My Savior Came to Earth to Bring Light into the World

•January 5, 2015 • Leave a Comment

John 12:44-48 ~ 44 Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me. 45 And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me. 46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. 47 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. 48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

Ultimate source of Light: the Heavenly Father

1 John 1:5  This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

Genesis 1:3, 14-15 ~ 3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. … 14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: 15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.

Jesus brought the Light to us

John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

John 12:46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.

Light is truth – truth brings knowledge that dispels ignorance and exposes and corrects error

2 Timothy 1:10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

Do we reflect the Light?

1 John 2:10-11 ~ 10 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. 11 But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.

John 3:21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

We can be a blessing to those around us by reflecting His spiritual Light

Matthew 5:14-16 ~ 14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Philippians 2:15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

Ephesians 5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now [are ye] light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

There are blessings available only to those who are in the Light (forgiveness is not promised to one who chooses to walk in darkness)

1 John 1:7, 9 ~ 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. … 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 Peter 2:9 But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

1 Thessalonians 2:13-14 ~ 13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe. 14 For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they [have] of the Jews:

2 Corinthians 4:4-6 ~ 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to [give] the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Act 26:15-18 15 And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. 16 But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; 17 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, 18 To open their eyes, [and] to turn [them] from darkness to light, and [from] the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

One way to be in and reflect the Light: Ephesians 4:4-6 ~ 4 [There is] one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who [is] above all, and through all, and in you all.

Romans 10: 17 So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am [he], ye shall die in your sins.

2 Corinthians 7:10 10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

Matthew 10:32-33 ~ 32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Ephesians 4:21-24 ~ 21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

(ideas from Stan Crowley – 1/4/15 – thank you, Stan!)

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God is Love

•December 25, 2013 • Leave a Comment

1 John 4:1-21 KJV

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.”

What more can I say that God hasn’t already said? He is my inspiration, my everything, my all, and the ultimate love of my life. I will gladly spread the good news about Jesus death upon the cross which saves us from our sins, even though we don’t deserve it… And every Sunday, Jesus’ death is what I will bring to rememberance when I go to worship God.

Don’t worry… Be happy…

•December 18, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Bobby McFerrin’s famous song speaks volumes, but the basic principle behind those four words goes all the way back to a quotation from Jesus the Christ, recorded by Matthew…

Matthew 6:19-34 (KJV)

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Romans 12-I love this chapter!

•December 13, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Romans 12:1-21 KJV

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Shout out

•August 24, 2013 • Leave a Comment

To all those labeled as “dead-beat dads” by employees of the state of Texas just because your child’s mother somehow finagled the court’s into giving custody to her even though she is the true dead-beat, I just want to say, “Don’t give up hope.” I realize that there seems to be little hope while the attorney general’s office is run by incompetent people as well as people who just flat-out don’t care one iota about your child – evident by the fact that they placed your child in the care of an individual who (among other things) claims to have the right to be selfish, to go to drunken parties all night long, to smoke two packs of cigarettes a day inside her new boyfriend’s apartment which she has temporarily labeled as your child’s home, to give your child asthma just because she doesn’t want to give up her own nasty habits, etc. And, yet, the moment you stop fighting for what you know to be best for your child is the moment you seal your child’s doom. I know it’s hard, but put your trust in God and know that you are not alone. (As unfortunate as it is that there are so many children in our society who are being raised in two separate households, it still provides some level of optimism to know that the battles you face on a daily basis are fought by other individuals, too.)

Also, don’t think that God has abandoned you or your child – quite the opposite, in fact. He is willing and wanting to provide what you need and what your child needs.

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets…

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.” (Matthew 7:7-12,21-27) {MORE OF HIS WORDS: “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” John 3:14-21 AND “And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” Luke 13:2-3 AND “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world.” Matthew 28:18-20

“…The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.” (James 5:16-18)

“Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume [it] upon your lusts. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse [your] hands, [ye] sinners; and purify [your] hearts, [ye] double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and [your] joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” (James 4:2-10)

“Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast [our] profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as [we are, yet] without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:14-16)

The Fruits of Repentance

•August 22, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Why should we repent? “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19) for “your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid [his] face from you, that he will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2), but “the Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9), for “…the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) Eternal life… Something we all should strive for…

“Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, [what] clearing of yourselves, yea, [what] indignation, yea, [what] fear, yea, [what] vehement desire, yea, [what] zeal, yea, [what] revenge! In all [things] ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.” 2 Corinthians 7:9-11

True repentance should include:

  • “carefulness” to not sin
  • “clearing of yourselves” – “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove [them].” Ephesians 5:11 and “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.” 1 Corinthians 15:33
  • “indignation” or hate for sin
  • “fear” of what sin can do to you so you don’t repeat it
  • “vehement desire…zeal…revenge” – desire to fix the sin and make sure that neither you nor anyone else repeats your mistake

Don’t just go through the motions. Live every day to its fullest. Live every day for God.

(Ideas  and some scripture refernces from Brandon’s lesson tonight – thank you, Brandon!)

Our Hope

•August 19, 2013 • Leave a Comment

“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” Romans 15:13

MY HOPE IS BUILT ON NOTHING LESS, song by Edward Mote and arranged by Wm. B. Bradbury:

“My hope is built on nothing less Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, But wholly lean on Jesus’ name. …In ev’ry high and stormy gale, My anchor holds within the veil. His oath, His covenant, His blood, Support me in the whelming flood; When all around my soul gives way, He then is all my hope and stay. When He shall come with trumpet sound, O may I then in Him be found, Dressed in His righteousness alone, Faultless to stand before the throne. On Christ, the Solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand…”

“Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.” Psalm 16:9

“Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart unto my knowledge. For [it is] a pleasant thing if thou keep them within thee; they shall withal be fitted in thy lips. That thy trust may be in the LORD, I have made known to thee this day, even to thee.” Proverbs 22:17-19

“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and [why] art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him [for] the help of his countenance.” Psalm 42:5

“For thou [art] my hope, O Lord GOD: [thou art] my trust from my youth.” Psalm 71:5

“Trust in him at all times; [ye] people, pour out your heart before him: God [is] a refuge for us. Selah.” Psalm 62:8

“Blessed [is] the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is…. Be not a terror unto me: thou [art] my hope in the day of evil.” Jeremiah 17:7,17

“The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD [will be] the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.” Joel 3:16

“…God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, [which is] our hope…” 1 Timothy 1:1

“But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” Hebrews 10:12-14

“Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead… Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;” 1 Peter 1:3,13

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” Titus 2:11-14

WE SHALL SEE THE KING SOME DAY, song by L.E. Jones:

“Tho’ the way we journey may be often drear, We shall see the King some day… After pain and anguish, after toil and care… Thro’ the endless ages, joy and blessing share… After foes are conquered, after battles won… After strife is over, after set of sun… There with all the loved ones who have gone before… Sorrow past for ever, on that peaceful shore, We shall see the King some day… We will shout and sing some day… Gathered round the throne, When He shall call His own…”

WHISPERING HOPE, song by Alice Hawthorne, Arranged by Alton H. Howard:

“…Hope with a gentle persuasion, Whispers her comforting word; Wait till the darkness is over, Wait till life’s tempest is done, Hope for the sunshine tomorrow, After the shower is gone… Then when the night is upon us, Why should the heart sink away? When the dark midnight is over, Watch for the breaking of day. Hope as an anchor so steadfast, Rends the dark veil for the soul, Whither the Master has entered, Robbing the grave of its goal… Come, O Thou blest hope of glory… never depart. Whispering hope, O how welcome Thy voice; Making my heart in its sorrow rejoice.”

“And when they had passed over, they came into the land of Gennesaret, and drew to the shore. And when they were come out of the ship, straightway they knew him, And ran through that whole region round about, and began to carry about in beds those that were sick, where they heard he was. And whithersoever he entered, into villages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch if it were but the border of his garment: and as many as touched him were made whole.” Mark 6:53-56 – The multitudes didn’t do this out of sorrow and despair but, rather, out of excitement and hope, tremendous quality and quantity of emotion. We should also share our hope. God provides innumerable blessings. So why do we focus on the negative.

THIS WORLD IS NOT MY HOME, song arranged by Albert E. Brumley:

“This world is not my home, I’m just a passing thru, My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue… They’re all expecting me, and that’s one thing I know, My savior pardoned me and now I onward go; I know He’ll take me thru tho I am weak and poor… I have a loving Savior up in glory-land, I don’t expect to stop until I with him stand… Just up in glory-land we’ll live eternally, The saints on ev’ry hand are shouting victory, Their song of sweetest praise drift back from heaven’s shore… O Lord, you know I have no friend like you, If heaven’s not my home then Lord what will I do; The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door, And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.”

(Idea, verses and songs from my dad’s lesson tonight – Thanks, Dad! I love you!)