Worship The Lord Jesus

In Jesus Is True Joy!

Are You Saved?

If you died tonight, are you sure you would go to heaven?

Eternity is too long to be wrong!

 

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February 29, 2016 Posted by | Christian, Heaven, Hell, Salvation, Saved | , , , , , | 5 Comments

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

My Testimony

JesusI grew up in a religious home. I came from a moral family and I knew the difference between right and wrong. But as a teen I began smoking cigarettes and fifteen, and then experimenting with alcohol at sixteen. By the time I was eighteen I was using marijuana, and a year later, I was using heavier drugs, mostly LSD and cocaine, but I had experimented with others as well. I was also becoming sexually active and had developed an addiction to pornography.

I was doing everything I wanted to do, but the longer I continued down the path of living only for self, the emptier I became. Finally, I reached a point where I just didn’t care whether I lived or died. I was not suicidal; I just had no desire to go on any longer.

I was talking with my Mom while in this depressed state, and she tried to explain some things to me. She said that the things I was doing, living for self, and the activities I was involved in, God calls sin. She said that we are all sinners, and because God is a holy God, that we are separated from Him. She said that Jesus died to take away my sins, that He died in my place, and then rose from the dead, having paid the debt in full.
And then she asked if I would turn away from my sin, confessing them to Jesus, and turn my life over to Him, letting Him be Lord of my life.

At that point, I didn’t want my life, so I said that if Jesus was willing to take it, then yes, that is what I would do.

And in that moment when I decided to turn my life over to Jesus, a miracle happened. In an instant, He cleansed me from my sin and made me a new creature. A moment before, the old me didn’t care if I lived or died, in fact, I felt half dead already. A moment later, the new me, the alive in Christ me, felt vital and alive, and eager to move forward. But I knew that from that moment onward I would not be moving on my own, but with my Lord at my side.

July 22, 2013 Posted by | Christian, Discipleship, Forgiveness, God's Grace, Knowing Jesus, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 11 Comments

A Conversation With Anton

The full title of this post should be:  “A Conversation With Anton and Testimonial To The True Power of Jesus Christ”

What follows are answers to a post by “Anton”.  I have copied his post and edited the post to appear as a conversation between Anton and me.  Note that the content of Anton’s post were not altered by my editing, at least not intentionally.

 

You can see Anton’s original post here:  https://mylordisjesus.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/atheism-science-higgs-boson-and-the-godhead/#comment-1017

Anton: Sorry for my delay, and as I told Ged, this is unfortunately how it goes for me.

John: That’s quite all right Anton, we all have lives, and I can quite understand how delays, even long ones, can develop.

Anton: I have a couple of questions for you. What kind of church did you grow up in?

John: I grew up in a Methodist Church. In fact, my Father, a carpenter who helped to build the church building, and my Mother, were founding members.

I attended that church from as early as I can remember, probably about 4, until I made it quite clear to my parents that I wanted nothing more to do with the church, at the age of 12 or 13. The problem was, they weren’t telling me anything I wanted to hear, it was all just a bunch of meaningless ritual. I thought it was worthless at the time, and my opinion of the ritual hasn’t changed, it is still worthless as far as I am concerned.

Anton: How was it different from your faith now?

John: The only things I knew then were the stories of the Bible, the rituals that I mentioned already, and the preaching of the Pastor, telling me how I needed tobe a better person and such. There was never any mention of The Gospel of Jesus Christ, no mention that Jesus is a living person that I could have a relationship with, and no mention that I was a sinner in need of salvation, all things that I consider to be of primary importance today.

Anton: How were you confronted with “the living Lord Jesus”?

John: In high school and in my years of “higher education” I learned to think analytically and pursued a well-paying and highly technical career path. Even in my early years I considered myself successful. I was able to provide myself with pretty much anything I wanted, and in my youth that ended up being partying, which meant alcohol and drug consumption, and relationships with women. I was involved in that lifestyle for over 10 years. I wasn’t hurting anyone, and I felt justified in what I was doing. After all, I was doing just as I pleased.

The only problem was, I was not happy. My solution was, of course, to immerse myself more and more in my chosen lifestyle. But that was no good either. You see, I was beginning to become convicted of my actions. I knew, from my early training, that adultery and fornication were sins. I knew that lying was a sin, and if you’ve ever been involved in drug use, you are probably familiar with how easily one lies when it suits him or her. I also was in heavy rebellion against my parents, and I knew that my behavior was not at all honoring to them.

I did not know it then, but it was Jesus who was convicting me, and I was not able to escape His conviction. I was on a downward spiral, and when I reached the bottom, Jesus was there. I was at a point in my life where I did not want to live it any longer. I was not suicidal, but I desperately wanted to change my behavior, and was trapped!

And it was then that Jesus showed me the way out. Jesus showed me that He died for my sins, those that were in the past, and those yet in the future. He showed me that all I needed to do was to admit my need for a Savior, and to trust in the sacrifice He had made on my behalf , His death on the cross, He died for me, taking the punishment I deserved.

Anton: How was this relationship missing in those early years?

John: In my earlier encounter with church, I knew only a religion, a dead religion that had no ability to give life. What I learned much later had nothing to do with religion, or even with church, but with a relationship with Jesus. Note that this relationship only began after He revealed Himself to me.

Anton: What do you mean Jesus confronted you with “His Life”?

John: See above

Anton: What do you mean by “heart knowledge”?

John: As I am sure you are aware, the reality of Jesus’ existence is not something that can be proven objectively. One either believes that He lives, or he does not. I, through the interactions I have had with Him am thoroughly convinced that He lives, even though I have not seen Him. I have “heard” His voice many times in prayer and He has communicated with me in many ways. How can it be that I would believe He is real without any evidence? One might well ask me another question: “How can you be sure this Anton fellow exists, without any real evidence?”. And my answer would be the same, “Perhaps you have not proof that Anton exists, but I know in my heart that he is real.”.

So, you see? Many things in our lives we know by faith, from the mundane to the supernatural. Think about it some time, and you might surprise yourself how much faith you have that various things are true.

Anton: Sorry, but I have intention on beginning to seek Jesus no more than I intend to seek Heracles or Thor. I already sought Him, didn’t find him, and realized that was because, like Heracles and Thor, there is no Him.

Best,

Anton.

John: I understand your position entirely, and I will not ask that you seek Him. Always keep in mind though, I never sought Him either. The fact of the matter is, Jesus was the furthest thing from my mind, but He sought me, and found me.

Perhaps one day He will seek you out as well. My prayer is that if that day comes that your heart will be open to His prompting.

My best wishes,

John

December 27, 2012 Posted by | Atheism, Christian, Forgiveness, God's Grace | , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 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

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

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!

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

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