Because He Lives

Today we began studying the book of Acts.  After the resurrection, Jesus appeared to His disciples to encourage and strengthen them.  He reminded His disciples what they must preach.  Luke 24:45-47, “Then He opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.  He told them, ‘This is what is written; The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.'”

Jesus told His disciples, “I am going to send you what my Father has promised.”  What did God promise?  One of our leaders said, “The Counselor.”  Just a sidebar… it is a blessing to see our leaders grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  God promised to send the Counselor, the Holy Spirit.  John 14:25-26, “All this I have spoken while still with you.  But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

Jesus blessed His disciples, then ascended into heaven.

We continue our journey with our Lord, beginning in Acts.  I asked the boys, “Who is the author of Acts?”  No one knew, which is one of the reasons why we study God’s word.  To teach us.  “The book of Acts was written to a man named Theophilus.  Where have we heard that name before?”  Luke 1:3, “Therefore since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.”  Acts was written by Luke.

Jesus told His disciples to wait until they received the gift of the Holy Spirit.  John baptized with water, but they will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.  We are baptized with water; it is a symbol of our rebirth.  Being baptized in water doesn’t save us.  We, too, are baptized by the Holy Spirit.  Titus 3:1-7, “Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.  At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures.  We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.  But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy.  He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.”

The Holy Spirit will convict us of sin, righteousness and judgment.  John 16:8-11, “When He comes, He will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.”

“The Holy Spirit gives us the power to go out into the world and preach the gospel.  Where?  Jesus told His disciples, “…and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”  For us… we will be His witnesses in San Bartolomé, and in all of Guatemala, and to the ends of the earth.”

And remember, He is with us always, to the very end of the age.

A dear brother in Christ, Beecher, was called home to be with Jesus.  When Candy told me, a wave of emotion overwhelmed me.  Last time I was back in Tennessee, I visited my friend, and it was just like old times.  Before I left, I prayed with him, and he gave an unexpected gift…a wall hanging of three nails, in the form of a cross. It was then wired to a wooden cross.  It was a special gift from a special friend.  It hangs on our wall here, and it is a constant reminder of what Jesus told Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life.  He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.  Do you believe this?”

I believe.  I believe my brother lives.  There is a song called “Because He Lives.”  It’s a song that comforts me. I know where Beecher is, and one day, I will be with him praising God.

“Because He lives I can face tomorrow

Because He lives all fear is gone

Because I know He holds the future

And life is worth the living just because He lives”

All His,

Lee and Candy

Take the easy way

There is a temptation to do things ourselves and there is a temptation to take the easy way. Luke 4:5-7 says, “If you will worship me I will give you all these things”. He was offering Jesus a kingdom without a cross. This is always the easiest way for us. We want something for nothing.

We have a “me” mentality that says I deserve more and I should get it whether I work or not. Why would Jesus go through all that suffering when He could have it for nothing? Sadly, I see young people today who want what it took years for their parents to accumulate. They desire to start marriage with an oversized house and multiple cars, etc.

I would not give anything for the first few years of my marriage. We lived in a small apartment that cost us $35 a month. We ate very little steak and dining out was out of the question. But those days seem to be my happiest days of memory.

When we build churches we do not hand them a check. The congregation must give a day a week to help the one paid block layer. They have to gather rocks in the streams to use in the concrete. This gives them ownership.

When we get it for nothing it means so much less.

Abortion and divorce are the easy way outs.

Do it myself

The reason the dollar is falling according to our banker is Trump’s deportation threats & Guatemalans in the USA are bailing out. Makes sense!

I bought Dottie a sofa and a love seat for her birthday. She still needs love at 74.

We are open on Wednesday Sept 13; Sunday the17th & the following Wednesday the 20th so we can drive from South Louisiana 500 miles in any direction should we get churches for those dates in a close proximity. Pray about it!

The new washer/dryer arrived today.

We need you to stand with us in prayer

 

When the devil came to Jesus after His baptism & recognition that He was God’s Son it was the first time in human history that Satan knew who He was. Ever sine Cain killed Abel Satan had tried to kill descendants of Adam & Eve to stop the Word given to Eve in the garden.

He tempts Jesus with 3 lies and it shows our own three temptations in life. When he told Jesus to turn the rocks into bread that was the TEMPTATION TO DO IT OURSELVES. Since Jesus had the power to turn the rocks into bread this was a very real temptation.

There are things that you and I can do but are not always God’s will. Being smart or talented or capable can be a huge problem if we do something on our own but it is not within the will of God for us. We do it like this because we really do not trust God.

Satan came when Jesus was alone and that is when you and I are most vulnerable. You and I are very weak when we are do-it-our selfers”.

More tomorrow

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