Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Spokesmen for Jesus

John 13:20
Spokesmen for Jesus

     “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.” 

     We have a high calling as servants of God. Jesus says that if men receive your testimony of Christ they are receiving God’s salvation for them. Today I want to address the words, “He who receives whomever I send.” As Christians this clarifies our duty regarding our purpose in life once we have been saved. We need to look closely here because we don’t want to ignore or be unaware of the job that Jesus has for each of us to do while He is away.
     Everyday is a new day. A day where we need to rise and say, “Lord, what is your agenda for me today”? Everyday there are places God wants to send you, people He wants you to talk to, and eternal hope He wants you to share. People all around you are miserable inside. They are looking for something to make them happy and they think they have found it in sinful pleasures, but these things leave them more depressed than they were before. You and I – we carry the way out for them, but we’re either selfish with it or we don’t fully believe in the Lord ourselves, otherwise we would be sharing Him with everyone. It is not good to be embarrassed about the King of Kings and to pretend you don’t know Him. This day – before the cock crows – will you have denied Him three times? Think about this. We deny Him with our silence, we deny Him when we laugh at a crude joke. We deny Him when someone asks us for advice about some sin that they justify as being OK to live with, and we keep silent and say nothing that would cause them to fear God and truly escape from that sin. We compromise our walk with God with the sins we don’t deal with in our lives and because of this we are not able to speak boldly against it.
     The point of this message is that each of us has been sent to do a job and we need to put aside our fears and laziness and take up the work He has for us. Many people who don’t know God yet are depending on us to do our work and rescue them. It is time to seek God earnestly and say, “Lord, what do You want me to be doing? Where are You sending me?” It is time to remember our vows we made to the Lord on the day we were saved. We are to be dead to sin and alive in Christ! We no longer belong to ourselves, but to God. We are His and He is ours!
     Rise up today brothers and sisters! Let us serve our glorious King with enthusiasm and joy! He is the Lord Most High! King of Kings and Lord of Lords! Creator of the earth and all that is in it! The heavens obey His every desire!

     God bless you and fill you with His Living Water this day!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

A Fruitful Life in Christ

John 12:23-26
A Fruitful Life in Christ

     And Jesus answered them saying, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it; and he who hates his life in this world shall keep it to life eternal. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall My servant also be; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.”

     Submit your life to Jesus. This is the meaning of these verses. Submit yourself to His leadership and become His servant. Jesus’ word about a seed dying and going into the ground is a wonderful picture. The seed that one grain of wheat is able to produce is remarkable. One seed turns into many. Jesus has called us to submit our lives to Him in all things so that we might become like that fruitful seed.
     Search your heart right now and ask yourself the question, “Have I ever told the Lord to do whatever He wants with my life, send me anywhere, train me to do anything, and really meant it with no reservations in my heart?” God brings each of us to this point in our lives but have you ever said, “Here I am Lord, use me whenever and wherever You want,” and had nothing in your heart that held you back? That reservation is the death that Jesus is talking about. If you love some part of your life, you cannot cross this line. Your heart simply cannot cross it for it has a barrier and will not let go of the world. This is the point where we have to let go and hate this life compared to the eternal life that Jesus has for us if we let go. “He who loves his life will lose it (Die eternally).” “.He who hates his life in this world shall keep it to life eternal (Live eternally).”
     “If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall My servant also be; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor Him.” This is the crossing point for us where our lives will begin to bear eternal fruit in the lives of others. And Jesus promises us that not only will we be with Him in Heaven, but that our Heavenly Father will honor us as well. Hebrews 11:6 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please Him (God), for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”
     I want to encourage all of you to spend some earnest time in prayer seeking God. I want to encourage you to ask Him for help in letting go of all those things that keep you from truly giving all of your heart to Him. We need to be able to say, “Lord, whatever You want me to do and wherever You want me to go, I am Yours.” This is the path of all who call themselves after Jesus name. To be a Christian is to be a disciple of Christ and in Him is great eternal reward. So seek Him until all barriers come down between you, and you can say with your whole heart, Jesus I am Yours.
     God bless you all and may you bear much eternal fruit today through Christ Jesus our Lord!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Jesus, our Lord and Savior

John 12:44-60
Jesus, our Lord and Savior

     And Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in Me does not believe in Me, but in Him who sent Me. And he who beholds Me beholds the One who sent Me. I have come as a light into the world, that everyone who believes in Me may not remain in darkness (sin). And if anyone hears My sayings, and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. He who rejects Me, and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word which I spoke is what will judge him at the last day. For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me commandment, what to say, and what to speak. And I know that His commandment is eternal life; therefore the things I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me.”

     I just want to lift Jesus up before everyone here today. I want to open the eyes of all who read this that Jesus is the Son of the Most High God, the Creator of this earth and all that moves upon it! He is the one in whose image we have been created and He will be returning soon to rule over all the nations of this present earth. The Bible says that He will reign for the next thousand years until the great judgment. Isaiah 2:4 says, “And He will judge between the nations, and will render decisions for many people; and they will hammer their swords into plow shares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they learn war.” 
     Jesus says, “I have come as a light to the world, that everyone who believes in Me may not remain in darkness.” Jesus does not intend for the world to live in ignorance to the truth of who He is and what He came to do for us. He came that we might enter into a relationship with our Creator and that we would become Jesus’ eternal brothers and sisters! However, He does not force people to follow Him, but the fact remains that He is God and all who do not listen to His words and act upon them will be judged by them and shall not enter into eternity with Him or become His eternal brothers and sisters.
     Jesus came to bring us the wisdom of God that we might live as God does. He does not want us to be separated from Himself for eternity. Every word and every action that He displayed is part of God’s own character. He says, “If you behold Me, you behold the Father.” He came in person to lead us into Heaven and to give us a future and a hope. Our Heavenly Father, our Creator, desires us to be with Him for eternity, and to accomplish this, He sent His Son to pay the penalty that our sin demanded, for God had promised Adam and Eve that if they ate the fruit of the forbidden tree they would die, eternally as well as physically. God cannot break His word, and therefore He and His Son devised a plan to save mankind. Jesus would pay the price for Adam’s sin and the corruption of the human race. Our Savior died that we may live.
     But if we reject what He has offered us we will not enter into eternal life. He offers it to us freely but if we reject it for this world’s power and excitement we are paying a high price for a few moments of existence! Jesus holds out His hand and says, it’s either sin, corruption and death, or willingly walking away from the world for an eternal reward and life forevermore. We are given the choice, but don’t delay long in considering these two sides or you may, through your next indulgence in the world’s pleasure, lose your very eternity as your life expires because of it. We do not know the day or the hour we may go, so it is best not to delay your decision!
     I say these things to all. The new believer, the old believer, if you know these things act upon them and rescue the lost. For those of you who are still on the edge of the abyss, hurry and let go of the world. Don’t hesitate and trade eternity for a few more moments of earthly entertainment and lust. Our Lord is coming soon; let us act on these things quickly!
               God bless you all!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Jesus Delays That Many Might Believe

John 11:3-4
Jesus Delays That Many Might Believe

     The sisters therefore sent to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.” But when Jesus heard it, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified by it.”

     This is the story of Lazarus being raised from the dead which makes what Jesus said to be something we have to look at closely, for He tells His disciples that the sickness is not unto death which led them to the conclusion that Lazarus would not have to endure the pain of dying. Then Jesus finishes with telling them that He will be glorified by Lazarus’ recovery.
      As we read the story, Lazarus’ sickness did cause him to physically die and he had to undergo his trial with patience knowing that even if he were to die, death itself was no match for Jesus’ authority and power.
     So let me ask us, how many of us have had a trial where we knew Jesus would intervene, and indeed He had even given us promises that He would, and yet the conclusion is that He did not rescue us from the loss of those things? That great ending where God victoriously rescues us, did not happen. Now as we continue to read in the next two verses of this chapter it says that after hearing the news of Lazarus’ sickness, He delayed two more days during which time Lazarus died. So Jesus gets an urgent request from Mary and Martha and yet delays in going to them.
     So the question is – why did Jesus delay? He knew the delay would mean physical death for His friend whom He loved. So why did He delay in going and healing him and keeping him from enduring anything more. And at the same time, saving Himself from the frustrated and sorrowful feelings that were stirred up in Mary and Martha towards Him because of it, so much so that when Mary confronted Him He wept for her grief. The answer is found in the second part of His statement. “This sickness is for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified by it.”
     Jesus allows His friend Lazarus to be part of a great miracle to demonstrate the truth of who He was, the Son of God. It says later on in this chapter that so many people believed in Jesus because of this miracle that the priests were afraid the entire nation would be won over to Christ because of it! Lazarus was a well known man who lived just outside of Jerusalem and many people were at his funeral and then witnessed him raised from the dead. It says that Jesus did not arrive until Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days, long enough for many people to have heard and witnessed the truth of it. They then became eye-witnesses to his resurrection through Jesus.
     So what I want to say to each of you today is, if you have experienced the four days in the tomb or are just experiencing them, this sickness is not unto death! For though you should die physically or lose everything, Jesus is the resurrection and the life and this sickness will be for the glory of God and many will believe in Jesus because of it. So be of good courage for He is weeping and enduring it with you while He delays, but as David says in Psalm 126:5-6 “Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting, and he who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed, shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.”

     Be strong and of good courage my brothers and sisters! Our God is awesome and He will be glorified in these things and many will be saved because of it!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

For Whom the Lord Loves He Reproves

John 10:27-29
For Whom the Lord Loves He Reproves

     “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.”

     “My sheep hear My voice and I know them and they follow Me.” That pull on your heart that comes over you once in a while reminding you that you need to spend more time with God, praying and reading His word – this is the voice of Jesus to your soul. Jesus says that you will hear His voice. Gently He continues to remind us to spend time with Him and to let go of the distractions that keep us from doing so. However, it is the second part that is the most important for us to take note of. “They will follow Me.” Not only does Jesus irresistibly call us, but following Him is the necessary step He has given us to do.
     To follow Jesus first leads us through the path of letting go of all our sinful pursuits. This is a challenging step that requires self-denial and much time with God to overcome. But everyday we have to get up with a fresh determination that we desire to leave the old way of life behind. If we look back and desire those things again we lose a lot of ground and our walk with Jesus becomes painful instead of joyful because our hearts have become divided between love for God and love for the world. To enjoy our life with Christ we must truly let go of those old desires. We cannot walk in the fullness of joy as Jesus has promised for us if our hearts are not fully His. We must let go of sin.
     Now if you struggle with this and cannot let go of some particular sin in your life, do not despair. Jesus has given us another promise, one that takes over when we can’t let go of certain sins. It is called discipline. Jesus says that no one will be able to snatch us from His Father’s hand which means that He will step in and help us to overcome our weaknesses. So we can expect hardships and painful experiences to come upon us until we let go of those sins we have been holding onto. God will not leave us in our sinful pleasures. He will be faithful to purify us from them because those things will not be in Heaven and if we cannot let go of them now we will not be able to let go of them in Heaven. Proverbs 3:11-13 says it well. “My son, do not reject the discipline of the Lord, or loathe His reproof, for whom the Lord loves He reproves, even as a father, the son in whom he delights.” So if you have weaknesses in your life that you are allowing to remain there, God will send discipline to remove it. It is part of His loving commitment to preserve your soul for eternity. It is also the greatest blessing, for when we let those sins go a joy and excitement will come flooding into our hearts that is almost inexpressible and to wonderful to describe, for we are at peace with God and have let go of the things that were bringing ruin upon our lives and upon our households.
     Take a moment to read Psalm 119: 97-104. David is talking about the beauty of obeying God’s commandments. Here is an excerpt from it. “Oh how I love Thy law! It is my meditation all the day. Thy commandments make me wiser than my enemies.” God’s commandments make us wiser than our enemy and all of his sinful desires that he tries to fill our lives with. And God’s discipline gives us the fear of God that we need in order to stay away from them. In keeping His commandments there is a great reward! Our lives will not self-destruct, but will become fruitful and a blessing to many people.

     Oh let us give heed to Jesus’ voice and follow Him with our whole heart! That we shall never perish but have eternal life!