Worship The Lord Jesus

In Jesus Is True Joy!

Getting Back To Basics

And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.  —  Deuteronomy 8:3 (KJV)

 

And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.  —  Luke 9:23 (KJV)

 

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  —  Romans 12:1 (KJV)

 

In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.  Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.  And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.  And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.  Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.  Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar   And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.  Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.  —  Isaiah 6:1-8 KJV)

 

These are a few of the verses or passages  I have read recently that convince me that I need to get back to basics.

Have you ever found yourself doing so much for The Lord that your relationship with Him suffers?  Like, your time is so full of godly activities that you miss God in all the hustle and bustle?

That is where I am finding myself now.  I should have seen the warnings, like picking up new activities without really being sure that the activities are really God ordained, or did I just decide to do them because I thought God would be impressed with my faithfulness.

I need to stop listening to the flesh, stop doing things for God that He may be impressed with my faithfulness, and begin again to make myself available to God, so that He can lead me in what He wants me doing.

Am I the only one?  Do others feel this as well?

July 14, 2016 Posted by | Follow Jesus, Godliness, Repentance | , , | 1 Comment

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

This Was Your Life

ThisWasYourLifeI have recently discovered “Chick tracts”  and thought I would share one, or maybe more, with you.  This one, entitled, “This Was Your Life” shows how things might end up for you.  Please take a moment and click on the link, and see what you think of the story.

Here is the link:  http://media.chick.com/tract_1.swf

February 7, 2016 Posted by | Follow Jesus, Repentance, Salvation, Sinner | , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Testimony

Hi, I want to share about a few events from my past that you may find useful.

As a teenager, I began experimenting with life, with doing things my way rather than how my parents taught me.  At fifteen, I began smoking cigarettes, 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.

Continue reading

May 26, 2014 Posted by | Christian, Discipleship, Faith | , , , , , , | 21 Comments

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

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

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

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

The Good Shepherd

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.  But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.  To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.  And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.  And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.

That is Jesus speaking from The Gospel of John, Chapter 10, and verses 1-5.Jesus-Good-Shepherd-16

As followers of Jesus,we are to be so familiar with His voice that we can instinctively discern His voice and follow it, and at the same time discern the voice of a stranger and reject it.  And some glorious day, in a day when Sin is no more and we are all part of The New Earth, it will be so, but not today.

Today we find ourselves in bodies that were created in /sin and raised  in a corrupt world system.  Sad as it is to admit, following the voice of a stranger is all too easy.  That voice might be the voice of wealth, or power, or lust, or any of a host of voices that are part of this evil world.  If it were not for our God’s grace and mercy and His infinite patience with His children, we would not stand a chance.

Oh, what a blessing that we have a Savior who is able to identify with our temptations, and forgiving enough to forgive us as many times as we require forgiveness.

Thank you Lord Jesus that you have redeemed us from our sinful state and reconciled us to the Father by your incredible sacrificial love.  When I think of what you put up with from me, I can only bow my knee and give thanks!

March 2, 2014 Posted by | Christian, God's Grace, Worship | , , , , , | 2 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