Monday, March 29, 2010

God is near

Way too long since our last post! God is good!!! If that's all there was it would be enough. If salvation was all there is, believe me, it's more than enough. And yet in all this God has blessed us more than we could ever hope or think. If we could get the smallest glimpse, just barely scratching the surface of what God has intended for us, it would be more than our human bodies could handle.
In reality, our part is just to show up! If we are available and willing, if we just realize that we are the slaves we should be, the world(our reality) would be a different place. Don't become weary with doing good. If we continue in the faith, we will receive a crown of glory. Time is short. Look up....Jesus is coming soon. Everyday, every hour, every minute, every second, every heartbeat, is closer to the return of Christ!!! Gob bless you and keep you.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Repent And Be Saved! I Said, REPENT!!! - Jack Kinsella - Omega Letter Editor –

I believe that the Bible calls us to be witnesses of Christ, and that there is no more perfect expression of God's will in the life of a Christian than when he works to lead others to Christ,

That said, what does one do, as one of our readers related recently in one of our forums, when somebody is clearly not interested in hearing the Gospel?

The forum comment describes an experience we've all shared in some variation. You strike up a conversation, and somehow, Jesus comes up in the discussion.

Your conversation suddenly stalls, and when you try to revive it, you meet a wall of stony silence.

Eventually, you come to recognize the signals and past experience tells you its time to say something cheery and take your leave.

But then it bothers you all the way home. . . "why didn't I press the issue? Am I a coward for Christ? Jesus endured the collective hatred of the human race. Am I so weak I can't bear a little rejection?"

You are convinced you failed Him. You had a chance to share the Gospel, and you blew it.

Maybe if you had tried a little harder, they might have listened. But no, you were too chicken!

It isn't like you don't know what is at stake -- especially if you have been an OL member for any length of time at all.

You know that every person you meet is destined to spend eternity somewhere. You already know that they will either spend eternity in the joyful presence of Christ.

Or they will spend a Christ less eternity alone, tormented by the punishments of hell and their memory of rejecting their chance to escape it.

You know it because I remind you of it every chance that I get to do so. The redemption of a single sinner is worth the whole world, the Scriptures say. When one sinner repents, the angels rejoice.

Nothing in our walk though this world is of greater eternal value than leading a lost sinner to Christ.

But instead of pressing the issue, you walked away.

Knowing all that you know, you gave up without a fight. What kind of soldier are you?

If that is your story, or you have one like it, then the answer is, a smart one. A smart soldier would not press a battle against the odds -- just so he could say he was in the fight.

Once you've use up all your resources in an unwise and ill-prepared assault, then those resources are no longer available to be deployed elsewhere where they can be of greater tactical value.

You offered Jesus, the offer was rejected. But in making the offer, you planted a seed. What you do next will affect the probability that your seed will take root.

You can continue to pour water on it until it drowns. Or you can plant it, give it as much water as conditions demand, give it a chance to germinate, and let nature take its course.

Planting the Gospel is sometimes like that. You plant it by sharing the Gospel, but sometimes, like planting in saturated ground, you can overwater and drown the seed.

Sometimes, just planting the seed is all that is necessary, and then its time to let the Holy Spirit take care of the nurturing.

Instead of drowning the seed in your eagerness to get it to take root, sometimes its better to let it germinate, even if it means somebody else will get to reap the harvest.

If your concern is for the health of the seed rather than your profit from the harvest, then it is not such a big deal if somebody else gets to harvest it.

Should you have pressed that person who clearly didn't want to be pressed?

Ask yourself how you react when a salesman keeps pestering you after you tell him you'll think about it.

Not only won't you buy from that salesman, odds are that you won't buy that brand, either, even though the salesman had nothing to do with the quality of the product.

Jesus knows whether or not you've done the job He sent you to do. How does He tell us to handle rejection? Does He tell us to press the issue until it comes to blows?

No. He says: "And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet." (Matthew 10:14)

"And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them." (Luke 9:5)

"He that heareth you heareth Me; and he that despiseth you despiseth Me; and he that despiseth Me despiseth Him that sent Me." (Luke 10:16)

When Paul and Barnabas attempted to preach the Gospel, "the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts."

Paul and Barnabas did their best. They preached the Word, the offered the salvation of Christ, and the Word was rejected. What did they do next?

"[T]hey shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium." (Acts 13:50-51)

"And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the Spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ."

Notice that Paul and Timothy were moved by the Holy Spirit to witness to the Macedonians. Notice also what happened when the Macedonians didn't want to hear it.

"And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean; from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles." (Acts 18:6)

This was the Apostle Paul, and the Bible says it was the Holy Spirit moved him to preach. But the Macedonians were free to choose.

Paul and Timothy didn't browbeat them, but rather, Paul said, "I've done what the Lord sent me to do. From here on out, it is up to you."

Paul was not a bad Christian. He wasn't weak, he wasn't wishy-washy, he wasn't uncaring. Paul was God's chosen evangelist to the Gentiles.

But Paul understood that the seeds he planted would grow unto the Lord, or they would NOT grow unto the Lord.

There is an old saying to the effect that "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink."

And if you try, you'll probably drown the horse.

It wasn't up to Paul to do more than the task that God put before him. Neither is it up to you.

It is our duty and our solemn responsibility to make sure everyone we meet has a chance to choose whom they will serve in this life and where they will spend eternity.

But it is not up to them to make the choice for them. Or to feel responsible when they choose badly. It's not we that we failed Him.

The seed we plant may not germinate for decades, but that's up to God, not us. That's where the 'trust' part takes over.

"Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." (Ephesians 6:13)

Don't beat yourself up. Your job is to take the stand as a witness. It's up to the Holy Spirit to obtain a conviction.

"Faithful is He that calleth you, Who also will do it." (1st Thessalonians 5:24)

There are times when its our job to plant the seeds, then get out of the way and let Him take it from there.

No matter what your gift is, we are all called to spread the Gospel. Don't let the fear of what might be keep you from sharing your faith in Love! The "What ifs..." will neutralize you. These are lies of the enemy. As a true Christian you have the power of God on your side. If God be for us who can be against us. Romans 8:31. We need to be like Johhny Appleseed. Throwing seeds around wherever we go. Time is short! Get busy for the sake of the Gospel.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Take Care of Your Heart Greg
But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.
— Romans 2:5
Where is the easiest place to get a hardened heart? In church. The same truth that will set one person free can cause another person to become more hardened against the things of God.
It really depends on how you listen and respond when you are in the presence of God's Word being proclaimed and God's people as they are worshiping. The same sun that softens the wax also hardens the clay. And the same truth that liberates one will cause another to say, "Well, I have heard that before. I know this. You can't tell me anything new."
Here is the problem: people with a hardened heart have never turned from darkness to light. They are just educated unbelievers. They may know more than the person who has never set foot in a church, but they are not one step closer to the kingdom of God. In fact I would venture to say they may even be a little further from the kingdom of God than the person who hasn't been to church. Why? Because when someone who has never been to church comes and hears it all for the first time, he or she might believe on the spot. But those who have heard it their whole lives and think they know it all might be so hardened and resistant that they might not believe.
They will end up like Herod Agrippa who put off a decision to believe, or the rich young ruler who said no to following Jesus, or Judas Iscariot who spent hours on end with God in human form, only to betray Him for 30 pieces of silver.
No matter how much we may try, we can't live in two worlds. It is not enough to be exposed to the truth. We must act on it.

Life as you know it will change forever....very soon!!! Eternity is not that far away. Our lives are as a smoke, a vapor. We are all, believers and unbelievers, only here for a short time. If the Lord Jesus tarries, we will all die and be in eternity. For the believer, indescribable joy, unlawful to even talk about in human terms according to Paul. For the unbeliever, indescribable torment. How then shall we live? Praying, Reading, Fellowshipping, Worshipping? Of course!! Without a doubt but, let us Love as we are Loved and let us Give as it has been Given to us. Freely you have received, freely give. I am convinced that what is missing in so many "Christian" lives is evangelism. We are all called to go into all the world and preach the Gospel. Where is the Sacrifice? Where is Concern, the Compassion, the Love? Time is short!! Let us be about the Lord's business.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

"There cannot be a better thing for us, than for us to be with the best of beings! 'To me to live is Christ--and to die is gain!' Philippians 1:21
Let our condition now be ever so great--it is Hell without Christ! let our condition now be ever so bad--it is Heaven with Christ!'I had rather be in Hell with Christ--than in Heaven without Him!' said Luther."
~ William Dyer

This sentiment of Jesus being worth far more than all treasures on Earth and in Heaven is astounding to me. Look again at what the great reformer, Martin Luther, had to say about his Savior. Read the last sentence again. Would you be able to say and truly mean those words? Could you really say you'd rather forfeit all of Heaven and suffer in a literal Hell if Jesus was there with you? How did Luther and other spiritual giants down through the ages acquire such extreme, other worldly devotion to their Savior? I believe it must come through a deep understanding of what Jesus did for them at the cross. When you understand who Jesus is (pause...) and what He did for you (pause...), the only suitable response for a redeemed human being is to live in complete devotion and unreserved allegiance to his Master, even if it costs him every last drop of comfort or pleasure. Why? Because Christ deserves it. Luther's secret was to not think of what he wanted for himself after he died, but to think about what his Savior deserved from him both in this life, and the next. Let these thoughts challenge you this week to live in such a way that your life declares, "May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of His suffering!" Kirk Cameron

Committment, what does it mean to you? Sacrifice, does your committment to Christ cost you anything? Daily examine yourself. Surrender is the first order of business. My Father God I present my body as a living sacrifice to you this day. I thank you for loving me and saving me and counting me worthy to be called your slave. My life is yours to do what you will.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Genuine Article – Greg Laurie –

"For I know this that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock."
— Acts 20:29

The story is told of an inspector who worked for the counterfeit department of Scotland Yard. His job was to detect the false currency from the real. When asked if he spent a lot of time handling and examining counterfeit money, he said no. He spent so much time handling the real thing that he could immediately detect the counterfeit.

The best way to detect what is false is to know what is true. And I believe that if you have a good working knowledge of the Bible, then you will be able to detect the false rather quickly, because you are so familiar with the genuine article.

I have found that people who are into false teaching don't seem to go out into the culture and win people to their convictions, because they are so weird. Instead, they come into strong, growing churches and infiltrate their ranks, saying things like, "Hey, do you want to get into the real deep things of God? Do you want to really get into heavy-duty truth? Then come over to this little meeting we are having." They go about their deception in a clandestine, secretive way.

The apostle Paul warned about false teachers who would creep into the church: "For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves" (Acts 20:29–30).

We need to be equipped. We need to be prepared. We need to know the truth, because when we are conversant with the Word of God, we will recognize when something weird comes along. We will be aware that it does not jive with Scripture.

So be a student of the Word of God.

How important it is to feed on the Word daily! If you don't feed yourself, you start to get weak. And if you start to get weak, you are susceptible to all kinds of attacks, physically, mentally, and spiritually. Be strong in the Lord, be of good courage. Keep stuffing those spiritual calories in!!
In Him

Friday, November 20, 2009

Just Doing Our Duty – Greg Laurie –

And yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We all are formed by your hand.
— Isaiah 64:8

In Luke 17, Jesus told a parable about servants who were given a task to fulfill. At the end of the story, Jesus said, "And does the master thank the servant for doing what he was told to do? Of course not. In the same way, when you obey me you should say, 'We are unworthy servants who have simply done our duty' " (verses 9–10).

You see, true servants of Jesus want to do what God wants them to do. We are just doing our duty. And as God's servants, we need to remember that everything we have is on loan from Him: our lives, our health, our careers, our ministries, our possessions, our families, and our future. It all belongs to God.

So the idea is not finding out how God can bless our dreams and ambitions and goals. Rather, our objective is to discover His goals, His purposes, and then align ourselves with them. Why? Because we are His servants.

Some people just want Jesus along for the ride. But God does not want to be our copilot. He is the Master, and we are the servants. He is the Potter, and we are the clay. When you put your faith in Jesus Christ, you become His: "You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body" (1 Corinthians 6:19–20).

We like the fringe benefits, if you will, of being a follower of Jesus. But our Master, the one we are following, is not only a Friend who loves us, but a Potter who is molding us. And the more we know of Him and His plan and purpose, the more willing we will be to do what He wants us to do.

Every time you read, servant, bondservant, bondslave, it is the literal meaning as we know it, SLAVE. We are God's slaves. We have no rights of our own, only those Jesus has given us as believers. Pray earnestly to be the slave God wants you to be so you can truly call Him Lord! To obey is better than sacrifice. How much do you sacrifice? How obedient are you?
Love and Compassion
In Him

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

In It to Win It

In It to Win ItGreg
But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
— Acts 20:24
The analogy of running was one the apostle Paul favored in his writings. He often compared the believer to a runner in a race. For example, he wrote that we need to run in the race of life to win: "Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it" (1 Corinthians 9:24).
When I participate in a competitive sport, I always try to win. That doesn't mean I do. In fact, it seems like I lose most of the time. But at least I try, and I enjoy the competition. And when we are in the race of life, we need to run to win. When we watch athletes compete in the Olympics, we primarily celebrate those who win the gold. In the same way, we need to run the race to win—not to get second or third or fourth place or an honorable mention.
But in running to win, we also need to understand who our competitors are. I am not competing with you. I am not trying to beat you in the race of life. You are not trying to beat me. Our real enemies—our competitors, if you will—are the world, the flesh, and the devil (see 1 John 2:16). That is what we are trying to overcome.
I have my lane that I'm running in, which is the life that I have to live and the challenges that I have to face. And my job is to complete my race. You have your lane as well, with your unique challenges and goals.
But ultimately we all have the same goal of running for God and honoring and glorifying Him. And we must run to win.