Worship The Lord Jesus

In Jesus Is True Joy!

I Can Make It On My Own

FreeFallWe all like to think that we have it all under control, that we can make it through life on our own, without help from others.  But can we really?

Let me tell you a story about two skydivers.  Both are in a plane flying at 12,000 feet.  One is wearing a parachute, and is ready for his jump.  The other has left his parachute hanging on its hook in the plane, confident that he can make the jump on his own.

The diver with the parachute jumps first, feeling the absolute freedom of free-fall, tumbling in somersaults and soaring through the air like the worlds fastest bird.  And then, at just the right moment, he pulls the rip-cord, his parachute deploys, and he floats safely to the ground.

And now it is the others jumper’s turn.  He watched the first person’s jump and noted how much fun he seemed to be having.  And with a smile on his face as he jumped from the plane, he vowed to do even better.  He soared and somersaulted, he dove head first, then spread his arms and legs and took up the perfect free-fall form.

As the ground neared, he decided to do another head first dive.  He put his arms by his sides and rolled his head slightly toward his chest until he was diving vertically toward the ground.  Hurling toward the ground at over 150 miles per hour, that is how he hit, head first, his skull and body shattered nearly instantly, and death was both instant and inevitable.

I would like to make a few observations about this second man’s performance.

  • First, his belief that he could make the jump without a parachute had absolutely no impact (no pun intended) on the outcome of the jump

  • Second, his ignorance of the laws and forces that come into play when one jumps out of a plane had no impact on the outcome of the jump

  • The consequences of the jumper’s actions were fixed and unchangeable.  The only way to avoid the consequences would be to change course while there was still time.

  • Finally, both jumpers had an inevitable appointment with the ground, and the outcome of that appointment was dependent on the choice they made about the necessity of wearing a parachute.

In just the same way as both jumpers had an inevitable appointment with the ground, we all have an inevitable appointment with God.  We will all meet Him on Judgment day.  The Bible teaches:

 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment, Hebrews 9:27

Both skydivers had ultimate control over their ultimate fate, just as we have control over the outcome of our meeting with God on Judgment Day.  But, you may ask, on what will we be judged on that day?  Will it be on our good works?  On all the good we did during our lives?  Or will it be according to something else?

We must understand that God is a Judge, and a Just One.  And we will be judged according to our obedience to God’s Moral Law, The Ten commandments.  So, let’s assume that this judgment will be today.  How would we measure up?  Let’s see.

First, have you ever told a lie, even a little one?  Then you are a liar, and guilty of breaking the ninth commandment.

Have you ever stolen anything, even if the value was small?  Then you are a thief, and guilty of breaking the eight commandment.

Jesus said that if we look at another person with lust, then we have committed adultery in our heart.  Have you ever done that?  Then you are an adulterer, and guilty of breaking the seventh commandment.

Ever used the name of God or of Jesus as a cuss word?  If so, that makes you a blasphemer, and guilty of the third commandment.

So, I have assesd my position before God along with you, and I find that I am a lying, thieving blasphemer and adulterer, and we have looked at only four of the ten commandments.  And the Bible teaches:

For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.  James 2:10

So, if you are guilty of even one of the commandments that we discussed, in God’s eyes, you are guilty of all, I am guilty of all.  So, is there a need to go on?

The question is, what is the consequence of breaking these commandments?  The answer lies in a particular verse in the book of Revelation, and elsewhere:

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.  Revelation 2:18

Just as the foolish jumper did not understand the seriousness of jumping from a plane without a parachute, many times, we do not understand the seriousness of our sin, nor the terrible consequences of our sin.  But God, being a just Judge will punish all sinners in just the was the Bible describes.

But John, the Bible teaches that God is a God of love, surely He will not punish me for the sins I have committed,  or perhaps you will hold up all of the good things that you have done as expiating circumstances.  Have you ever tried that in an earthly court of law?  If you had robbed a bank, how likely do you think the judge would be to let you off if you showed him that you frequently feed the poor and help the orphans of your city?  True, the judge may commend you for your goodness, but he will still sentence you to a just sentence for robbing a bank.  And so it is with God.  If you have committed sins, then there must be a punishment.  That is a principle in earthly courts, and it holds true in the heavenly court as well.

BUT…

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  John 3:16

God does love you!  In fact He loves you enough that He sent His Son, Jesus, to live a perfect, sinless life, and then to die on the cross as punishment for YOUR sins.  Jesus committed no sin of His own, making Him eligible to die in your place, taking the punishment that is justly yours, allowing you go go free.

If you will admit to God that you are a sinner, that you can’t make it on your own, and then repent, that is, turn away from your sins, and turn toward God, trusting in Jesus as the complete payment for your sins, then, just as Jesus was raised from the dead three days after His crucifixion, never to die again, , you also will be given the gift of eternal life as a free gift.

But, how do we trust in Jesus?  In just the same way that the wise skydiver trusted in his parachute.  He didn’t just look at it and say, “Yep, I trust this parachute”, he put it on!  The Bible says it this way:

But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.  Romans 13:14

For more information, please visit:  AfterLifeCatalog.com/GoodPerson

 

February 14, 2016 Posted by | Christian, Follow Jesus, Knowing Jesus | , , , , | Leave a comment

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.

 

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

How To Divorce Proof Your Marriage

MarriedIn today’s society, the divorce rate is about 50%, overall.  That is a dismal statistic, and one that is of concern to anyone who is considering marriage, or who is in a shaky marriage relationship.  It seems as if people are getting married for the wrong reasons.  But rather than focusing on the negative, that is, the wrong reasons for getting married, I would like to explore marriage from a Biblical perspective.

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May 20, 2014 Posted by | Christian, Divorce, God's Grace, Marriage | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.

 

 

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

A Cup Of Water For A Little One

Jesus speaking, “And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward.”  Matthew 10:42

Water.  In our culture we take it completely for granted.  If we want a drink we just turn the faucet and there is water in abundance.  Clean, fresh, water!WaterForChildrenn

But for many people around the world, clean, fresh water is something people have never heard of.  For many, especially during the summer when rivers have all run dry, a pond that is shared with animals serves all of the water needs for those who live nearby.   Some people drink from ponds that are shared by animals, like the one pictured here.

Would you even consider drinking water from the pond in the picture?  Would you give this water to your children to drink?  Unfortunately, millions of people have no choice.  It is either drink and risk water-borne disease, or don’t drink and die of thirst.

About 3.5 million deaths are caused yearly by water-borne disease.  Among children under 5 years of age, one in five deaths are caused by diarrhea, that is about 1.5 million deaths every year.

If you are like me, you will find these facts disturbing.  You will experience revulsion at the idea of drinking such water yourself, and equally at the idea that millions of people are drinking such water every day of their lives.  

But, there is something that we can do.  Gospel For Asia is helping to spread the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ to thirsty areas throughout Asia, in part by building Jesus Wells.  A Jesus Well is a well built by Asian nationals but funded by Gospel For Asia.  And we can all be part of the effort to build these well.

A Jesus Well can be built for $1000.  Imagine, if you decided to take the money you would spend on a meal out and send it to Gospel For Asia instead, and 30 or 40 others did the same, a new Jesus Well could be built, and a whole village of people who are drinking water that pigs swim in could have the same fresh, clean water that you and I take so much for granted.

April 2, 2014 Posted by | 1040 Window, Evangelism, Gospel For Asia | , , , , , | 2 Comments