, who pastors Bethel Church in Redding, California, has a particular theology that goes against traditional Christian theology.  (Right there, people's warning flags should go up when being introduced to his teaching.)  It's been dubbed "Jesus Christ is perfect theology". Doesn't that sound good and right? Well, he makes a jump from there that is WAY off! This theology claims that it is always God's will to heal someone. Wow!! How did he get there?

This is a quote from him, "How can G…

2 Corinthians 4- 10- This was a mixed audience!!

I don't know about you, but my discovery last week, helped me better understand the reading this week! Remembering that the group that made up the Corinthian church was a mixed group of believers and "not quite believers yet" helped me to understand why Paul had to explain why a Christian no longer lives for themselves (5:15), why he had to explain why he does what he does (6: 6-12) and why he was concerned about the monetary gift they had promised to collect and give for the Christians in Jerusalem (8:8).

This clears up a lot of questions for me, because if he was talking to only 'true followers', the things he was saying would be really strange!   After all, like Paul says, "if anyone is in Christ the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" (5:17").  It would be the desire of a true follower to, "purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God." (7:1).

1 Cor. 13- 2 Cor.3- "In part"?...wait...what?

Here are some verses that I have read several times before but brushed over without much thought:

"For we do not write you anything you cannot read or understand.  And I hope that, as you have come to understand us in part, you will come to understand fully that you can boast of us just as we will boast of you in the day of the Lord Jesus." (2 Cor. 1:13-14).

This time, reading those verses I stopped and thought....what on earth is Paul saying??  That was confusing! We can understand, but we only get part of what he is saying?  We won't fully understand everything until Jesus comes back?  I don't get it.  Why would he say he doesn't write things that can not be understood?  In other words, he just got finished saying everything IS understandable.  Well, I needed help in trying to figure out what Paul was meaning.  So, I turned to some commentaries.

I  praise God for the people who have spent a lifetime studying the Bible and then took the time to write down what…

1 Corinthians 6-12- Keep Jesus the Reason You Do the Things You Do.

Paul really stuck to a theme in these chapters!  I sum it up as, "Keep Jesus as the reason you do the things you do!"  Unfortunately, we have a sneaky little "self" that always wants to get into the position as to why we do the things we do, wouldn't you agree?  I guess that can be called our "sin nature", always putting ourselves first. So, Paul uses many examples to remind us to do things with Jesus being the reason for our actions.

Starting with Paul's talk on lawsuits, he asks, "Why not rather be wronged?  Why not rather be cheated?" (6:7)  Because I want to defend my honor, my pride, my rights, that's why!!  Those reasons all describe putting oneself as the reason for what you do.  Paul is reminding us that God wants to be the reason.  He can fight battles for us, we don't need to do it. (Exodus 14:14, 2 Chron 20:17, Rom. 8:31, Isaiah 13:5)

Then Paul talks about our position in life, i.e. married, single. Paul says to opera…

Romans 15-1 Cor. 5- God is talking to you!!

I feel a stirring.......I want more people to read their Bibles on their own.....What would you want me to do about that, Lord?  Should I start a "Community Bible Reading Study", like a book club?  I can't do that!  I am not gifted at teaching!....I've never done it......

These are the thoughts going through my head these days when I get up to do my reading.  Again, it's like God is answering my private thoughts and questions with his Word, as I simply keep going in my daily reading.

This is what I was reading this week, "When I (Paul) came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God....I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling." (That would be me!) "My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God's power." (1Cor. 2: 1-5)

It was like God…

Romans 8-14-God’s word will speak to you directly.

God's word speaks to me and I am so encouraged!!!  I am so glad I read every day!  If I didn't I would miss out on God directly encouraging me!!!
Let me explain.

Monday I read, "No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us." (8:37). This was where Paul was talking about how nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.  No battle that we engage in will separate us from God.  We are on the winning team!  Those are very encouraging words!!  So off I go on my week.....I'm encouraged to battle for the Lord!

As you know, I work in the pro-life movement.  I got an opportunity to speak at a high school group this week, sharing what I do at the Pregnancy Resource Center (PRC).  In that talk I gave abortion statistics, so the magnitude of the problem was made fresh in my mind.

Coincidently, I received an email this week from a statistic gatherer who said that Planned Parenthoods latest reports show that "it committed more abortions…

Romans 1-7- Life is like being on a teeter-totter!

We are in a new book!!  I love Romans because it is so black and white!!  It's the whole gospel summed up in a couple of chapters.  We are all sinners deserving death (ch. 1), God through his kindness wants to draw us to him (ch. 2), and we only need to fully believe this fact, that has been demonstrated through Christ (ch. 3), to have peace with Him (ch.5).

I have often heard people ask what one book would they use to explain Jesus to nonbelievers.  The book of John is many people's choice, maybe to get people acquainted with Jesus. However, I think my choice would be to start with  Romans.  For a Gentile (that's us), Romans helps us understand the need for a Savior.  Our culture has lost sight of the fact that we are sinful.  Our culture says, "There is nothing wrong with you! Your truth is your truth.  There is no absolute truth, therefore no one can tell you that you are wrong (or sinful)."

Well, Paul laid it out clearly in chapters 1-3, didn't he?!!  Th…

Acts 25-28- Happy New Year!!!

I hope you enjoyed celebrating Christ's birth and ringing in the New Year! I also hope that the break didn't throw you off from the good habit of reading the Bible every day.  Maybe you jumped to other parts of the Bible during the break like I did.  I ventured into Proverbs and was inspired to pray for wisdom again!!  I can always use more of God's wisdom, that's for sure!!

So this week we read only three chapters.  I was struck by what Jesus said to Paul, which I feel can be applied to all Christians. "I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me." (Acts 26:17b-18)

What a powerful verse!! If Christians truly believed that all are under the power of Satan, wouldn't we all want to play a role in turning our loved ones to God so that they may have a place among those who are sanctified…