Tag Archives: Jesus

Same Jesus

Something to think about.

Same Jesus

“Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”  Acts 1:11 NIV

This is an unusual moment. Jesus has been resurrected for 40 days and now before his disciples and the public he is ascending into heaven.  This event is so amazing. The only time in the history of mankind we see another realm of existence interact with our physical world.

It is our hope in the concrete form of our future.  It is the actualization of the totality Christianity. It is what we live and breathe for.  The resurrection and transformation of our lives to our permanent, eternal life.  Jesus is ascending into a different life. A different existence.

He is showing us what the future holds for us.  In this amazing moment, he leaves the audience captive. So much so that angels in human form have to address them and tell them what has happened. They pronounce or define what they have just seen. These two witnesses give humanity a hope that is not equaled anywhere in the world. He will return in the same way he left.

Christ will return. It is what separates Christianity from any other belief system in the world.  The subject of our hope and faith is actually coming back for us. He will return. This moment this occurrence is beyond the imaginings of anyone.  The risen savior of humanity has ascended to His home from where He came. He left us with a promise of His return and our reuniting with Him.

The really amazing thing is this we, those who believe in Him are the only ones with this hope. The rest of the world is hoping in what? There is no substance for their hope.  We have the substance of the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus. We have the testimony of many an eyewitness. We have the fulfillment of prophecy. We have the witness of the Holy Spirit in us. We have a hope and faith In the one that defeated and conquered the grave.

“…….This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” Acts 1:11 NIV

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Go Home

Something to think about.

Go Home

The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” Like 8 38-39 

The mantra of our society is to get an and education then go conquer the world. It is interesting Jesus tells this man whom He had liberated, go home and tell them what God has done for you.  Education is imporatnt. The disciples spent three years with Jesus learning from Him.  Most of which was in preparation for what was to come.  However, there is a time and place when experience trumps education.  This is one of those times. 

Jesus tells the formerly demon-possessed man no I don’t want you to hang around me, go tell others of what I have done.  We have expended much too much energy, resources, and intellect in preparing people to share the gospel and not enough resources teaching people to live the gospel.  Jesus did not tell the formerly demon possessed man to go and study under the tutelage of a leading authority.   He told Him by virtue of what God has done in your life you are empowered to share God with others. 

It wasn’t seminars, conferences, academic process or intellectual prowess, which qualified this individual to share Jesus it was his experience. It was the liberation of spiritual bondage that trained Him to share the healing he received at the hands of Jesus.    

All of the highly skilled professionals involved in the propagation of Christianity are not the ones that are going to change the world for Christ. If that were possible, it would have been done. I dare say it was never the intent of Christ for that to occur.  It was not the intent of Christ for the church to be the salvation of the world. At least not the church as we define it today. A centralized, organized corporate entity with the sole purpose of evangelization.  Understand I belong to such a church I support my church both financially and physically. But my church was not what God intended for the propagation of the gospel. Yes, it has its place in the overall plan of God, it has an integral part in that plan. My church as any other church is and should be an oasis where the battered and beaten warriors of God come to be rejuvenated, fed, healed and sent back into the world to fight the war God intended us to fight. The Church was designed to be a fortress where the weary come to find rest and protection. A place to be educated in how to best fight the war we are inevitably involved in.  The church as an entity is not there to evangelize, it is there to feed, edify and educate. 

The burden of the gospel falls on the rest of us to do as the liberated demon possessed man was instructed. Go home tell them what God has done in your life. The office of the evangelist is not intended for the anomaly.  It was never intended for the astonishing orator it was intended for you and me. To go home and tell our neighbors and friends what God has done in our lives. Everyone is looking for evidence of the living God, and you are that evidence. You are that miracle. You are the new creation that can only happen when God is in you. You as the formerly demon-possessed man are qualified to share the gospel of Christ by virtue of what he has done in your life. If you share your story the Church God intended will change the world.

 

 

On the Road to Damascus

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On the Road to Damascus

Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Acts 9:1-3


This is the famous story of Saul’s conversion to Christianity. Saul who is later renamed Paul is on his way to persecute those who believe in Jesus. He is headed down a road with a definite destination with a definite purpose full of self-righteousness. He is headed in the wrong direction. He is headed down a path that is in direct opposition to where he wants to be. He is persecuting Christians because he believes they are opposing and denying God. He is doing it in defense of God. He believes that in incarcerating Christians, he is doing Gods will.  


Before we became Christians, we were not so different from Paul. Though we do not, in this day in this country incarcerate people for being Christians. We were headed down the wrong road for the wrong reason. Saul regardless of his reasoning is headed in the wrong direction. He is not working on God’s side he is working against God. We, before Christ were on our way to Damascus. We were on the wrong road for the wrong reason to accomplish the wrong goal. 


We are not Paul we will not write parts of the New Testament. We will not be quoted around the world. But our conversion to Christianity is just as miraculous as Paul’s.  We all have to have an encounter with Jesus for our conversion to be accomplished. Every one of us must have a personal interaction with Christ for a conversation to occur.  It is not just an intellectual realization of truth it is a personal connection with the risen savior. We all have to make contact with Jesus. It is no different for any of us. Without, an on the road experience, none of us will meet Jesus.  


The conversion of Saul was personal, powerful and intimate. It was not an experience born of mysticism. Your contact, connection with Christ must have a tangible permanent effect on your life. It is not something you can walk away from and remain the same. If you leave as you came, you did not make the connection. When you meet Christ, you will in some way leave changed, made new, born again.

Do What I Say

 

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Do What I Say

46“But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say? 

This statement by Jesus can be the most condemning of all scripture. He is asking if you believe in me why are you still doing things that I am opposed to.  

There is no room for “buts in this statement.” He is asking a direct question to His disciples and believers. He is saying if you truly believed in me you would follow my teachings.  There is a caveat to this statement, an unexpressed condition. In order to do what He says we must know what He says. Often we need to grow to a level of spiritual maturity to understand what He is saying.  Jesus often spoke in parables to His audiences. Then He explained His parables to His disciples.  

We are no different we need to be taught the words of Jesus. I believe the one condemning reality of this statement by Jesus is this. Are you willing to learn the teaching of Jesus? Are you willing to invest the time and effort to know what He said? I am not saying sit in an audience and listening to what some other person has learned. I am talking about investing your time into discovering it for your self. Yes, corporate involvement is necessary and vital, but it is your responsibility to find out for yourself. If we did not have a direct source, it would be one thing. But we have the word of God available to us. We must out of our own accord take the time to work out our own salvation in conjunction with the word of God.  

This statement of Jesus presupposes that you know what it is He says. You will only call Him Lord if you know who He is. Those who read this and don’t know him as Lord are not bound by this statement. They would never call Him Lord. Additionally, they can’t call Him Lord because they don’t know what that means. Not until they know Him will they able to call Him Lord. Even in this they must know Him, not know of Him.  

There is a continual process of growth, and at every level, we need to respond in accordance with the increased knowledge we receive. But regardless of where we are in our process, we need to behave in accordance with what has been imparted to us. While being open to the continual revelation. Once you know Him. When you know what He said. After acknowledging Him as Lord are you doing what He said?

Pray

 

Something to think about.

25 Brothers, pray for us. 1 Thessalonians 5:25 

For my brothers and sister in Christ. Tom, Migdalia, Michele, Oliver, Maria, and Latanya. I pray that you know that God is with you. He is with you everywhere you go. I pray you are comforted in knowing that God is fully committed to you. That he has bestowed upon you incredible gifts and abilities that He wants to bring to fruition and completion. I pray for you that the blessings that are unique to you will be fully developed for your joy and Gods glory.  I pray the presence of the almighty go with you and bless you coming in and going out. I pray you will be blessed in all you do and in all you touch.  I ask God to bless and protect your spouses’, children, grandchildren, and families. I pray God would make himself known to all those you love. I pray you know the Love of God in everyday situations. I ask God to bless you physically, spiritually, emotionally, intellectually in every way. That He would shower you with blessings 

 I pray that you would allow God to hold you, love you, protect you and provide for you, for He truly is a good father. More than anything else I ask God to give you the power to walk in Faith. To step out into the unknown knowing that God has already gone before you making a way for you. I thank God for you for you, you are a missing part of my life. I thank you for your help wisdom, love, and guidance. You have all changed my life in ways you will never know. I love and appreciate every one of you and am extremely grateful for all you have deposited into my life. I thank God that he has brought us together to accomplish what He has laid out before us. I thank God for allowing us to attained the highest rank under Gods kingdom, that of a servant. God loves you, He always has and always will.

20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21 (NKJV)

 

No Ordinary Lamb

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No Ordinary Lamb

29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. John 1:29

John the Baptist refers to Jesus as the lamb of God.  Interesting analogy.  John also describes Jesus in this way.

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. John 1:1-3
In verse 29 John describes Jesus as a lamb. Basically, a defenseless docile creature in need of protection. An innocent, blameless sacrifice, powerless to keep from being killed. In verse 1, he describes Jesus as being at the beginning of time with God. Jesus is the creator of the universe and everything in it. How do you go from the creator of the universe to the Lamb of God? These descriptions of Jesus occur in the same chapter.
Jesus never gave up his deity. He willingly, with full knowledge choose to become the Lamb of God who would take away the sin of man.  While being the lamb of God, He did not give up His power to defeat humanity and the devil. He, as the Lamb of God still possessed the power to end it all.  No, where in the new testament is it stated or suggested that Jesus had abdicated His position as the one true son of God.  He never stopped being the Son of God. Why does that matter? He could have stopped His crucifixion at any time. He had the power as the Son of God to execute His wishes at any time.
This is amazing, at any moment from the time they arrested Him to His death on the cross he could have stopped it. He could have stopped the torture and cleansed humanity by force. In an instant, He could have risen from the torture and vanquished all of His foes.
He chose to die for us. He knew He could have put a stop to it with a word.  He had the right, the power and the ability to stop the torture at any time.
Jesus decided to become a sacrificial lamb not because he had no choice but in spite of having all power.  He became the sacrificial Lamb of God because of His love for us.  The most difficult part for me to understand is, having all the power of the universe at His disposal, He did not use it.
We, all of humanity exist today because He chose not to put a stop to His murder.

Flee

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Flee

“Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” James 4:7 NKJV

James makes an astonishing statement. In elegant simplicity, he provides us with amazing power. He tells us to submit to God, then resist the devil and the devil will flee. There are no big words here. No need for deep spiritual interpretation. Nothing that can be confused. The issue with this verse is not what it says but implementing what it says. Yet, if we do what it says most if not all of our lives will be lived in constant victory. Are we making life much more difficult than it has to be?

The problem with the implementation is not in resistance it is in the submission. We don’t want to submit. We want to do it our way. We want to change the laws of God and supplant them with our own. If we are resistant to anything it is not to the devil, it is to God. Our country, states, cities, and municipalities are in open rebellion against God. Every arena of public life has been reduced to an anti-God environment. You can’t pray in school. In every government office prayer or the mention of God is strictly forbidden. Most of our places of employment are defined as nonreligious entities. Even in raising our children the state is defining what a parent can and can not propagate. Our Christian principles are being abandoned in favor of political correctness or the fallacy of separation of church and state. Are you aware this is happening not because we are resisting the devil but because we are opposing God? Our refusal to submit to God has brought us to where we are. Our society is crumbling under the false delusion of Godlessness.
We have a simple formula if you’ll accept it. “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” “He will flee from you.”

Something to think about.

Wisdom

8“ For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. 9“ As the heavens are higher than the earth,so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’ Isaiah 55:8-9
 
Through Isaiah God is making a distinction between His creation and Him. It’s a distinction that appears to have been lost by man. We are not God’s equals. We don’t know what He knows. We will never attain that place. If for an instant we would stop and look at our existence and be honest with our selves. We would admit we know nothing. The universe is beyond our comprehension. We sit on this small insignificant rock floating in a vast universe and claim we know where we came from. Some of us claim we self-created which makes absolutely no sense.
 
Because of the size of the universe, the known universe there are important facts that have not been discovered. We barely coexist. We are fighting the same battles for the same reasons. Technology changes but we are still fighting the same wars. Generation after generation after generation the wars continue. We can’t permanently solve any issue. The more we learn the more our ineptitude is exposed.
 
We may be more comfortable more affluent, but still the most heinous of crimes exist. Slavery, starvation, famine, injustice, these crimes are the hallmark of our societies. If the product is the proof of our superiority, intellect, and industriousness we have proven our selves to be savages. Affluence and wealth only hide the stench of ignorance. If we were truly wise, the crimes we perpetuate, create and support would not exist.
 
Our ways are not His ways, our thoughts are not His thoughts, our wisdom is not His wisdom. God, the creator of the universe is so much more than we can imagine. If I have any wisdom, it is this, the God who created the universe and humanity is superior to His creation.

Are You Ready?

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Are You Ready?
 
15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: 1 Peter 3:15
 
Are you ready? Can you give an answer to any man who asks you the question why do you believe? If you do not have an answer, you do not believe. The answer is not a long dissertation or a doctoral thesis. It is a simple statement like this one.
 
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16
 
Christianity is based on this verse. It’s not complicated. It is not a mystery; it does not need immense intelligence to understand. God did all He did because He loves you. Your statement does not have to be new or unique. It does not have to be revelational to the world. But it does have to be the cornerstone of your belief system. It is the one thing that cannot change. For me, I believe Jesus was resurrected from the dead.  Not figuratively or metaphorically just as it says in the bible. I believe it happened. For me, everything else flows from the resurection.
 
Are you Ready?

Empty Tomb

The Armor of God

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The Armor of God.
 
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Ephesians 6:10-11
 

 Do you do this daily? Is it the first thing you do in the morning? The world assaults you not just because you are a Christian. Life happens, and at times it is negative. Are you naked when it does, defenseless vulnerable? Every day we need to put on the armor of God. It is a conscious action it will not happen by osmosis. Prepare yourself every day by consciously and intentionally putting on the “whole armor of God.”