A W Tozer quotes:“You can see God from anywhere if your mind is set to love and obey Him.”John 14:15, Jesus said “If you love me, keep my commandments.”
“To be right with God has often meant to be in trouble with men.”Matthew 5:11, Jesus said “Blessed are you when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.”
It’s all about a fully surrendered life in Christ. In a surrendered life one will be in obedience to Christ, growing in the knowledge and discernment of God, seeing His work in all ways. Also, in living a surrendered life in Christ will bring about persecution from those who love living in the “darkness”.
Listen to the Lord….and then Obey“I will hear what God the Lord will speak; for He will speak peace unto His people, and to His saints; but let them not return again to folly.” Psalm 85:8Are you listening to the Lord? This requires a waiting before Him, humility in surrendering, with a agreement to what He speaks, followed by obedience. In listening and obeying, one continually lives in the peace and joy of God’s intimate and personal fellowship. BUT, there is a warning; do NOT return to “folly”, which means “foolishness -wickedness-habitual sinfulness”.
When we stay focused on Him we won’t have time to be focused on the things of this world. When we stay listening to Him we won’t be listening to the foolishness of this world. When we live in obedience to Him we won’t be so drawn to the foolishness of this world.
Listen to the Lord and then obey.
“But without FAITH it is impossible to please God; for he that comes to God must believe that God IS, and that God is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6
Look at this picture. As we walked on Sunday I was reminded of FAITH and how we must walk by faith. As we walked we could only see so far, not knowing what was just around each turn. I was reminded that walking by faith is to trust the One that our faith is in. To take one step at a time in obedience to Christ who knows the path that He has prepared before us. What we don’t know, He knows. Therefore, we can confidently take each step by faith because we know the Author of our faith and the planned path He has placed us on. With great joy and anticipation we can walk by faith as He reveals great and marvelous things around each turn along the way. We can enjoy a personal and intimate fellowship as we walk together with Him.
Walk by faith…..Believe that Christ is….Seek Christ with great diligence….And remember that CHRIST CARES 4 U!
“And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, let us NOW GO even unto Bethlehem, and SEE this thing which IS come to pass, which the LORD HATH MADE KNOWN to us.” Luke 2:15
Praise the Lord for the record of His birth, His coming, HERE on earth. When I read about the event of His coming, my mind begins to imagine the “scene”of that night. I picture Joseph and Mary arriving in Bethlehem finding room in a humble setting with the animals in a stable. I imagine the angelic announcement to the shepherds watching their flock by night, with the addition of the angelic host proclaiming Messiah’s birth and what that means to all mankind – “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward man”.
The announcement of Christ’s birth was first revealed to lowly shepherds. Those who were looked down upon in society. Those men who were often unlearned or uneducated; men whose words were ignored by many. Yet, this great announcement was REVEALED to them. Jesus came for ALL people. Jesus came for the most lowly and humble of status, as well as the more well to do and educated. Jesus came for people of every nation and every tongue. This announcement to the shepherds COMPELLED them to GO and SEE for themselves what had been revealed to them that night.
Notice the shepherds OBEDIENCE and TESTIMONY. Luke 2:17 says “And when they had SEEN it (Jesus), they MADE KNOWN (testified) abroad the saying which was told to them.” The shepherds went immediately and saw, now eyewitnesses to Christ’s coming! The fulfillment of God’s promise to save the people from their sin through His work of redemption! The shepherds could not keep this quiet. They could not keep this GOOD NEWS to themselves; NO, the scripture tells us (Luke 2:20) “and the shepherds returned glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told to them.”
Challenge and Encouragement – Everyday, we who have been radically changed, transformed, made new by the supernatural work of Christ Jesus in salvation, ought to be sharing the Gospel of Christ with ALL people! Jesus DELIVERS one from the bondage of sin! Jesus gives LIFE to those dead in their trespasses! In Christ one enjoys the FELLOWSHIP with God in being reconciled to Him. In Christ one NOW experiences His joy, His peace, His mercy, His grace, His forgiveness, His love, His care, and His life! Oh, may we ALL GO and SHARE the GOOD NEWS to all people! Christ Jesus is the HOPE this world is seeking. Let’s make HIM KNOWN.
“But refuse profane and old wives fables, and EXERCISE thyself rather unto GODLINESS. For bodily exercise profits little; BUT GODLINESS is PROFITABLE unto all things, having PROMISE of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” 1 Timothy 4:7-8
As we get older, it seems we go see our physician more often. Isn’t it true that our physician also makes this statement, “You could lose some weight and exercise more; it would be a great help for you physically.” We should try to take care of our physical bodies and improve our health. BUT, the fact is that these earthly bodies are decaying, breaking down, and will die one day.
There is GOOD NEWS! Paul challenges Timothy to focus on his SPIRITUAL health and well being. Note that Paul says in the focused verse that “exercising” the physical body benefits LITTLE. Another words, this physical body and this physical life is ONLY temporal; BUT our spiritual life is eternal. Therefore, our focus should be on being disciplined in SPIRITUAL DIET and EXERCISE! The word “exercise” in the Greek is our English word “gymnasium”. Paul is telling Timothy, be disciplined in GOD’S GYM.
What does that look like? Our diet should be that of feasting on the Word of God, the Bread of Life! Our drink should be that which will satisfy and quench our thirst, the Living Water. Our exercise should be putting into practice, applying, constantly demonstrating; Christ’s character, attributes, and behavior in our daily living. As you exercise in God’s Gym, nourishing on His Word, you will become strong IN and BY the Holy Spirit that has taken up residence in the life of the believer. You will grow in Christ’s godliness. You will become strong in Christ’s strength. You will continue to be changed and transformed by Christ’s transforming power.
Time to work out. Time to diet on the right nourishment. Time to exercise. Time for godliness; for it is profitable – beneficial to you and for His glory.
“And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God; as God has said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them, and I will be their God and they shall be my people.” 2 Corinthians 6:16
In one’s salvation, Christ removes ALL the unrighteousness and crushes ALL our idols from our sinful dead past. Praise the Lord! Immediately the Holy Spirit MOVES IN to this body, this now temple of the Living God. Christ’s righteousness is deposited in us as well. As Christ resides in us, through the Holy Spirit, Christ now dwells and walks in and through our life always. Christ is to be our thoughts, our speech, our actions, and our countenance. Christ is to be Lord of all areas of our life; through one’s humble surrendered obedience.
But what about idols? We must always be on watch, take evaluation, take heed that we don’t re-establish idols in our life NOW with Christ. Idols are deceptive and often enter slowly, then slowly gain the priority of our time and resources. Some examples of idols we need to crush is one’s focus on money, material possessions, internet/social media, career, relationships, etc. Anything that comes before God or that gains your loyalty is indeed and idol. Crush it! Do away with it! Repent and Return to your one and only God…..Christ Jesus!
“But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to heaven unto you more than unto God, judge you. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” Acts 4:19-20
Do you and I testify of Jesus and His great work of salvation? Peter and John had been arrested because of their witness, their testimony, their proclaiming of the truth of Jesus and His salvation to the lost sinner. Arrested because of the rejection of the Good News of Jesus. We are so blessed to live in a country of freedom, where we can tell ALL about the Gift of Grace that Jesus Himself has paid for. We can share with our friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors; all without the threat of being arrested and or beaten.
But do we? Peter and John was FILLED with the Holy Spirit. They were fully surrendered in full obedience to the Lordship of Christ. Therefore, the priority and love of their life was Jesus and making sure that everyone knew of Him. They did this in the midst of great persecution, yet they persevered for Christ’s sake. They did this with great faith and boldness….no fear of the enemy.
May we, the believers in Christ here in America, be confident and bold in sharing our story of faith in Christ, as well as Christ’s story of love and finished work for all people.
Choose the GOOD Part from Luke 10:38-42
“…Martha received Jesus into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also SAT at Jesus’ feet, and HEARD His WORD. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to Him and said, Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do the serving alone? Tell her that she come help me. Jesus answered, Martha, Martha, you are careful and troubled about with many things, but ONE thing is NEEDFUL; and Mary has CHOSEN that GOOD PART, which shall not be taken away from her.”
Are you choosing the Good Part? In the world we live in it is so easy to get encumbered or entangled in the busyness of everyday life; even busy in doing things in the name of the Lord. BUT, what did Jesus say was the ONE NEEDFUL THING? JESUS, to sit with Jesus, to hear what Jesus has to say, to be engaged with Jesus personally and intimately. That’s the most needful thing in the life of the believer. It may be that we need to make a changes in our daily schedules, giving time to sit at Jesus’ feet. We need to find a quiet place each day to read His Word, to pray, and then to be silent, allowing Him to speak life and purpose to us. Have we chosen the good part?
Christ Cares 4 U!
God’s Heart from Revelation 7:9-10
“After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of ALL nations, and KINDREDS, and PEOPLE, and TONGUES, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying Salvation to our God which sitters upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.”
How wonderful, the love of God is for His greatest creation, mankind. God’s love extends to ALL people, not just the Jews. What a great scene we see here as John records what he saw when the curtain of heaven was drawn back. John saw people of all colors, of all languages, of all cultures, from all over the world, TOGETHER in heaven. God’s heart is for every person in the human race to be “born” into the family of God. To be born again, not by water or blood, but by the Spirit. God’s heart is also for those that are apart of His family to be intentional in growing the family through the testimony of one’s faith and the object of that faith (the Gospel of Christ).
Stop and meditate on these two verses. Close your eyes. Can you see this scene in heaven? Who do you know that will be missing from this scene if you fail to share with them the Gospel? Will you prayerfully and intentionally, GO share this Good News with someone today?
Christ Cares 4 U!
“But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and you shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Acts 1:8
This is the instruction and purpose of the believer in Christ. In being “born again”, in being regenerated, one becomes a new creation. One has died to oneself and is now alive in Christ, having the Holy Spirit residing within.
Jesus instructed the disciples in John 15, about He being the Vine and the believer, the branches. The branches are to produce fruit which can ONLY happen through the intimacy, the Vine and branch shares by the working of the Holy Spirit.
Christ commands us to be His witness, His martyr, testifying to ALL the world about His Gospel! This is a lifestyle of sharing Christ with all people.
In “Jerusalem”, which is your local area (city, neighborhood, school, workplace).
In “Judea”, which is your state and country.
In “Samaria”, which is to the outcasts or the unlovely of society.
In the “uttermost part of the earth”, which is everywhere!
We, as believers, are to ALL be His witnesses. This is not an option, but a clear command of His purposed will for the church.
Are you His witness?
Isaiah 9:6, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
What an amazing fulfillment to this prophecy! This CHILD to be born was God in the flesh. Jesus, born of a virgin, conceived by the divine work of the Holy Spirit!
This SON of God, was GIVEN out of His love, grace, and mercy to us! None of us deserve Jesus, nor have we earned any right to this GIFT of God.
Christ Jesus’ kingdom is to come! Christ is already the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! He is coming again, and He then will establish His earthly kingdom.
Five names are given Him:
Wonderful – There is no greater wonder than Christ Himself. He is wonderful, for He is Life, He is Eternal, He is Sovereign, He is Truth, He is Love, and He is Salvation! Wonderful is He!
Counselor – His counsel is wise, always right, and for the accomplishing of His perfect planned will for each of of lives. His counsel is for our good and for His glory!
The Mighty God – He has all authority to deliver, judge, rule, and reign. He has NO equal. There is none greater! His victory was finalized in the finished work of the cross and the leaving of an empty tomb. The Mighty God lives and He is victorious!
The Everlasting Father – He is the eternal God. He has always been, ever present now, and will forever be. He is the true Father, who loves His children. He will never leave them nor forsake them; only love them throughout eternity.
The Prince of Peace – Christ is the most high of leaders. His work is the peace of God to all who would come by faith, repenting of sin, receiving His loving gift of grace, now having His perfect peace. His peace is not understood by natural man, but for His child, peace of God is known.
Why do you celebrate Christmas?
Who is Christ to you personally?
Do you KNOW Christ by these five names?
We pray that you will truly KNOW Christ JESUS this CHRISTmas.
PRAISE THE LORD! “Give Them Jesus!”
“Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have, give I thee: in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them in the temple, walking, leaping, and praising God.” Acts 3:6-8
PRAISE THE LORD! What people need is Christ above anything else. As believers, we have the remedy, the answer to cure the people of this world. That remedy is the Gospel, the transforming Gospel of Christ! Lord, help us to be faithful witnesses and to give Jesus to the people always!
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1
Praise Christ Jesus for this confident, activated, ever maturing faith! Look closely at these three assurances; as a believer in Christ, He (Jesus Christ) is my……
- Light – meaning my life and life eternal, my direction, my counsel, my wisdom
- Salvation – meaning my deliverer from the bondage of sin, my deliverer from this world, my deliverer from the enemy and temptation
- Strength – meaning my fortress, my strong tower, my protector, and my provider
Praise God! When Christ is my Light, my Salvation, and my Strength, there is NOTHING nor ANYONE that I should ever fear! Activated FAITH in Christ alone, puts fear to naught, to no avail. Therefore, the believer can live out life in the perfect peace and rest of Christ Himself. Is Christ your Light? Your Salvation? Your Strength?
Christ Cares 4 U!
“Casting ALL your care upon Him (Christ); for He (Christ) cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
Do you have a confident faith and trust in the power and enablement of Christ in all areas of your life? Look closely at what this verse says.
“Casting” comes from two Greek words that means “to throw down something”. This verse tells us “to throw down ALL our CARES” to Christ. What is the meaning of “CARES”? “Cares” in the Greek has this meaning, “stress, worry, and/or anxieties that divides and cuts” our life.
Listen, the “cares” in our life will distract us from Christ. These “cares” will add unneeded stress in our life that causes our focus to be on ourself. This minimizes the power of God in our life and maximizes our focus on self and the “cares” that stress us.
Therefore, as a believer, we should throw down all our stresses, worries, and anxiety at the feet of Christ. Giving Christ ALL these things, relieving one of these heavy burdens, putting all trust in Christ to handles these things in our life as He wills. When we activate faith in Him, we can walk in the perfect peace and grace which is Christ Jesus.
WHY cast all our cares to Him? “For He cares for you”!!! You matter to Christ! Christ loves you unconditionally. Christ is the Good Shepherd that cares for His sheep by giving them protection, provision, security, forgiveness, comfort, discipline, mercy, grace, peace, and joy!! The abundant life promised, BUT it must start with a fully surrendered life, an activated faith in Christ alone.
“But when He (Jesus) saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted (hopeless & wandering) and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.” Matthew 9:36
What a blessing and privilege to be offered the GIFT of God, the finished work of His only begotten Son, Christ Jesus! When we place our faith in Christ, repent of our sins; Jesus is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Jesus reconciles us to a Holy and Righteous God. Praise the Lord that we then, enter into a fellowship with Christ.
As a believer, we are to share and offer the same GIFT to those who are lost, hopeless, and just wandering in the darkness. In the scripture above, Jesus had spent the day with His disciples healing the people spiritually first, then physically. Jesus desires to to save the soul of all who would respond to the drawing of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus looked on the crowd of people and had compassion on them. His heart broke as He saw the effects of sin, the effects of bad choices, the effects of rebellion against God.
How do you see the people around you every day? At work? At school? In your neighborhood? In church? As believers, we should see others as Jesus sees them and have such a compassion that it would motivate us to share the love of Christ, the Gospel, with them.
People need the Lord. May we as believers be His faithful witnesses and testimony.
To God be the Glory!
Pastor Scott & Terri