Tag Archives: salvation

On the Road to Damascus

Something to think about.

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.

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Remain

Something to think about.
 
Remain
 
I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. 24 Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you. 25 And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith. Philippians 1:23-25 
 
Recently I heard an evangelist ask, “Why are you here?” She was speaking to believers, in a small setting, not a large crowd. The simplicity of the question and in the setting, it which in made.  Made it particularly piercing. If, as we proclaim we are saved by faith. If all of the people in the room were saved what was our purpose? If salvation is the only goal God has for our lives, why are we still here? Why are we not remove from this life and instantly be transfigured into eternal life? It is not to attain the secular pleasures of the flesh. Paul states it very clearly, “having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.” Why would we want to remain on this earth once we have attained eternal life through Christ? Which will be so much better than this painful temporal existence? The answer is in his next statement, “Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you.” We remain for the very same reason as Paul. Because it is better for the rest of the world that we stay. We are the hands’, feet, mouth, and heart of Jesus. We exist to propagate the gospel of Christ to all around us. For those of us who believe in Christ as it says in John 3:16. Our purpose is not for our selves. It is for those who have not yet heard of Christ For those who have not accepted our Lord. We remain to serve our risen Lord by serving those that have not been saved. Your purpose is simple, be the hands and feet of Jesus. That is why we remain. The only reason we remain. 

One Thing

Something to think about.

One Thing

4 One thing have I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to inquire in his temple. Psalms 27:4
 
This is the perfect picture of contentment. Being in the presence of God. No fear, no want, perfectly secure fully provided for, in the presence of all mighty God.  To be in His presence would make us whole.

Your Redemption Draweth Near

Something to think about.

Your Redemption Draweth Near

11 And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and hunger, and pestilence, and fearful things, and great signs shall there be from heaven. Luke 21:11

And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads: for your redemption draweth near. Luke 21:28

With the increased occurrence of natural disasters all over the world, these verses are being quoted more often. I will not address the prophetic implications of these verses.  I would like to discuss the excitement and gleeful anticipation of these verses.

I admit I am torn emotionally, spiritually and intellectually.  On the one hand, I am as is every other Christian joyfully anticipating the return of Christ. I can not wait to see Jesus face to face. How can a Christian have any other reaction than joy and utter contentment at seeing Jesus?

On the other hand, I fear it will be the most painful day of my existence. It will be the day when the opportunity of salvation is removed from the face of the earth. It means the day of judgment has arrived. Will it be a day of joy or a day of sorrow? It will be the day when the wheat is separated from the chaff. For me, it may mean some of my friend’s and family will not be part of God’s family. This prospect is not something I am looking forward to. It is selfish to ask God to advance this day. Is it not contrary to why we are here? We are here to offer the salvation of Christ to the world, Once he returns that offer will be rescinded. Humanity will have no one but themselves to stand before God. Should we not lament those who will be lost? This verse should bring us to conviction, to action.

On that day we will celebrate our reunion with Christ.  Will we, in the back of our minds know we should have done more for the call of Christ?

Flee

Something to think about.

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.

It’s A Matter Of Value

Lilies

Something to think about.

It’s A Matter Of Value
By the end of this day, most of Florida will have experienced the worst of Hurricane Irma. Between now and then lives will be changed. All the worry and anxiety will have passed, and real life will resume.
 
27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! Luke 12:27-28
 
Jesus is speaking to His disciples when he tells them about the lilies of the field. He is saying if God spent so much effort in creating something that is here today and gone tomorrow. How much more valuable are you, who have an eternal existence. God knows who you are He knows what you need. He can and will provide and protect you. If you are in the midst of the storm or out on the furthermost edges of its power God values you more than you can imagine. He will come to your rescue if you call on Him.Jesus is speaking to believers in Him. Faith is the identifier of those who are called God’s children. Faith is the doorway to protection, provision, and the favor of God. Faith is the determiner of your value.
 
6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6 (NIV)
 
Whether you are in the midst of the storm or on the outer edges, put your faith in Jesus, and He will provide a way. You and your family will be saved.

Nails in His Hand

Something to think about.
Nails in His Hand
In Jeremy Camp’s song “The Man” some of the lyrics are.
 
Would you take the place of this man? Would you take the nails from his hands?
 
As I was preparing a piece of furniture for spraying this song played on the radio. I contemplated the lyric. “Would I take the place of this man”? Knowing the death Jesus experienced my immediate response was no. As I gave it more thought, I came to my conclusion, absolutely not. Not under any conditions what so ever would I take His place. I would not take nails from His hands. 
 
Before you say well, that’s because you don’t love Him let me explain. Had I taken His place on the cross had I taken the nails from His hands, only Jesus would have been saved. Only Jesus, because of His righteousness, not mine. If the entire human race were sacrificed, it would not warrant the salvation of one person. We, in total, do not possess the currency to pay for our sin. If I or anyone else had taken His place the resulted would be the damnation of humanity. It had to be Jesus who paid for our sin. He is the only one who possesses the currency to pay for our sin. The currency is righteousness, and Jesus is the only who possesses righteousness. He is the only one who could save the world from our sin. Anyone else would be powerless to forgive sin. His righteousness is why He is Lord. Only he could do what we could not. Only he is our propitiation.
 
2 My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. 1 John 2:1-2

Absolutes

Something to think about.
 
Absolutes 
 
11 This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”Acts 4:11-12
 
There are statements in the Bible that are unmistakable. These statements can not be reinterpreted or redefined. They can’t be manipulated to mean some thing other than what they mean. This is one of those verses. It clearly and unambiguously states Jesus is the only way to salvation. This is a Christian absolute. We claim to believe and are affirmed in the validity and absolute certainty of  Jesus Christ as the only savior of the world. This is non-negotiable. Jesus is the only one with the authority and power to save those unto eternal life. 

Rejected

Something to think about.
 
Rejected
 
66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. 67 “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve. 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.” 70 Then Jesus replied, “Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!”John 6:66-70
 
Jesus was rejected to His face. In this verse, it says “many of his disciples.”  The inference or deduction I get is, much more rejected Him than the twelve that didn’t. It is imperative for us to realize that not everyone is going to respond to Jesus. If this verse is a sign of a broader reality, we must come to the understanding that many will reject Christ. There will be those that upon hearing the word and understanding the word will reject it. For those of us who believe that statement is incomprehensible. How could anyone in their right mind deny Christ? Since we know, there is nothing, no one better. We know and believe with total confidence and expectation the promises of salvation and eternal life. We believe in restoration, reconciliation, rebirth and new life. We believe in the grace, redemption, and forgiveness of God.  Furthermore, we accept and expect all Gods promises to be fulfilled. We know that the God of creation through His Son Jesus has provided for our eternal life with Him in heaven. We can’t understand how anyone can reject Him.
 
Jesus does something here we need to become aware of. He does not turn and chase those who reject Him. He turned to the twelve who recognized Him for who He was and changed the world with those twelve. As the family of God and as individuals we need to stop chasing rejects and embrace those who God has chosen.  We need to seek and find the chosen.
 
There are two important gems in this section of Scripture. One is your uniqueness in accepting and understanding the call of God. Many hearing and understanding will never accept the reality of Christ. You are special for you have heard and accepted His sacrifice for your life. Two and most importantly are, God chose you. As He chose the twelve, He chose you. You are the preferred of God. We need to start acting like it. You are exalted above the rest of humanity because He chose you. The rest of mankind will not sit at the wedding feast of the lamb.