Thursday, September 18, 2014

Who is the Most Important?

Matthew 20:26-28
But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; (27) And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: (28) Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

The very notion of who is the greatest or most important in the church is anti-Christ. We have differing roles. We have differing functions. We have different ministries in the church, but we are members of a body, which must function as a complete and healthy whole if it is to exist at all.

1 Corinthians 12:12-24
For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. (13) For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. (14) For the body is not one member, but many. (15) If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? (16) And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? (17) If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? (18) But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. (19) And if they were all one member, where were the body? (20) But now are they many members, yet but one body. (21) And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. (22) Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: (23) And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. (24) For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked:

In our body, an individual cell can be dispensed with without the body suffering, but no cells function can be erased without causing the body to diminish or suffer. Likewise a healthy church is not dependant for life upon any individual.

Which is most important in a body heart? Lungs? Skin? Bones? Nerves? Digestive system? Muscles? Eliminate any one of them and the body perishes. Some are invisible, others greatly visible, but visibility doesn’t dictate importance.

The purpose of the church is two fold. . . internal in ministering to those who are saved, and external in reaching the lost. In both cases we are talking of eternal salvation.

Eternity might be looked upon as an infinity in mathematics. There’s a funny and unique thing about infinities. In most any other mathematical equation, 2 times something equals twice as much. Multiply an apple by 2, and you have 2 apples. . . same with lemons, people, cars. . . atoms, stars, galaxies. . . any physical object multiplied by 2 equals twice as many of them.

An infinity is different. Multiply an infinity by 2, and you still only have an infinity. The spiritual implication of this is that there is nothing more weighty and important than the eternal salvation of one.

Matthew 18:12
How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?

There is no greater purpose in the church, than your ministry. There is no role more important than the one child asking a question of the Sunday School teacher. . . nothing is more important than the church bus driver helping the old lady getting on the church bus. . . or the first time visitor asking a question of the greeter in the church foyer. . .Even those ministries not dealing directly with people, might be thought of as internal organs of the body.

The lungs never see the light of day, but without them the body quickly dies. Without cleaning of the church, the building becomes filled with filth, attracts vermin and illness. . . Without skilled laborers in the kitchen, church fellowship dinners are distasteful or worse. Without careful attention paid to landscaping, and building maintenance, the church becomes unattractive, reflects poorly upon Christ, and gives Him a bad testimony.

There is no one more important than the one to whom you are ministering to at the moment, and no matter what your role in the church, there is always someone impacted by your ministry.

Pray without ceasing. . . pray as you sweep. . . pray as you cook. . . pray as you shovel snow or prepare to preach or to drive the church bus for the Spirit of God to shine through you and through your labors, to bless those who partake of your labors and to help lead them into an eternal fellowship with Christ. . .

Saturday, August 30, 2014

On Tablets of Flesh. . .

For the past 14 years I have ministered in the local county jail. Ministry in the jail is a microcosm of ministry in any setting. It is a controlled environment, with fewer variables than in the world at large.

Ministry failure. . . the stumbling of the saints is in some ways easier to track in jail ministry, than in a more typical church setting. When someone drops off the radar screen in a regular church, we often do not know why. But in jail all too often we see a person return to jail. . . many times all too quickly, and that is a pretty certain sign of problems in the person’s life.

Rare is the person who leaves incarceration with the thought of returning. Most spend at least some of their time in jail, contemplating how they arrived there, and what they might do to avoid coming back in the future.

To see this in a series of time lapse shots it becomes sadly humorous, if that makes any sense. One particular fellow I remember got into trouble after a night of drinking in a motel with a couple of relative strangers. In the wee hours of the morning. . . in a way only sensible under a heavy fog of drugs or alcohol. . . it seemed reasonable to go down and attempt to rob the desk clerk. Before you laugh in derision at that, how common is it to do foolish things when inebriated? How many have had the experience of doing something totally out of character after a few drinks. . . the stereotypical dancing with a lampshade upon your head. Others in my acquaintance, have committed murder when intoxicated, woken up covered in another man’s blood, with only faint memories of what occurred. Men or women, who would be spoken of as one of the nicest, quietest people in the world when sober, became violent and evil, committed horrific crimes when intoxicated.

Well, anyway this person awoke to an attempted robbery charge in the horrible hangover from that night and in speaking to him, he decided that his difficulty arose from drinking with people whom he did not know very well. Really? Was that your problem? His charge was reduced as it was his first time in trouble and the next time I saw him it was for a DUI arrest. . . That time he learned not to drink and drive. . . The next time I saw him, he had gotten drunk and beat up his girlfriend. . . and on and on and on it goes. . .Never listening. . . Always wise in his own eyes. Solving the wrong problem. . .

Never making the same mistake twice, he was eliminating wrong behavior from his life, one crime at a time. . .The Indiana legal code alone, takes up some several feet of space on a bookshelf, to say nothing of federal and local laws. Live as long as Methuselah and you won’t have enough years of life to quit committing crime, one crime at a time.

He, and many others like him are trying to solve the problem afflicting their lives by putting Bandaids on problems which require heart surgery. . . treating the symptoms, and not the underlying disease. I had a condition which required heart surgery. If my doctor had treated my condition with Bandaids and aspirin, I would have died.

How then do we increase our chances of living holy and righteous lives? The jail environment is filled with rules. It is all about rules to keep right behavior and order. The inmates continually test the limits and interpretation of these rules and they try to get as close to the line as they can without stepping over. This leads to trouble, as invariably one staff member of the jail will interpret something more strictly than another, or be less tolerant than other staff, and an inmate will be surprised to be cited for an infraction that they thought was close to the edge, but OK.

This same type of thinking/behavior gets them into trouble on the outside. . . . we might call it, ‘skating too close to the edge.’ Through personal awareness of their weakness or more likely probation rules, the person knows that they cannot consume alcohol. A family member or close friend has a birthday party, and it is known that alcohol will be served there. He justifies himself going, by believing it important to attend this family function and vowing not to drink while they are there. Very predictably they may succumb to the temptation, and decry their weakness at not resisting, but the problem was completely foreseeable in their attendance of a party where they knew that they would be tempted.

The problem is that they view the rules as external adversaries, obstacles to be overcome, and not as helpful guides, positive structures for a holy and righteous life. Here is a Bible verse which speaks to this:

2 Corinthians 3:3
Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.

As long as the rules are external to you, then your view of them will be as roadblocks and or adversaries to be gotten around. That is what the tables of stone were for the Hebrews. The whole of the Mosaic Law was rules and consequences constructed to help the people live lives pleasing to God, and the people spent their time obeying the Law in letter, but not in spirit.

To internalize the Law, it is necessary for the Spirit of God to carry the Law to your heart and write the Law upon it. The view of the Law. . . the rules for holy and righteous living, then suddenly change from being adversaries, to being the means by which we maintain and deepen our relationship with God.

I no longer resent not being able to attend a party where alcohol or drugs will be consumed, as an external restriction of my freedom, but from within, I now abhor the thought of putting myself in a position where I might stumble and fall, and thereby wound, the One whom I love and who loves me.

Love conquers all. An example. . . as a young man in my middle teens, I saw older friends gain girlfriends, and stop hanging out with us. No longer found playing poker all night or pool all weekend, etc. etc. etc., they now were in a relationship which changed the things they did. I remember vowing to myself that I would not be so changed. . . until. . .until. . . until I met someone who placed a hook in my heart, then I changed in ways I would have never accepted from without. I would have resisted the changes if an external entity ordered me to change in those ways, but the changes came from within as a result of a relationship. . . born of love. Now for the sake of love, I was glad to change, not as a commandment from a judgemental God to avoid His wrath. . . not even I believe to avoid being sent to hell would I have done those things, but for my beloved heavenly Father. . . to draw closer to Him, and to make Him happy, I was more than willing and glad to change.

Before knowing God, in my pride I would have resisted changing in every aspect of holiness, modesty, temperance. . .etc. that I now delight in. Now I refuse to place myself in situations where I know that I will be tempted. . . not because I am holier and more righteous than others, but because my relationship with God is the most important thing to me, and nothing is worth damaging that.

Before I would see how close to the line I could get. . . Yeah drinking and driving is against the law, but I’m under control. . . I can handle it. . . or even Yes, there will be drinking at that party, but I can resist. Not now. . . I feel strong, and I do not feel that I will drink ever again, but why place myself in a position where a weak moment might strike me? It’s not worth it.

I had quit smoking for several years, when my daughter was born. At her birth I handed out cigars to celebrate, as the custom was in those days. . . I celebrated her birth by smoking a cigar. . . that one cigar lasted 23 years. . . She was 23 years old when I quit again. One beer. . . one cigar. . . one kiss. . . a small bit of money from the cash register drawer. . .one act in anger or greed. . .A small step away from God can last for an eternity. . . and nothing is worth the risk of losing this life. . this joy. .. this peace. . . this relationship with God that I have found.

Does that mean that I never stumble? No it does not. I battle different battles today than I did 14 years ago, but now the stumbles are exceptions. . .interruptions and not my nature. I do not justify myself when my pride. . .my selfishness. . . my anger. . . my laziness. . .my greed overtakes me for a time. . . and these are all as much sin as any other that you might name. . .now as soon as I recognize what I have done, I repent. . . I say ‘I’m sorry God’. . . I pick myself up. Dust myself off, and go back to trying to live a holy and righteous life.

I visualize God as the face my grandfather ever looking over my shoulder. I loved my grandpa, and he loved me. When I stumble, God sees all and it is as if I turn and spit in the face of God. . . I see my spittle running down the face of my Grandpa. I see a tear from his soft love filled eye, travel down the same path that my spit did a moment before. . . When you sin, you disrespect God. The God who loves you more than your own mother. When you sin, you sin against God. You stab His heart. Yes He is quick to forgive, but the wounding is there nonetheless.

The key is this relationship. This must come before anything else. If you attempt to apply holiness and righteousness to your life without the relationship with God, then you will likely end up a Pharisee. . . one who is narrowly focused upon the rules. . . one without a source of joy other than that of comparing their righteousness to others, and finding themselves superior.

My joy is based solely on the wonder of God and my closeness to Him. I gain nothing by belittling those around me. I am not in competition with them for God’s love. He loves us all beyond measuring. The only greater happiness I can have is by sharing God with as many other people as I can, and helping them to know God.

There can be no self-pride or self-righteousness in a Christian’s life. . . but humility and overwhelming gratitude for His grace, and love, and forgiveness, and sacrifice which made a way for me to be forgiven, where no way existed before. He opened a door for me, that was locked beyond any human ability to open. . .

I love you my God. . .
I thank you for everything You've done for me. . .


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Shapes in the Couds. . .

The recent fatal shooting of a young man by a police office in Missouri, has polarized large segments of the population.  People are choosing sides, aligning themselves behind either the righteous act of a courageous police officer, or the tragic murder of an innocent young man by a police officer.

Each side has the same basic facts available to them, but they see totally different scenes out of those same facts.  What they see in those facts and their reaction to them, have little to do with the facts themselves, but are rather a type of ink blot test. . . given random shapes of ink on a little card, a person is able to create a scene, not from anything inherently in the black and white shapes on the paper, but from their own past experiences. . . . Lay on your back and look at the clouds. . .see soldiers, horses. . . castles. . . No soldiers, or horses, or castles are actually there, and a friend sitting right next to you will find completely different shapes in the same clouds that you look at.  The scenes in the clouds come from your own mind and not from the clouds.

If your experiences with police officers are positive, and your experiences with young black men are negative then you will likely take the police officer’s side. . . and surely the reverse is true.  If you’ve had negative experiences with police officers, and can more easily relate to young  black men, then you will take the young man’s side.

But we know only one thing for certain, that there are no totally good men. . . no not any:

Romans 3:23  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

and again. . .

Isaiah 64:6  But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

There is no police officer, who has never acted from anger, revenge, selfishness, laziness stupidity,  or meanness.  Yes they surely may have regretted it later. . . No it need not happen often, but all have sinned. . .

and likewise there is no young man of any ethnic background who  has never acted from anger, revenge, selfishness, laziness stupidity,  or meanness.  Yes they surely may have regretted it later. . . No it need not happen often, but all have sinned. . .

No one can claim righteousness. . . all have fallen short.

As outsiders, we who were not there cannot know what actually occurred.  There surely will be an investigation to try and find out what happened, but questions and accusations will certainly still remain at the end of that day.

. . . again we know only one thing for certain. . . All men need the forgiveness of Christ. . . all men need to repent and turn away from sin. . . all men need the covering of the blood of Christ’s perfect sacrifice to pay for our sins.

We weep for the young man and what might have been. . .we mourn his loss, and the great pain of his family. . .
We weep for police officers and horrible split second life and death decisions they must make on a daily basis. . .
We weep for our own frailties, and shortcomings. . .
We give thanks to God for making a way where there was no way possible.

I give thanks to God for offering Himself as payment for my sins. . .

Thank you God. . .
I love you Jesus. . .

I pray for men to lift their eyes to You. . .


Monday, August 4, 2014

The Stars Don't Need God. . .

The burning stars rotate perfectly and obediently in their proscribed orbits through the cold harsh vacuum of space. . . . totally subject to and submissive to the God ordained. . . God created laws of physics. Their severe obedience unwavering in the slightest. Any variance of motion from the path prescribed for them is inconceivable.

Thus entire galaxies, great clusters of galaxies. . . indeed the entire observed universe submits, obeys without questioning the laws laid before it. Wheeling silently through the boundless sky. . .In every direction of the celestial globe, order and adherence to the rule of law. . . as a perfectly beautiful and wondrously complex mechanism. . . perfect on what ever scale it may be viewed. Interlocking facets of cause, effect, and consequence. . . death. . . rebirth. . . wheels within wheels. Turning and moving ever onward through countless eons of time, in silent harmony, and unity . .

The entire universe that is, except for Man. Man alone has the energy. . . the self will to bend his orbit. Man alone is able to step outside of the path that God has laid before him, and it is within this disruption. . . this disobedience, this abandoning of submission to law that our need for God arises.

The stars have no need of God. Set in their path, they continue to their destiny, but mankind very shortly after creation rejected the perfect law abiding path set before him, and has continually entered into new ever darker and more eccentric orbits. . . placing himself on collision paths. . . paths in disharmony with the rest of creation. . .orbits leading to quick fiery deaths, or slow declines into the least levels of existence.

I need God. I cannot find the correct way on my own. I have tried and miserably failed. Again and again, without God I set my life’s path. . . my orbit around things which were destructive to me. . . both in a physical, and in a spiritual sense.

God gains absolutely nothing from my faith. He benefits nothing from my belief or even from my submission, but by submitting to Him, I gain everything of worth and value. In bending my knee to Him, I shed only my prideful nature which would lead me to my certain destruction. I gain peace. I gain happiness. I gain everlasting life. I gain a deep calmness. . . a deep certainty, purpose, and security, which was completely unknown to me in the 45 years of my life prior to finding God.

People are hurting. People are lonely. . . . in bondage. Seeking a way out of the darkness. . .It’s not stories for little children. There are immensely powerful answers to life’s problems, to be found at the feet of Jesus, and no where else. . .

Take a chance on God. You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.

Matthew 11:28-30
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (29) Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. (30) For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

I love you my God. . .
I thank you my Lord. . .


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

11 Reasons not to Attend One Church Over Another

Common reasons to attend one church over another. . .

  1. You like the building.
  2. You like the pastor.
  3. You feel comfortable there.
  4. The choir is great.
  5. They have a really good youth group.
  6. The pastor’s messages are uplifting.
  7. The people are very friendly.
  8. The pews are comfortable.
  9. You really like the music.
  10. Your best friend/family member goes there.
  11. This is where my family has always attended church.

We could no doubt continue adding many more reasons to the list above, without any danger of exhausting the list of why people choose once church over another. . . but none of those reasons will get you into heaven. When you stand before God, He will not care about anything in the list above.

By various counts Jesus issued around 50 commandments. He stressed how important it is to obey His words:

John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

John 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

John 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

John 14:24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.

John 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.

Everyone’s favorite Scripture is John 3:16, but read the beginning of the third chapter:

John 3:1-8 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: (2) The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. (3) Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (4) Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? (5) Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. (6) That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (7) Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. (8) The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

In the passage above, Jesus said if you aren’t born of the water and of the Spirit that. . . “you cannot see the kingdom of God”. . . and repeated it “. . . you cannot enter into the kingdom of God”. These are hard important words. Better to sit alone on a bare board pew, listening to a soft spoken monotone preacher who teaches and preaches the truth, than in a church with reclining softly padded chairs, watching a service as entertaining as anything found in Las Vegas, listening to words which tickle the ears, but which do not contain truth.

Jesus won’t want to know how well the choir sang. . . He won’t care how modern the building is. . . It’s not important to him how sociable or entertaining your preacher was.

If you love me, keep my commandments. . .
If you love me, keep my commandments. . .
If you love me, keep my commandments. . .

We bear responsibility to ensure that above all else we are being taught the Truth. Find a church that bases their doctrine entirely upon the Word of God, and what ever the cost, teaches from the Bible as the inspired, inerrant Word of God. . .

This is not a game. A church is not a social club, where we go to in order to socialize and be entertained. The doctrine is of number 1 importance, above every other consideration.

If your church is not teaching: Repentance, Water Baptism in Jesus name, and the Spirit Baptism of the Holy Ghost, then you need to find a church which does. It’s on the pages of the Bible before your very eyes. . .

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Apostolic. . .

I am a Oneness Pentecostal. . . Sometimes known as a Jesus name Pentecostal, or as we name ourselves, Apostolic Pentecostals.

This doctrine is not merely another flavor on the vast denominal menu of Christianity. This doctrine predates all other Christian denominations. It is by definition the beliefs of the Apostles. We trace none of our tenets to various councils, or creeds, or historical edicts or traditions. We base our beliefs solely upon Scripture.

We did not stray from mainline Christianity. The reverse is the case. We remain rooted with Holy Scripture as our only defining document. We believe as the apostles, and the first century church did. We baptize in Jesus name as described in the Bible. We believe in the words of Jesus, that one must be born of the water and of the Spirit. . . We believe as Peter preached, that you must repent and be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. We believe in 1 God as did the Apostles, not a third century innovation of an incomprehensible confused godhead of 3 co-equal co-eternal separate, but same entities.

Ours is not a new doctrine. There have been Oneness believers documented in every century since the day that Christ last walked the earth. We have been labeled heretics and blasphemers, ostracized, persecuted. . . burnt at the stake, and otherwise massacred and killed in numbers of many thousands by the Church.

Our heritage is not one of crusades, and inquisitions. . . no armies of conquest have ever flown an Apostolic banner. Ours is a quiet history. Our continuing and compelling desire is always to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love our fellow man as ourselves. . . Seeking Him in every aspect of our lives. . . Following Him in every way that we know how.

Luke 13:23-30
Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, (24) Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. (25) When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: (26) Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. (27) But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. (28) There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. (29) And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God. (30) And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.

I love you my God. . .
I thank you my God. . .


Friday, April 18, 2014

Be Ye Not Deceived. . .

I know what the Bible says about. . . (fill in the blank with your own statement). . .but this is how I believe. . .

Does that fit you? That is fine. That is your right to hold any belief you desire, but do not be deceived, if that is your belief, you are not a Christian.

Jesus was nothing, if He was not a supporter of the Word of God. Jesus quoted the old testament dozens of times.

Examples from the book of Matthew alone:

4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

4:7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

4:10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

12:3 But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him;

12:5 Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless?

19:4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,

21:13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

21:16 And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?

21:42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?

22:31 But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying,

26:24 The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born.

26:31 Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.

Hundreds of prophecies of the Old Testament were fulfilled by Jesus.

The Apostle John writes:

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

. . . the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us. . .

And gain in the Book of Revelation:

Revelation 19:11-13 KJV (11) And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. (12) His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. (13) And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

. . . and His name is called the Word of God. . .

Five times Jesus emphasized this:

John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

John 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

John 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

John 14:24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.

John 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.

Jesus warned us that many would be fooled:

Matthew 7:21-29 KJV 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. (22) Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? (23) And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (24) Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: (25) And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. (26) And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: (27) And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. (28) And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: (29) For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

Jesus is speaking of men and women who thought they were living for God, but they did not follow the word of God. They felt that as long as they believed that Jesus was their Savior, that they were saved. . . To them It didn’t matter that they continued to lead sinful lives. . . they felt protected by their mere belief in Jesus. . . and they were horribly shocked. . . verse 23 repeated: (23) And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Depart from me, ye that work iniquity. . . Get out of my sight, you that continued in your own ways rather than follow My ways. . .

Matthew 7:13-14 KJV 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: (14) Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Few there be that find it. . .
Few there be that find it. . .
Few there be that find it. . .

Yes God is love. . .
No it is not God’s desire that any should perish. . .

But Jesus said that there are few that will find the way which leadeth to life. To reverse that statement there will be many. . . the great majority who will be judged in their sins, to their great disappointment.

Please do not be deceived. . .

To be a Christian is to strive to be Christ like. . .
To be a Christian is to follow the Word of God. . .
To be a Christian is not to continue in your sins,
but to be reborn. . . to be transformed into a new creature.

I love you my God. . .
I love you my Lord. . .
Thank you for saving me Lord. . .
Thank you for Your sacrifice my Lord. . .

Good Friday 2014

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Do Not Judge Christ by Christians. . .

To call yourself a doctor, you must have a diploma. . .
To call yourself a lawyer, you must pass the bar exam. . .
To call yourself a CPA, you must have certification. . .

But anyone can hang the label Christian upon themselves and truthfully all who call themselves Christian are to one degree or another impostors. To be a Christian means to be Christlike, and in the strict sense of the word, no one deserves that label.

Do not judge Christ by Christians.

More than anything I desire to be Christlike, but I regularly fail. It is safe to say I fail His perfection daily. Christ is pure perfection. . . complete sinlessness, complete selflessness, and I am not. I need Christ. . . I need the blood of Christ’s sacrifice to cover my imperfections. . .but this flesh continues to require daily repentance, the daily humble asking for forgiveness, and the daily Grace of God for the granting of that forgiveness. . .

Do not judge Christ by Christians. . .
There is no blemish. . . no stain upon Him. . .
Do not judge Christ by Christians. . .

I love you my God. . .
I thank you for loving me, in spite of my imperfections. . .