Tag Archives: salvation

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.
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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 We are here to offer the salvation of Christ to the world, Once he returns that offer will be rescinded.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.

Cleansed

Something to think about.
 
Cleansed
 
But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:7
 
Have we turned the death of Christ into a symbolic gesture? Does the shedding of Christ’s blood on the cross become no more than being baptized in water? Where baptism is a symbolic representation of our dying to our old lives and being resurrected into new life. If it has, we have lost its value. Jesus did not represent the spotless, innocent lamb of old Jewish law and tradition. The spotless, innocent lamb represented Jesus. Jesus was literally and actually an offering for our sin. There was nothing symbolic about it. It was not symbolism that cleanses us from sin. It was the actual shedding of real human blood belonging to the only righteous man who ever lived. This event that happened over 2000 years ago is still cleansing the sin of man. The omnipresence of God means that he is present everywhere at all times at once. God is as much in the future eons of time as he is at the beginning of time and is present right now with us.  For this reason, the blood of Christ His crucifixion is present now before God. His blood is still cleansing us claiming us as if it happened today. This is how it is possible for the sacrifice of Christ to be available for everyone. This is why Christ only died once. Because His sacrifice, the shedding of His son’s blood is forever before the presence of God.  The same as is His resurrection and His victorious return to His Father in heaven.  
 
We work and understand events in linear motion. In other words, one after the other. Because of the laws of our existence, we must function this way. But those are our limitations, not Gods. As the creator of time, He is not subject to its laws or limitations. That is why He has no beginning and no end. He created the beginning and the end and still exists outside of those two limits. That is why the shedding of Christ blood is so important. It transcends all time and space it is an event the same as His resurrection that will have no end. 

Good and Faithful Servant

Something to think about.
 
Good and Faithful Servant.
 
Matthew 25:21 (NKJV)
 
21 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’
 
If there was ever a goal to strive for it is this, to hear the Lord proclaim over your life “well done good and faithful servant.” A few years ago after my heart attack, my prayer was that God would allow me to serve Him. My reasoning for the prayer was this; God had saved my life. He restored me after a massive heart attack with life threatening complications. I felt and thought if he would allow me to become a lowly servant, I could show some appreciation for what he had done. I didn’t feel qualified to be any more than a servant. I prayed that prayer for a couple of years. Then I saw an opportunity and started to serve Him in a small group in my church. Shortly after that, I got involved with another group. Then another to the point now that I am now very involved in the church. As time passed and my involvement increased. I came to understand that the prayer I prayed though simple was not what I thought it was. I thought I was asking permission to assume a position of lowest rank. A position equal to my worthiness.
 
“The Lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.” Notice it does not say, ‘Well done, good and faithful priest, doctor, lawyer, king. It does not say teacher, preacher, singer, poet, professor, apostle. It does not say, deacon, general or any other title or position. It says, servant. What I have come to realize is that what I was asking for was/is the highest calling of God. I do not remember anywhere else in the Bible where God commends man for his actions. When he does acknowledge mans actions, he calls him a servant. I believe our highest value is not what we are recognized for or what we have earned. It is determined by our level of servant hood. To those who are faithful in the little things it says “I will make you ruler over many things.” God will make the servant a ruler over many things.
 
When I prayed to become a servant, I hoped that I could show God appreciation and gratefulness for what He had done. Now I know what I was praying for has opened the door to seeing, living and participating in the fulfillment of God’s will. When you become His servant your highest call. Your life will be changed, you will be fulfilled, you will experience God in ways you can’t imagine.