Author Archive

I need your help

Posted: September 1, 2020 in Thoughts on God

Howdy, and good Morning…J I am starting a YouTube Channel geared towards reaching the lost, and the astray, for Jesus. It will also be a Channel where people can grow in the Lord. The Lord is currently growing this Ministry, but I need more people to like the videos, and hopefully subscribe to the channel. Why? Simple, so it can reach people throughout the world for Jesus. This doesn’t take a lot of time, just a few seconds a day, and it would mean so much. Just go to https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYM7lo5V2VliltW_GPZdZTQ?view_as=subscriber click like or comment on the videos, and if you feel led by the Lord to receive a video a day discussing Jesus, you can also subscribe. I honestly feel with your support, this Ministry can make a difference throughout the world when we need God more than ever. I appreciate your help soooooo much.

Christopher Sercye was playing basketball with his friends on May 16, 1998 when he was shot in the chest, and a bullet perforated his aorta. His friends helped him get to within forty feet of the entrance to Ravenswood Hospital and then went inside and asked for help. The hospital staff refused to help Christopher saying that it was against the hospital’s policies to administer aid to those outside the hospital. Eventually a policeman was able to get a wheel chair and wheeled Christopher into the hospital where he was helped by the hospital staff. It was too late, Christopher died about an hour later.

Many times we’re surrounded by people that desperately need compassion, but we ignore them because we’re too focused on our own needs. We’re to busy to help someone else.

Ephesians 4:32 says, Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

 

From this passage, we can see 3 important traits that we need to extend to others. Kindness, compassion, and forgiveness

 

Let’s look at the first trait,

Kindness-Rather than revenge, Jesus calls us to bless our enemies, knowing that through kindness, we can soften hearts.

It is easy to get irritated at people, throw them under the bus, argue, fight, blame, or just plain ignore em, but Jesus emphasizes mercy, patience, love, and kindness to everyone.

Friends are easy to love, but we are called to be a friend to the friendless.

Kindness is selfless, compassionate, and merciful

Love your neighbor; show kindness to EVERYONE.

For a perfect example of Biblical kindness, all we have to do, is look at the example of  Jesus.

 

 

 

Know, let’s look at

Compassion-The New Oxford American Dictionary defines compassion as “a sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.”

That’s very well put, but t

The Bible doesn’t explain compassion like a dictionary does, just telling us what the word means. Instead, the Bible defines compassion by showing us what compassion looks like and what’s involved with being compassionate.

For instance, Proverbs 31:8-9, tells us “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” —

Author Fredrick Buechner describes what it means to have compassion in this way:

“Compassion is sometimes the fatal capacity for feeling what it is like to live inside somebody else’s skin. It is the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you too.”

To have compassion means to empathize with someone who’s suffering and to feel the need to help them.

 

 

Know we look at forgivness

A lot of people treat forgiveness as a form of therapy. It’s a way of moving on. It’s a form of personal healing. This is not what Jesus taught. Jesus taught us to forgive as we have been forgiven.

I have heard people say things like, “I forgive, but so and so still needs to pay for their sin”; “I forgive, but they have to deal with the consequences”; “I forgive, but I will never let them forget”; and “I forgive, but they had better show themselves worthy of forgiveness.” This is not what Jesus taught.

To many Christians, forgiveness sounds like a nice thing to do, but there has to be a limit. We can’t expect to forgive people for the same sins all the time, can we? If people are truly repentant, won’t they just stop committing that specific sin?

Listen carefully as Jesus explains forgiveness, and how to handle conflict

. (Matt. 18:15–22)If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times

Jesus’ point is simple. We must forgive, all the time, not just when there’s something in it for us. People will sin against us all the time. We will sin against others all the time. Just as God forgives us all the time, we are to forgive others all the time.

So there you go, now you have the basics down for how others should be treated. Basically, it’s how we want to be treated. Now go and put it into practice…J

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You are what you worship

Posted: August 28, 2020 in Thoughts on God

Their idols are silver and gold,
    the work of human hands.
They have mouths, but do not speak;
    eyes, but do not see.
They have ears, but do not hear;
    noses, but do not smell.
They have hands, but do not feel;
    feet, but do not walk;
    and they do not make a sound in their throat.
Those who make them become like them;
    so do all who trust in them.

Psalm 115:4–8 ESV

John Calvin famously said that “man’s nature is a perpetual factory of idols.”

He was absolutely right. And today’s devotional verses show us what happens through idolatry.

WHAT IS IDOLATRY?

So what is idolatry? Paul defines idolatry in Colossians 3:5–6 like this:

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming.

Paul gives a laundry list of things. But he uses them as a build up to a description of idolatry: covetousness.

And because covetousness starts in the heart, so does all idolatry.

WHAT HAPPENS TO IDOLATORS?

In today’s passage, we learn something pretty terrifying.

Idols may look valuable, like precious silver and gold. But in the end, they’re powerless things that pass away.

Notice, though, what we learn in verse 8:

Those who make them become like them;
so do all who trust in them.

We become what we worship. When we worship — or pursue as ultimate — idols, we become powerless, discontent, and disconnected, just like they are.

But when we worship Jesus, we are made more and more like him.

HOW DO YOU VIEW JESUS?

So the question today is, “How valuable is Jesus to you?”

Is he more valuable than:

  • The way you look,
  • How much money you have,
  • Pornography and sinful sexual encounters,
  • Substances that you’re ruled by,
  • Or any other idol under the sun?

So, are you pursuing worthless idols — or the God of infinite worth?

Worship and pursue Jesus, today.

 

Christians have always recognized common core beliefs that are essential to Christianity doctrines that should be guarded: faith, repentance and submission to the will of God. Anything less significant is not worth fighting about, especially when it leads to quarreling over who is “more spiritual.
The Scriptures were written by holy men of God (about 40 in all) “as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” While in no way denying the personalities of the human writers or rejecting the uniqueness of their different styles, the Holy Spirit controlled the process of bringing things to the writers’ memories (John 16:13) and ensuring what they recorded was the very Word of God. (See “Inspiration,” 2 Tim. 3:16.)
Here’s a couple of examples: Jeremiah once became so frustrated that he wanted to quit, but God’s Spirit compelled him to go on (Jer. 20:9). Likewise, Jonah at first refused to take God’s message to Nineveh, but later obeyed God’s second call (Jon. 3:1).
How to apply it to our lives: As Christians read the Bible, they can be confident that it is the very Word of God. (First Reference, Judges. 2:1; Primary Reference, 2 Pet. 1:21; cf. John 10:35.)
So, to wrap it up, we cause more damage to the Christian faith by arguing over silly little things that don’t matter to our salvation, than we do by remembering the basics that we have in common. Pick your fights wisely.

Introduction — What does “saved” or “born again” mean?

What does it mean to be a Christian, or to be “born again”? When I grew up, I thought being a Christian meant joining an organization or going to church, but I discovered that’s not the real answer (although it’s good to go to church). The real answer has to do with accepting God’s love for us and the gift of a full life he offers through Jesus Christ.

Something is wrong with human nature

As I grew up, I could see that something was drastically wrong with almost everyone I knew. I rarely saw the quality of love and trust between people that I felt should be there. I did not observe this lack in others only. I knew that something was missing in me.

I explored different philosophies, schools of psychology, sociological approaches, metaphysical ideas and religions. Many sounded reasonable at first, but as I evaluated their reality in my life and in the lives of those who embraced them, they seemed hollow. They obviously didn’t work.

God provided a solution

I thought there was a spiritual element to life, but couldn’t figure out what it was. But God drew my wife Skeeter and me to him. Following a series of unexpected events, we surrendered our lives to Jesus Christ and prayed, inviting him to be our Savior and Lord. According to Jesus’ words, we were “born again” (John 3:3-7).

As I grew in my Christian walk, I learned about “original sin,” the fact that we all inherit a sinful nature because of Adam and Eve’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden. This cripples us all. Here, finally, was an explanation that rang true, a reason for the “something wrong” I had observed and experienced.

To my delight, I finally began to see this “something wrong” in me changing for the better. I still have a long way to go, but I am thankful for the work God has done so far.

Jesus offers us a fullness of life

Jesus offers each of us a walk with God and a fullness of life that is not possible without him. He said, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again” (John 3:3). He also said, “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35), and “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

How does one become a Christian?

Do not assume you are a Christian because of your background or church membership. Being raised by Christians does not automatically make you a Christian, nor does going to church, seeking to live a moral life, serving as an elder or leading as a pastor. What counts is whether you have given your life to Jesus Christ.

If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. (Romans 10:9-10)

“Believe” means to “adhere to, trust in, and rely on the truth” (Amplified Bible). Becoming a Christian is surrendering your life to Christ and allowing his Spirit to dwell within you.

Personal application — Pray to accept Christ’s love

If you have never done so, I invite you to present yourself to him now, for “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13). Surrender your life to God by accepting Jesus as your Savior and Lord. Then allow God to begin the process of transforming you into the best man or woman you can be.

Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. (1 John 2:4-6 ESV)

Yesterday our devotion was on consistency, and today we will discuss other side of this; inconsistency. What does it look like when you know that someone’s words are different than their actions?

In 1 John 2 we see a sobering picture of what consistency is, and what it isn’t. Paraphrasing the first part of chapter 2, John essentially says that if you say you have received the love and grace of Jesus Christ, but do not live by His commandments, then you are a liar and the truth is not in you. In other words, if you have put your faith in Jesus and there is no outward change, no want to know Him, no want to love the things He loves and no care for His mission with consistency, then you should stop and really examine your heart. You should stop and examine your walk and relationship with Him, because something appears to be out of order.

Our walk and growth in Jesus will never be perfect… so please don’t hear me saying when we have the slightest mess up, we should question our faith. What I am saying is what John is: when we do sin, we have an advocate with the father, who has paid the price for our mess-ups and His name is Jesus. He’s set the perfect example, which should serve to inspire us to strive for consistency in our faith.

As Paul says in Romans 6:1, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?” What areas of your life are showing inconsistency? How can you make a change and focus on what Jesus is calling you to do?

It’s time to stop the fear

Posted: August 25, 2020 in Thoughts on God