Wednesday, October 22, 2014

What is Jesus Like?

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If you love me, you will do what I have said, and my Father will love you. I will also love you and show you what I am like.

John 14:21

What is Jesus like? How would you describe Him? And how do you know what Jesus is like? Are you just repeating something someone else told you or do you from personal experience?

Of course, the Bible tells us the story of Jesus and every follower of Jesus will want to know and meditate on every Word of Scripture. But how has Jesus shown you what He is like?


Remember that prayer is a conversation, not a presentation. When you "spend time" with Jesus you not only pour out your heart to Him, but Jesus shows you what He is like! It is an intimacy that cannot and perhaps should not be described and "shared" with others.

The pathway to knowing Jesus is not to understand what it means to know Him, but rather to simply love Him and obey His Word! Then you will experience the love of the Father and Jesus Himself will show you what He is like! Every moment of your day will be one of discovering how Jesus wants you to respond, act, speak and even think. With the Holy Spirit in your heart, Jesus is your constant companion.


"Lord Jesus, I want today to love You more and be more obedient to every Word that comes from You. Show me more of what You, Jesus are like. And may You be praised forever. Amen."

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Not My Will, But Yours!

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God had the power to save Jesus from death. And while Jesus was on earth, he begged God with loud crying and tears to save him. He truly worshiped God, and God listened to his prayers. Jesus is God's own Son, but still he had to suffer before he could learn what it really means to obey God.  Suffering made Jesus perfect, and now he can save forever all who obey him.

Hebrews 5:7-9

I can't imagine how difficult it must have been for Jesus to live in a human body. When Jesus took on the form of a human being He allowed Himself to be limited. Jesus was thirsty and hungry like every other human. Jesus needed to get away from the crowd and spend time with God. When His friend Lazarus died, Jesus wept! There is nothing that you experience or suffer that Jesus does not understand completely.


These verses even say that Jesus "learned" what it really means to obey God. Does that mean that before Jesus learned what it means to obey, that He was disobedient? Of course not! Jesus did not disobey God, but suffering somehow focused His grasp of obedience as a human being.


There are many books written about suffering and what it means for you as a follower of Jesus, but if you are like Jesus, suffering helps you "learn what it really means to obey God!"


If there is pain in your life right now, or if it comes unexpectedly today, recognize that suffering and being obedient to the will of God are closely linked. If you decide once again today that you want to obey God, you can know for sure that suffering will be a part of your life of obedience.


"Lord Jesus, help me today to see the sufferings in my life, the same way that You saw Yours. And give me Lord, the courage to say, even as You did "NOT MY WILL BUT YOURS BE DONE! May You be praised forever. Amen."

Monday, October 20, 2014

Your Leader and Lord!

 
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Wisdom brings strength,
and knowledge gives power.
Battles are won
by listening to advice
and making a lot of plans.
Wisdom is too much for fools!
Their advice is no good.
Proverbs 24:5-7

A foolish leader does not listen to the advice of wisdom. He may “hear” the words and the advice of men and women who understand and know how to deal with a situation, but the foolish leader would rather go on letting his own opinion dictate his decisions! The hole he digs with his shovel of conceit gets deeper and deeper as his people begin to consider his opinions to be worthless.

If you live in a country with a foolish leader, it doesn't take the people long to see that their leader is not wise! And your leader's lack of wisdom will be the source of much national suffering.

If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, then your Leader and Lord has the Wisdom of the Ages and Eternity itself at His disposal. If you rely on Jesus and His Word for the wisdom you need in life, then your life will display greater wisdom than Solomon himself!

The Word of God lets the man who knows nothing move through life as if he knew everything! It is like when a child is obedient to the words of his parents, he benefits himself with the wisdom of many times his own years of living. So it is with God's Word. When you order your steps according to the Word of God, then the Wisdom of God is evident in everything you do.

Turn your heart to Jesus! Walk according to Word of God, not the foolish words of your Commander in Chief! You will never regret having Jesus as your Lord!

"Lord Jesus, thank You that Your wisdom can guide the steps of my life, until the day that I leave this world. May You be praised forever. Amen."









Sunday, October 19, 2014

ARE YOU AT WAR WITH GOD?

 

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No matter how much you know

or what plans you make,

you can't defeat the Lord.

Even if your army has horses

ready for battle,

the Lord will always win.

Proverbs 21:30-31 (CEV)

When it comes to winning in this world, knowledge and planning are very important. If you want to finish first in the contests of life, what you know and how well you plan can make all the difference.


But if you declare war against God Himself, you will not win, no matter how smart you are or how well you plan!


Much of the trouble, even followers of Jesus experience comes from their sifting through the Bible to find out which parts of God's will they are willing to obey. They quietly ignore the rest. They are like the man who embraces all the laws of "nature" except the law of gravity, and he continues to wonder why he breaks his bones so often!


Often someone might ask you: "What is your favorite verse?" Truthfully, your favorite verse is not important. That is the one you readily embrace. Your "least" favorite verse, the one you really don't like is more important to your walk with the Lord!


Instead of searching the Scriptures to find those parts with which you agree, look diligently through the Word of God for verses that may have prompted your "War with God!" Those are the ones that will make a huge difference in your life, when you finally embrace them in your heart!


"Lord Jesus, show me today how I may be fighting against Your will. And give me the strength to submit my will to Yours in EVERYTHING! And may You be praised forever! Amen."

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Umbrella of Free Will!

Rainbow 101

We make our own decisions,

but the Lord alone

determines what happens.

Proverbs 16:33

There they are: Free Will and the Sovereignty of God! How can the two co-exist? The answer to that question is profound and yet profoundly simple.


The free will of man exists because of God's Sovereign choice. Without God having declared it so, there would be no free will at all.

In the rain storm of life, God has chosen to give you an umbrella under which you may move freely and at your own discretion. But the limits of your "free will" are fixed and determined by God Himself.

When men attempt to move outside of the limits of free will and take upon themselves those decisions that are God's alone, calamities turn up on every hand!

God has given you the freedom to marry, and to choose which man or woman of the opposite sex will be your partner in life. But as they did in Sodom, we are insisting that we have the "right" to move the boundary God set up for marriage. When we do we are outside the "umbrella" of free will and will be pummeled by the storms of life as a direct result of trying to change God's design.

It would also be like the man who decides that he will live this life without eating food or drinking water. You have the right to decide what you eat and drink, but it is outside of the umbrella to eat and drink nothing. Your "free will" will come to a tragic end if you choose not to eat or drink.

So live freely under the Sovereignty of God. Enjoy life as you move about under His umbrella of Free Will.

"Lord Jesus, may I never forget that Your Sovereign Will is the source of my "Free Will" and that I am truly free only in You! And may You be praised forever! Amen."

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Ebola is Like Sin!

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You were rescued from the useless way of life you learned from your ancestors. But you know you were not rescued by such things as silver or gold that don't last forever.  You were rescued by the precious blood of Christ, that spotless and innocent lamb.

1 Peter 1:18-19

Dr. Kent Brantly was the first of the American Ebola patients. He was flown back to the United States from Liberia to Atlanta to receive treatment for the deadly illness. In what seemed almost a miracle, Dr. Brantly has recovered then began doing an amazing thing. He is now sharing his blood with other Ebola patients! Thus far everyone who was able to receive the blood of Dr. Brantly recovered from the Ebola virus!


It is really a modern day parable. You see, Jesus was exposed to the sin of this world and He took that deadly disease into His own body and suffered and died to pay the price for us all. Then Jesus conquered death when He rose from the grave, never to die again! On the Cross, Jesus provided the cure for sin for anyone who will share in His Blood! When the Blood of Jesus becomes a part of your life, your sins are washed away and you like Jesus experience resurrection from the grave! The Blood of Jesus heals you from the SICKNESS OF SIN!


Dr. Brantly is like Jesus in that his blood can save those who are infected with a deadly virus, even as does the Blood of Jesus for those infected with sin!


With Ebola, perhaps you can quarantine yourself and keep from being exposed to the virus, but with sin it is not possible. Everyone is infected with sin and your only hope is the Blood of Jesus!


"Lord Jesus, thank You for using Dr. Brantly to show us once again what Your Blood does for everyone who comes to You. Lord fill my heart with Your love and my veins with Your Blood. And may You be praised forever! Amen."

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Your Response is Not My Job!

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The Lord said, “Ezekiel, son of man, I want you to stand up and listen.”  After he said this, his Spirit took control of me and lifted me to my feet. Then the Lord said:

Ezekiel, I am sending you to the people of Israel. They are just like their ancestors who rebelled against me and refused to stop. They are stubborn and hardheaded. But I, the Lord God, have chosen you to tell them what I say. Those rebels may not even listen, but at least they will know that a prophet has come to them.

Don't be afraid of them or of anything they say. You may think you're in the middle of a thorn patch or a bunch of scorpions. But be brave and preach my message to them, whether they choose to listen or not.

Ezekiel 2:1-7

My job is to see that all men have heard the message that comes from God. The numbers of those who turn their hearts to Jesus is not my responsibility. I cannot take credit if many thousands of people turn to Him, and I cannot be blamed if they all refuse the Good News of Jesus.


Satan whispers in my ear, "Don't tell that man about Jesus, because he won't respond anyway!" And so I refuse to proclaim the message of Jesus to those who "probably" will reject Him.


Some preach a message that focuses on the mercy and love of God and leave out the part about repenting of your sins! Others proclaim a message that ignores the Cross and the cross that followers of Jesus must bear as well. It is all an attempt to increase the numbers of those who "respond" to the Gospel. But the truth is that those who "come to Christ" based on a watered down and non life changing Gospel will not remain when times get hard!


So, tell everyone the message of Jesus. And tell the whole message of the Gospel. Proclaim the parts that are sweet and wonderful and the parts about suffering and pain that all followers of Jesus will experience. Once you have planted that seed, then move on to plant the same seed in another heart! Just like seeds in the ground God will make them grow.


"Lord Jesus, help me to clearly proclaim Your Gospel to everyone around me. Give me the courage to tell others the whole life changing message. And, may You be praised forever. Amen."