We think we know it all. We are very confident about what the future holds for us. Can we really out imagine God?
No, we can’t out imagine the creator of the universe. We can’t out imagine the inventor of love. We can’t out imagine the author of faithfulness.
God loves us and we can’t imagine what He has in store for us. So let’s just fasten our seat belts and enjoy the ride.
“That’s why we have this Scripture text: No one’s ever seen or heard anything like this, Never so much as imagined anything quite like it— What God has arranged for those who love him.” ~~ Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 2:9 The Message)
We were in big trouble. We didn’t feel God’s love. We didn’t know how to love. We missed God’s goal for our life. Over and over again, minute by minute.
Jesus rescued us from all of that. Having never missed God’s goal, he became the sacrifice we needed. We now know love and can love. We are focused on God’s plan.
“We know the meaning of those words because Jesus Christ rescued us from this evil world we’re in by offering himself as a sacrifice for our sins.” ~~Apostle Paul (Galatians 1:4 The Message)
- End Times Witnessing: for they are men who are a sign (kzlam36.wordpress.com)
- The Impossible Demands of Jesus in John 8 (queerconfessions.wordpress.com)
- Above Reproach (godcanhealit.wordpress.com)
Some days it is hard to describe. And, if the Apostle Paul couldn’t do it some days, I guess it is OK if I can’t either.
But … I can be thankful. And so, I am!!!
Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! 2 Corinthians 9:15
Love just does it’s job. That is normal in God’s way of doing things. Love doesn’t get all enamored with itself. God does His “love thing” day in and day out. He is love. He doesn’t make a big deal of it at all. That is just the way He rolls.
May just do what I know to do. May I just love. Day in and day out. There is no glory in that. There should be no “pats on the back”. That is my job.
Love doesn’t have a swelled head. ~~Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 13)
Am I letting it slip through my fingers? I have access to God. Jesus paved the way. Jesus understands our reality. He is completely in touch with my reality. He knows where I am with things and is ready to help me.
He experienced everything I am experiencing. He understands. He even managed to hit the goal that God had for Him.
So, will I take the help? Will I accept it? Will I walk right up to Him and get what He is ready to give to me?
Yes, I will.
Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let’s not let it slip through our fingers. We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all without missing God’s goal for His life. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help. ~~Apostle Paul (Hebrews 4:14-16)
- 31 days of 2 min. devos: What Forgiveness Is and Is Not by Julie (gracefullwomen.com)
- The Limitations of Jesus (raymondjclements.wordpress.com)
- The Great High Priest. (leonthewhale.com)
- Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost: Proper 23B (preachingthenewlectionary.com)
Worth watching this short video. Religion is not a way to make a fast buck. How much is enough?
The Lust for Money
2-5 These are the things I want you to teach and preach. If you have leaders there who teach otherwise, who refuse the solid words of our Master Jesus and this godly instruction, tag them for what they are: ignorant windbags who infect the air with germs of envy, controversy, bad-mouthing, suspicious rumors. Eventually there’s an epidemic of backstabbing, and truth is but a distant memory. They think religion is a way to make a fast buck.
6-8 A devout life does bring wealth, but it’s the rich simplicity of being yourself before God. Since we entered the world penniless and will leave it penniless, if we have bread on the table and shoes on our feet, that’s enough.
9-10 But if it’s only money these leaders are after, they’ll self-destruct in no time. Lust for money brings trouble and nothing but trouble. Going down that path, some lose their footing in the faith completely and live to regret it bitterly ever after. (1 Timothy 6:1-10 The Message)
We serve an amazing God. We need to celebrate everything He does for us. Celebrate Him doesn’t quite seem to capture it though. Paul suggests we revel in God. In Greek, the word is χαίρω. It means to rejoice or be glad. It is also used as a salutation or greeting.
Paul is emphatic. In the New American Standard Translation we read it like this. “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!”
God is in a good mood. Whoo hoo!! I am glad. That is some good news. It is an amazing day in paradise.
I mean, revel in him! ~~Apostle Paul (Philippians 4:4 The Message)
- Philippians: an Introduction (parpools.typepad.com)
- The Story Behind Philippians and Philemon (mgriffinrobert.com)
- “What Have You Been Thinking About Lately?” (Philippians 4:1-9) (haroldcameron.wordpress.com)
- Philippians 1: Introduction to Paul’s Letter to the Philippians (cutpaste.typepad.com)
Here is a concept. Our Father is absolutely perfectly in love with me. He isn’t, can’t, won’t fly off the handle at me. He keeps His cool. I don’t frustrate him. He is amazing. OK, this is much better than a concept. It is real. It is true.
May I love like him. May I never fly off the handle. May I keep my cool.
Love doesn’t fly off the handle. 1 Corinthians 13 – The Message
- Love Always Wins (brianwilliamsen.wordpress.com)
- 15 Days in the Word with John Piper – 6 ASPECTS OF HUMILITY (christlikeministriesnwa.wordpress.com)
- Live Like Him! (anencouragedheart.wordpress.com)
There are some things to be embarrassed by. There are some things to be proud of. We have an extraordinary message. It is a powerful message. It is a message to be proud of.
God has plans to rescue everyone (not just religious people). All we have to do is trust Him. Anyone can do it. The religious don’t have a lock on this deal. It may seem like it but we have good news. It isn’t limited to the religious. It isn’t going to church or leading bible studies that get’s us right with God. It is faith pure and simple. When we believe that Jesus is the Messiah that came to rescue us from a life of missing God’s goal for our life, we have right standing before God.
AND that is a very good deal for sure.
It’s news I’m most proud to proclaim, this extraordinary Message of God’s powerful plan to rescue everyone who trusts him, starting with the religious and then right on to everyone else! God’s way of putting people right shows up in the acts of faith, confirming what Scripture has said all along: “The person in right standing before God by trusting him really lives.” ~~Apostle Paul (Romans 1:16-17)
Is it all still a mystery? No, it is not at all.
Much about God’s world came seem mysterious. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way. Jesus got it out in the open. God’s word helps us understand what seemed vague before we came to God and got on the road to know Him every day.
Jesus is clear that he came to make known to us the mystery of how things work in God’s world (Kingdom). He does make everything crystal clear. Will we hear him? That is his challenge to us.
God is open. He wants us to be just like that.
“This mystery has been kept in the dark for a long time, but now it’s out in the open.” ~Apostle Paul (Colossians 1:26 The Message)
We need to get back to using blessings when we greet people and leave. How powerful it is to be a blessing to others and speak a good word into their day.
Grace – χάρις – meaning a gift or blessing brought to man by Jesus Christ, favor, gratitude, thanks, kindness.
Peace – εἰρήνη – meaning peace of mind; invocation of peace a common Jewish farewell, in the Hebraistic sense of the health (welfare) of an individual.
How powerful for us and those we know. May I great others with that blessing.
“So I greet you with the great words, grace and peace!” ~~Apostle Paul (Galatians 1:3 The Message)
- Christ Paid Sin’s Price (anotherchristianblog.org)
- This Deadly Temptation (conmakhalira.wordpress.com)
- Sermon By Pastor E A Adeboye RCCG 60th Annual RCCG Convention. Come Up Higher – THAT I MAY KNOW HIM (bummyla.wordpress.com)
- More than just Sunday (mybelovedtheophilus.wordpress.com)
There are some things we should know and be able to speak about. We should know life, how we get it and keep it, and how serving the Messiah makes it possible. There should be no pretending about that. We serve a “real” God. We have “real” life. Let’s talk about that. That is what we know. We are literate on that.
“They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life.” ~~Apostle Paul (Romans 1:21The Message)
- Is my goal popularity? (mww1954.wordpress.com)
- “What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn’t treat him like God….” ~~Apostle Paul (mww1954.wordpress.com)
- What is God’s master plan? (mww1954.wordpress.com)
Will I throw up my hands and walk off the job? No way. I have to be clear about that. I am in this for all eternity.
Sure, some times it gets real tough and it is tempting. Even Paul could admit that. Jesus never promised us it would always be easy. In fact, he did promise that we would see trouble and hard times. He also reminded us that he leads he way and he has overcome. The victory has been won and we can join him in that victory.
God is in a good mood. He is generous to us all the time not matter what.
Since God has so generously let us in on what he is doing, we’re not about to throw up our hands and walk off the job just because we run into occasional hard times.” ~~Apostle Paul (2 Corinthians 4:1 The Message)
Stop and think about that.
God has a plan. He has a plan for us. He has had His eye on us. Looking to do great things in and through us.
God has a “master plan” for how everything works together to bring His ultimate designs together. He is God. This is the way he works. He isn’t into “one offs”. It all works together for achieving what He has had in mind all this time.
“Long before we first heard of the Messiah and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.” ~Apostle Paul (Ephesians 1:12 The Message)
Paul anchors himself in being connected with Jesus who is in charge of his life. Because of that, no matter what, and a lot of tough things happened to him, he is always thanking God. That is just the way he rolled. Whenever he was praying for others he got thankful.
Are my prayers for people always spilling over into thanksgivings? This is a great standard.
May I always be thankful in my conversation with God.
“Our prayers for you are always spilling over into thanksgivings.” ~Apostle Paul (Colossians 1:3 The Message)
Is my goal popularity? The Apostle Paul was clear that wasn’t his goal. He knew what his goal was. His focus would lead him to do many unpopular things. There is a danger in caring what others think of us.
Much of our culture seems to focused on measuring popularity. How many friends do I have on Facebook or Twitter? What is my Klout score? Do friends “like” what I post?
Paul knows we should be focused. He knows we should be totally devoted to following Jesus, no matter what. That definitely won’t make us popular. We need to know that and be prepared for it. We should anticipate it with joy. There is nothing to compare with being in love with Him. This has nothing to do with human optimism.
“If my goal was popularity, I wouldn’t bother being the Messiah’s slave.” ~~Apostle Paul (Galatians 1:10 The Message)
We hear a lot about seeing the “big picture”. The Apostle Paul clearly got that. He realized it is easy to see the details. It is hard to see what he calls the “whole picture”. There is a difference, however, between the big picture and the whole picture. I think it is actually a huge difference.
God’s word, and the insight of the Holy Spirit, gives us the whole picture. The truth, clear truth, helps us see the whole picture.
May I see the whole picture. May I see it today and every day.
“We’re writing plain, unembellished truth, hoping that you’ll now see the whole picture as well as you’ve seen some of the details.” ~~Apostle Paul (2 Corinthians 1:13 The Message)
Paul challenges us to live differently. We have opportunities every day to help work things out. We need to do our best. God has given us his Spirit. We know what He wants us to do. We should do it. No if, and or buts. God is clear. We need to do it.
May I do my best.
And, oh, yes, Syzygus, since you’re right there to help them work things out, do your best with them. (Philippians 4:3 The Message)
- The Story Behind Philippians and Philemon (mgriffinrobert.com)
- The Gospel in Philippians (christianongtangco.wordpress.com)
- “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13 (djconnet.wordpress.com)
There are some “real” atheists. There are also many who believe there is a God but don’t believe in God. This is sad, because it is clear they don’t worship the creator of the universe and our loving Father.
What happens as a result. They follow all kinds of silly thoughts and this world’s (Not God’s world) culture. They try to find meaning in mission statements and success philosophies. It gets worse from there. Having their own mission they don’t have God’s and they don’t have true direction.
Of course, there is the opposite of this. I choose this way. I will worship God, the creator of the universe. I will not be trivialized into silliness and confusion. I will be God’s child and love Him as my Father. I will have His direction in my life.
“Refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives.” ~~Apostle Paul (Romans 1:20 The Message)
Paul is clear about Jesus. His writing is clear about God. God’s word is clear.
There is no “I wonder what he meant” kind of stuff with God. He is in charge in His world (Kingdom). He always has been. He always will be.
It is clear that nothing is impossible with God. He can do anything. He is God.
He is our loving Father. He has wonderful things in store for us. He is in a great mood.
“Don’t try to read between the lines or look for hidden meanings in this letter.” ~~Apostle Paul (2 Corinthians 1:13 The Message)
Paul knew something. He wasn’t afraid to say it. God had commissioned him. He was on a mission for God and Jesus. Paul knew why he was doing what he was doing.
Do I know why I am doing what I am doing?
The answer to that is all important. In a world of “you will succeed if you have a mission statement” kind of thinking, what we think our mission is doesn’t matter. What is God’s mission for me?
“I’m God-commissioned.” ~~Apostle Paul (Galatians 1:3 The Message)
- Chosen to be Holy (ising4god.com)
- Biblical Perspectives of Loving and Caring for Own People – III (yobindreams.wordpress.com)
- Absolute Surrender (christianongtangco.wordpress.com)
- Make No Mistake About It! (keyword-power.com)
Now here is some great advise from the Apostle Paul. He knew what he was talking about. This is how he lived his life in Jesus. Even when in prison for telling about the Good News of GOD, he would celebrate.
When we celebrate GOD, our focus is on Him and not us. May seem straight forward but much of conversation with God is about us, not Him. That is not the way it should be.
Celebrating God gets us focused on what He wants. That is the way it should be. I should do it all day long. From the time I wake up in bed till the time I fall asleep at night.
Celebrate God all day, every day. (Philippians 4:4 The Message)
Is that what God has in mind for us? Yes it is. Is that our blessing to others? Yes, it should be.
May everything good from God our Father be yours! (Colossians 1:2 The Message)
Paul depended on Jesus and the Holy Spirit to speak about the Good News. He depended on Jesus completely. While he could be eloquent, he learned that it wasn’t of any use. He must have the power of GOD. That is all that matters. Speaking with the power of the resurrected Jesus.
Can I not rely on myself and depend on Jesus?
“But it wasn’t by any fancy footwork on our part” ~~Apostle Paul (2 Corinthians 1:12 The Message)
- Baidoo-Essien Highlights How Important and Significant the Saving Gospel is to the Sinner’s Transition in his New Book ‘Examining The Great Commission, A Call To Study’ (prweb.com)
- In Christ (xtnhub.com)
- Remember the Teaching Style (justhappeneduponthis.wordpress.com)
- Gentile Conversion (mgriffinrobert.com)
“What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn’t treat him like God….” ~~Apostle Paul
We all know GOD exists. Sure, there are some atheist but they are really kidding themselves. So lets not think about that. We know there is a GOD. Here is the big question. Do we treat Him like GOD? Think about it. GOD is GOD. GOD is great. GOD is good. We “know it”. Do we believe Him?
If we don’t treat him like GOD, GOD says, in effect, “If that’s what you want, that’s what you get.” This is a case of be careful what you ask for.
“What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn’t treat him like God….” ~~Apostle Paul (Romans 1:18 The Message)
- Paul and the Twelve Apostles (counterthought.org)
- “An Overflowing Wealth Of Generosity!” ~ Sermon for Sunday, July 1, 2012 (nearwestclevepastor.wordpress.com)
- Lift up your hands and praise Him! (estherscott1257.wordpress.com)
- it’s all in your mouth (toyinonipe.wordpress.com)
- Be careful in your evaluation of the Grace of God! (keyword-power.com)
- Holy Paul, Apostle to the Nations (frted.wordpress.com)