Worship The Lord Jesus

In Jesus Is True Joy!

Could This Happen In Your Church?

A pastor transformed himself into a homeless person and went to the church that he was to be introduced as the head pastor at that morning. He walked around his soon to be church for 30 minutes while it was filling with people for service. Only 3 people said hello to him, most looked the other way. He asked people for change to buy food because he was hungry. Not one gave him anything.

He went into the sanctuary to sit down in the front of the church and was told by the ushers that he would need to get up and go sit n the back of the HomelessManchurch. He said hello to people as they walked in but was greeted with cold stares and dirty looks from people looking down on him and judging him.

He sat in the back of the church and listened to the church announcements for the week. He listened as new visitors were welcomed into the church that morning but no one acknowledged that he was new. He watched people around him continue to look his way with stares that said you are not welcome here.

Then the elders of the church went to the podium to make the announcement. They said they were excited to introduce the new pastor of the church to the congregation. “We would like to introduce you to our new Pastor.” The congregation stood up and looked around clapping with joy and anticipation. The homeless man sitting in the back stood up and started walking down the aisle.

That’s when all the clapping stopped and the church was silent. With all eyes on him….he walked up the altar and reached for the microphone. He stood there for a moment and then recited so elegantly, a verse from the bible…..

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for the least of my brothers and sisters, you did for me.’

After he recited this, he introduced himself as their new pastor and told the congregation what he had experienced that morning. Many began to cry and bow their heads in shame. “Today I see a gathering of people here but I do not see a church of Jesus. The world has enough people that look the other way. What the world needs is disciples of Jesus that can follow this teachings and live as he did. When will YOU decide to become disciples?

He then dismissed service until the following Sunday as his sermon had been given.

August 11, 2015 Posted by | Christian, God's Word, Jesus | , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Christian Response To Recent Events

Recent events, including the recent Supreme Court decision regarding the definition of marriage, have really gotten strong responses from Christians, including myself.  Whenever these things happen, if you are like me, you start looking immediately for the best response.  I find that most often I want to do something,, voice a protest, vent my opinions and anger on social media, maybe join in a march or something.

But recently, I have been thinking, have any of these recent events taken God by surprise?  No, Jesus said that in the last days it would be like the time of GodsProvisionNoah, (see Matthew 24:37 or Luke 17:26) and if you look at God’s description of the world in Noah’s day from Genesis 6:5

And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Things are getting bad, but I don’t think they are that bad yet.  But the point is, God knew things would get bad in the last day.  He even told us how things would be, so if we really believe that the Bible is truly the word of God, then the Supreme Court decision, or any other recent event, shouldn’t really be surprising to us either.

In reading Psalm 37, I got a lot of Godly insight into how I need to be reacting to events from a faith perspective.

Do not fret because of evildoers,
Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity.
For they shall soon be cut down like the grass,
And wither as the green herb. (vv. 1,2)

Okay, so I shouldn’t fret, but what should my reaction be?

Trust in the Lord, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.

Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.
He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your justice as the noonday. (vv. 3-6)

I see three key words or phrases.  “Trust in the Lord”, “Delight in the Lord”, and “Commit your way to the Lord”.  So, with the world getting worse by the day, we need to be drawing ever closer to the Lord, which we should have been doing all along, but now even more so.

I believe that one thing God is doing in these last days is providing an opportunity for His true followers to show themselves for what they are, the true followers of our Lord Jesus.  The true sheep of Jesus’ pasture will follow Him, while the goats will find themselves drawn more and more to the world and its darkness.

Recently, I have found Psalm 37 to be a true treasure.  If you ask the Lord to open your spiritual eyes to what He is saying, perhaps you will as well.

Will you join me in reading through and meditating on Psalm 37 every day for a week?  And then perhaps extending your reading of the Psalm even further?

 

 

July 22, 2015 Posted by | Faith, God's Word, Godliness, Same Sex Marriage | , , , | 1 Comment

Turning The World Upside-Down For Jesus

In light of the recent Supreme Court decision on gay marriage, this post is more relevant than ever.  This was posted originally on April 8, 2014.

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?

 

 

July 6, 2015 Posted by | Evangelism, Follow Jesus, God's Word, Great Commission, Same Sex Marriage | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

A New Journey – Trusting His Word

I met with an old friend and co-worker today to discuss the possibilities of doing contract work, which is new to me.  Up until now I have only worked full-time.  He was able to share many insights and to get me thinking about thing I have not considered before.  I am sure his comments will be valuable as my job search gets underway in earnest.

 

Continue reading

August 27, 2014 Posted by | Christian, Faith, God's Grace, God's Word | , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

For God So Loved The World

The following is a Gospel presentation that I made to a forum participant who has a past and background similar to my own using John 3:16 as the basis for the presentation. I decided to copy the presentation as it was originally written.

I can feel your pain, believe me! Though overeating has not been my problem, at least not to the extent that you describe your binges, I am a Gracerecovering alcoholic, smoker, drug user, and sex addict. So I definitely know what it is like to be out of control.

I am firmly convinced that all of these addictions have a spiritual base rather than a physical one

We were created by our God to have fellowship with Him. But we are prevented from that fellowship by sin, which separates us from God, the source of fellowship which we long for.

So, if you are like me you try to replace that fellowship with alcohol, nicotine, inappropriate sexual behavior, and, in your case also, food.

But as I found out, as I became more deeply involved in these behaviors, I was becoming more seriously controlled by sin, I was a slave to it in fact, and that submission to sin drove me even further from God, making my addictions even worse!

Does any of this have a familiar ring to it?

But, there is a way out! In the Gospel of John, Jesus said, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever should believe in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

In our own efforts we try to do one of two things, either we try to replace God with alcohol, or food, or whatever, or we try to find our own way to God through our own good works. Neither of these can ever work. No matter what we try, we find that there is no adequate replacement for God, and no matter how good our good works, they can never be good enough to satisfy God who is holy and perfect,and perfection is the goal we must attain if we are to achieve fellowship with Him by our own works.

But there is good news! God has made a way for us to be in fellowship with Him and Jesus condensed that way down to a single verse in John 3:16.

John 3:16 says, “God loved”

God so loved the world, that includes the entire human race, including you and me. And because God loved us and saw that we were incapable of making our way to Him, God acted:

John 3:16 says, “God gave”

In an act of love and mercy toward a lost human race, God gave His Son, Jesus, to die in our place on a cross, thus erasing our sin debt. God has done all that He can, the rest is up to us. We must choose a path:

John 3:16 says, that whosoever believes in Him

If any man sees the work that Jesus did on the cross and believes that Jesus is the Savior, the Christ, repents of their sin, that is, turns away from it and commits to following Jesus, then

John 3:16 says

(they) shall not perish, but have everlasting life. As we read elsewhere in the Bible, that everlasting life comes when The Holy Spirit of God comes to us and dwells in our heart.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17

When I followed the path that I described to you, at the moment that I turned from sin and gave my life to the Lord, I was instantly and miraculously given dominion over all of my addictions. And it truly was a miracle, because in that moment I knew that I never needed to drink, smoke, take drugs, or act out again, I was FREE! Just as the Bible promised, all things had become new.

And it was all the power of Jesus! Acknowledge that Jesus is the Christ, and your only hope for the forgiveness of sin and for eternal life. It is the biggest decision you will ever make, and the one that will bring you true happiness when you realize that rather than being sepearate from God, He is now, literally living in you!

God bless you!

February 27, 2014 Posted by | Evangelism, God's Grace, God's Word | , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Word, A Lamp Unto My Feet

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.  —  Psalm 119:105 (ESV)

Such a beautiful verse!  God’s Word, His written Word, our Bible is a lamp unto our feet.  And not just His written Word, but the Word that was with God from the beginning, our Lord Jesus.

I see from this verse that the Word has two purposes.  It lights our path, constantly showing us what is ahead so that we may not stray from His way of righteousness.  But it is up to us to stay on the path, and not veer off to the right or left, into the shadows and darkness that leads away from the way of our Lord.

His Word is also a lamp for our feet.  The image here is interesting, and different from the overall lighting of our path.  With a lamp constantly at our feet, we are able to see the next step we are to take, maybe even the next two, but the lamp does not light our way so that we can see the next five or ten steps we will be taking.  No, the lamp is at our feet, lighting only the immediate way before us.

And the lamp that lights our way and lights our path is The Word of God.  If we are not reading the Word, the Light will fade, and we will quickly find ourselves stumbling around in darkness.  We could even think of His Word as oil for our lamps.  The more oil we have, or the more we immerse ourselves in His Word, the more brightly our lamp will burn, and the more clearly we will discern the way that The Lord has made for us.

September 14, 2012 Posted by | Faith, God's Word | , , , | 7 Comments