Monday, June 30, 2014

EXCUSES, EXCUSES!

                                            EXCUSES, EXCUSES!


The Bible says: “He (Jesus) said to another man, "Follow me." But he replied, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father." Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God." Still another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family." Jesus replied, "No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God." (Luke 9:59-62)


Note: Jesus was calling these men to follow Him, but they both had other priorities in their lives …Having their “EXCUSES” for NOT accepting the call to follow Him. Some may read these verses and think to themselves, what was going through the minds of these two men? If Jesus would have asked me to leave ALL and follow Him…I would have done it, without giving it a second thought. Is that so?  Jesus is calling people today… To FOLLOW Him, to SEEK Him, To LIVE for Him and to KEEP (Obey) His Commands…And still till this day people hesitate and have other priorities…And MANY excuses for not following Him, for not seeking Him, and not Obeying His commands. (Luke 6:46, Titus 1:16)

When we care more about what other people are going to think or feel about us living a devoted lifestyle to the Savior…Then we have to admit to ourselves that we don’t really love the Savior like we say we do… Jesus says that those that truly love Him will follow and obey His commands. (John 14:15, 21, 23-24, 1 John 2:3-6, 1 John 5:2-3) Amen! Jesus says: “…Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me IS NOT WORTHY OF ME.” (Matthew 10:38) Jesus also says: "NO ONE who puts a hand to the plow AND LOOKS BACK is fit for service in the kingdom of God." (Luke 9:62)

Some say, living the Christian life is too hard…It’s only hard because you have not surrendered your life completely to Jesus. The only people who have a problem living the Christian life are those who do not love Jesus and are still holding on to the world. Jesus says: NO ONE can serve two masters. Either you will “HATE” the one and “LOVE” the other, or YOU WILL BE DEVOTED TO THE ONE AND DESPISE THE OTHER.” (Matthew 6:24, Luke 16:13)

Note: We handed our lives over to Jesus the day we asked Him to come into our lives and hearts and become our Lord and Savior  So our lives are now crucified with the Savior and the life we now live in our bodies;  MUST BE lived for THE LORD. (Galatians 2:20) The Bible says:YOU ARE NOT YOUR OWN; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” (1 Corinthians 6:17, 19-20)

The BIBLE Says: "He (Jesus Christ) Replied, “My mother and brothers ARE THOSE WHO HEAR GOD'S WORD AND PUT IT INTO PRACTICE.” (Luke 8:21, 11:28) Amen! Jesus also says: "IN SAME WAY, THOSE OF YOU WHO DO NOT GIVE UP EVERYTHING YOU HAVE CANNOT BE MY DISCIPLES." (Luke 14:33) Amen!

Jesus says: …"Whoever wants to be my disciple “MUST DENY” themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, (Watch This…Don’t Miss It!)à but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, AND THEN HE WILL REWARD EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO WHAT THEY HAVE DONE.” (Matthew 16:24-27)



Remember, what Jesus has also told us...“MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO ENTER THROUGH THE NARROW DOOR, Because "MANY", I Tell You, Will Try To Enter AND WILL NOT BE ABLE TO." (Luke 13:24) Amen!

Note: Jesus said "MAKE EVERY EFFORT"NOT EXCUSES! Making every “effort” is what it will take for anyone who wants to enter Heaven. (Philippians 2:12, Hebrews 4:12-13)  If we truly love The Savior…”WE WILL MAKE EVERY EFFORT” and we will commit, devote and discipline ourselves to obey our Lord's commands and His teachings.

Friends, we MUST live daily as our Lord Jesus lived...It is what the BIBLE commands us to do! (1 John 2:3-6) Amen! OVER AND OVER AGAIN THE BIBLE ADMONISHES US "TO MAKE EVERY EFFORT" TO BE FOUND HOLY, BLAMELESS AND AT PEACE WITH JESUS WHEN HE RETURNS. (John 14:15, 21, 23-24, Hebrews 4:11-13, 14:12, 2 Peter 1:5-11, 2 Peter 3:14, 1 John 5:2-3)

How will we know what pleases the Lord? (Ephesians 5:10-11) Or how can we unlearn bad habits, worldly thinking, and worldly attitudes if we don’t spend time daily in the word of God?  The Bible tells us: “DO NOT CONFORM TO THE PATTERN OF THIS WORLD, (Watch This … Don’t Miss It!) àbut be transformed by the RENEWING OF YOUR MIND. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:1-2) Amen! Spending time with God daily, in Bible studies and prayers will remove all bad habits, worldly thinking, and worldly attitudes. Jesus says: “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36) Amen!

Remember, the Bible also says: “FOR WE MUST ALL APPEAR BEFORE THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST, so that each of us may receive what is due us FOR THE THINGS DONE WHILE IN THE BODY, whether good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5:10)

If we want to enter Heaven and receive a rich welcome into the kingdom of God…We have to stop with all the excuses and we MUST become doers of the word of God. (John 14:15, 21, 23-24, Luke 11:28, James 1:22, 1 John 2:3-6, 1 John 5: 2-3, 2 Peter 1:5-11)



Jesus has already given us the warning about this in the book of Matthew… NOT everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord,’ WILL ENTER THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, (Watch This…Don’t Miss It!)à but only the one WHO DOES the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!' (Matthew 7:21-23)

The Bible says: “This is what the LORD says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the LORD your God, WHO TEACHES YOU WHAT IS BEST FOR YOU, WHO DIRECTS YOU IN THE WAY YOU SHOULD GO.”  (Isaiah 48:17) Amen!

SO NO MORE EXCUSES … Because Jesus can help you, guide you, and teach you how to live the Christian life; but you will have to be willing to devote (Commit) yourself to Him DAILY. (Matthew 6:33)



The LORD Says: “…FOR WHO IS HE WHO WILL DEVOTE HIMSELF TO BE CLOSE TO ME?’ DECLARES THE LORD.” (Jeremiah 30:21) Amen!


GOD BLESS YOU ALL NOW & ALWAYS
YOUR FRIEND,
VICKY RIVERA





















 







Tuesday, June 17, 2014

HOW DEVOTED ARE YOU?


             

                              

                                   HOW DEVOTED ARE YOU?



 



Jesus says: “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” (Matthew 15:8, Mark 7:6, Isaiah 29:13)

 

How many times have we heard people say, that they are going to do something and they don’t do what they said, they were going to do? In the same way MANY people who claim to know and love Jesus don’t really mean it either. Paul has warned us to watch out for people like this and to not be deceive by what they say (We should be paying attention to their actions instead) …”By their “ACTIONS” they deny Him.” (Titus 1:16)  Just like Jesus has also said, These people honor me with their lips, BUT THEIR HEARTS ARE FAR FROM ME.” (Matthew 15:8, Mark 7:6, Isaiah 29:13)

 

At times some people say what they think is going to make them look good or honest, when they are saying whatever they are saying…But in their hearts, they are full of hypocrisy. (Matthew 23:28) We can fool a lot of people by the things we say, but we can NEVER fool God. Jesus says: “…You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, BUT GOD KNOWS YOUR HEARTS …” (Luke 16:15) Amen!

 

Note: Jesus says: Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ AND DO NOT DO WHAT I SAY?” (Luke 6:46)  Jesus is NOT looking for people who say nice things about Him…He’s looking for those individuals who will do what He says! Jesus says: “Blessed rather are those WHO HEAR THE WORD OF GOD AND OBEY IT.” (Luke 11:28, Psalm 128:1)  Don’t get me wrong…We should be saying nothing but wonderful things about our Savior, but more blessed are they who “OBEY” Jesus and “DO” what He says. Jesus is looking for individuals who are loyal, committed and devoted to Him. This is what Jesus says: If you hold (Keep/Obey) to my teaching, YOU ARE REALLY MY DISCIPLES.” (John 8:31, John 14:15, 21, 23-24) FRIENDS, OUR ACTIONS WILL ALWAYS SPEAK LOUDER THAN OUR WORDS.



READ CAREFULLY “THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER”-SEARCH YOUR HEARTS HONESTLY AND SEE WHAT KIND OF “SOIL” YOU ARE?

 

The parable of the sower:

 

"A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown." When he said this, he called out, "Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear." (Luke 5:5-8)

 

JESUS EXPLAINS "THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER":

 

Jesus said: “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: “When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. (Are you the 1st soil?)

 

The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.  (Are you the 2nd soil?)



The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. (Maybe this is where you at right now, the 3rd soil)



But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” (Are you the 4th soil?) …This is a person with a noble and good heart, who will be devoted/committed/obedient to the Savior NO matter what curve balls life throws at him / her?)  (Matthew 13:18-23, Mark 4:14-20, Luke 8:11-15)

 

Note:  If you have found yourself to be any other soil than the 4th soil…There’s still time to tell Jesus that you will be loyal, committed and, devoted to Him. Ask the Lord to help you, to teach you, how to be the good soil. Spending time with Jesus daily…Living our lives like our Savior instructed, will produce the kind of “good fruit” that Jesus is looking for in all of His followers.

 

Jesus says: "I am the vine; you are the branches. IF YOU REMAIN IN ME AND I IN YOU, (Watch This…Don’t Miss It!)à “YOU WILL BEAR MUCH  FRUIT”; APART FROM ME YOU CAN DO NOTHING. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” (John 15:5-8) Amen!

 

Note: Jesus Himself says that without Him…We will not bear the good fruit that He and God the Father are looking for in all his disciples. Friends, it is “SUPER” important that we stay close to Jesus (daily) in Bible studies and prayers. If we do this, then we will bear much fruit. Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit, He is our helper…Ask the advocate for help and He will help us, teach us and guide us-- in holy, righteous and godly living. (John 14:26, 16:13) The more we live for Jesus…The more we obey His commands and live by His teachings; the good fruits will automatically follow.  Just as Jesus has said, "IF YOU REMAIN IN ME AND I IN YOU, "YOU WILL BEAR MUCH  FRUIT”; APART FROM ME YOU CAN DO NOTHING.” (John 15:5)

 

Remember, what the Holy Scriptures say, that anyone that claims to know Jesus Christ “MUST” live as He lived. (1 John 2:3-6, John 14:15, 21, 23-24)

 

The Bible says this:

 
The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce “GOOD FRUIT” will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” (Matthew 3:10, Luke 3:9)

 

Note: For anyone that claims to know Jesus, to love Jesus but have “NO FRUITS” in their lives…Heaven will NOT be their home. READ it for yourself, Jesus says: “…If you DO NOT remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; SUCH BRANCHES ARE PICKED UP, THROWN INTO THE FIRE AND BURNED.” (John 15:6)

 

So according to Jesus and John the Baptist…Any tree (Anyone) that DOES NOT produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire…From the sounds of it, those individuals will not be going to heaven, but to hell instead.

 

Friends, we are too close to the return of Jesus Christ…To be found slacking in any area of our Christian lives. DO NOT become weary or lazy in your walk with the Lord….Seek Jesus daily, be a doer of God’s word daily. (James 1:22, 1 John 5:2-3)  We should be fervently and passionately seeking the kingdom of God and doing His will daily. (Matthew 6:33) We should be found watching and praying upon the Lord's return…Bearing godly fruits when Jesus returns for His spotless, blameless, holy bride.  Jesus already gave us the warning about being ready for HIS return…If he comes suddenly, DO NOT let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: 'Watch!' " (Mark 13:36-37)

 

Jesus gives the warning once again (The importance of doing daily what He has told us to do)…  “It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes.” … But suppose the servant says to himself, 'My master is taking a long time in coming,' and he then begins to beat the other servants, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk. (Watch This…Don’t Miss It!) à The master of that servant will come on a day when he DOES NOT expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. HE WILL CUT HIM TO PIECES AND ASSIGN HIM A PLACE WITH THE UNBELIEVERS (HELL). The servant who knows the master's will and DOES NOT GET READY OR DOES NOT DO WHAT THE MASTER WANTS WILL BE BEATEN WITH MANY BLOWS. But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. (Luke 12:37, 45-48)

 

The Bible says: "…Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices AS MUCH AS IN OBEYING THE LORD? TO OBEY is better than sacrifice, AND TO HEED is better than the fat of rams. For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.” (1 Samuel 15:22-23)

 

Jesus says: “In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.” (Luke 14:33)

 

Note: If we don’t make it to Heaven…It was not for the lack of warnings. The Bible tells us to live holy lives while waiting for our Savior’s return, to abstain from sinful desires, to be blameless and live righteously daily. It is a daily walk, my friends, an every day devotion and commitment in our part to the Savior. (Matthew 7:21-23, Matthew 13:40-42, Luke 11:28, John 5:14, 8:11, Romans Ch. 6, 2 Corinthians 6:9-11, Galatians 5:19-26, Ephesians Ch. 5, Colossians Ch. 3, Titus 2:11-13, Hebrews 12:14, 10:26-27, 2 Peter 3:11-14, Revelation 21:27)  

 

Note: The day that we asked Jesus to be the Lord and Savior of our lives (When we invited Him into our lives and hearts), at that very moment we surrendered our lives completely to Him…So the life we live now in the body belongs to Jesus. The apostle Paul tells it best…I have been crucified with Christ (Watch THIS…Don’t Miss It!)à  AND I NO LONGER LIVE, but Christ lives in me. THE LIFE I NOW LIVE IN THE BODY, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20, 1 John 2:3-6) Amen!



The Sovereign Lord says: Does a young woman forget her jewelry, a bride her wedding ornaments? Yet my people have forgotten me, days without number.” (Jeremiah 2:32)

 

Friends, Jesus is returning soon! Please be READY. Watch and Pray… “THE KING OF GLORY IS NEAR”!

 

Only you and GOD know, the answer to this question… “HOW DEVOTED ARE YOU... TO THE SAVIOR?”

 

GOD BLESS YOU ALL NOW AND ALWAYS,

YOUR FRIEND,

VICKY RIVERA