Saturday, January 31, 2015

Why Should I tell Someone About Jesus?

…separated to the gospel of God… —Romans 1:1

“Our calling is not primarily to be holy men and women, but to be proclaimers of the gospel of God. The one all-important thing is that the gospel of God should be recognized as the abiding reality. Reality is not human goodness, or holiness, or heaven, or hell— it is redemption. The need to perceive this is the most vital need of the Christian worker today. As workers, we have to get used to the revelation that redemption is the only reality. Personal holiness is an effect of redemption, not the cause of it. If we place our faith in human goodness we will go under when testing comes.” CHAMBERS

Chambers did not say that we should not be holy, but that personal holiness should not be the primary objective of the Believer.  Personal holiness is not a result of effort, but a result of relationship.  Our primary objective is the proclamation of the Gospel.  Most Christians treat that as if it is an option.  We certainly are not all evangelists .. we are not all preachers .. but we are all born again with a testimony about the One who saved us.

Here is the thing.  Our ability to tell others about Jesus is closely tied to our relationship with Him.  The closer we are, the more we want to tell others.  God has chosen to reveal His Son in this way. Stop making excuses for why you did not share your faith with some particular person.  You could feel the prompting of the Spirit, but you looked at the weakness of your flesh … as if “you” could somehow save someone … and so you changed the subject or remained silent. Is that such a big deal?  Yes.

Luke 9:26 “Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”  

Matthew 10:32-33 “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.”

So what to do.  If you struggle with telling others about Jesus … draw closer to Him.  God intended that as Christians, we would testify about His Son.  The Holy Spirit, that is in each of us, wants to testify about Jesus.  But if we are walking in the power of our flesh and not the Spirit, it is not going to happen.  And anything that we do that appears religious but lacks the Spirit is dead and will bear no spiritual fruit.  I remember when I was a boy, my dad told me not to smoke cigarettes while he was smoking a cigarette.  Do people see a difference in your life that affirms the Gospel that you are sharing or do they so no difference between you and the world?  What do you think they should see? ELGIN

Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Friday, January 30, 2015

When God Speaks Are You Listening?

My Utmost For His Highest

“Samuel was afraid to tell Eli the vision.” —1 Samuel 3:15

“God never speaks to us in dramatic ways, but in ways that are easy to misunderstand. Then we say, “I wonder if that is God’s voice?” Isaiah said that the Lord spoke to him “with a strong hand,” that is, by the pressure of his circumstances (Isaiah 8:11). Without the sovereign hand of God Himself, nothing touches our lives. Do we discern His hand at work, or do we see things as mere occurrences? Get into the habit of saying, “Speak, Lord,” and life will become a romance (1 Samuel 3:9). Every time circumstances press in on you, say, “Speak, Lord,” and make time to listen. Chastening is more than a means of discipline— it is meant to bring me to the point of saying, “Speak, Lord.” Think back to a time when God spoke to you. Do you remember what He said? Was it Luke 11:13, or was it 1 Thessalonians 5:23? As we listen, our ears become more sensitive, and like Jesus, we will hear God all the time.”  CHAMBERS

Listening for God’s voice.  Do you believe that God would speak to you? Well more directly, do you believe God speaks to anyone? Or was that just for people in the Bible?  Have you thought about the fact that you are Paul’s brother or sister in Christ?  Does a father speak to his children?  Do you think of God as your Father or as God who is benevolent toward you now that you are a Christian.  What you think of God will determine whether your are willing to consider listening for His voice.  

John 17:20-23  “I (Jesus) pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” 

God intends that you have an intimate relationship with Him.  Why would He be silent. In Experiencing God, Henry Blackaby says that God speaks by His Spirit through prayer, His Word, other believers and circumstances.  But we have to be listening.  Have you ever said “I am sorry, I wasn’t listening”?  Or has someone said to you “Are you listening to me?”  If you want to hear from God, you need to be listening.  God has something to say to you! ELGIN

Thursday, January 29, 2015

What To Do About A Stiff Neck

Who are You, Lord? —Acts 26:15

“The Lord spoke thus to me with a strong hand…” (Isaiah 8:11). There is no escape when our Lord speaks. He always comes using His authority and taking hold of our understanding. Has the voice of God come to you directly? If it has, you cannot mistake the intimate insistence with which it has spoken to you. God speaks in the language you know best— not through your ears, but through your circumstances. God has to destroy our determined confidence in our own convictions. We say, “I know that this is what I should do” — and suddenly the voice of God speaks in a way that overwhelms us by revealing the depths of our ignorance.” CHAMBERS

Before you were a Christian you did not have the capacity to hear the voice of God.  You were spiritually dead towards Him.  It was not until the Spirit of God began His work did you become aware of God’s presence.  The problem is not in the knowing but in the doing.  We choose to go our own way, in spite of our understanding of God’s will and purpose.  The words that come to my mind are “stiff necked”.  I don’t know if you or perhaps your child has acted in that way.  It was not that your child did not know what was right, but they willfully chose to disobey.  To do what they had set their mind to do, disregarding the consequences.  Yet when they felt the sting of the consequences, they were not sorry for their disobedience, only that there were consequences.

That describes the Christian who chooses to follow his heart and not God’s.  Jesus said, “If you love me, obey (keep) my commandments.” John 14:15.  Jesus said “my sheep know my voice” John 10:27  If you think it is not you, you deceive yourself.  Your old nature is rooted in disobedience.  If you have an obedience problem, you have a love problem.  “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” James 4:8  There is no substitute for spending time alone with God in prayer and meditation on His word.  The perfect recipe for softening that stiff neck! ELGIN

I Will Serve Thee - Gaithers

I will serve Thee because I love Thee, You have given life to me

I was nothing before You found me, You have given life to me

Heartaches, broken pieces, Ruined lives are why You died on Calvary

Your touch was what I longed for, You have given life to me

Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Is Jesus Your Way, Your Truth, And Your Life?

“Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” —Acts 26:14

“Are you determined to have your own way in living for God? We will never be free from this trap until we are brought into the experience of the baptism of “the Holy Spirit and fire” (Matthew 3:11). Stubbornness and self-will will always stab Jesus Christ. It may hurt no one else, but it wounds His Spirit. Whenever we are obstinate and self-willed and set on our own ambitions, we are hurting Jesus. Every time we stand on our own rights and insist that this is what we intend to do, we are persecuting Him. Whenever we rely on self-respect, we systematically disturb and grieve His Spirit. And when we finally understand that it is Jesus we have been persecuting all this time, it is the most crushing revelation ever.” CHAMBERS

When you choose to follow your own path and disregard or ignore Jesus, do you think of that as persecution?  When you choose your own way each day, most times it is with little thought to the fact that you are rejecting Jesus.  You are just living your life.  But, if you are a Son or Daughter of God, then you dishonor Him and show Him disrespect by choosing your own way.  By rejecting the way that He has shown you.  Don’t take your disobedience lightly.  God doesn’t.  Is Jesus your way, your truth and your life? Or, is Jesus merely the one who saved you and now He is waiting for you to be with Him in heaven?  So you live and think and do anyway you please.  You know don’t you?  … It is time to stop persecuting the one who gave His life for you … It is time to fulfill your purpose in this life of yours.  It is time to stop pretending and get serious about how you live day to day and bring glory to the One who saved you.  ELGIN

Every Move I Make

“Every move I make, I make in You, You make me move Jesus, Every breath I take I breathe in You
Every step I take, I take in You, Every breath I take I breathe in You

Waves of mercy, Waves of grace, Everywhere I look I see your face
Your love has captured me, Oh, my God this love How can it be?”

Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Looking For Peace In All The Wrong Places

“Do not worry about your life…” —Matthew 6:25

A warning which needs to be repeated is that “the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches,” and the lust for other things, will choke out the life of God in us (Matthew 13:22). We are never free from the recurring waves of this invasion. If the front-line of attack is not about clothes and food, it may be about money or the lack of money; or friends or lack of friends; or the line may be drawn over difficult circumstances. It is one steady invasion, and these things will come in like a flood, unless we allow the Spirit of God to raise up the banner against it. […] “I say to you, do not worry about your life….” Our Lord says to be careful only about one thing— our relationship to Him. But our common sense shouts loudly and says, “That is absurd, I must consider how I am going to live, and I must consider what I am going to eat and drink.” […]  Whenever there are competing concerns in your life, be sure you always put your relationship to God first.” CHAMBERS

I watched the State of The Union address recently.  What struck me was what was written on the wall above the podium.  "In God We Trust"  I thought about how empty that seemed given the direction our culture has turned.  Since the Garden, Satan has been turning the truths of God inside out and upside down. God said that man was to rule over the things of the earth, but instead, the things of this earth rule over man.  The drive for possessions and money is an empty imitation of the security that we have in our relationship with the One who created all of it.  We reject the truth for a lie, and then ruin our health through worry.  Jesus said “These things have I spoken unto you that you might have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer I [Jesus] have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)  But we must walk and live by faith in that victory.  ELGIN

Only Trust Him

“ Come, every soul by sin oppressed; There’s mercy with the Lord, And He will surely give you rest By trusting in His Word.

For Jesus shed His precious blood, Rich blessings to bestow; Plunge now into the crimson flood, That washes white as snow.

Yes, Jesus is the truth, the way, That leads you into rest; Believe in Him without delay, And you are fully blessed.

Only trust Him, only trust Him, Only trust Him now; He will save you, He will save you, He will save you now.”

Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)