by Pastor Bill
Accept the Gift
I have a good friend of who was offered a certain amount of money to help with his college bill. Years later I talked with him, He said “Bill I was too proud to accept the gift and as a result it took me years longer to enter into the ministry.” I understand why my friend said “no” I might of said “no” too. The Bible says it is better to give then to receive.
The book of Acts records these words of Jesus: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35). Luke records these words of Jesus “38 Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” (Luke 6:38).
To give is better but Jesus does not say, it is not good to receive, it is just better to give. Sometimes you can cheat a person out of the wonderful blessing of giving, be careful not to do that.
Keep in mind this scripture to Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.” God gave us the greatest gift of all in and through His Son and we don’t deserve this nor can we earn it.
The price has been paid, we could not afford it! Today in gratitude and belief we live for Him who died for us. Have you accepted the gift (Romans 6:23)?
Grace On Top of Grace: Cake and Icing!
One of my favorite scriptures is found in John 1:16 “And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.” - NKJV.
The NIV reads: “Out of His fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given.” The NLB reads: “From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another.” The Message reads: “We all live off his generous bounty, gift after gift after gift.” I like the NKJV the best, but I love all these translations and paraphrases.
It is clear that God has given us plenty of grace, in fact I think of it as grace upon grace. God offers and gives to those who trust Him life abundant, here and life everlasting (John 10:10 & 3:16). He has provided what we need to live in salvation. He offers His Holy Spirit to empower and cleanse us (Acts 1:8 & 1 John 1:7). He is always “near” (Philippians 4:5 NIV), in fact Jesus promises His disciples “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20). We have all we need and much more! “Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.” Those are great words in the song “Amazing Grace” and true for those who know Christ!
Praise the Lord for the grace we have been given!
God Bless Your Day!
Testify To the Light!
John the Apostle writes: “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9 That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.” John 1:6-9 NKJV
Jesus said to His disciples: “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8 NKJV
Clearly we have a responsibility, a privilege and the power to witness to and for Jesus! John had a clear call to witness (v. 6). What an example for us! We are also to bear witness to that light (v. 8). Your call and mine is as clear as John’s. Disciples will bear witness by the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8 NKJV). Jesus earlier said of His disciples “You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:15 NKJV).
We should always understand that Jesus is the true Light not ourselves. However with Christ in us we become His light to this world. John always knew, he was not the “Light” but only to bear witness to that “Light”.
His light in us is shared with others by Christ – like living. Christ – like living is found in the Bible. It is found in the words, actions, teaching of Christ. The Bible helps us to understand God and to live like His Son.
These thoughts have helped me in becoming more like Christ:
Remembering to ask myself - What would Jesus do?
Meditating on Beatitudes in Matthew 5 and the Fruits of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22.
Testify to the true Light!
God Bless Your Day!
Jesus Declared To Us
“And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.
17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.” John 1:16-18
My focus today is verse 18 “He has declared Him”. John records a conversation between Jesus and Philip:
“Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves” (John 14:9-11).
Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 4:2-4 about the Son “who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person…” v. 3. The NIV reads: “who is the image of God”. The Hebrew writer said it this way: “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; 3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person…” (Hebrews 1:1-3). The NIV said “the exact representation of His being”.
So what does this mean to us? When we see Jesus we see the Father - God! There is nothing hidden, no hidden agenda (or words so small you can’t read them). We can learn about God through the Son. Jesus has declared God to us. Jesus reveals God’s love, God’s plan, God desires for us. There is no walking in darkness! Jesus shows us the way. Through Jesus’ victory we are provided the power to live right, and to do right! So you never have to live in darkness or defeat!
God Bless Your Day!