Victory Vitamin Blog – Matthew 10:7

“As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.’” 

Matthew 10:7 NIV 

Every now and then things happen in the world that cause people to wonder if it’s all coming to an end.  I’ve heard talk about it again recently.  When Jesus sent the apostles out to preach and perform miracles, He told them to preach that “the kingdom of heaven is near.”  Make no mistake, it is near, but before we worry about how near it is, let’s establish what it is.  What makes a kingdom a kingdom is that there is a king who rules it.  Our king is Jesus Christ.  The Bible calls Him “King of kings and Lord of lords”.  As Christians, we are living under His rule right now.  Through faith in Him, we are His subjects and we gladly subject ourselves to His will because we know He has our best interest in mind.  He proved it on the cross.  One day Christ will return to earth and on that day we will no longer be living in the earthly kingdom of Christ, we will be living the perfect, heavenly, eternal kingdom of our Lord.  The kingdom of heaven is near.  We live in the kingdom of Christ now and gladly carry out His will in this world.  “Soon”, Christ will return and usher in His eternal heavenly kingdom and it is for that day that we no wait, and pray.  Come quickly, Lord Jesus!  Amen.

Victory Vitamin Blog – Matthew 28:19

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,”

Matthew 28:19 NIV

These words are likely familiar to you.  They are among the last words of Jesus spoken to His disciples.  One might conclude then, that these words are of some significance.  Jesus chose to make these some of the last words His followers would hear Him speak.  I have to believe Jesus chose these Words at that time with good reason.  The mission is clear.  Jesus wants disciples made around the world and they are to baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  This coming Sunday is Trinity Sunday.  It’s a Sunday on which we try to explain the inexplicable and comprehend the incomprehensible.  I suggest then, that rather than try to comprehend, we just sit back in awe and amazement at who God is.  And remember that you have been baptized into that name, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  You are God’s family member now.  He redeemed you from sin and restored your once broken relationship with Him.  Why?  Because He loves you.  He loves you and has brought you into His name, His family, through Baptism.  It’s not that you WERE baptized, it’s that you ARE baptized.  You are a child of God who bears His name eternally.

Victory Vitamin Blog – Acts 1:8

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Acts 1:8 NIV

Certain words strike fear in the hearts of some.  I remember over a year ago when I found a mass in my neck and someone used the word “tumor”.  It didn’t sit well with me (It wasn’t a tumor, BTW).  Some people react like a deer in the headlights to the word “Witnessing”.  They get sweaty palms, their heart races and panic sets in.  It need not be that way.  A few things to consider.  God has empowered you to be a witness.  “YOU WILL RECEIVE POWER”, Jesus says.  The Holy Spirit lives in you and gives you power to witness.  You may be witnessing already and not know it!  So, you have the power.  To some extent, witnessing means just being who you already are.  You are a loved and forgiven child of God.  Live like it.  What does that kind of life look like?  Talk about how God impacts your life.  How His Truth guides you and His love and presence comfort you.  Live your faith.  Display love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control in your life.  Be compassionate, caring, lovey, not judgy.  Encourage people to read God’s Word for themselves.  You can’t reject something you know nothing about.  Encourage others to read the Gospel of Mark.  Challenge them come to a conclusion about Jesus.  Did Jesus really die and rise?  Is there life after death?  Ultimately our task is not to make others believe, our task is to tell them the Truth.  God is love.

Victory Vitamin Blog – 1 Peter 2:5

“you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

1 Peter 2:5 NIV

One large stone isn’t of much use, but a whole bunch of them can be used to build a wall or a house, or a fortress!  We’re told that we are being built up into a spiritual house.  God lives in that house and He empowers us to make spiritual sacrifices for the good of others.  The verse above goes on to remind us that Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of this spiritual house.  Good thing!  Without a solid foundation, the house won’t last long.  The spiritual sacrifices we make are very different from the sacrifices offered to God in the Old Testament.  These sacrifices require that we put others before ourselves, consider their needs before our own and both speak and act for the good of others.  Even though Christians are worshiping apart from each other right now.  We still are that spiritual house.  Each one a living stone empowered by God to love Him most, and love our neighbors as ourselves.

Victory Vitamin Blog – 1 Peter 2:21-23

“when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.”

1 Peter 2:21–23 NIV

It’s not fair!  I’ve gotta believe we’ve all said it.  We all believe we’ve been treated unfairly, or that life in all it’s twists and turns has dealt us more than our “fair” share of misfortune.  Different people have different ways of viewing and dealing with the concept and the application of fairness.  Author and speaker Steve Maraboli goes so far as to say, “The only thing that makes life unfair is the delusion that it should be.”  I don’t know.  Certainly, no guarantees have been made to us that life will be fair, but it also seems like something worth working for if, in fact, we can agree on what fairness is.  What seems to me to be unfair beyond dispute is the suffering and death of the perfect Son of God who was killed for crimes and sins He didn’t commit.  He teaches us how to come to terms with unfairness and He has set an example for us to follow.  (Please re-read the Scripture above from 1 Peter.) We may have options when it comes to responding to unfairness in our lives, but it will do us well to not forget what Jesus did when He was being treated unfairly.  “He entrusted himself to him who judges justly.”  Elsewhere, God’s Word cautions and comforts us by saying, Romans 12:19 NIV “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.”  Trust your loving heavenly Father.  It was through the unfair death of Jesus that our sins were paid for.  Give thanks for that act of unfairness and trust that God judges justly and has ensured that you will enjoy an eternity of peace and perfection with Him.