For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us.
I'm telling you to love your enemies and do good to them. Lend to people without expecting to get anything back. If you do these things, you will have a great reward. You will be children of the Most High (God). Yes, because God is good even to the people that are full of sin and not thankful.
While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it's not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." — Jesus, Matthew 6:19-21 NRSV
Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. Philippians 2:14-16 ESV
For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord,
my confidence since my youth.
From birth I have relied on you;
you brought me forth from my mother’s womb.
I will ever praise you.
I have become a sign to many;
you are my strong refuge.
My mouth is filled with your praise,
declaring your splendor all day long. Psalm 71:5-8 NIV
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
But for you who welcome him [the Spirit of Christ], in whom he dwells — even though you still experience all the limitations of sin — you yourself experience life on God's terms. It stands to reason, doesn't it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he'll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ's! — Romans 8:10-11 MSG
For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God's children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God's glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering. Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. Romans 8:16-18 NLT
As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children-- with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts. Psalm 103:15-18
"The love of the Lord is forever with the faithful and the righteousness of the Lord is with their descendants. Beloved, be faithful to the Lord and his word. Be faithful." — Pastor Gregory A. Johnson, founder of LovingGodFellowship.org
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2
"Make this your prayer today: 'Heavenly Father, renew my mind as I read your Word and keep my eyes focused on your Son. As I make decisions, help me discern your will as declared in your Word and by your Son, Jesus. Amen.'" — Pastor Gregory A. Johnson, founder of LovingGodFellowship.org
Life can be very challenging at times. Stress, panic, and fear threaten to destroy minds and bodies as people struggle to make it from day to day. Watch as Pastor Gregory A. Johnson describes the one reason why you made it through the night and how you will make it through any crises that come your way.
So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.
"Jesus set us free from the Old Testament law, giving us a new commandment of love — loving God and loving one another. Love God with everything you have and love others as Jesus loves you. It is how you stay free." — Pastor Gregory A. Johnson, founder of LovingGodFellowship.org
"Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing." — Jesus, John 15:15
"Christ-followers depend on the one they follow, finding in him all that they need, staying connected with him, realizing that it is Jesus at work within and through them, doing good." — Pastor Gregory A. Johnson, founder of LovingGodFellowship.org
[Jesus] unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.” Luke 4:17-19
"His mission is defined by Scripture. His focus is on the marginalized. His anointing is by the Holy Spirit. Jesus comes into our world, calling us to follow him." — Pastor Gregory A. Johnson, founder of LovingGodFellowship.org
God has called us to live holy lives, not impure lives. 1 Thessalonians 4:7
"It is not optional. We are called to it. In these times of disregard for Scripture, we can do it. God never calls us to do what cannot be accomplished. As we follow Jesus, relying on the Holy Spirit he deposits within us, we live holy lives." — Pastor Gregory A. Johnson, founder of LovingGodFellowship.org
Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he said, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" He said to him, "What is written in the law? What do you read there?" He answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself." And he said to him, "You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live." Luke 10:25-28
"Jesus sums up that the life of a Christ-follower is all about love, loving God with your whole being and loving others as yourself. This is the fruit of a genuine Christ-follower. According to Jesus, they will inherit eternal life." — Pastor Gregory A. Johnson, founder of LovingGodFellowship.org
Thus says the Lord, who makes a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters, “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
Isaiah 43:16, 18-19
"Pray for your needs, knowing that the Lord will make a way for you. Don’t dwell on past failures and mistakes. Pray, expecting a bright future. It may not be in your timing nor the way you imagine, but the Lord is making a way. Follow him." — Pastor Gregory A. Johnson, founder of LovingGodFellowship.org
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. — James 1:27
"We are to live and love as Christ did. Following Jesus, walking in holiness, helping those at their point of need, touching those who are often forgotten and overlooked, we are to live for Jesus. That is what being a Christ-follower is all about." — Pastor Gregory A. Johnson, founder of LovingGodFellowship.org
Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:4-5
"Jesus has done more for us than we think we deserve. He believes in us more than we do. He sees our bright future while we focus on present woes. He knows we are created in God's image while we see ourselves and others as less. Jesus loves us." — Pastor Gregory A. Johnson, founder of LovingGodFellowship.org
[ Fulfilling the Law Through Love ] Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. Romans 13:8
"It is all about Love. God loves us so much, he came into our world — Jesus lived as our example, died for our sins, was resurrected, and gives us eternal life. We live to follow Christ, fulfilling God's word as we love others." — Pastor Gregory A. Johnson, founder of LovingGodFellowship.org.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28
"God brings peace out of chaos, joy out of sorrow, strength out of weakness, endurance out of weariness — he never fails his children who love him. While we are busy with life, he is resting in what he has prepared for us. God is good to us." — Pastor Gregory A. Johnson, founder of LovingGodFellowship.org
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:8-9
"We all are sinners, but Jesus has given us his spirit, the Holy Spirit, to help us with our sin problem. So, we have supernatural help available to us and the power of confession. As we confess our sins to Jesus, he not only forgives, but he also cleanses us from all unrighteousness. Thank you, Jesus!" — Pastor Gregory A. Johnson, founder of LovingGodFellowship.org
You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.
"Life brings ups and downs, good times and bad times. As you follow Christ, you can rest assured that he will give you direction when you don’t know where to turn, he will bless you with his presence even when others shun you, and you can look forward to living with him forever." — Pastor Gregory A. Johnson, founder of LovingGodFellowship.org #ThankYouJesus
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Ephesians 3:20
"As we follow Christ, he makes us more like him. That's our desire—to become more like Jesus. He does this work by his spirit that he deposits within us. It is finished when we leave this earth, becoming more than we can ever imagine or have prayed. The glory is his alone." — Pastor Gregory A. Johnson, founder of LovingGodFellowship.org
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in God's word I hope. Psalm 130:5
"Because I believe God’s word, I wait. Because I long for Jesus to come, I wait. Instead of wishing for, I fully expect God to keep his promises. It keeps me going when I no longer want to go, during the times I think I can wait no longer. I wait." — Pastor Gregory A. Johnson, Founder of LovingGodFellowship.org
My lips will shout for joy when I sing praises to you; my soul also, which you have rescued. Psalm 71:23
"Thinking of all the Lord has rescued me from, despite my strong-headed stubbornness and spouts of selfish ambition especially when young, ushers joy into my praise. Joy replaces regrets, realizing God has been in control all along, molding and shaping this clay into a vessel for his presence. Rejoice, Beloved, rejoice. God has rescued you!" — Pastor Gregory A. Johnson, founder of LovingGodFellowship.org.
In [God's] hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of every human being. Job 12:10 NRSV
"Every living thing is the result of God's work. He has created life all around us, giving us the task of stewardship, taking proper care of all life—plant, aquatic, animal, human. May we tend to his creation as he has commanded and be quick to confess and repent when we fall short." — Pastor Gregory A. Johnson, founder of LovingGodFellowship.org
I lie down and sleep; I wake again, for the Lord sustains me.
"There is one reason why you made it through the night—the Lord sustains you. Your hope rests on it getting better for you, but the good news is that the Lord is here with you now, loving you, caring for you, healing you, and saving you." — Pastor Gregory A. Johnson, founder of LovingGodFellowship.org.
There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the LORD.
"Evil does not win. It never has, and it never will. It thrives in the fear that it breeds. Do not allow it place in your day or life. Stay focused on Jesus, following him. He assures your victory today and every day as you follow him." — Pastor Gregory A. Johnson, founder of LovingGodFellowship.org.
Jesus told him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me."
"Jesus is relevant to your day today. He gives direction, never steering you wrong. He speaks the truth while others deceive, saying what they think you want to hear. He gives life, both abundant and eternal. Follow Jesus today; he will lead you to the Father." — Pastor Gregory A. Johnson, founder of LovingGodFellowship.org.
But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died. For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead has also come through a human being; for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ.
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (ESV). — Jesus
For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs (NLT).
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure (NLT).
But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive (ESV).
For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God (ESV).
In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit. — Albert Schweitzer
Without God, life has no purpose, and without purpose, life has no meaning. Without meaning, life has no significance or hope. ... The greatest tragedy is not death, but life without purpose. — Rick Warren
The Kingdom includes love, grace, peace, and life with race equality, gender equality, health equality, and economic equality for all. Is this list of Kingdom attributes exhaustive? No, but it is a start, and it is based on the teachings and the life of Christ. — Gregory A. Johnson
Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through [God] who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (NRSV).
It is to no purpose to boast of Christ, if we have not an evidence of His graces in our hearts and lives. But unto whom He is the hope of future glory, unto them He is the life of present grace. — John Owen
When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. Because of his grace he declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life (NLT).
Do not be discouraged at your faults; bear with yourself in correcting them, as you would with your neighbor. Lay aside this ardor of mind, which exhausts your body, and leads you to commit errors. Accustom yourself gradually to carry prayer into all your daily occupations. Speak, move, work, in peace, as if you were in prayer, as indeed you ought to be. -- François Fénelon
Under dark skies with the wind blowing wildly, causing the waves to be hurricane-like in size and strength, they were all together in the boat. Their pulses raced with anxiety. Fear was on the verge of overpowering and overwhelming them as they frantically tried steering the vessel through the madness and the fierceness of the raging sea. They would row in one direction only to have to row in the other direction as the unrelenting, powerful winds were swirling all about them. The spray was stinging their eyes, and the waves were lapping up over the sides of the boat. The boat was taking on water, and the question of survival was racing through their minds. It was the storm of a lifetime, and they could not rely on any past experiences or self-ability to get them through it.
But you, dear friends, carefully build yourselves up in this most holy faith by praying in the Holy Spirit, staying right at the center of God's love, keeping your arms open and outstretched, ready for the mercy of our Master, Jesus Christ. This is the unending life, the real life!
Not just during the Easter season, but each day, we are confronted with the cross of Christ and the empty tomb. What do they mean? Why are they so significant?
In the 1800's Ralph E. Hudson wrote the chorus to the sacred hymn, At the Cross: "At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, and the burden of my heart rolled away. It was there by faith I received my sight, and now I am happy all the day!"
At the cross, we realize how much God loves us (Romans 5:8).
At the cross, we are justified and saved from God’s wrath (Romans 5:9).
At the cross, we are reconciled to God (Romans 5:10).
At the cross, we experience forgiveness of sins (Luke 23:34).
All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law." Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, "The righteous will live by faith."
The old way, with laws etched in stone, led to death, though it began with such glory that the people of Israel could not bear to look at Moses' face. For his face shone with the glory of God, even though the brightness was already fading away. Shouldn't we expect far greater glory under the new way, now that the Holy Spirit is giving life?
I’ll give you a new heart, put a new Spirit in you. I’ll remove the stone heart from your body and replace it with a heart that’s God-willed, not self-willed. I’ll put my Spirit in you and make it possible for you to do what I tell you and live by my commands.
It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God. He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant. This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life.
I am thankful that we are one day closer to the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. Media has utilized the date-setting false prophets of our day to desensitize society to the reality of the return of Christ, but that does not negate its truth. I feel the Holy Spirit compelling me, more and more, to remind people that Christ is returning as he promised, and we are to always be ready.
So many in our day, both inside and outside the walls of the church building, base what is right from wrong on what feels good, what is socially acceptable, what media and Hollywood suggests, instead of on Scripture. They are not hearing much different coming from behind the pulpits, and they are not reading the Bible on their own. Many go to church and only hear about receiving God's blessings. This bless-me-and-all-that-I-do message mimics many of the books written today by popular television preachers. Continue Reading >>
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