Come Into The Light (Guess Blogger)

Good Morning Everyone I would like to take this opportunity to introduce to you Don Merritt:

Don Merritt (that’s me) is just a regular guy who has had a half-century of living life. I’ve had experiences that are quite normal and typical… and some that are less common. I’ve been busy for a long time in activities that range from politics to writing to running a business I am finished ghost-writing for others and writing things from a purely technical point of view; it’s my turn to write about the things that are really important in life: God, hope, faith, understanding and encouragement for others. It’s my hope to do so in a way that you will find interesting, unusual and non-threatening… and at the same time challenging.

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This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

1 John 1:5-7

Earlier we looked at the introduction to this letter, and here, we enter the first section of the letter which begins at verse 5 and continues through 2:14. This section is given context in verse 5: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. Thus, this section is all about John’s declaration of light versus darkness, and it contains comparisons and contrasts.
Before we take a look at it, keep in mind what John wrote in John 1:4 “In him was life, and that life was the light of men.” All through the Gospel story, John used “light” as signifying the presence of Jesus, contrasted with “darkness” denoting His absence. Keeping this in mind, let’s take a look at our text. After proclaiming that God is light, John gets down to his explanation claiming that if we claim to be in fellowship with God, but walk in darkness, we lie, and are not in the truth. This is a rather easy statement to understand, for if we are in darkness, then we aren’t in His presence, and if we aren’t in His presence, we couldn’t possibly be in fellowship: There is no half-way.

The contrast is that if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship… because we are with Him in the light. If we have this fellowship in the light of His presence and truth, then His blood purifies us from all sin. The reality of the statement is that we can’t be in fellowship with Him until our sins have been forgiven by His sacrifice on the cross.
Sometimes, we may walk a ways in darkness, and by this I mean that we may stray from time-to-time. John doesn’t suggest that our errors kick us out of fellowship as we will see a little farther through this text, but that there is a way to return to the light of His presence, by confessing our sins., as we see in the next paragraph:

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.
1 John 1:8-10
I think we all would agree that a claim by any one of us to have never sinned would be little short of crazy. John seems to think it’s worse than that− all have sinned, but take heart, for there is a way out, confess your sins and He will forgive; this is our covenant promise. There is simply no need for us to wring our hands and carry around a burden of guilt and shame before God, for when we confess our sins (acknowledge them) He will forgive; we have His Word on that.

https://lifereference.wordpress.com/

 

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Carrying His Peace (Guess Blogger)

I would like to introduce to all you my fellow blogger Rebecca:

I’m a writer, Christian, I love music and art. I am hoping to encourage others, to inspire them to follow their dreams and trust Jesus. I am always working on improving my blog, keeping with the theme of teaching women to rest and be the beloved, and to depend on the mercy and grace of our Lord. It’s all for His glory. Thank you reading or following, blessings. https://www.pinterest.com/beckyspage1916/

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Isn’t it nice to get rid of baggage and exchange it for His peace? It’s not fair is it but the Lord took it for me. I was so desperate for Jesus to heal me, to help me. I never knew what His peace really was. It is a gift, a precious gift. One of many the Lord blesses a believer with. I had been a believer a long time and still had no peace. I don’t think it was because I chose to be disobedient, it was more of a constant oppression and the many rejections I had faced.
Of course, I knew the Word, I knew how it applied to me. I was convinced I was doing something wrong, when, in truth, the enemy was walking off with a lot of blessings, not because I didn’t hold tight to them, or believe Jesus, but because I never knew what was against me.
I knew the Word said that if God was for me then who in the world was  going to stand in His way. Yet, there is that enemy back, sneaking in there with thoughts of unworthiness. The self deprecating sense of humor I used to laugh off the wisecracks made about me, wasn’t making me laugh it off. It was killing me.
Jesus did not see me the way others did. His thoughts are so much higher. I suppose that made me have high expectations of others, and when I did not fully understand grace, I would have held them to a higher account. I still will, but I have to remember that His mercies are new every morning. He never changes but we have to in order to be like Him.
But whether or not we receive it or recognize it, His peace is there. We carry it in us because the Holy Spirit is there, and if you have experienced being baptized in the Holy Spirit, it should be and even more and ever present peace.
It is like the joy Jesus gave us and said that no man takes it from you. It is true. No one can take Jesus from us. He will always be there, it is the enemy, the accuser, the devil, who attempts to derail God’s perfect plan for our lives.
We don’t have to let him if we recognize what he is. Fear, worry, torment, chaos and confusion. The troublemaker, the obnoxious, belligerent and angry one who keeps annoying us in hopes of us losing our joy and His peace.
I know I didn’t always recognize it but I do now. I’m standing firm in Jesus and I will not be shaken, He is my hiding place, my rock and fortress, my sun and my shield, my everlasting love, my eternal life.
Yes, Jesus is all that and so much more. I suppose I can write a blog for eternity if I have to and never sing His praises enough. Never let the wicked one tell you that as a believer in Christ, you are anything less that what He created you to be.
You are worthy, beloved, wonderfully made, God is our Father, He gave His Son freely for us so why would He not lavish love upon us. Stop carrying a cross and understand He was speaking to the disciples before the crucifixion, we are partakers of the resurrected Christ, God will know we are seated in heavenly places and be pleased with us not because of us but because of Jesus.
We can partake of His body and blood through Holy Communion. He carried a cross we could not bear. So we could carry His eternal life, His everlasting love, His joy. And most of all our hearts do not ever have to trouble us, because we carry His peace. Rebecca Jones

God’s Greatest Story of Grace (Guess Blogger)

I hope you are having a lovely day. I am extremely excited to be having a sweet sister in Christ share a beautiful blog post with you.  A little about Crystal:

Hi, I’m Crystal, I am wife to husband Michael, mother to 3 growing kids- Anna, Grace &

When I am not at home taking care of my family you will most often find me at my church. There I serve in AWANA as a leader and I am happy to help with anything else that needs to be done. I will join our ladies Bible study group as often as I can. I love to be able to dig into Scripture and share it with friends.

God’s Word is my greatest passion. I studied Theology (Bible) at Dallas Christian College where I had the best professors (I am a little partial) who not only taught me about the Bible but because of them, I fell in love with God’s Word. I enjoy drawing and painting when I can squeeze it in. When you mix a Bible student with an artist you get me, many of my recent paintings reflect whatever I was studying at the time. I am enjoying this because when I show my paintings I am then able to share my passion, God’s word.

God’s greatest story of grace the story of Salvation.

The Gospel is the most amazing story of love that you will ever find. It is simple enough for a child to understand and so that is how I am going to talk about it today. Not that you are a child but there is no point in making complicated what is simple.

God made everything, including you and me. In fact, we are God’s beloved creation made in His very image. He loves us deeper and wider then we can ever imagine.

The Bible is the story of His great love for us from Genesis to Revelation.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth – Genesis 1:1

You are worthy, our Lord and God to receive glory and honor and power for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being  -Revelation 4:11

 

 no matter who you are you can see that this is an imperfect world. It is imperfect because of something the Bible calls sin; because of this sin we are separated from God because of sin we deserve to go to hell and be separated from God for eternity.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God  -Romans 3:23

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord  -Romans 6:23

 

God loves us so much the He sent Jesus.

Jesus was born of a virgin, a miraculous conception and the only way He could be born sinless.

Jesus did many signs and taught while He walked this earth proving that He is God.

He Chose the Nails

He chose the nails – for me & for you

He was betrayed by one of His closest friends. This was allowed so that He might be our perfect sacrifice taking the punishment we deserve for our sin.

Jesus was beaten and hung on a cross though He was the only one who has ever been and will ever be sinless.

After He died this horrible death, His body was then taken and placed in a nearby tomb, guarded by Roman soldiers. But just 3 days later something amazing happened, the tomb was opened reviling it was empty!

 

He is not Here!

He is not Here

Jesus had done what He said he would and rose from the dead!

He defeated the power of sin and death… He made away for us to be free and now able to join Him in heaven one day. There is nothing we can ever do to be good enough or pay for our own sin it is only through the shed blood of Jesus that we are forgiven.

For God so love the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life  -John 3:16

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this; While we were still sinners, Christ died for us – Romans 5:8

For by grace you have been saved, through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is a gift of God – not of works, so that no one can bost. -Ephesians 2:8-9

All we must do is believe and accept His free gift of eternal life.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me”. -John 14:6

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. -Romans 10:9

 

Gospel - ABCsYou may have grown up in church or maybe you have never walked through the doors of one it doesn’t matter, God loves you! He made away for you to live with Him eternally in Heaven.

I will ask you this one question; has there ever been a time when you have accepted this free gift of salvation from your sin?

If you have and know without a doubt that you are saved, great!

But, if do not know of a time that you have done that then allow me a minute here to explain how you can do just that.

You can simply pray,

God, I admit I am a sinner and I deserve to go to hell for my sin,
I believe that you sent Jesus and that He paid the price for my sin.
I chose today to accept the gift of salvation you have offered me
and want to live with you forever in Heaven.
Please forgive my sin, come into my life and change me,
teach me to follow you for the rest of my life.

in Jesus name Amen

 

If you have prayed this for the first time I encourage you to find someone you know is a Christian or just walk in the doors of a church, go tell someone.

I promise you there is nothing that will bring them greater joy then you sharing this. I would love to hear from you too!

I told you it is not complicated simple enough even a child can understand and yet it is the greatest story of grace ever told. God loved us so much that He made a way to save us from our own sin and now He offers us the gift of salvation.

 

I was a young girl when I accepted this gift. I will share my story of salvation next time.

Be sure to check out Crystal’s blog.

Victory In Jesus

1 John 4.pngYou dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us, but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.  (1 John 4:4-6)

The true Christian life is often described as a battle, and this becomes true when a disciple is struggling against the forces of darkness. It is true that Christians find themselves in continuous conflict with demonic powers, temptations that threaten to overwhelm them, and subtle forces that carry out their destructive purposes before their presence has been perceived. Unfortunately, it is also true that many disciples rely on their own strength and resources when they come face to face with forces over which they have no control. They do their best, but is just a matter of time before they break down.

However, followers of the living Christ have spiritual reserves that they can call on when they are confronted by the Evil One in his many disguises. deep within them lives a Spirit that is sensitive to the intervention of Jesus Christ and empowers them to fight confidently against any evil force. Never trust in your own resources, but rely on the indwelling Christ, particularly during moments when you feel weak and helpless. In the power of Christ and through His wisdom you can overcome dark forces if you realize that your help and strength comes from the Holy Spirit who lives in you.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Holy Spirit

John 16.png    Jesus is preparing his disciples when he is crucified and buried, something that is very difficult for them to hear and understand and Jesus shares about the Advocate to come whom Jesus will send to them and to us from the Father: Read these words of Jesus found in the Gospel of John 16:12-15

“I have much more to say to you, more than you can bear. But when he, the Spirit of Truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make know to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

That which is revealed comes from God. God is the owner and also the giver of all truth. Truth is not a human being’s discovery; it is a gift of God. It is the truth of God that the Holy Spirit brings us. Truth is not something we can create by means of a process in our minds; it is something already waiting to be discovered; something we accept, and not something we create ourselves. God is behind all truth.

Revelation is to take the things of Jesus and to make known their inherent truth. The greatness of Jesus lies His inexhaustibility. No human being has understood everything Jesus came to say. No human being has uncovered the full meaning of Jesus’ teachings. No human beings knows what they mean to life and to faith; to humanity and to the individual, to the community and to the nation. Revelation is a continuous “opening up” of the meaning and importance of Jesus Christ. Revelation comes to us not from a book or credo, but through a living person. The closer we live to Jesus, the better we get to know him. The more we conform to Him, the more He reveals to us. In order to enjoy His revelation, we must acknowledge His majesty. Submission to, and to knowledge of Jesus, go hand in hand. It is only to the Son of God that God makes His revelation know.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Jesus The Way To The Father

John 14 a

Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know hi and have seen him. “                 Matthew 14:5-7

If you know what it feels like to lose your ticket for an important event or journey, you will know how embarrassing it is to explain what happened, and to ask to be allowed access because you did in fact pay for it. You will also know how frustrating it can be if the person in control will not under any circumstances give you permission without your ticket. But if someone you know arrives on the scene, and has the authority to tell the person to help you, you will probably think, “This is my lucky day!”

Christ is your “ticket” to the eternal and holy presence of the Father. Do you know Him as your “in”? There is, however, much more to what Jesus says in this verse. Jesus was emphasizing how He and the Father are one. They know and enjoy complete fellowship and unity with each other. For this reason, those who know Jesus and are given right of admission by Him, also have access to God the Father.

Jesus’ pronouncement raised many questions. But in fact everything is straightforward and easy to understand. It simply means, “Get to know Jesus. Stay with Jesus and always be “in” Jesus, as Paul puts it. As long as you have fellowship with Him, you will also have fellowship with the Father. Don’t look for inferior ways to find God, You find Him in Jesus and in Jesus only. So make Jesus your road to follow, acknowledge Him as the highest truth of the world and of life. Look for nothing bigger and more glorious than the life you find in Him, and He will lead you to the Father. 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Walking The Walk

Walking where Jesus walked.pngPerhaps no other symbol is more revealing of the journey of Christians through the season of Lent that a pair of Biblical sandals. Sandals speak of our journey through the promises, perils, and pitfalls of life that can only be authentically experienced through “Walking the Walk” of Jesus. To be sure, Jesus was the supreme, historical walker Biblical scholars have estimated that, during his 33 year lifetime, Jesus walked over 21,000 (400 miles from Egypt to Nazareth; 18,000 miles from Nazareth to Jerusalem and back-at least seventy-five times by age 30, and 3,125 miles during his 3 year public ministry, averaging 20-25 miles per day.) And then, of course, there was Jesus 40-day walk in the desert, where he was subjected to three Satanic temptations. All this walking was more that just physical exercise, it was instilling patience, persistence, and soul-sustaining endurance in the one, who in human and Divinely resurrected form, would be God’s eternal model of “the Truth, the Way, and the Life” for the world that followed him in time.

So, how do we-how can we-follow in the footsteps of Jesus during the forty days of the Lenten season? For one thing, we can symbolically emulate Jesus’s pre-ministry walk through the desert-fasting, praying, examining ourselves, and trying to cleanse ourselves of transgressions and wrongdoings that have been haunting us for the past year. Secondly, we can discipline ourselves, through our “walk” through the Lenten season, to focus our thoughts, prayers, and actions squarely on the two greatest commandments that Jesus professed: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and You shall love your neighbor as yourself”  (Matthew 22:37-39) How rewarding it is for those who, on Easter Sunday, can affirm with great Joy and Certainty:

“I walked today where Jesus walked, and felt His presence there!”

Grace and Peace to You My Friends