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In Jesus Is True Joy!

God Loves You! It’s As Simple As That

Have you ever broken any of the Ten Commandments?  Come on now, be honest.  Have you ever lied?  Have you ever seen something that belonged to another and wanted it for your own?  Have you ever stolen anything?  Even a small thing?  Have you ever committed adultery?  Remember, Jesus said that if you have ever looked on a woman to lust after her, that you have committed adultery with her in your heart.  How about murder?  Jesus said that if you are angry with your brother that you are subject to the judgment.

So, the average person, in God’s eyes is a Lying, covetous, thieving, adulterer who may very well be a murderer as well.  If you or I were to stand before God with a record like that, what do you think the outcome would be?

If God is just, and He is, the only possible verdict that He could reach is the verdict of guilty, with the punishment being death, permanent spiritual separation from God.  In fact, that is the judgment that each of us has in our future.  The Bible says that the wages of sin is death.  (Romans 6:23)

The wages of sin is death, and we are all guilty of it.  We are all guilty because we all have sinned.  That’s pretty bad news for all of us, devastating!  But it doesn’t have to be.

You see, I left off the second half of Romans 6:23.  Here is the whole verse:

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  —  Romans 6:23

From the first verse that talks about sin and death, we might get the impression that God hates us.  But really, just the opposite is true.  The reason we are sinners is our own personal choice.  We sinned, and death, or separation from God is the natural consequence of sin.  Just as gravity is a law of the physical universe, the law of sin and death is a law of the spiritual realm.  If we step off a cliff, we fall.  If we sin, we die.

If God did not care about His creation, He could have left things that way.  We made a choice, and it is only right that we should pay the price.

But God loves us!

He was not willing to leave us in our condition of spiritual death, so, He offered His Son, Jesus, The Christ, to die in our place and pay the full price for every sin we ever committed and for every sin that we ever will commit.  Jesus, truly God in human flesh, and truly human as well.  He was tempted in every way, even as we are, and yet, without sin.  (see Hebrews 4:15)  Having lived a sinless life, He was in a position to take on the punishment of others, of you and me.

When Jesus died on the cross, it was not a tragic accident, it was the fulfillment of why He came to earth in the first place.

And, to everyone who will acknowledge that they are a sinner and in need of God’s mercy, and will trust in The Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins, God extends the gift of new and eternal life.  The Bible says it this way:

that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;  —  Romans 10:9

God loves each of us enough that He was willing to take our just punishment so that we might live with Him forever.  And if you accept His Son, Jesus, as your own Savior, that is just what will happen.  The Bible says:

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.  —  Romans 8:1-2

Won’t you accept God’s gift of eternal life now?  It is as simple as admitting to God that you are a sinner and need the salvation that He has provided in His Son.  Do it now, ask God to forgive your sin and you will receive His gift of eternal life.

If you have accepted God’s gift of life, I hope that you will take a few minutes and leave a comment here and tell others what you have done.  Or, if that makes you feel uncomfortable, you are always welcome to send me an email.

God bless you!

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June 28, 2012 Posted by | Christian, Discipleship, Evangalism, Forgiveness, God's Grace, Salvation | , , , , , | 25 Comments

Be Careful How You Live!

His name is Bill. He has wild hair, wears a T-shirt with holes in it, jeans and no shoes. This was literally is wardrobe for his entire four years of college. He is brilliant. Kind of esoteric and very, very bright. He became a Christian recently while attending college.

Across the street from the campus is a well-dressed, very conservative church. One day Bill decides to go there. He walks in with no shoes, jeans, his T-shirt, and wild hair. The service has already started and So Bill starts down the aisle looking for a seat.

The church is completely packed and he can’t find a seat. By now people are really looking a bit uncomfortable, but no one says anything. Bill gets closer and closer and closer to the pulpit and, when he realizes there are no seats, he just squats down right on the carpet. (Although perfectly acceptable behavior at a college fellowship, trust me, this had never happened in this church before!

By now the people are really uptight, and the tension in the air is thick. About this time, the minister realizes that from way at the back of the church, an Elder is slowly making his way toward Bill. Now the Elder is in his eighties, has silver-gray hair, and a three-piece suit. A godly man, very elegant, very dignified, very courtly. He walks with a cane and, as he starts walking toward this boy, everyone is saying To themselves that you can’t blame him for what he’s going to do.

How can you expect a man of his age and of his background to understand some college kid on the floor? It takes a long time for the man to reach the boy. The church is utterly silent except for the clicking of the man’s cane.

All eyes are focused on him. You can’t even hear anyone breathing. The minister can’t even preach the sermon until the Elder does what he has to do. And now they see this elderly man drop his cane on the floor. With great difficulty he lowers himself and sits down next to Bill and worships with him so he won’t be alone.

Everyone chokes up with emotion. When the minister gains control, he says, “What I’m about to preach, you will never remember. What you have just seen, you will never forget. Be careful how you live. You may be the only Bible some people will ever read.”

This story was found on Godvine (www.godvine.com) and was presented without attribution.  So, Godvine is the only attribution I know to give.

June 22, 2012 Posted by | Discipleship, Evangalism, Godliness | , | 19 Comments

A Sobering Thought On Evangelism

Have you ever wondered, if Jesus walked the earth today, what would He see when He looked at various people?  Let’s say He was with you at work tomorrow morning.  He would know if each of your co-workers was saved or not.  Of those who are not saved, He would know in each person what seed has already been planted and whether it was about to germinate or whether it was nearly grown and ready for harvest.  He would know exactly, to the second, how much time that person had left on earth and the urgency of sharing the gospel message that he or she might find salvation.

We, unfortunately, do not have all of those advantages.  We know that, according to Jesus’ Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) we are to make disciples of all nations.  We know that when we meet a non-believer and share the gospel that we may be planting a seed, or watering a struggling seedling, or preparing a mature plant for, and maybe even participating in its harvest.  But we also know that it is appointed to man once to die, and after that, the judgment.  But we have no idea whether the person next to us will live to a hundred, or whether they will, God forbid, die in a traffic accident on te way home from work.

The truth of the matter is, if we really believe what the Bible teaches, we must treat our sharing of the gospel with some urgency, because we just don’t know how many chances we or others may have to share.

That’s an awesome responsibility, isn’t it?  But let us not be crushed by it.  In Isaiah 55:10-11 God says that His word will accomplish what He intends.  If we are unable to deliver a particular message on one occasion, someone else will.  What we can know with confidence is that God’s will not be thwarted when it comes to a lost sheep being returned to His fold.

The fact is, God does not need us.  If it were His plan, God could return ever last lost person to His fold without human participation at all.  But God has purposed that we should take part in His harvest.  We are not helping God, but He is granting a wonderful opportunity to take part in the most incredible miracle ever, the reuniting of God’s Spirit with dead and separated souls.

Yes, Jesus made sharing the gospel a responsibility, but is also an incredible privilege which we ought no waste.

June 21, 2012 Posted by | Evangelism, God's Grace, Salvation | , , , | 2 Comments

A Christian Call To Action – 2 Chron 7:14

I read an excellent blog post today by a good friend named Debra Aiken.  I don’t know if you’ve read Debra’s blog before but Debra is really on fire for the Lord.  I have been blessed so many times reading her posts knowing that I am hearing a message the Spirit had planned just for me.The post I read today is a call to action for all Christians, and is based on 2 Chronicles 7:14.

Minister Aiken starts her post like this:

2 Chronicles 7:14 – If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Oh, what a promise that God sends not only to America, but to the world on this morning! Healing is available to the world again, on today! God is offering us another opportunity to repent, turn from our wicked ways and seek Him on this day that the Lord has made.

Read more of Minister Aiken’s article here.

June 9, 2012 Posted by | God's Grace, Prayer, Revival | , , , , | Leave a comment

Christian! BE The Love Of Jesus!

As I read the comments to a few of my past blog posts, but most especially this one, I am reminded that many of us still believe that God has appointed us judges over the world and that our job is to point out the sins of others, whether they are born again believers or not.

Perhaps this belief that we are to point out the sins of others stems from the mistaken belief that God is still holding their sins against them.  But that, happily, is not the case at all!

The Bible teaches that Jesus died on the cross for sins, in fact, He died for the sins of the world.  (Please see 1 John 2:2)  When Jesus said, “It is finished”, that is exactly what He meant.  All sins, yours, mine, and those of the murderer on death row, all of them have been paid for by the Blood of Jesus, and forgiven by God.  Quite simply, they don’t exist any more.

Since Jesus’ death on the cross, God has not been dealing with man on the basis of his sin and need to have it covered by a sacrifice.  Jesus was the last, and perfect sacrifice, making further sacrifice unnecessary, because the sin problem was dealt with once, for all.

God’s dealing with man is now on the basis of faith in His Son and the restoration of His Holy Spirit, who now dwells in the hearts of all believers.   (Please see Romans 8:1-2)

Therefore, it makes no sense to stand in judgment over others, telling them that God holds their sins against them.  He doesn’t!  That ended 2000 years ago on the cross.  And that’s not what Jesus told us to do anyway.  Jesus said:

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”  —  John 13:34-35

The apostle Paul had a little something to say about the importance of love as well:

1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,  but do not have love, I gain nothing.  —  1 Corinthians 13:1-3

If I have not love, I am nothing!

So, whether we are out and about in the world living our lives, or interacting with others on Twitter or another online community, let us remember what the Lord commanded us, and love those we interact with.  Rather than looking for their sin and (falsely) telling them that God holds their sins against them, let us rather look for that soul that God cared enough about to die for, and always remember that God wishes nothing more than for that lost soul to find its way to faith in Jesus Christ who loves them.

In other words Christian, BE Love To Your Neighbor!

Related Posts:

Judgmentalism

Do you love? I mean REALLY love?

June 5, 2012 Posted by | Evangelism, God's Grace, Godliness | , , , , , | 8 Comments

Online Evangelism 101

If you are reading this, chances are you found this post either as the result of a Google search, or you saw a tweet on Twitter that contained a link to this post. Either way, you are likely pretty familiar with the internet. And, if you are reading this, you are also likely a Christian, and perhaps wondering how the internet can be utilized as a means of sharing your faith with others.

First, there are probably hundreds of ways of sharing your faith online, and perhaps the most important thing is that you pick one (or more) and just do it!

This tutorial is for something I call “The Twitter Blitz For Jesus” and is the brainchild of an online friend of mine, Ron Estrada.

There are two ways you can be involved in the Twitter Blitz.

The first way is incredibly simple, and anyone can help with the Blitz in just a few seconds.

  • Step 1:  Do a Twitter search for the hashtag #WPFTL
  • Step 2: Retweet one of the tweets you find in the search results

That’s it!  You’ve just contributed to the success of the Blitz, but far more importantly, you’ve helped to share God’s word with someone who desperately needs to hear it.

The second way of participating takes just a little more time, but allows you to contribute to the content of the Blitz, and not just the volume.  To get an idea of how you can help, let’s look at a Twitter Blitz tweet:

#WhatIDreamAbout is that glorious day when I see Jesus face to face. Will you join me? ow.ly/bjCS5 #WPFTL

Let’s look at each part of this tweet:

#WhatIDreamAbout is a trending hashtag.  What that means is, at the time this tweet was made, that hashtag was being included more times than the majority of hashtags.  Using trending hashtags is an easy way to get your tweet read by more tweeters.

You can find out what hashtags are trending right now by going to twitter.com and clicking “Discover” at the top of the page.  Down the left side you will see an are marked “Trends”.  Among the trends will be some hashtags.  The closer a trend is to the top of the list, the more popular it is at the moment.  Keep in mind that trending hashtags are changing constantly.  What is trending right now may not be in a few hours, so it always pays to check the current trends before making new tweets.

Next is the text associated with the hashtag, “is that glorious day when I see Jesus face to face. Will you join me?”.  This is not strictly necessary, but it is better if your tweet incorporates the hashtag smoothly.  If you have to, you can just include the hashtag with unrelated text, but it is probably better if you can come up with something that fits the hashtag.

Next you will see a link.  This link can be to a blog post that you have written that includes your testimony or a post explaining how the reader can find salvation in Jesus Christ.  Or it could be an evangelistic article or video that you would like to share.

And last, #WPFTL – We include this hashtag in every Twitter Blitz tweet so others can search for and find our tweets and then retweet them so we can keep the Blitz going.

Here are a few quick tips to make our Twitter Blitz for Jesus a huge success:

  • Always use a popular hashtag in your tweet
  • Try to incorporate your tweet into the theme of the hashtag. Be Creative!
  • Always use the #WPFTL in your tweet so other Blitzers can find it and retweet it.
  • Retweet other Blitzers tweets as often as you can
  • Have fun, and God bless!

Finally, if you are on Facebook and would like to join a group of motivated online evangelists,contact Ron Estrada or John Constitution (me) and ask for an invite into our Facebook group.

June 2, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | 18 Comments