Worship The Lord Jesus

In Jesus Is True Joy!

All We Like Sheep Have Gone Astray

I have little doubt that most already recognize Isaiah 53:6, which, in the King James reads:

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

At once, this verse is both a commentary on the desperation of Man’s condition before God and a prophesy about the sacrifice that was to be made by the Messiah in becoming the propitiation for our sins.

During worship and prayer this morning during church I was meditating on the love that the Lord has for His children.  I don’t know about you, but I have wandered away from the Lord several times in  my life.  Whether by alcohol and drugs, of by engaging in immoral sexual practices, or by putting other things first in my life which are, if we are being honest, forms of idolatry, I have strayed far from the Lord’s chosen path for me on a number of occasions.  On any of those occasions the Lord would have been more than justified to just throw up His hands and say, “Fine! If you like being apart from Me so well the just GO!  I am finished with you!”

But He never did, and He never would.  But today in particular, I was feeling enveloped by a love so strong that even my worst sin would never even dent His steadfast love for me.

“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.  —  Luke 15:4-7

Today, I saw this parable in a different light.  I believe that it not only refers to the person who strays in a bit way by falling into drug use or infidelity to one’s spouse or anything that may draw us away from our Savior’s love and guidance for months or even years.  It also refers to the one, I believe, who falls into temptation and sin even for an hour, even for a minute.  At the moment when we realize that we are engaging in sin, and that we are breaking our Savior’s heart, when we turn again to follow Him who bought us with His own blood, there is rejoicing in heaven that a wayward son or daughter, a wandering sheep, has turned away from the darkness of the world, the flesh, and the devil, and has chosen rather to gaze into the eternally loving face of their Savior.

Lord, reveal Your steadfast love that I may choose the world less and less, and You more and more.  Amen!

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July 29, 2012 Posted by | Faith, God's Grace, Godliness, Uncategorized | , , , , | 2 Comments

I Decided To Drown…Don’t Save Me

This is a really excellent perspective on our immersion in The Lord.

Be Better Not Bitter

ocean animated

photo credit: photobucket.com

Lord, if you are the ocean then I’m drowning! Sinking to the bottom of your love. I will breathe in you. I don’t want to breathe the air of the enemy. For it pollutes my lungs. I rather swallow the living water that flows from you.

I put my trust in you and only you Lord. This world is wicked and I know it is not where I want to reside. People with no integrity! Money hoarders that robs the poor. Lives been taking at a movie theater like they were animals with diseases. Wealthy people worrying about their status and how to grow their bank accounts.

Families who act like enemies. Christians acting like the world. Babies being raped like they are grown women. This world is a sick place, and I’m glad I am not in it. But I lay inside the bottom of the…

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July 25, 2012 Posted by | Godliness, Revival, Spiritual Commentary | , , , , | 3 Comments

What Would Happen If I Gave My Everything?

“The Motions” by Matthew West is a very thought-provoking song.  West released this song on his album “Something To Say” which was the first album published after he underwent “voice threatening surgery” of his vocal chords in 2007.  I have not been able to verify this anywhere, but I like to believe that he wrote “The Motions” during his  2-month period of silence and vocal rest following his surgery, while still unsure if he would be able to sing again.

Whether that is absolutely true or not, the story certainly gives me pause.  West’s surgical experience, which took place very shortly after the problem, polyps on the larynx that were causing hemorrhaging, was made, reminding me that a life changing event could come at any time.  So, I wonder, if such an event took place in my life, would I be comfortable knowing that, while I had the chance, I gave my everything to this Christian life, or would I spend the rest of my life asking, “What if I had given everything instead of just going through the motions?”.

July 24, 2012 Posted by | Discipleship, Faith, Godliness, Sanctification | , , , | 5 Comments

The World’s Simplest Evangelistic Tool, John 3:16

Last week, as part of the sermon given by our Pastor at Church, he shared with us an extremely simple evangelistic tool based on John 3:16:  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”  (ESV)

He suggested that this could be used in an informal setting such as at a restaurant or over coffee.  Finding something to write on, a paper napkin or whatever, start by drawing a plus sign, or the four points of a compass.  Then, talking through the points of John 3:16, write down the following phrases at each of the four points:

  • God Loves  (N)
  • God Gives,  (S)
  • We Believe  (E)
  • We Live (W)

Of course, you can elaborate on the four points, this is just a bare outline  The beauty is that it is so easy to remember and includes all of the essentials.

So, there it is, a simple and easy way to present the Gospel to anyone, even a stranger you talk to on a park bench.

May god bless you as you go and share the Good News of Jesus Christ.

July 24, 2012 Posted by | Evangalism, Salvation | , , , | 13 Comments

Amazing Love, How Can It Be?

We sang the song, “Amazing Love” in Church this morning, and, as I usually do, I stood amazed at the incredible love that my Savior has for me.  Following are a video of this song featuring Chris Tomlin, as well as the lyrics for you to enjoy.  I also include a brief meditation at the end.

I’m forgiven because You were forsaken,
I’m accepted, You were condemned.
I am alive and well, Your spirit is within me,
Because You died and rose again.
(Repeat x2)

(Chorus)
Amazing love,
How can it be
That You, my King, should die for me?
Amazing love,
I know it’s true.
It’s my joy to honor You,
In all I do, I honor You.

I’m forgiven because You were forsaken,
I’m accepted, You were condemned.
I am alive and well, Your spirit is within me,
Because You died and rose again.

(Repeat chorus x2)

You are my King
Jesus You are my King
(Repeat x4)

(Repeat chorus x2)

You are my King
(Repeat x8)

Jesus  is our Lord, our Master.  If we think of ourselves as slaves or servants of Jesus as I do, we are perceiving our relationship to Him in the proper light.  Yes, we are slaves, and our Master is the Lord of Glory, God, The Almighty.

How can it be then that our Master should humble Himself to the point where He is publicly humiliated, whipped and beaten, and then crucified?

He is our Master, and we are but slaves.  Can there be any doubt then that God loves us with a love that we will never be able to comprehend?  There is no doubt in my mind, and with a Master like Jesus, no shame at all in being His slave.

Command me Jesus, I belong to You, mind, body, and spirit!

July 23, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 4 Comments

My Friends, I Bring You Wonderful News!

I searched for the proper adjective to use in my title and settled for “wonderful”.  I say settled because there really is no word to describe the greatness, the wonder, the awesomeness of what I am about to share.

So, what is this good news?  I will let Paul the Apostle share it first.  Paul said:

For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,  and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,  and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve.  After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep.  After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles.  Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.  1 Corinthians 15:3-8

To condense what Paul said, Jesus Christ died as a sacrifice for our sins, and then rose from the dead so that we might enjoy eternal life with God.

To put it another way, the Bible teaches that we are all sinners.  We have all fallen short of God’s expectation, which is sinless perfection.  (Romans 3:23)  Therefore, the Holy Spirit of God does not dwell in us, and as a result, we are dead, spiritually, and upon our physical death, we will be eternally separated from God.

Remember, this is not God’s plan for us, we, all of us have sinned willfully and brought about our own spiritual deaths.  It is not God who caused our separation from Him.  We did this to ourselves.

That’s the bad news.  The good news we have already heard from the Apostle Paul.  God is not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9) but that all should come to repentance.  Therefore, He sent His Son, Jesus, to take te punishment for our sins on our behalf.  This is called propitiation.  A favorite saying of mine is, “Jesus paid a debt He did not owe, for us who owed a debt we could not pay”.  The just died for the unjust, in order that the unjust should be justified before God.

But that is only part of the good news.  Once Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf was accepted by God, Jesus rose from the dead, victorious, not only over sin, but over death itself!  As a result of Jesus’ sacrifice, His righteousness is imputed to us.  And, as a result of Jesus being raised from the dead, His Life is imputed to us as well.

This gift of eternal life is given freely to any who will believe in Jesus.  So, what exactly does that mean, “believe in Jesus”?

First, we must acknowledge before God that we are a sinner.  Second, we must acknowledge that Jesus died for our sins.  Third, we must ask God for the salvation that He has provided through His Son, Jesus Christ.  And last, we must trust in Jesus alone for our salvation.  His sacrifice was sufficient.  There is nothing else that we must do to obtain, or to maintain our salvation, only trust in Him for what He has already accomplished on our behalf.

If you would like to know more about becoming a Christian, please do not hesitate to contact me, either b leaving a comment here, or by sending me an email at johnconstitution@gmail.com

God bless you.

July 22, 2012 Posted by | Christian, Discipleship, Evangalism, Faith, Salvation | , , , , | 4 Comments

Psalm 37, Don’t Worry, Be Happy, Or Else!

After re-reading one of my favorite Psalms, Psalm 37, I decided to look a little deeper at the meaning of the word “fret”, and was quite surprised by what I found.  This word appears three times in the first eight verses of the psalm:

Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.  For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.  Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.  Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.  Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.  And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.  Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.  Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.

“Fret” comes from the Hebrew word “Charah” which is translated “kindled” 44 time, “wroth” 13 times, “hot” 10 times, “angry” 9 times, “displease” 4 times, and “fret” 4 times  (from Blue Letter Bible Lexicon).  I notice that fret is a less used translation, and that all the translations are highly charged words.

We could easily translate verse 1 as Be not wroth, be not angry, or even,  be not kindled against evil doers.  But what does that mean, “be not kindled”?

For a clue, I looked up the word fret in Webster’s and found not just the common definition of “worry” but a lot more.  In addition to worry, fret also means to “eat or gnaw into”, also, corrode, fray, rub, or chafe.

So now we begin to see, fret or worry is not just something that we do, but when we do it, it does something back to us.  As a result of worry, our being is eaten or gnawed, or corroded away.

God tells us not to worry about evil doers, not only because we can’t do anything about them anyway, we will not prevent others from their evil ways, but more importantly, as we allow ourselves to be caught up in worry, we are doing actual damage to ourselves.

As we trust in The Lord and lean on Him, His promise is that we will dwell in the land, we will be fed, He will give us the desires of our heart, and many more promises throughout the psalm.  If you are not familiar with Psalm 37, I urge you to read it through.  It is a truly beautiful psalm.

July 14, 2012 Posted by | Faith, God's Grace, Godliness | , , , | 16 Comments

The Grace of God, or The Works of The Flesh

I was reading in Act chapter 19 the other day when I came to this passage about the Apostle Paul:

11 And God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them. 13 Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.” 14 Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. 15 But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” 16 And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. 17 And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled. 18 Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. 19 And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 So the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily.  —  Acts 19:11-20  (ESV)

What first impressed me was how Paul, led by the Holy Spirit was able to do “extraordinary miracles” to the point where handkerchiefs that he had merely touched could be taken to a sick or possessed person and that person would be healed

Next were the seven Jewish exorcists who tried to use the name of Jesus without knowing Him personally,  and had no success at all.  In fact, their experience ended in near disaster!

But notice the contrast!

First there is Paul, a believer in Jesus Christ, fully submitted to the will of the Holy Spirit.  Paul was not motivated by pride, but by his eagerness to please his Lord, through obedience.  As a result, he is blessed by God beyond measure!

Then consider the seven sons of Sceva.  Now, Sceva was a Jewish High Priest, so the sons were almost certainly experts in the Law of Moses themselves, or at the very least, very well versed in the Law.  These young men fancied themselves exorcists and, seeing Paul’s great success, saw an opportunity to be more successful themselves by invoking the name that seemed to make Paul successful.  But unlike Paul, these men were selfishly motivated

Paul could contribute his success to the grace of God.  The seven exorcists could contribute their “success” to works.

I think it is worth asking ourselves, are we fully submitted to the Lord Jesus, as Paul was?  Or are we living our lives under our own power, and in our own strength?

Have we been saved by the grace of God?  Or are we relying on our works to prove to God that we are deserving of His salvation?

Lord Jesus, I humbly thank you for providing for my salvation by your death, burial and resurrection.  I am saved, not because I am worthy, but because You are.  You are my Savior, and my Lord and Master.  Therefore I bow before You and submit my life to You.  Amen.

July 10, 2012 Posted by | Faith, God's Grace, Godliness, Uncategorized | , , , , | 4 Comments

Lord, This Blog Belongs To You

Recently, the Lord has been leading me to surrender certain areas of my life that I have been holding on to, so I have been placing those areas under His Lordship and acknowledging that He is Lord of all parts of my life and that it is all His to do with, to use, or to discard, as He wills.

So, in church this morning I came to realize as our Pastor was preaching on The Good Samaritan, that I had never surrendered this blog to Jesus’ Lordship.  I quickly jotted a note so as not to forget and so I could let go the thought and listen to our Pastor’s message.

The Lord has been speaking to me for some time about spending more time with this blog but I never knew how I might accomplish that.  I just have never had a steady stream of ideas coming that I should be able to write more frequently.  Until today.  The Lord showed me the way, and it had only to do with His leading, and was not dependent at all on me coming up with ideas.  And it was only after that revelation that I realized that I had never truly given this blog over to the Lord’s care.  It was always my blog.  I maintained it, and I was the one responsible for the writing.

So, today I write for the purpose of dedicating this blog to the Lord.  I will write as directed by the Lord, and respond to posts in the same way.

Lord Jesus, I bow humbly before you now as I dedicate this blog to You.  From now on, may You be solely responsible for its content, and may the work that I do for it be always in keeping with Your will.  Amen.

July 8, 2012 Posted by | Christian, Discipleship, Worship | , , , , | 6 Comments

The Progressive nature Of God’s Personal Revelation

In Acts chapter 21, Paul learns that when he journeys to Jerusalem, he will be captured by the Jews and handed over to the Gentiles.

10 After we had been there a number of days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea.11 Coming over to us, he took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, “The Holy Spirit says, ‘In this way the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.’”  —  Acts 21:10-11

Paul’s response here is very important.  He says,  “Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”  (Acts 21:13)  The key phrase is “I am ready”.  This tells me that Paul was already aware, at least, that something unpleasant was going to take place when he reached Jerusalem, and the Holy Spirit had already prepared him for the event.  Therefore, upon learning the exact nature of the event that would occur, his response is that he is ready.

Do you suppose that if Paul had learned on the road to Damascus that he would one day be turned over to the Gentiles and eventually killed that he would have so readily followed Jesus?  That is a hard question to answer, but I have a feeling that he would not.

But over time, day by day, and bit by bit, as Paul’s faith grew ever stronger, the Lord revealed to him, a bit at a time, exactly what would be required of him, until, eventually, when he learns of his eventual demise, he is able to respond, “I am ready”.

And it is the same with us.  Our God does not reveal to us what we will be enduring five years from now, or ten.  But He does faithfully prepare us for what will happen today, tomorrow, or next week.  And as we grow in our faith, the Lord will trust us with ever larger and more specific revelations about our circumstances and what we must endure for His sake.

So, what about you Christian, are you ready?

Lord, I bow humbly before you as I seek your will for me life, trusting that You will fill me always with your Spirit so that when asked, my response will always be, “Yes Lord, I am ready!”  Amen.

July 8, 2012 Posted by | Faith, Knowing Jesus, Prayer | , , , , | 10 Comments