Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Wall of Righteousness

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But we are citizens of heaven and are eagerly waiting for our Savior to come from there. Our Lord Jesus Christ has power over everything, and he will make these poor bodies of ours like his own glorious body.

Philippians 3:20-21

There is much in the news today about people who live in a country without being "legally" there. There is a vigorous argument by some that a strong and secure wall will keep out those who don't have the right to be there. Others say it is better to have "open borders" and let anyone who wants to be there come.  

It is not a "Wall" that keeps people, who have no right to be there out of Heaven.  

The Majesty of God Himself is so wonderful, amazing, awesome, overwhelming and yes, even fearsome, that stepping into His presence without being clothed in the Righteousness of Jesus Christ would be Fatal!  God told Moses that he could not see His face and live!

The best and I believe most effective "wall" is a Wall of Righteousness!  If a people turn their hearts to God and trust Jesus with a Faith that pleases the Father, the ungodly, unholy and truly wicked will want to be somewhere else!

Imagine a nation of people who experience a massive and overwhelming revival, where the Holy Spirit has His way with every aspect of the life of that land!  That country will not need a wall to keep evil people from coming in.  Those who hate God will run away from that land.

"Lord Jesus, may You build a Wall of Righteousness around my land, and may You Jesus  be praised and honored, now and forever.  Amen.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Before Your Next Breath

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Every time I think of you, I thank my God.  And whenever I mention you in my prayers, it makes me happy.  This is because you have taken part with me in spreading the good news from the first day you heard about it.  God is the one who began this good work in you, and I am certain that he won't stop before it is complete on the day that Christ Jesus returns.

Philippians 1:3-6

After you hear about Jesus, how long should you wait to tell someone else about the Good News of Jesus Christ?  The Philippian christians began telling other people about Jesus on the very day they heard it themselves!

God began the "good work" of encouraging them to tell others about the Lord!  That "good work" won't be finished until the Day that Jesus returns!  So if today is the Day and Jesus will return this afternoon, there are still people who need to hear the Gospel this morning!  It may indeed be that there will be those who come to Christ and then before their next breath the trumpet will sound! 

So instead of looking to the sky to catch the first glimpse of the Second Coming, look around you to catch the attention of someone who is not yet ready to hear the Trumpet Sound!  Fishing for men does not stop until Jesus touches down on that amazing day!

"Lord Jesus, show me someone today who needs to hear about Your Love and give me the courage to speak Your Words to their heart.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen."

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Hate List

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You were far from God. But Christ offered his life's blood as a sacrifice and brought you near God. Christ has made peace between Jews and Gentiles, and he has united us by breaking down the wall of hatred that separated us. Christ gave his own body to destroy the Law of Moses with all its rules and commands. He even brought Jews and Gentiles together as though we were only one person, when he united us in peace.  On the cross Christ did away with our hatred for each other. He also made peace between us and God by uniting Jews and Gentiles in one body.

Ephesians 2:13-16

If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, He wants you to love your enemies.  That is an amazing thing to think about.  By definition, enemies are not loved by each other.  "Hate" is the word that the world uses for enemies, not "Love."

So we take the first step in the loving, two way relationship that will happen when our enemies also turn to Christ!  If you want to be like Jesus then you will love those who are still your enemies, just like Jesus did.  The Good News of Jesus Christ is that all men and women are loved by God, loved by Jesus and loved by those who walk through this life, filled with the Holy Spirit.  

If you want to examine your own faith and determine whether or not you are a "real" Christian, you must look at your love for those who hate you.  The Bible also says that people will know that you are a Christ follower by your love!

Some people use and recommend having a "prayer list."  It is a list of the names of people for whom you are praying.  But I am afraid too many followers of Jesus also have a "Hate List." It may not be very long, but it too often does exist.

The truth is that if you are like Jesus your "Prayer List" will included everyone on earth and your "Hate List" will have no names on it! If you have a "Hate List" begin today to move all those names to your prayer list of people you love!  

"Lord Jesus, thank You for making peace on earth. Help me today to love and not hate every person on this earth.  Praise Your Holy Name, now and forever.  Amen."

Saturday, March 16, 2019

This Morning's Testimony

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I ask the glorious Father and God of our Lord Jesus Christ to give you his Spirit. The Spirit will make you wise and let you understand what it means to know God.

Ephesians 1:17

When you meet someone, only once you usually don't proclaim to others that you know them.  I have met a few people who were well known in the world, but my one time encounter did not give me the right to say, "I know him!"

I have met a man who was the president of a country, a movie star, a rather famous singer, and many other people who were well known for the lives they lived.  But none of those meetings gave me the right to say that I know those people.

"Knowing" someone means much more than a one time meeting.  Knowing God means much more than meeting Him once!  When someone gives their "testimony" about when they met Jesus many years ago, it does not mean that they really know Him!  Knowing Jesus is not a one time meeting.  Knowing Jesus is an ongoing relationship that lasts until you leave this world and beyond!

If you know Jesus, your every day is involved with Him.  He is on your mind when you wake in the morning.  You think about Him as you walk through your day, and He is the last thing you ponder as you lay down to sleep at night.  

Of course, meeting Jesus the first time is important and you will remember it, but being with Jesus every day is what your life is all about!  When you "give your testimony" and tell about the first time you met Jesus, be sure and include the story about your meeting with Him this morning!

"Lord Jesus, help me today to know more about what it means to know You and the Father.  Praise Your Holy Name, now and forever.  Amen."

Thursday, March 14, 2019

The Great Eraser

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The Scriptures say, "God accepted Abraham because Abraham had faith in him."  Money paid to workers isn't a gift. It is something they earn by working.  But you cannot make God accept you because of something you do. God accepts sinners only because they have faith in him.  In the Scriptures David talks about the blessings that come to people who are acceptable to God, even though they don't do anything to deserve these blessings. David says, "God blesses people whose sins are forgiven and whose evil deeds are forgotten.  The Lord blesses people whose sins are erased from his book."

Romans 4:3-8

I don't remember how old I was, but there was a time in my early education when my teachers told me that I could write with a pen instead of a pencil!  The problem with pen and ink, of course is that you cannot erase it!  Of course not being able to erase something you have written is a good thing if your writing is praise worthy!

When a man or woman sins that sin is written in God's Book! Yes, your sin is written in permanent ink that no man can erase!  After you sin, it doesn't matter how many good things you do, you cannot erase even one act of rebellion against God!  

Even if you change and never sin again, that sin is still in your history, story and memory as long as you live!  The Good News of Jesus Christ is that, on the Cross Jesus erased your sin!  It is not simply forgiven, it is erased from God's Book!  

Because of Jesus, your sin is not "history."  Your sin is forever erased!  With Jesus there is no record of your sin in God's Book!  Jesus is "THE GREAT ERASER."

"Lord Jesus, because of You and Your sacrifice there is no record of my sin!  May You be praised now and forever.  Amen."   

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Jesus Paid the Full Price

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God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it.  Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.  For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said, “ ‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” ’  “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”  When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”  Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 2:32-38

It is important for every believer to recognize that we are not saved by our own works, but by the Blood of Jesus.  So why didn't Peter answer the question on Pentecost about what they should do by saying that they should do nothing?  If Peter was a preacher in our day, would he not have said, "Jesus did it all, you must do nothing?"

It certainly is true that Jesus did it all.  But it is not true that you must do nothing.  Nothing you do can provide even a tiny part of the price of your salvation, but without repentance and baptism there is no Biblical promise of forgiveness of sins!  

The illustration is certainly not perfect, but if you have a lottery ticket with all the winning numbers, but you never turn that ticket in to collect your prize you will not receive it.  

If you try to "be saved" without doing what the Bible tells you to do, should you be surprised if Jesus says "I never knew you" on the Day of Judgment.

Please understand that I am not trying to enter the "debate" about these things.  Whatever you believe about them is between you and the Lord.  But remember that He is the one who inspired the writers of the Bible to speak about them.

"Lord Jesus, I do want to be obedient to You in everything.  Thank You for paying the full price for my salvation! May Your Holy and righteous Name be praised now and forever.  Amen."

Monday, March 11, 2019

All You Can Eat Fish Dinner!

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When Jesus saw the large crowd coming toward him, he asked Philip, "Where will we get enough food to feed all these people?"  He said this to test Philip, since he already knew what he was going to do.  Philip answered, "Don't you know that it would take almost a year's wages just to buy only a little bread for each of these people?"  Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the disciples. He spoke up and said, "There is a boy here who has five small loaves of barley bread and two fish. But what good is that with all these people?"  The ground was covered with grass, and Jesus told his disciples to have everyone sit down. About five thousand men were in the crowd.  Jesus took the bread in his hands and gave thanks to God. Then he passed the bread to the people, and he did the same with the fish, until everyone had plenty to eat.  The people ate all they wanted, and Jesus told his disciples to gather up the leftovers, so that nothing would be wasted.

John 6:5-12

There is a Chinese Restaurant not far from my house which has an "all you can eat" buffet.  You pay one price and you can eat until you have had all you want.

Jesus provided the most famous "all you can eat" meal.  Five thousand people ate until they were full  because the five loaves of bread and two fish passed through the hands of Jesus and were blessed by Him!

This same miracle happens every day as two fish produce hundreds of offspring who do the same.  A hand full of barley seed can sprout and after only a few more times of planting the seed that comes there will be plenty to make enough barley bread to feed five thousand men or more.  Don't believe the lie that there are too many people in the world for God to feed!

These verses clearly tell us  that God can take what you have and provide what you need as it passes through the hands of Jesus.  If you want to be blessed, or be a blessing to others give your "two fish and five loaves" to Jesus and let Him pass out the blessings!

"Lord Jesus, take my fish and loaves and use them to feed those who are hungry for You!  And may Your Holy Name be praised now and forever. Amen."