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Weekly Dive Deeper

What ladder are you climbing?

This week I want to start off with some verses, we who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.” For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. Romans 15:1‭-‬7 These verses tell us how to be an example of Jesus, not for our glory, but for His glory. So much of today’s culture is to try to get to the top of the social and economic ladder to find happiness. But when we arrive we do not find happiness, we find that we are less happy than when we were at the bottom of the ladder. It is fine to be at the top of the ladder, but if you are trying to make that your life’s goal, then you will find that it is lonely at the top. Because we have been just trying to please ourselves and not trying to think of the needs of others and serving as Christ served us. But if we are always seeking to go higher up the ladder, then church will become a religious obligation instead of a rejuvenation of the fire within us. So this week let’s strive to break cultural trends and instead of seeking happiness from making our way up the ladder, we should see the needs of people around us. See if we can help them and shine the light of Jesus through helping others. Showing them that Jesus is still in control even with everything going on in today’s world. Also, this week let’s set an example to others of who Jesus is and not be a stumbling block on their way to Jesus. Be in the world, but not of the world.

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Ambassadors for Christ

This week I want to start off with some verses, So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.  Second Corinthians 5:16-‬20 This week I want you to think about the fact that we are ambassadors for Christ and that would make the Church the Embassy of Heaven. Every time we leave the church we are going into a land we don’t belong to, but we live there. So as you leave  your church this week , I want you to think about the fact that you are going ilnto a foreign land. Remember that  the verse says, God makes appeals through us, not because He cannot speak on His own behalf, but because He wants us to be His hands and feet.  These verses also say that we are to have a ministry of reconciliation and allow God to speak through us, so that He can expand His kingdom both here on earth and in Heaven. Another thing that stood out to me, was that we are not to address anyone from a worldly view. That means that everytime we talk to someone, we should think of them not as a friend or acquaintance, but as a chance to witness for Him. Because you know that one day this life will be over and you may not have another chance to share with them. So this week I want you to think about how you represent Him when you leave your church. This weekend think about the people who are with you and share your faith with them. If you don’t know Jesus, you can know Him today. All you have to do is admit that you are a sinner, believe that Jesus died on the cross for you, ask Him to forgive your sins and come into your heart to be the Lord of your life. If you have just become a believer the best thing you can do from here is find a local church and tell another believer about your decision.

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Who is your foundation

This week I want to start off with some verses, Jesus is “ ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’  Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:11‭-‬12  This year, for most of us, it has been a rough year. For some of us it feels like every time you come up for air a bigger wave hits you and takes you back down. Given all that has happened this year we can all still have faith in Christ and if we build our lives on Christ, no matter how big the waves are, we will not be shaken. Build your life on Christ, make Him the cornerstone of your life. You can choose to reject Jesus like the religious leaders did in Jesus’s day. But in these unsure times,  there is nothing better for you to do but, accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. It is the greatest gift you could ever accept. It is the one thing you can do that will save you from your sin and the consequences of your sin. In Jesus’s day, the foundation of the house would be rock. The cornerstone would be the biggest and most supportive stone of the foundation, but there were also many small rocks that helped hold the house up. You can help hold someone’s faith by supporting them in their walk with Jesus or by leading them to Him. When you’re around people you are either going to be building someone’s foundation or tearing their foundation down.  So this week I want you to make sure that Jesus is the cornerstone in your life. If He is, let’s think about our words and whether they build up people’s faith or tear their faith down.

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Seeking Jesus for the right reason

This week I want to start off with some verses,  Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick. Now when it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” But Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.”  They said to him, “We have only five loaves here and two fish.” And he said, “Bring them here to me.”  Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children. Matthew 14:13‭-‬21 This is a story that you have probably heard, if you have been in church for very long. I want you to think about the crowd who followed Jesus across the sea. There were probably one of four different reasons that these people were following Jesus.  Reason number one, they wanted Jesus to heal them, someone in their family or their friends. Reason number two, they thought He was the Messiah or a rabbi. Reason number three, they were interested in what Jesus had to say. Reason number four, they were doing it because they went with someone they knew or because they wanted to feel good about themselves. The ones who chased Jesus’s boat around the sea to  where He stopped and more that gathered with the crowd, were about 20,000. It is quite impressive that they followed Him that long and far. We don’t know how far it was but Jesus said “they had been with Him 3 days”. I want you to think about the 4 reasons that the people in the crowd followed Jesus. These are very similar reasons that we follow Jesus today or seek Him. We know He is the Savior, we may want something from Him and that is the only time we seek Him, we see the crowd and follow them or you are following because you are going through the motions. So this week I want you to think about which of these four reasons and ask yourself why are you  seeking Jesus? Do you seek Jesus only when you want something from Him.  Are you one in the crowd who doesn’t know Him but saw the crowd and gathered with them. Now you have a choice to make.  You have heard who Jesus is, your choices are in the words of C. S. LEWIS, He either was and is the Son of God, a liar or a lunatic. If  you want to  know Him today you can! If you want to know Him better you can read the Bible and pray to Him so you can know Him better. This week let’s seek Jesus not for what he can do for us but for what we can do for Him and His kingdom. Because the ultimate reason we were created was to draw others to Him and have communion with Him.

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Standing at a fork in the road

This week I want to start off with a verse, Thus says the Lord : “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way; and walk in it,  and find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’ Jeremiah 6:16 In this verse God is encouraging us to stop when we come to a crossroads in our lives, to pray and ask him for the good way. And if we are honest a lot us may find ourselves at a crossroad in our lives at this time, maybe you lost a job, have to be homeschooled, having to homeschool your kids, or having to pick between being safe or making a living or going to church. It also says in this verse to follow the ancient path, in this world that we live in, we are the most connected generation there  has ever been. We know what you ate for breakfast before you even take a bite, but in this connected world we are also so disconnected from everything and everyone around us. It also says, we should walk in the good way, which is the path God would have us take and find rest. In the past we used to be connected on another level not through a screen, but by sharing in each other’s lives, having dinner together,  spending time in each other’s homes and other daily activities that helped us get to know one another. In this life we all come to the point where we realize what death is and from that point on we are at a crossroads. Will you choose to take the path that God wants you to take that leads to eternal life and a life here that is more abundant? Or will you choose denial and not walk in it and deny the greatest gift ever given to us, the gift of being with God for eternity. So this week pray for guidance from God to make the right decision at the fork in the road. And if you don’t know Jesus you can pray and ask Him to forgive your sins and accept His free gift for you.

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Strength to share our faith

This week I want to start off with some verses, Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:16‭-‬20 In this passage Jesus is  telling us to go into all the world and make disciples. I don’t want you to laugh or stop reading or watching this, but I want you to think about a commercial most of us have seen, it is a Liberty Mutual commercial, one of the ones with the Limu Emu and Doug. Link for the clip is at the end of the blog. The commercials are Doug telling everybody about their insurance and then Limu Emu starts doing something weird that scares the people away, but not before Doug hands the person an insurance card. When I saw this commercial this week on tv it made me think, if we as Christians were as fervent as Doug is about insurance when we share the gospel, imagine how many people we could reach. But, if we were honest  most of us act more like emu than Doug when it comes to sharing the gospel. If we pray to God and pull strength from Him we can be bold with our faith. So this week think about who you act more like, Emu or Doug. So wherever you are social distancing or not pray and ask God for strength to share your faith.

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If Jesus can do the lowest task in the room so can we

This week I want to start off with some verses, Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.”  Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.”  Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet,  but is completely clean. And you  are clean, but not every one of you.”  For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”  When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you?  You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am.  If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.  For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.  Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant  is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.  If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.  I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’  I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he.  Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.” John 13:1‭-‬20 Jesus in this passage does the lowest task you could do, washing His disciples feet. The reason this would be the lowest task was because in this time transportation was by foot or by animal, so sandals and feces make stinky feet. In this time in the Middle East, when you ate you would be laying in a reclined position at a table and so people’s feet would be near other people’s faces. So it was very important for a guest’s feet to be washed.  Typically this task was done by a servant,  but God washed the feet of His disciples.  This is an example for us no matter who we are, we can do something for God and no matter what it is, if God calls you to do it, He will  empower you for the task. This week let’s listen to God to see what He wants us to do and ask others what we can do for them. Also, this week if you do this you will share the light of Jesus everywhere no matter the size of the task.

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God changes perspective through the storms

This week I want to start off with some verses, Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.  Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.  But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”  “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”   “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”  Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”  And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”  When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret.. Matthew 14:22‭-‬36 Have you ever been walking with someone and without thinking about it, you are in step with that person. In this passage as long as Peter kept his eyes on Jesus he would be able to walk on the water, just like Jesus was doing. In today’s world it is so easy to take our eyes off of Jesus and focus on the storm, whether the storm be Covid 19 or the protest and riots or something else going on in your life. But when we focus on Jesus, then you can see what He is doing throughout the storm and maybe during a storm He is holding you in His hand. But maybe during a storm He will give you a new perspective on how He wants you to know Him and what He wants you to do. So during this storm let’s get in God’s word so we can know what He wants us to do. During this storm lets see what He wants us to learn.  So this week let’s commune with God and see what He wants to do through this time in your life.

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Happy fathers day to our heavenly Father

This week I want to start off with some verses, Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons.  The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.   “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.  After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need.  So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs.  He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.   “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!  I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.  I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’  So he got up and went to his father.  “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.   “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’   “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.  Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate.  For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.   “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing.  So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on.  ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’   “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him.  But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.  But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’   “ ‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.  But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ ” Luke 15:11‭-‬32 This is a parable about no matter how far we go our heavenly Father will always be right there waiting for us. This is a very sad and wonderful story, where the son tells his father he wished he was dead so he could have his inheritance. And so his father sold off part of his land and cattle to give him  ⅓ of his entire wealth so the son could go and party and waste it all in a foreign land. But when the boy was at his lowest, he came to his father  and was accepted back in like nothing ever happened. Remember no matter what you have done and what happens He will still accept you and no matter where you stand with your earthly father this Father’s Day your heavenly Father will always accept you and show you love. So this week let’s take some time with our heavenly Father. 

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Love is the greatest of the theses

This week I want to start off with some verses, If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have to the poor, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but do not have love, I gain nothing.   Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;  it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.  So now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.  1 Corinthians 13:1 -‬13 With all that is going on in the world, all the protest and hate you can see when you turn on the tv, it’s not just now, there has always been a lot of hate and problems in this world since the fall. But it seems to me it’s been worse lately. Which is why I think we need to be reminded of the words spoken by the spirit through the Apostle Paul. I mean just read these verses, they could be so powerful  if we would earnestly look at them. He says basically if we do anything but do not have love, then it is like we have done nothing. He is saying even if I had the faith to move a mountain, but have no love, then I have done nothing. Love goes beyond even time, there was love before there was time and there will be love even after there is not time. So this week as we go throughout our daily lives let’s take time to show the love of Christ and remember that we are here to show the love of Jesus to others.