Worship The Lord Jesus

In Jesus Is True Joy!

Let Jesus Be Our Example

Follow JesusI want to share a few brief passages from the New Testament that show how Jesus ought to be the example that we live by.  First Philippians 2:5-8 shows us that as Jesus was radically obedient to the Father, so ought we also be:

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

In 1 John 3:16-18 we see that Jesus showed us love by laying down His life for us, and that we ought also to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters in need.

By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.

We also se that it is not enough to give verbal assent to this truth, we need to put it into action.

In 2 Corinthians 8:9-15 we see another example.  In this one we see that Jesus made Himself poor that we might become rich.

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich. And in this I give advice: It is to your advantage not only to be doing what you began and were desiring to do a year ago; but now you also must complete the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to desire it, so there also may be a completion out of what you have. For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have. For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened; but by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may supply their lack, that their abundance also may supply your lack—that there may be equality. As it is written, “He who gathered much had nothing left over, and he who gathered little had no lack.”

And Paul then applies Jesus’ example to the Corinthian Church, a congregation that was experiencing a time of great abundance, and encouraging them to share their abundance with the poorer Church at Macedonia.

I would like to close with a reiteration of John’s admonition to act in deed and in truth by sharing a passage from James.  In chapter 2 verses 14-17, James shows again how our faith must be more than just verbal assent, it must play out in action as well.  

What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

And James gives another example of a brother or sister in need, and how we, as followers of Jesus, must not simply say that we will pray for that brother or sister, but must also do a concrete action to help alleviate the situation.

It may seem obvious, but following Jesus is more than knowing what Jesus said, it is doing what Jesus does.

May peace go with you.

 

 

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April 27, 2014 Posted by | Christian, Discipleship, Faith | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

If I Firmly Believed…

Church Building“If I firmly believed, as millions say they do, that the knowledge and practice of religion in this life influences the eternal destiny of others, then religion would mean everything to me. I would cast away earthly enjoyments as dross, earthly cares as folly, and earthly thoughts and feelings as vanity. Religion would be my first waking thought and my last image before sleep sank me into unconsciousness. I would labor in its cause alone. I would take thought for the morrow of eternity alone. I would esteem one soul gained for heaven worth a life of suffering. Earthly consequences would never stay my hand nor seal my lips. Earth, its joys and its griefs, would occupy no moments of my thoughts. I would strive to look upon eternity alone and on the immortal souls around me, soon to be everlastingly happy or everlastingly miserable. I would go forth to the world and preach in season and out of season, and my text would be, “What shall it profit man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?”

–Written by a professing atheist in 1787

If we are in Christ, we should share His burden for the lost and be moved out of our pews in Church and into the streets or wherever the lost are found.

April 26, 2014 Posted by | Christian, Evangelism, Faith, Great Commission | , , , , , | 4 Comments

What Are You Doing For Mother’s Day?

Millions of American’s will be celebrating Mother’s Day in just a few weeks, on Sunday, May 11. Perhaps you will be buying your Mother a nice card and a box of her favorite chocolates. Or, if you are a married man, you will be buying the Mother of your children a gift, something that will show her how much you appreciate what she is doing for the children.

But a Mother is a deeply caring creature, and the gifts that we buy our favorite Mother may be very nice tokens, they don’t really address a Mother’s caring nature.

But there is a way. There are millions of children around the world who are living in dire circumstances. Some are living with disease. Others are starving because the family is so poor that there is no food. And still others are living with the results of their Mother’s desperate action, selling their child into slavery so that the rest of the family might have a chance to survive.

How better to honor your favorite Mother than to rescue one of these little children?

Anjali Kumari 2Meet Anjali Kumari!  Anjali is 5 years old, lives in Uttar Pradesh, India, and is enrolled in Gospel For Asia’s Bridge Of Hope Program.  Isn’t she a cute one?

I recently sponsored Anjali on behalf of my favorite Mom, my wife, Alice, as a Mother’s Day gift.

As a Bridge Of Hope child, Anjali receives one nourishing meal every day, medical care and checkups, and participates in daily school classes where she learns the basics of education so she can one day break the cycle of poverty, as well as instruction in hygiene for better health, and most importantly of all, she is learning about Jesus and His salvation.

Will you honor your Mother or wife this year by joining me in sponsoring a child from the Bridge of Hope?  In doing so,  you not only assure that one child will be given a real chance at a better life, you will be fundamental in seeing that your sponsored child is given the opportunity to establish a saving relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ.  And it does not end there.  I have read many stories where the parents of a Bridge Of Hope child will give their lives to the Lord as a result of their child’s conversion, and many times the parent’s conversion will spill over to include the village where they live.

So, won’t you join me?  You can select a child to sponsor simply by clicking this link.

May God bless you as you follow His lead in reducing the suffering in the world.

April 25, 2014 Posted by | 1040 Window, Gospel For Asia, Mother's Day | , , | Leave a comment

America Is Spiritually Weak

EverythingTheyOwnI didn’t yet know how, I didn’t know when.  But I did know one thing: God did not shower such great blessing on this nation for the Christians to live in extravagance, self-indulgence, and spiritual weakness. — K. P. Yohannan, “Revolution In World Missions”

Over 3 billion people who have never heard the name of Jesus.  Over 40,000 die every day without ever hearing His life giving name even once.  Billions of people living in slavery to idolatry in a land that is shrouded in spiritual darkness.  People who live their entire lives drinking stagnant water, and in most of the world, water-borne illness is a leading cause of death.  Billions of people who live on less than $2 per day.

But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?  My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.  —  1 John 3:17-18

But in America, we are torn between the choices of getting a bigger home or keeping the one we already have and upgrading it.  Of upgrading our second car, or maybe taking that cruise we’ve been talking about.  Of getting yet another TV set, or perhaps upgrading the living room set to an HD in-home theater system.

Yes, the Lord has blessed us beyond His blessing of any other people, but is this the way He intended for us to use that blessing?  Is this what we call good stewardship of what the Lord has given?  How is this loving our brother in need?

We in America, and in other Western nations, for the most part, hold to a form of Godliness, but deny its power (2 Timothy 3:5)  We claim to love our neighbor, but only in deed and in tongue, because truth be told, we love ourselves and our toys even more.

But if you look at the situation world-wide, with 3 billion never hearing the gospel and all the other depressing statistics, it is easy to say, “But what can I do, I am only one person and the problems are just insurmountable.”

Perhaps a better question to ask would be, “with God, what can I not do?  The problems may be big, but my God is much bigger!”

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  —  Philippians 4:13

For starters, how about supporting a child?  Or perhaps you would rather sponsor an Asian National foreign missionary?  Or, go to Gospel For Asia’s Home Page for many more giving ideas.

There is very much that must be done, and we all need to be involved in one way or another, however the Lord leads.

April 23, 2014 Posted by | 1040 Window, Bridge of Hope, Gospel For Asia | , | Leave a comment

He Is Risen!

On this day when we celebrate the resurrection of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ, I would like to share a very beautiful video. It is an adaptation of Leonard Cohan’s “Hallelujah. I hope that you will enjoy this as much as I have, and may our Lord bless you with a fuller understanding of this holiday season.

If you would like, you can skip over the prologue to the start of the music at 1:34.

April 19, 2014 Posted by | Good Friday, Resurrection | , , | 2 Comments

Good Friday Reflections

Today is Good Friday, the day when Christianity traditionally remembers the passion and sacrifice of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.

I have been pondering some of the circumstances that occurred around this time. First, after Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, a Jewish council decided to ignore this most notable miracle and plotted to kill Jesus instead.

I thought, how tragic it is that the council could be so caught up in their own self-interest that they would decide on this course of action rather than seeing events for what they were.

And then, there was a string of events that occurred while Jesus was on the cross: The earth was darkened for three hours, and when He died there was a great earthquake. And most notable of all, the Temple veil that separated the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies, was torn in two.

One might think that someone might take this as a sign maybe that something unusual, even unique, had just taken place.

But no, these events were ignored, and blind self-interest was the order of the day.

And I wonder, am I guilty of blind self-interest? And if I am, how would I know?

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139: 23-24

April 18, 2014 Posted by | Christian, Faith, Good Friday | , , , , | Leave a comment

I Am So Hungry, But There Is No Food

…Not even in the garbage can.ImSoHungry

Imagine if it were your child saying that?  It could probably never happen where we live, but there are places where the poverty is so severe, that children are forced to dig through garbage every day just for a scrap of food that is probably already rotting.

This situation, while it sounds utterly fantastic and unreal to us, is the daily reality for millions of children through South Asia.

But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?  Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.  —  1 John 3:17-18

But the problem is so big, so widespread, how can I, an individual possibly make a difference?  Well, we can’t make a difference among the lives of millions, only God can because there is nothing too difficult for God.  But we can make a tremendous difference in the life of one child.  Literally, our help may well mean the difference between life and death.

Please consider helping a child through Gospel For Asia’s Bridge of Hope program.  You can make sure that one child receives food so he grow strong, medical care so he can stay healthy, and education so he can learn about Jesus and permanently break the bonds of poverty.

Finally, many times when the child learns about Jesus his whole family will be saved.  Often times, when a single child comes to the Lord through Bridge of Hope, entire villages are affected, with many lives being won to Jesus.

 

April 12, 2014 Posted by | 1040 Window, Christian, Gospel For Asia | , , , | Leave a comment

Is The Bible Reliable?

17HDprofilepic_zps07973b86The author of one of the blogs I follow, Brittany, who authors 17 Hour Days, has begun a new series of posts about the reliability of the Bible.  I found 17 Hour Days only recently and so far, I have been very impressed with her writing.  Brittany is a Godly woman, obviously being led by the Spirit.

Brittany kicked off her series with a giveaway.  She is giving away a copy of the DvD, “The Case For Christ”, by Lee Strobel.

And I just finished reading her first post in the series, “Is The Bible Reliable Part I”.  I invite my readers to check out Brittany’s page and to read her whole series on Bible reliability.

God bless!

April 12, 2014 Posted by | The Bible | | Leave a comment

Turning The World Upside-Down For Jesus

But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out, “These who have turned the world Surrenderupside down have come here too.  —  Acts 17:6

This was a complaint against Paul and those working with him made by the Jews when Paul came to Thessalonica.  The Jews were not happy because Paul was upsetting the status quo and many Jewish followers were instead following Jesus in every city that Paul visited.  The Jewish complaint was, in fact, a complaint against Paul’s overwhelming success in persuading people to follow Jesus.

Paul’s success as an evangelist is undeniable, and “turning the world upside-down” seems a proper description of what Paul accomplished.

So, as I look at the Church today, I don’t see nearly the intensity that I see recounted in the Bible.  In fact, in the Western World at least, I see the Church as being ineffectual for the most part, and I wonder why.  And in wondering, I think I have some idea why we are so ineffective.

So lets look at the average Western believer for a minute.  He, or she, is likely married, working and with children, supporting a mortgage payment, two or more cars, looking to get ahead in their career, and looking for ways to make life a little easier and more comfortable.  More likely than not, these people came to Jesus by praying a simple prayer and were told that if they were sincere in their prayer, then their eternal destiny is safe in Jesus.

Okay, done.  They will go to Church when they get tje chance, maybe even put a few dollars in the offering plate.  But their eternal destiny is secure, so they don’t need to let any religious exercise get in the way of pursuing their next raise or a better car or even a bigger house.

And that, to a large extent describes the Church and the average believer.

But lets look at Paul and see if we can see why he was able to turn the world upside down for Jesus.  I think if you compare Paul’s life to the life of the average believer today, you would say that the reason that Paul was so effective is that Paul lived an upside-down life.  Living upside-down would be taking all of the commonly accepted behaviors, things that we might consider to be our top priorities, and turning upside-down, making a top priority a bottom priority instead.

We might like to live in security, knowing that we have a roof over our head, a car in the garage, and a steady income so we can always count on our next meal.  Paul, on the other hand, might have considered it a good day if he was not both stoned and shipwrecked in the same day.

We are happy that we are saved and know it because we prayed a little prayer one time.    Paul said:

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.  —  Galatians 2:20

We may find ourselves flirting with sin from time to time, but Paul was dead to sin:

Likewise also reckon yourselves to be truly dead unto sin, but alive unto God in Christ, Jesus, our Lord.  —  Romans 6:11

Sin had no place in Paul’s life, rather, he presented his body to God:

Neither present your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin, but present yourselves unto God as those that are alive from the dead and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.  —  Romans 6:13

And finally, Paul took very seriously the words of Jesus:

And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.  —  Luke 9:23

Jesus was not part of Paul’s life, not even the most important part.  Jesus was Paul’s life!  Paul’s life was upside-down from we we consider normal and acceptable, and as a result, Paul, along with the other Apostles and early believers, was able to turn his world upside-down.

Will you join me in praying for an army of upside-down believers to dramatically change the direction of the Church in North America and Europe?

 

 

April 8, 2014 Posted by | America In Crisis, Evangelism, Faith, Revival | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Will You Send Jesus To Heal My Mother?

Nibun’s Story (click)

There are literally millions of children and families all across Asia that are in situations similar to Nibun’s (story and video linked above)  These are people who have never heard the Gospel message of salvation, and in most cases, have never even heard the name of Jesus.  And without Jesus, they truly are without hope. nibun-feature

Other times, the family will be living on mere pennies a day, prevented from getting better paying jobs because of their low social status.  Often, the mother will work as a prostitute to feed her family, or the daughter will be forced into prostitution.  Sometimes one child will be sold into slavery in order to feed the remaining family members.

In the western world, it is hard for us to even conceive of such poverty that such extreme measures would be necessary to ensure the survival of a family.  Often we consider ourselves to be undergoing hardship if one of our cars is needing an expensive repair, or we aren’t able to afford a larger house.  In the United States, we consider the poverty income level to be about 30 dollars per day.   But consider this:  Worldwide, over 80% of the population lives on less than 2 dollars per day.

Gospel For Asia has a program call The Bridge Of Hope.  Bridge Of Hope provides food, medical care, and education to children just like Nibun.  During class times the children are taught about the basics, what we used to call the three R’s (Reading, Writing, and ‘Rithmatic), but more, they are taught about Jesus.  Their education gives them something their family may not have known for generations, hope.  And even more, they are given an eternal hope in Jesus Christ as well.

And the benefits often spread far beyond the individual sponsored child.  As in Nibun’s case, often entire families are won to the Lord, and entire villages can be affected.  I have also heard a more complete version of Nibun’s story than the one presented here, and because of Nibun’s faith, eventually a Church was planted in Nibun’s village, and believer in that Church carried the message to other villages as well, so that more Churches were planted in the region.

And this is something that we can all be a part of.  Do you know that children can be sponsored for the Bridge of Hope for only $35 pr month?  And what is that?  A few trips to Starbucks or a dinner out for the family?  Are we not willing to sacrifice such a small amount for something that can mean so much for so many?

Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:  for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in;  was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

“Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?  When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clotheYou?  Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’  And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

“Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:  for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink;  I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’

“Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’  Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’  And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”  Matthew 25:34-46

You can learn more about sponsoring a child by clicking this link.

 

April 5, 2014 Posted by | 1040 Window, Bridge of Hope, Gospel For Asia, Salvation | , , , , , | 1 Comment