Victory Vitamin Blog – John 3:5

“I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.”

-John 3:5 NIV

 

Here’s the bad news.  By nature, because of our sin, we are spiritually dead.  The Good News is that the Holy Spirit makes us spiritually alive!  Jesus refers to it as being “born again”.  Jesus says we need to be born of water and the Spirit.  Baptism.  Perhaps you’ve heard people refer to themselves as “born-again Christians”, like they’re some kind of special class.  To call oneself a born-again Christian is redundant.  Everyone who believes that Jesus’ death on the cross paid the price for their sins has been born again.  If they hadn’t been born again, they wouldn’t believe.  They COULDN’T believe.  By nature we’re spiritually dead until the Holy Spirit revives us.   The Spirit comes to us through Baptism, and the Word of God.   So all who believe and are baptized are “born-again” Christians.  Live each day in the confidence that you’re spirit has been raised to life by the Holy Spirit, and as a result, one day your body will be raised to life to live eternally with Christ in heaven.

Victory Vitamin Blog – Acts 2:4

“All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” 

-Acts 2:4 NIV

 

Super Powers

What an epic event that must have been.  One minute you’re sitting in a room, chatting in Hebrew or Aramaic, the next you’re speaking a language you don’t even know.  Mind blown.  The Holy Spirit enabled the disciples to do that as a display of His power, and as a means of spreading the good news about Jesus.  The Holy Spirit is still imparting super powers to God’s people today.  Through the power of the Word, and through baptism, the Spirit gives gifts that enable us to do incredible things to make a difference in this world.  For starters, the Spirit enables us to believe that Jesus is our Savior from sin.  That faith changes everything.  Where the Spirit is, His fruit is.  Galatians 5 says the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.  Those are super powers that our world definitely needs.  The Spirit also empowers us to be Christ’s witnesses (Acts 1:8).  That power is super because it equips us to share with others what Christ has done, and the Spirit works through that witness to bring others to faith in Christ.  You may not feel like a super hero, but God has given you powerful the gifts of faith, love, and witness which will make a difference wherever you use them.  Happy Pentecost!

Victory Vitamin Blog – 1 John 5:13

“I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”

-1 John 5:13 NIV

 

 

I’ve heard it said, “Question everything.”  Can you imagine living that way?  Daily questioning whether the sun will come up, whether the bridge you’re driving on is safe, whether the food you’re eating has been poisoned?  That’s no way to live.  There are things we don’t need to question because God has given us His Word.  John wrote the letter of 1 John to Christians so that they WOULDN’T question their salvation.  God wants us to KNOW His love, to KNOW His forgiveness, and to KNOW that we are saved.  That’s why God’s Word is so clear on HOW we are saved.  John 3:16 tells us that whoever believes in Jesus will not perish, but have eternal life.  Faith that Jesus’ death on the cross paid for your sins gives eternal life.  No more, no less.  Faith in Jesus.  It’s the Holy Spirit who grants that faith (1 Corinthians 12:3) so even faith does not depend on us.  You can be certain of your salvation.  Your feelings don’t determine whether or not you’re saved.  The opinions of others don’t determine whether or not you’re saved.  God is not tallying up your good works to determine whether or not you’ve done enough to get into heaven.  Faith in Jesus.  Period.  Yes, the presence of the Spirit in our hearts does produce certain fruit in our lives, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, but these are NOT what saves us.  Faith in Jesus saves.  God has given you His Word, the Bible so that you may KNOW that you have eternal life.  You have eternal life!  If that doesn’t make your day, I don’t know what will.

Victory Vitamin Blog – John 15:17

“This is my command: Love each other.”

-John 15:17 NIV

 

One command?  That’s all?  Jesus gives many commands in the Gospels, but apparently this one is very high on the list.  How do you think most unbelievers view most Christians?  I think in an unfavorable light.  I think they think we act like holier-than-thou-know-it-alls.  Sadly, they may be right.  Let’s change people’s perceptions of who we are and what we do.  Let’s start by treating each other well.  Love your fellow Christians.  If we treat each other poorly why would anyone ever want to join us?  We’re family, we empathize, we share, we are kind.  Then we take the love we have for each other and share it with the people who don’t yet have a relationship with Jesus.  People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.  Jesus says, “Love your neighbor as yourself”.  He doesn’t say you have to agree with them or condone their behavior, He just says love them.  Imagine how people would react if we went out of our way to care about them, help them, and appreciate them!  God loves us in spite of our sin.  In fact, He died to pay for them.  Love others.  All others.  Why?  Because God does.  We love because He first loved us.  That’s why I love you!

Victory Vitamin Blog – 1 Thessalonians 4:18

“And so we will be with the Lord forever.  Therefore encourage each other with these words.”

-1 Thessalonians 4:18 NIV

 

The end.  One day time will end, life on earth will end.  The Judgment will take place and we will be with the Lord forever in heaven.  I’ve always wondered what we’ll do in heaven.  Will there be activities, trees, music?  Clearly I’m overthinking it.  I love how Paul describes it in the verse above.  He simply says, “And so we will be with the Lord forever.” That’s how the story ends. That’s it, and that’s all anyone needs to know.  We’ll be with the Lord.  Our peace and satisfaction won’t be determined by our surroundings, our joy won’t come from the wide array of activities.  We’ll be with the Lord, in person.  That will be our joy, our satisfaction and our peace.  So encourage each other in good times and bad with the certainty that in the end, all believers will be together with the Lord in a place that Jesus calls “paradise”.  Encourage each other with these words that remind us that this world is fleeting and the world to come is eternal.  One day all of this will end, but it truly will be just the beginning for those with faith in Christ.