Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Joy of New Birth!

'Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”' John 3:3

Being born again, new birth by the Spirit of God is an unmistakable work of the Lord with joyful results! I recently had the joy and privilege of being at the birth of a precious newborn baby of some dear friends. As this joyful new birth was taking place in the delivery room, many joyful moments were also taking place in the waiting room. With each painful contraction the thoughts of the joyful new birth made the labor of love worth it all! Each loved one that was present was filled with great expectation as God was at work in all the details of bringing this precious new life into the world for a very special purpose!!

Isn’t that how it is when someone is born again by the Spirit of God!!! As we think about a new birth of a precious baby that is a miracle from the Lord, being born again by the Spirit of God includes some of the same miraculous moments. Think about some of the joys of the birth of a new baby and think about some of the joys of new birth in Jesus. The Joy of New Birth is a Miracle from God!!

As the special miracle of new birth of a precious baby was taking place, the Lord reminded me of some life-changing truths that take place when someone experiences new birth in Jesus Christ:

• Prayer! Lives full of prayer are lives full of God’s love and power. Never stop praying – Pray without ceasing! Keep praying for the one that needs the Lord to be “delivered” and experience new birth in Jesus Christ! I have personally prayed for over 20 years for specific people to experience new birth in Jesus Christ. Write down at least 3 names that you are praying for that need the Lord. Do not grow weary as you are praying always while remembering that God is lovingly in Control of every new birth!!

• Promises! Lives full of God’s promises are lives full of powerful Faith in the Lord. God Keeps His Promises! It is impossible for Him to break even one promise! Keep believing God as you walk by faith while trusting in His Word! Write down at least 3 promises from the Word of God for those that you are praying for that need new birth in Jesus Christ!!

• Perseverance! Lives full of perseverance in the Lord are lives that Finish Strong in the Lord. New Birth is just the beginning God’s plans and purpose as He who begins a work in you will bring it to completion! God gives you everything you need to persevere as it is built upon the solid rock of Prayer & Promises! God teaches you everything you need to share your testimony of your new birth in Jesus Christ with others as His persevering witness!! Write down at least 3 areas of your life in Christ that God is calling you to personally persevere as His follower and witness!! (Born Again - Third Day)

John 3:1-21 English Standard Version (ESV) You Must Be Born Again

“Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things? Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

For God So Loved the World
John 3 16-21  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”

Saturday, April 21, 2012

To Live is Christ & Fruitful Labor

"For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy in the faith, so that your proud confidence in me may abound in Christ Jesus through my coming to you again" (Philippians 1:21-26, NASB).

This morning there are two thoughts that ring true to me: to live is Christ and fruitful labor.

The thought of life in Christ is one of love, joy, peace, hope, and all those things that go with the love of the Father, the forgiveness of the Son Jesus Christ, and the joy of knowing what the Holy Spirit living inside me is all about. Life in Christ seems so easy when I submit to His leadership in my life and let Him direct my every move.

The hard part is life in Christ on earth. Are you with me? It is the reality of the enemy hard-pressing on every side (and it is just a pain). When we are walking with Christ and laboring for His causes, the enemy never lets up. The labor to press onward is intense and well, hard-pressing. It becomes labor (hard work) to continue to keep going in order to produce fruitfulness. Fruitful labor is best accomplished when we allow Christ to live in us through the Holy Spirit; thus, when we live in Christ.

I don't know what is hard-pressing on you today but whatever it is, if it is for the sake of Christ, then allow the Holy Spirit to help you press onward. It is it not something that God has called you to do, be done with it. Get out of it because it is only taking up your time and energy. Sometimes we have taken on great things but not the best thing and therefore we must stop, repent, and move forward.

To live is Christ means fruitful labor toward what God has called us to do, and nothing else.

"I press onward toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:14, NASB).

Monday, April 16, 2012

God is a planner!

Who says God is not a planner?

This week, I taught a leadership skills class and through the Word was reminded that from the beginning, God had a plan.

I thought you might also be encouraged by these verses today. May God show you the plan He has for you.

1 Chr 28:9-11
"As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever."Consider now, for the LORD has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be courageous and act."Then David gave to his son Solomon the plan of the porch {of the temple,} its buildings, its storehouses, its upper rooms, its inner rooms, and the room for the mercy seat;

1 Chr 28:19
"All {this,}  {said David,} "the LORD made me understand in writing by His hand upon me, all the details of this pattern."

Neh 4:15
And it happened when our enemies heard that it was known to us, and that God had frustrated their plan, then all of us returned to the wall, each one to his work.

Prov 20:5
A plan in the heart of a man is {like} deep water, but a man of understanding draws it out.

Isa 8:10
"Devise a plan but it will be thwarted; state a proposal, but it will not stand, for God is with us."

Isa 14:26-27
"This is the plan devised against the whole earth; and this is the hand that is stretched out against all the nations."For the LORD of hosts has planned, and who can frustrate {it}  And as for His stretched-out hand, who can turn it back?"

Isa 30:1
"Woe to the rebellious children," declares the LORD, "Who execute a plan, but not Mine, and make an alliance, but not of My Spirit, in order to add sin to sin;

Jer 49:20
Therefore hear the plan of the LORD which He has planned against Edom, and His purposes which He has purposed against the inhabitants of Teman: surely they will drag them off, {even} the little ones of the flock; surely He will make their pasture desolate because of them.

Jer 50:45
Therefore hear the plan of the LORD which He has planned against Babylon, and His purposes which He has purposed against the land of the Chaldeans: surely they will drag them off, {even} the little ones of the flock; surely He will make their pasture desolate because of them.

Ezek 43:10
"As for you, son of man, describe the temple to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities; and let them measure the plan.

Acts 2:23
this {Man}  delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put {Him} to death.

Acts 5:38-39
"And so in the present case, I say to you, stay away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or action should be of men, it will be overthrown; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against God."

Photo taken by Dan Bramblett, Easter 2012, St. John's River, Orange Park, Florida.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

You Are A Leader!

It has been said that we are all leaders in one way or another. We are leading someone! Let's think about those around us that may be looking to us or at us for leadership. What kind of a leader for the Lord are others seeing?

Today's BLOG includes 5 simple but important keys to being an effective leader that God can use evangelistically for His Glory:

5 Keys To Effective Leadership that God can use to make a difference!

1. Effective Leaders HUMBLE themselves and allow God to USE them as leaders! (1 Peter 5:16, Phil. 2:5-11)

2. Effective Leaders FOLLOW AFTER Jesus instead of RUNNING AHEAD on their own!
(Mark 10:43-44)

3. Effective Leaders GIVE UP selfish desires to find true satisfaction in SERVING OTHERS! (Mark 10:45)

4. Effective Leaders TRUST God with all of their life and BELIEVE that God has a PLAN for everyone to be SAVED! (Proverbs 3:5-6, Jer.29:11-13)

5. Effective Leaders FOLLOW Jesus’ example of LEADERSHIP and are willing to REACH OUT to others!
(John 13:4-5, 12-17)

As you follow the Lord, He will keep making you an effective leader that He can use to reach others!! You are Gifted2Go!!! ("Face to Face" is a youth drama team from Bethlehem First Baptist Church in Bethlehem, GA. They wrote the interp to Casting Crowns' song, "If We Are The Body.")

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Hope, He is Risen!

5 … “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here; for

He is risen,

as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. 7 And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.”…8 So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word. 9 And as they went to tell His disciple, behold, Jesus met them, saying, “Rejoice!” So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.”…16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. (Matthew 28:5-10, 16-20; NKJV)

 Happy Resurrection Day!
Holy Saturday by Fernando.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16
"And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood." Hebrews 13:12
"The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life." Luke 9:22

JESUS GAVE EVERYTHING for you and for me.....let's spend some time thinking about these 3 capitalized words:

JESUS: What Does He Mean To You?

GAVE: How & What Did He Give To You?

EVERYTHING: What Does Everything Mean?

As we experience God during the GREATEST week of all weeks for us as Christians, Good Friday & Easter, God so wants to be EVERYTHING in our lives! God is calling us to never forget The Cross & The EMPTY Tomb! Our Redeemer is ALIVE! Jesus GAVE His Life for you, to GIVE His life to you! What Amazing Grace!! JESUS LIVES!

Is Jesus ALIVE in and through our lives in a fresh meaningful way that we can share with someone that needs Him? Good News=Today is a New Fresh Day!

What a perfect opportunity we have to REMEMBER!
Remember what Jesus has done for us!
Remember where Jesus found us!
Remember where Jesus has brought us!
Remember the reasons that Jesus has saved us!
Remember all the pain and suffering that Jesus went through just for us!
Remember the gifts Jesus has given us!
Remember those around us that still need JESUS!

How will others that are searching for LIFE=JESUS find it?
Others will find Jesus as we keep Sharing ♥Jesus♥!
The Cross and The Tomb is EMPTY so that your lives can be FOREVER FULL with JESUS....
Have a BLESSED ♥Good Friday & Easter♥

Monday, April 2, 2012

A Powerful Word from Cambodia

This is my niece Stephanie. She's in Cambodia on a mission trip.
Read her blog:

Stephanie has a gift of expression and her story is powerful.
As we think about what Jesus did, we understand the importance of the gospel message even more through her words. May we never miss the point that Jesus death and resurrection changes the lives and cultures of those who live to walk with Him. May God speak to you today.
May you live out what He speaks in a way that others may see Him.

He is risen!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

11 For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:11-13, NASB

Many of you are familiar with the HeartCall series of material, first published in 1999. Through many prayers and long years of waiting, we finally have the copyrights. Thank you to all who made this possible! Praise the Lord!

Our prayer is to update the material and release it in a format that would make it available to a broader market for the hope that God would continue to use it help people to share the message of Jesus Christ! He is risen! We want the world to know!

Your help, opinions, and ideas are needed to make it the best possible. Please send us your thoughts of what would make it better, what needs to be added, what needs to be left out, and any other thoughts you might have. We would love for you to respond here on the blog, on Facebook, or email us at We are looking forward to hearing from you!