Victory Vitamin Blog – Galatians 4:4

“But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son,”

Galatians 4:4  NIV

 

I don’t know what that means.  “When the time had fully come”.  I mean, I comprehend what is being said, but it doesn’t help me understand the timing.  It’s like saying, “When the appointed time arrived”.  But I don’t know what that appointed time is until it arrives.  Working on God’s timetable can be very frustrating.  God has perfect timing.  Why did He send Jesus into the world 2,000 years ago, and not last week?  Because the time had fully come.  Only God knows.  I once read that God’s timing is as important as God’s will.  In other words, when it happens is as important as what happens.  I think most of us assume sooner is better but through faith we leave that up to God and His timing is perfect.  We know we can trust His timing in everything because when the time had fully come for Jesus to come into the world, things went exactly as they were supposed to.  Jesus died and rose so we could have forgiveness and eternal life.  We may not know when God’s will is going to be done, but whenever it happens, it will be done at the perfect time.

Victory Vitamin Blog – John 8:57-58

“’You are not yet fifty years old, and you have seen Abraham!’ ‘I tell you the truth,’ Jesus answered, ‘before Abraham was born, I am!’”

John 8:57–58  NIV

This Sunday is Trinity Sunday.  Christians are monotheists, which means we believe in one God.  One, not three.  And yet that one God reveals Himself in the Bible as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  It’s beyond comprehension, but then again I would expect God to be beyond my comprehension.  The member of the Trinity that gets the most scrutiny is Jesus.  Many claim that Jesus isn’t God.  Jesus claimed that He is.  In the verse above He says that He existed before Abraham, and by saying “I am!”  He was saying that He’s always existed.  In the Old Testament, God told Moses to tell Pharaoh that “I Am” had sent him.  Now Jesus drops the same name, and the Jews knew exactly what He was saying.  They wanted Jesus dead because they thought He was blaspheming.  But Jesus is God.  Conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus tells us to honor Him the same way we honor the Father.  (John 5:22-23)  Jesus says, “I and the Father are one.”  (John 10:30)  Jesus had to be God in order for His death on the cross to mean anything.  As a human, Jesus’ death would have done nothing for us, but as The Perfect God/Man, Jesus’ death paid the price for all sins, and His resurrection means eternal life for all who believe.  Be at peace, your salvation is secure.  Jesus is God!

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

This coming Sunday is Pentecost Sunday.  We celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit being given to the followers of Jesus in Jerusalem.  We receive the Holy Spirit through the power of God’s Word and in Baptism.  (Acts 2:38) The Holy Spirit is a gift worth celebrating!  The Holy Spirit enables us to believe, (1 Corinthians 12:3) and guides us in knowing and living in God’s Wisdom. (John 16:13, Romans 8:9)  Through baptism, your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit so rest assured the Spirit lives in you and is with you, giving you the power to believe and live as a child of God.  The verse above tells us that the first believers to receive the Spirit spoke in foreign languages.  That made sense for them since there were Jews from many different countries in Jerusalem that day and they were able to hear the Good News about Jesus in their own language.  The Bible does not promise that we will miraculously speak in other tongues, but we can be sure that the Holy Spirit will empower us to live as God’s people, and tell others about the God who loves them enough to die and rise for them to give them forgiveness and eternal life.

Victory Vitamin Blog – Acts 20:35 NIV

“It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

-Acts 20:35 NIV

As a kid at Christmas, I thought how terrible it must be to be a grown-up.  You have to buy all the gifts, and you don’t get any yourself.  Now that I’m “grown-up” I don’t mind at all.  It’s fun and enjoyable to buy and give gifts that others enjoy.  Jesus says, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”  And while most of us would probably agree with those words on some level, we’d like to pick and chose what, and to whom we’re giving.  Do you like to give offerings at church?  Are you filled with joy and satisfaction as you place your cash or check in the plate?  Do you feel blessed when you see the auto-withdrawal you set up with your church?  I hope so!  We give because Christ first gave for us.  His death on the cross erased your sins permanently.  His resurrection means eternal life for you through faith.  Those certainties give peace and I’m grateful for the peace I have in Christ.  Knowing that Christ has given so much for us makes it easy for us to give for His cause, and for the good of others.  It is more blessed to give than to receive because it reminds us that our treasure is in heaven, not in our wallet.  It is more blessed to give than to receive because by it we’re supporting God’s mission on earth.  God loves a cheerful giver and we gladly give to Him because of His love for us.

Victory Vitamin Blog – John 13:34-35

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” 

John 13:34-35 NIV

This command really wasn’t that new.  In Leviticus 19:18 the LORD said to the Israelites, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  What’s new is the motivation for, and the result of this act.  Jesus says, “Love one another as I have loved you”.  Jesus loved us by serving and sacrificing.  He put our needs before His own.  Jesus didn’t love with words, but with actions.  The cross reminds us of the loving action Jesus took for us.  We are to love others that way, and that isn’t easy.  There are some very un-lovable people out there.  (remember, someone might be thinking that about YOU right now)  Some people are very different from us, they’re from a strange culture, they have different beliefs, they die their hair chartreuse, they’re living an ungodly lifestyle, whatever.  We’re not commanded to condone sin, we’re commanded to love.  We’re not commanded to agree on all matters, we’re commanded to love.  We’re not commanded to dress the same as everyone else, we’re commanded to love all people no matter what.  The result will be that they’ll experience Christ through us.  No one has ever been hated or judged into the kingdom of God which is why Jesus says, “As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”