God gives us grace to live the Christian life. This, is through the gift given to us by Jesus Christ. In this episode we talk about Philippians 1:1-2. This is the beginning of a series of teachings through the book of Philippians.
Please feel free to leave any comments or questions below, or at JesusGathering14@gmail.com.
God wants you. God always wants your attention, so that you may live a life that is obedient to Him. And in obedience with Him, is a life full of hope. Let us make our relationship with God the highest priority in our lives.
Leave a comment or question at the bottom of the page, or email at JesusGathering14@gmail.com. I’d love to have a conversation with you!
Matthew 6:25-34, is a key passage in my life to help me battle stress and anxiety. In this episode we will talk about how focusing on Jesus helps us to be free from our worries. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions below.
The most important verse in the whole Bible is John 3:16; “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
In the beginning there was Adam and Eve. They had a perfect relationship with God. But this was broken the day they ate from the forbidden tree. This was the day that they broke their complete trust in God and entertained their own curiosity and desire for control. As a result their perfect union with God was broken.
For many years man did not have a way to reconcile with God. God wanted to give man a chance so He decided to send His only son to earth to walk among the people. His name was Jesus. During His time on earth He performed miracles and healed people to show the world that He truly was the Son of God. Some people believed Him and some did not. The ones who did not believe Him grew angry with Him and wanted to kill Him. They did not understand that Jesus was God’s sovereign plan.
God sent Jesus down to earth to live a perfect life. A life without sin. He was perfect in every way…His spirit was pure and unstained. Never did sin have a chance at Him. There was a reason for this…
God is all good. God cannot have a relationship with anything bad. In other words, you cannot relate bad with good. They are complete opposites. God resides in Heaven and Heaven is perfect. God cannot allow anything tainted with sin in Heaven; If He did then it would not be Heaven.
So, the only way man can be reconciled with God is if our sins are washed away. This means that we need to be emptied of sin. Jesus made a way for us to be able to do this. As a perfect sacrifice, he was the only sacrifice God could take as a replacement for our sins. When Jesus was crucified on the cross, He died for our sins. This means that God took all our sins and placed them on Jesus. This made a way for man to be pure again so that we could be reconciled with God and enter Heaven after death.
The important thing to understand though is that for something to be real in someone’s life, they have to first believe it. God said if you believe that Jesus is your Lord and Savior, you will be saved. If you believe that Jesus died for your sins and was resurrected from the grave, you will be saved. If you repent of your sins and ask Jesus for forgiveness, you will be saved. Believe in your heart that Jesus is who He is and you will be reconciled to God.
Life is hard, but life after death can be even harder without God. This is a place called Hell. It is somewhere everlasting just like Heaven, but it is quite the opposite of Heaven. Most importantly Hell does not have God, and God is our creator, the one who loves us; so Heaven is where we should want to be.
Friend, please accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. He is knocking on the door of your heart. He is wanting to take your hand. He is wanting to cleanse you of all your sins, guilt, shame, fear, anxiety, hopelessness. He wants a better life for you, and a better life means a life with Him.
If you want to accept His invitation all you have to do is ask for forgiveness. You can say something similar to this: Jesus forgive me for my sins. I do not want to sin anymore. I want to give my life to you. I believe that you are my Lord and Savior. I believe that you died on the cross for my sins and that you rose from the grave.
It may seem like a simple prayer, but what really matters is what is in your heart. If you sincerely want to give your life to Jesus, He will take it. He will make your life beautiful because of the hope that He gives us who believe in Him. If you were sincere and your heart yearns for a relationship with God, take heart, be encouraged, because He promises this, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8). This is the start of a new life for you…
Yes, the virus is still around. We are still in shelter-in-place. I am still not working. We are still getting our groceries delivered through Instacart. Life is still in a state of uncertainty. After my jog this morning I stood still for a few minutes to listen to the Lord. I felt Him say, “You do not need corporate worship to worship me”.
Some of us are thinking, “I can’t wait for church to open up again so that I can worship God”, or, “I wonder which church has the best online teaching this Sunday?”. We have relied too much on our local church to motivate us to worship the one true living God. I am not saying that having a local church is a bad thing, but what I am saying is, “we do not need people or programs to feel closer to God”.
During my reading this morning, I highlighted Acts 17:27, “…that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him”. As I read commentary on this verse, it referenced Romans 1:20, “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made”. These verses tell me that I am to seek God and that God wants to be found. So, we do not need to be in a crowd of worshipers to feel close to God. We do not need the wonderful band and the talented preacher to seek God. All we need is a genuine heart for God. Let us ask God to reveal himself to us daily. Seek Him.
The “Great Pause”, as my wife calls the current situation that we are in, is an opportunity given to us to spend time with the Lord without distractions. All sports have been taken away; movie theaters are closed; most parks are closed; almost all forms of entertainment have been removed. What is left is an opportunity for silence with God. A time to find out what kind of Christian you want to be during this time and what kind of Christian you want to be coming out of this. We can take this opportunity to strengthen our faith through the Word, prayer, and surrendering everything to Him. I believe that this is a time to seriously live biblical lives so that when we are out of this nightmare, the body of Christ will be a refined body, stronger than ever to share the gospel to the ends of the world! Think about the lives that Jesus can change through his church. He surely changed my life; He gave me the kind of peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippains 4:7).
So, please, Christian, take every day as a divine opportunity to spend time with the Lord. Read and study the scriptures; speak and listen to God. Worship Him the way He deserves to be worshiped; He deserves your whole heart. “Draw near to Him; and God will draw near to you” (James 4:8).
After I heard the Lord speak this morning, I worshiped Him on my knees. It was just me outside, in a corner where I could not be seen, but I felt God’s presence with me. He brought tears to my eyes; tears of brokenness and tears of comfort. God will strengthen us (Isaiah 41:10); He will bring us peace (Philippians 4:7); He, alone, is our refuge (Psalm 91:2).
We have something to rejoice about, at all times!! We have God’s salvation; we have Jesus!
Lord, you are our wonderful rescuer. Please strengthen us through this difficult time, so that you may use us to share the good news of Jesus Christ. The world needs you;let yourself be known. Open eyes to see and ears to hear. In the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!(ESV) -Philippians 4:4
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (NIV)” -Philippians 4:7
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (NIV)” –Romans 8:28
I can’t breathe well. It’s May and I have not been able to stop thinking about my breathing since December. It started with a chronic cough and now my lungs feel like cement. I head over to the emergency room because I’m just tired of not being able to take a breath without pain.
They admitted me because I was not responding to any inhalers. They did a bronchoscopy on me to look into my lungs. My pulmonologist showed me pictures of what she saw and says, “I can’t believe you were still breathing, your airways were almost completely closed.”
So what’s going on with me, I ask. My heart is healthy (3 years post heart attack). Now it’s my lungs that are failing me?! Come on! Can’t I get a break?! Labs come back which reveal 3 different kinds of bacteria and 1 kind of mold growing in my lungs; Prednisone (I have heard it called the “devil’s pill”), the culprit. This oral steroid suppresses my inflammatory response but it also suppresses my immune system which then invites opportunistic infections. It’s a catch-22; I need it to keep my lungs from acting up but it also puts me in harm’s way. Asthma is what I have; severe, uncontrolled asthma.
It’s now September and my breathing is not getting better, it is actually worse. I can’t play with my sons without having to stop to catch my breath feeling like someone just punched me in my stomach, stunning my solar plexus. I can’t speak to someone without having to take a deep breath before, then feeling out of breath after. I can’t even go down to tie my shoes without feeling like I just climbed up a mountain as I stand back up.
Honestly, I have had times of weakness feeling depressed and hopeless, but hey, I’m only human. These are human feelings, but when I do feel like this I praise God that He points me back to the cross and brings hope back into my life. God says, If you love me you will follow my commandments (John 14:15). Philippians 4:4 is a commandment; He tells his followers to rejoice, always. Now how does one do this even during times of hardship? Through Jesus. God is perfect, He does not make mistakes (Psalm 18:30). I say to myself, “I love Jesus, and I am called according to His purpose, therefore, He will make all things work out for me”. Sound familiar? Then I rely on the promise that the peace of God will guard my heart and mind and that His peace cannot be compared to anything else in the world because there is none like it. It’s even greater than the peace and love my precious wife gives me.
You see, I can sit in a dark room and focus on my problems, but that’s not going to fix them (Luke 12:25). So I choose to tap into my “Jesus high” and pray that He shows me His goodness in all this. I pray that He reveals to me the purpose that He has for me. I may not be the Apostle Paul sitting in jail waiting for my death sentence, but I can say the same thing he said, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13).” I can go through the highs and lows of life as long as Jesus is with me. I may not be physically healed (yet!), but my heart is full.