Romans – The Gospel of God (Part 11)

SAMSUNG“Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 1:1-3

God has made many promises to people through the centuries, most of them through His spokespeople (prophets). God’s promises were often in the form of future blessings. He promised blessings to Noah and his descendants – “So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.” (Genesis 9:1) He promised blessings to Abraham and his descendants – “I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:2-3)

So, what does this have to do with Jesus? Everything! All spiritual blessings flow through Jesus. That’s what the prophets foretold.

Continue reading “Romans – The Gospel of God (Part 11)”

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Jesus Christ Is — ??

Jesus

The world knows very little about Jesus Christ. Hundreds of millions of people have never even heard His Name. Not so different than when Jesus walked with men and women on earth. Those who had heard of Him had different ideas about the true identity of Jesus.

“When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, ‘Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?’ So they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter answered and said, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 16:13-17

People living in Israel 2,000 years ago did not have television, they didn’t have the Internet, they didn’t have radio newscasts, they didn’t have daily newspapers, they didn’t have iPhones, they didn’t text each other, they didn’t have faxes, they didn’t have Twitter or Facebook, blogs or forums. They learned about people and things by hearing it from others or seeing it for themselves. People living during the time of Jesus who knew about Him had either seen Him in person or heard people talking about Him. Who was this Miracle Worker, this Healer of all sickness, this Preacher of righteousness, this troublemaker? Some people thought He was John the Baptist come back from the dead. Some thought He might be Elijah or Jeremiah or another prophet sent from God. People were willing to believe that Jesus was a prophet of God, even one back from the dead, but they didn’t accept that He was the promised Messiah of God. Jesus listened to His disciples’ answers, then posed another question to them — a question we need to ask ourselves, “But who do you say that I am?”

The world is not going to get the answer right. Those who do know about Jesus may be willing to believe that He was a good man, a teacher of good things, even a prophet, but they aren’t willing to believe He is Who He says He is. If they believe Who Jesus says He is, they have to make a life-or-death decision. Will they repent of their sins, trust Christ’s death as payment of the penalty for their sins, and receive Christ as their Lord and Savior? Or continue in their sin until they die and face Jesus as their Heavenly Judge?

Jesus cares very much what His followers believe about Him. “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered Jesus’ questions and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Peter got it! He understood that Jesus was far more than what the world believed about Him. And where did Peter get this amazing insight? “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.” God revealed the truth about Jesus to Peter and the Lord blessed him.

That’s what God does. He reveals His Truth about His Son to everyone who will listen and follow. We are in agreement with our brother Peter centuries ago. Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. When people ask us who is this Jesus we love, we tell them Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. He is more than a great teacher, more than a good man, more than a great leader. He is The Christ, the Son of the Living God!

That is our answer.

In Christ’s Love and Grace,

Mark McGee

GraceLife Ministries

“Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

Journey Of A New Life

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Being born again (born spiritually, from above) is just the beginning of a great journey we call Christianity. It begins with God working in our hearts and minds to draw us (elkuse – attract) to Christ (John 6:44). We hear the Gospel of God’s Grace, believe it, ask God’s forgiveness, receive Christ as Lord and Savior, and are spiritually born. The Apostle Paul used the word born to describe what happened to him spiritually (1 Corinthians 15:8). The Apostle Peter told the believing Jews that it had happened to them (1 Peter 2:23). The Apostle John also used the word when describing those who believed in Christ (1 John 5:1).

When I received Christ as my Lord and Savior, hundreds of spiritual things happened to me, maybe more. It’s just like the newborn baby who is ushered into the world from his or her mother’s warm and safe womb. The baby is alive and a miracle of God’s design. Parents and grandparents make a big fuss over the little bundle of joy. What does the newborn do? Cry and demand to be fed and changed and clothed and warmed. Babies are very demanding, but that’s what’s natural for them to do. The baby doesn’t know he/she is part of a bigger family. He doesn’t understand what just happened to him. She doesn’t know whether her parents are rich or poor. She doesn’t have any idea of what’s going to happen to her. All she knows is what she feels, sees, hears, smells and tastes. Sensations are a baby’s life.

It’s the same with a person who is born from above. They respond to things that happen around them based on new sensations. I remember the  hearty handshake and holy hug I received from Terry Lytle after I prayed in his office to receive Christ. I remember my mother’s tears and hugs when I told her I had received Christ as my Lord and Savior. I remember attending church and Bible studies. I can’t recall the words, but I remember feeling loved and accepted by fellow Christians. I remember a lot of things from my first days, weeks and months as a Christian, most of them sensations.

How does a newborn grow? They drink milk. It’s the same in the spiritual world.

“Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.”

1 Peter 2:1-3

Peter is telling the Jewish believers scattered throughout the world that they need to get back to basics and desire the pure milk of the Word.  The word desire (epipothesis) means an “earnest longing, desire for something or someone”. The word pure (adolos) means “without guile, without fraud and deceit, sincere”. The word milk (gala) is used both literally and metaphorically in the Bible. It carries the idea of “rudimentary spiritual teaching”. Peter said the believers should lay aside all malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, and desire the pure basic spiritual teachings of Christ. Paul used the word in 1 Corinthians 3:2 when he told Christians in the church at Corinith that he had fed them with milk and not solid food because they were still carnal (sarkikos – fleshly, sensual).

Babies start out as babies, but that’s not where they finish. Our goal as Christians is just like the goal every parent has for their children: to grow and mature. Newborn babies grow into infants and eventually into young children who can feed themselves, bathe themselves, dress themselves, clothe themselves, and warm themselves. They start on a diet of mother’s milk, but are eventually weened from that milk to eat solid food. That’s what Paul expected from the Corinthians. They should have been a lot further along in their spiritual development. Just as parents express concern about a child who is not developing naturally, Christians should be concerned when they see a believer who is not developing spiritually.

Spiritual growth is a major part of our journey here on earth, just like the natural journey we have as physical beings. We need to eat, drink, exercise, rest, think, read, discuss, share, play, dream, and plan spiritually, just as we do physically. Look at some of what God wants us to know about being His spiritual children. You’ll find a wealth of insight into your faith in these verses.

“The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.” Romans 8:16-17

“When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” 1 Corinthians 13:11

“Brethren, do not be children in understanding; however, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature.” 1 Corinthians 14:20

“Now for the third time I am ready to come to you. And I will not be burdensome to you; for I do not seek yours, but you. For the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.” 2 Corinthians 12:14

“Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise.” Galatians 4:28

“… that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—” Ephesians 4:14-15

“Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.” Ephesians 5:1-2

“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.” Ephesians 5:8

“Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.” Ephesians 2:14-16

“But we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children. So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us …. as you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children.” 1 Thessalonians 2:7-8, 11

How amazing is our life! Tomorrow, we’ll look at who we are and what we have as children of the Almighty God.

Blessings!

Mark McGee

GraceLife Ministries

Holy Resolutions For The New Year

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Holy Resolution #3

Ministry

Our third Holy Resolution for the new year is to be involved in ministries that present the saving Grace of Christ and build up the people of God. The word “ministry” comes from two Greek words, diakonia and leitourgia. Diakonia is the office and work of a diakonos (minister, deacon, servant). Leitourgia was used for sacred service performed by priests and is also used for the service Christians perform for each other.

Here are some examples from the NKJV that show the diversity of the use of the words.

Diakonia

“But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, ‘Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” Luke 10:40

“And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples (altogether the number of names was about a hundred and twenty), and said, ‘Men and brethren, this Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus; for he was numbered with us and obtained a part in this ministry … And they prayed and said, ‘You, O Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which of these two You have chosen to take part in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.’ And they cast their lots, and the lot fell on Matthias. And he was numbered with the eleven apostles.” Acts 1:15-17,24-26

“Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” Acts 6:3-4

“And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem when they had fulfilled their ministry, and they also took with them John whose surname was Mark.” Acts 12:25

“But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” Acts 20:24

“On the following day Paul went in with us to James, and all the elders were present. When he had greeted them, he told in detail those things which God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry.” Acts 21:18-19

“For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them.” Romans 11:13-14

“Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.” Romans 12:6-8

“Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in prayers to God for me, that I may be delivered from those in Judea who do not believe, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, that I may come to you with joy by the will of God, and may be refreshed together with you.” Romans 15:30-32

“There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-6

“I urge you, brethren—you know the household of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves to the ministry of the saints— that you also submit to such, and to everyone who works and labors with us.” 1 Corinthians 16:15-16

“But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away, how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious? For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory. For even what was made glorious had no glory in this respect, because of the glory that excels. For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious.” 2 Corinthians 3:7-11

“Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart.” 2 Corinthians 4:1

“Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5:18-19

“We give no offense in anything, that our ministry may not be blamed.” 2 Corinthians 6:3

“For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely willing, imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.” 2 Corinthians 8:3-4

“Now concerning the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you; for I know your willingness, about which I boast of you to the Macedonians, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal has stirred up the majority … For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God, while, through the proof of this ministry, they glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal sharing with them and all men, and by their prayer for you, who long for you because of the exceeding grace of God in you.” 2 Corinthians 9:1-2, 12-14

“Did I commit sin in humbling myself that you might be exalted, because I preached the gospel of God to you free of charge? I robbed other churches, taking wages from them to minister to you.” 2 Corinthians 11:7-8

“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” Ephesians 4:11-13

“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.” 1 Timothy 1:12-13

“But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:5

“I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first.” Revelation 2:19

Leitourgia

“And the people waited for Zacharias, and marveled that he lingered so long in the temple. But when he came out, he could not speak to them; and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple, for he beckoned to them and remained speechless. So it was, as soon as the days of his service were completed, that he departed to his own house.” Luke 1:21-23

“Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all … Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness, and hold such men in esteem; because for the work of Christ he came close to death, not regarding his life, to supply what was lacking in your service toward me.” Philippians 2:17, 29-30

“But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.” Hebrews 8:6

“For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, ‘This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you.’ Then likewise he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry. And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.” Hebrews 9:19-22

Ministry is the work of serving others. It’s about meeting the immediate and long-range needs of people. Jesus did it, Peter did it, John did it, James did it, Paul did, Christians all over the world have done it for almost 2,000  years. Ministry is something God has called every Christian to do. Being involved in ministry is like breathing; it’s a vital part of our life.

Paul made that clear when he explained the simplicity of salvation: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:8-10) We are God’s workmanship and created us in Christ Jesus for “good works” (agathois ergois).

Ergois is our work, employment, task, enterprise, deeds, actions, ministries. We are God’s “good work” and He has given us the task of doing “good works” for Jesus and others. In fact, we were “created” in Christ Jesus for the express purpose of doing good works! Good works was not an afterthought for God. He always intended that “good works” would be part of our faith-walk. We are saved by grace through faith with a view toward the accomplishment of good works that God intended for us to do as part of His amazing plan for our life. Wow!

If you’re already involved in serving others for the glory of Christ, enjoy another great year of ministry! However, if you’re not involved in service, let’s take a look at how to get started.

Paul explained the ministry process beautifully in 1 Corinthians 12:

“There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-6

Notice the path of service:

  1. diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit
  2. differences of ministries, but the same Lord
  3. diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all

What Paul shows us here is how the Triune God is involved in our service. The Spirit gives the various spiritual gifts (charismaton – gifts of grace), Jesus gives the different ministries (diakonion – service), and the Father gives us all the activities (energematon – power) we need to accomplish His purpose for the “good works” He created us to do.

God is so wonderful! Everything comes from Him. He chose us from before the creation of the world (Ephesians 1:4) and part of that choice included our spiritual gifts, ministries and the power to accomplish God’s purposes within our service to Him and others. God will reveal His will for us clearly as we look to Him for guidance.

First, look at the lists of spiritual gifts in the Bible (1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12 and Ephesians 4) and see which ones God has given to you. Talk with Christians who are busy in ministry and ask them how they discovered their spiritual gifts. Your spiritual gifts are often well-suited to your personality and interests. Remember, God created us in Christ Jesus for good works, “which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” God knew everything about you before you were born. It’s no surprise that so many Christians are good at what they do. God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Our personal interests and physical and mental abilities usually go well with the spiritual gifts God gives us. Also, look for people in your church who God is using in ministry who have similar spiritual gifts to yours. Ask to spend time with them, learn from them, see what goes into using the particular gifts you have for the glory of God.

Second, look at the many examples of ministries in the Bible and in the church today. There are so many ways we can serve God and others. We can minister to people in our family, our neighborhood, our church, our school, our workplace, our government, our armed forces, etc. Truck drivers have ministries to truck drivers. Martial artists have ministries to martial artists. Computer programmers have ministries to computer programmers. Entertainers have ministries to entertainers. Inmates have ministries to inmates. Moms have ministries to moms. Dads have ministries to dads. Kids have ministries to kids. Seniors have ministries to seniors. And the list goes on and on. There is no end to the creative ways we can minister. If you can imagine it, you can do it, with God’s help.

Third, look to God for the power to minister. The Greek word energematon comes from energeia, which is used in the Bible for the power of God to accomplish great and mighty things. It’s the word used in the resurrection of Jesus Christ (“and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.” Ephesians 1:19-21). It’s the word used for the power of Jesus Christ in subduing all things to Himself (“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.” Philippians 3:20-21).

This is a stunning statement in light of what God will do through us as we use our spiritual gifts in creative ministries. He will use His miraculous energy and power to bring about eternal results through our efforts. We are not strong, but He is mighty to conquer!

Resolve this coming year to use your spiritual gifts to serve God and others and look to the Lord for the mighty working of His power in your ministry to accomplish great things for God.

In Christ’s Love and Grace,

Mark McGee

GraceLife Ministries


Why Jesus Was Born Of A Virgin

Merry Christmas! This is the day millions of people around the world remember the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. But why did God’s Son need to be born? His existence is from “everlasting to everlasting.” Christ is Eternal. He is All-Powerful and All-Knowing. Why would He need to lower Himself to become like one of His own creatures?

Continue reading “Why Jesus Was Born Of A Virgin”

The Passion of Faith (Pt 2)

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The Christian Church is on the verge of something beyond our comprehension. The Bible tells us about it and gives us many examples of it, but will we acknowledge it in time to make a difference? The Body of Christ around the world needs to be filled with holy passion for the challenges ahead.

Three of the men Jesus Christ used to build a powerful army of faith soldiers are the Apostles Peter, John and Paul. Take a closer look at the passion they had to accomplish the great things God called on them to do.

The Passion of Peter

“Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb. So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed.”

“Wherefore gird up the loins of your minds, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

“Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praise of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”

“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.”

“Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge, temperance; and to temperance, patience; and to patience, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

The Passion of John

“That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.”

“Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God; therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.”

“I rejoiced greatly that I have found some of your children walking in truth, as we received commandment from the Father. And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning: that we love one another. This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.”

“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”

“For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”

The Passion of Paul

“God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”

“For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or war? … Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.”

“I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…that He would grand you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.”

“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”

“Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might, PUt on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, aginst the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

“Do all things without murmurings and disputings: that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain.”

“Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly loved…Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.”

“That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death.”

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.”

“For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness.”

“Follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.”

“God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

“Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus…Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.”

“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

“Flee youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, love, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”

“I am ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.”

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men. Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.”

“We preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.”

“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be manifest in our body.”

“In all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in watchings, in fastings, By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by love unfeigned, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report: as deceiver, and yet true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.”

“Unto me who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; and to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ.”

What I read in all these verses is PASSION!

David, Jesus, Peter, John, Paul — they all had Passion — Passion for God, Passion for Knowledge, Passion for Ministry, Passion for People, Passion for Righteousness.

We have a great challenge ahead of us. We will need Passion and God’s Power to accomplish the great goals God has for us in the coming years. Remember that God’s Passion lives “in” us. Christ is “in” us and we are “in” Christ. Our Passion is Christ!

In Christ’s Love and Grace,

Mark McGee

GraceLife Ministries