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A New Journey – Tongues, Really?

Holy-Spirit-Fire-in-RedAs I write in this journal, I guess that I should try to define what this journey is all about.  Where is it headed, for instance?

 

But that’s just it, I don’t know exactly where it is headed, but I do know Who is directing it, my Lord, Jesus.  Literally, the only one I would trust with the direction of my life.

 

I see this journey, and what I hope to journal, as being split into two areas.  First, there is the physical aspect, which began last Thursday when I worked my last day on my job and will continue at least until I find other employment or learn of the Lord’s purpose otherwise.  But then there is the spiritual aspect which began earlier, even before my salvation, and will continue until the day I meet the Lord face to face.

 

Continue reading

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August 21, 2014 Posted by | Baptism, Christian, Holy Spirit | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Are We Married To Jesus But Having An Affair With Satan?

First off, I want to acknowledge the source of my title phrase, it comes from the “Be Better Not Bitter” Blog, and this excellent post.  My thanks to Shenine and her excellent work! When I first read Shenine’s phrase about being married to Jesus I knew I had to expand a little on it, so, here goes.

Many Christians would like to believe that they can have their salvation with the Lord, and still play around with their favorite sins now and then.  They want to profess a relationship with Jesus on the one hand, but still have a little fling from time to time, to keep things interesting.  In other words, they want to be married to their Lord, but still maintain an adulterous relationship with Satan. Here is what the Bible says about that idea:

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.  —  Joshua 24:10 (KJV)

The Bible does not leave us free to serve the Lord part-time and then turn around and serve Satan part-time.  The Bible calls on us to choose, and choose today, who will we serve?  This choice is not to be taken lightly, much is at stake here so it is up to us to choose wisely.  The Bible says:

15 See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;

16 In that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the Lordthy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.

17 But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them;

18 I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it.

19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

20 That thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.  —  Deuteronomy 30:15-20

What will we follow?  Will we follow life and good?  Or will we follow death and evil?  Jesus, or Satan?  We can’t follow both.

The prophet Elijah asks the same question:

And Elijah came to all the people, and said, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.”  —  i Kings 18:21 (NKJV)

We have a choice to make: Who is our God?  Is it Jesus?  Is it Satan?  Is it our flesh?  The world and its pleasures?  But Jesus says:

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

Notice, Jesus does not say that we are to indulge our flesh when we wish or take a little time away to keep company with the world?  No, he said that we are to deny ourselves.

And finally, it is not enough that we call Jesus our Savior and then don’t do the things that He says.  Jesus put it this way:

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.  —  Matthew 7:21 (KJV)

Remember, we are to:

Enter (ye) in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.  —  Matthew 7:13,14 (KJV)

August 17, 2012 Posted by | Christian, Discipleship, Godliness, Knowing Jesus, Prayer | , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

How Is It That There Are Divisions In The Church? The Answer Is Simple!

How can it be that there are divisions in The Church?  And when I refer to The Church here, I speak of the Universal Church, The Body Of Christ.

Well, I was reading John 17 today, “The High Priestly Prayer” of Jesus, and the answer jumped out at me.  I will quote part of it here:

18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.

20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.

24 “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. 26 And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”

Jesus prays specifically that His Church be united, and in verses 21 and 23 He gives the reason,  “that the world may believe that You sent Me” and “and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me“.  When we are One Body in Christ, united under One Lord, we are a powerful force in the world, proclaiming through our unity, that Jesus is the Christ, sent be God as a Savior to the world.  That is what God intended for His Church from the beginning.

But it seems we have listened to Satan rather than to our Father and to our Lord Jesus Christ, and instead of being a unified body, we have divisions everywhere!  We have one group that believes, “Once saved, always saved” and another that believes you can lose your salvation.  We have one group that believes that anyone can be saved, and another that believes that only a group specifically elected to salvation by God can be saved.  I could go on and on, but that would be boring, and I think you have gotten my point.  So, we have hundreds of denominations and sects, all of them believing that they are right, and all others are wrong.

Rather than listening to God’s Holy Spirit that dwells within us, and clinging to His simple Gospel message, we have chosen rather to allow Satan to stir up our pride and to divide us against ourselves and against our Lord, making us complicit in his attack against our God and His (our) Church, our very own Spiritual Body.

Divisions in the Church were first addressed by the Apostle Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians and since that day, divisions among us have only gotten worse!

The really sad thing is, it never had to be this way.  In Christ, we are more than conquerors, over Satan and over every enemy of the Church.  It has always been in our power to stop divisions, but sadly, we never have.

And, can I share the really, really sad thing?  If we were half the followers of Christ that we claim to be (and I do include myself) this NEVER would have happened!  How can we say that we are His followers, and that Christ lives in us and through us, and then, through our inaction allow this situation to be perpetuated?

This is not something that we will change in a year, or even five or ten.  It is something that we could change in a generation.

But only if we start today!  Won’t you join us?

August 7, 2012 Posted by | Discipleship, Knowing Jesus, Prayer, Spiritual Commentary | , , , , , , | 23 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

A Christian Call To Action – 2 Chron 7:14

I read an excellent blog post today by a good friend named Debra Aiken.  I don’t know if you’ve read Debra’s blog before but Debra is really on fire for the Lord.  I have been blessed so many times reading her posts knowing that I am hearing a message the Spirit had planned just for me.The post I read today is a call to action for all Christians, and is based on 2 Chronicles 7:14.

Minister Aiken starts her post like this:

2 Chronicles 7:14 – If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Oh, what a promise that God sends not only to America, but to the world on this morning! Healing is available to the world again, on today! God is offering us another opportunity to repent, turn from our wicked ways and seek Him on this day that the Lord has made.

Read more of Minister Aiken’s article here.

June 9, 2012 Posted by | God's Grace, Prayer, Revival | , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Join The Twitter Blitz For Jesus

(Note: If you have a Facebook account and this seems interesting to you, please look up Ron Estrada or John Constitution and request an invite to the Twitter Blitz evangelism group)

Would you like to get involved in a new form of twitter evangelism? Then why not try the Twitter Blitz For Jesus? It’s incredibly easy, and there are two ways that you can participate.

The first, and easiest way to participate is to go to the twitter website or to your favorite twitter app and search for #WPFTL. You should find tweets there from different people. The first thing that you can do is, retweet them. It’s really that easy to get involved.

These tweets are directed at the most popular hashtags at the time they were tweeted. So, these hashtags are those that are receiving lots of traffic. If we can have enough people tweeting and retweeting tweets using those hashtags, people will begin to notice, and to read our links. At least some of them will.

So, you’ve done the retweet thing, but now you want more. Well, there is more! First, you will need an online version of your testimony that you can link to in your tweets. If you don’t have that and don’t want to write one, you will need to find some online guides on “How to be saved”.

If you need to write a testimony, using your blog site is one good way if you have one. Or else, you can use one of the long tweet services. Personally, I use TwitLonger.com. Here is my testimony on TwitLonger. See the link at the bottom that looks like this, http://tl.gd/hcqc93? You can copy that link anywhere you want to share your testimony.

Next, you will need to find twitter trending hashtags.  You can usually find these in Twitter or in your favorite Twitter app, or you can just go to #WPFTL and pick one of the most recent ones.

Now it’s time to have a little fun composing tweets.  If you can fit a tweet into the theme of the hashtag that is probably best, but not entirely necessary.  Be creative!  To help get you started, here are a few examples:

The most famous#4famouswords of all time! “#Christ died for sinners” just like you and me. tl.gd/hcqc93 #WPFTL

#best90squotes When I hit bottom and looked up, Jesus was standing there with His hands reaching toward me. ow.ly/aRY4b #WPFTL

#ThereWillBeBlood for everything you’ve done wrong. Christ has already shed it for you. ow.ly/aRxFm #WPFTL

Here are a few quick tips to make our Twitter Blitz for Jesus a huge success:

  • Always use a popular hashtag in your tweet

  • Try to incorporate your tweet into the theme of the hashtag. Be Creative!

  • Always use the #WPFTL in your tweet so other Blitzers can find it and retweet it.

  • Retweet other Blitzers tweets as often as you can

  • Have fun, and God bless!

May 13, 2012 Posted by | Christian, Evangelism | , , | 4 Comments

Why Do So Few Christians Share Their Faith?

In answer to the question: 

“What do you think are the reasons why more Christians aren’t helping to spread the Good News? How can we encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ to share Jesus with their family, friends, & co-workers?”

I recently wrote a response for the “Not Ashamed Of The Gospel” blog, and I wanted to repost my response here. So, here it is. I would appreciate your comments.

I think there are peripheral reasons, but one central reason. One peripheral reason might be that we are taught that we never discuss religion or politics in polite company. As if letting someone know how they can have eternal life is somehow rude. I think society has made many such impositions on us so that Christians, for the most part, remain silent.

But I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently and I believe that God provided the central answer. We today are a lot like the Christians right after Jesus’ ascension, they met in private and prayed together, but they had no witness outside their own group.

And then came the day of Pentecost and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. On that day alone, two thousand were saved. Later, in Acts 5 we read about Peter and John being threatened by the religious authorities, and their answer was, whether we should listen to men or to God, you be the judge.

Filled with the Spirit, these early believers were unstoppable. Filled with the Spirit, WE would be unstoppable too.

I am definitely interested in pursuing online and personal evangelistic methods, but even more, my heart desire is to fully surrender myself to the Lord that His Spirit fill me in such a way that I would be truly effective for Him.

And I am hoping that others will join me.

April 11, 2012 Posted by | Discipleship, Evangalism | , , , | 14 Comments

Are We Fans Or Followers Of Christ

I am reading the book, “Not A Fan: Becoming A Completely Committed Follower Of Jesus”, by Kyle Idleman.

 

The first section of the book is devoted to distinguishing between the fans and followers of Christ.

 

Fans tend to want Jesus as part of their lives, but only to the extent that they are not too inconvenienced by His presence.  For example, fans want what Jesus offers, as long as they don’t have to give more financially than they are comfortable with.  Fans want Jesus, but are not willing to give up that favorite sin, whether that sin be drinking or drugs, sexual immorality, lying, coveting, etc.  Fans want Jesus, Continue reading

March 31, 2012 Posted by | Discipleship, Godliness, Knowing Jesus | , , , , | 14 Comments

Take My Life

Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee.

 

Take my voice and let me sing
Always, only for my King.
Take my lips and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee.
Take my silver and my gold
Not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use
Every power as You choose.

 

::Chorus::
Here am I, all of me.
Take my life, it’s all for Thee.

 

Take my will and make it Thine
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart it is Thine own
It shall be Thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord I pour
At Your feet it’s treasure store
Take myself and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee.
Take myself and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee.

 

Here am I, all of me.
Take my life, it’s all for Thee.

 

Here am I, all of me.
Take my life, it’s all for Thee.

March 21, 2012 Posted by | Prayer, Revival, Uncategorized | , , , | 1 Comment