Thursday, April 18, 2013

Blest Cross!

“Thus far did I come laden with my sin,
Nor could aught ease the grief that I was in,
Till I came hither. What a place is this!
Must here be the beginning of my bliss?
Must here the burden fall from off my back?
Must here the strings that bound it to me crack?
Blest cross! blest sepulchre! blest rather be
The Man that there was put to shame for me!”

The above excerpt is from John Bunyan's "Pilgrims Progress".

Oh how sweet it is to be forgiven our sins and placed in communion with our blessed Redeemer. May that day that we knelt in our hearts before the cross of Christ ever be fresh in our minds and spirits!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Rights or Righteousness ?

I'm very concerned about all of today's Christians stressing out over the issues of the day. Sure we are to stand against homosexuality and abortion and like things, but as Followers of Christ we must understand that as such we have no rights in America or any other parts of the world. This world is not our homes, if we truly are the people of God then we are to pilgrims and strangers in this world.

I Peter 2:11-12  "Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation."

The children of God must stop trying to cleanse this rotten world. As Leonard Ravenhill once said "Is the world crucified to you tonight? Or does it fascinate you?" The truth is that most people want a good moral society but not a Godly, righteous one. Most professing Christians show up for church on Sunday then live by the standards of a Godless society through the work week... they send their children out day by day for a worldly education, while they themselves drink from the worlds poison and are entertained by its puppets. Are we in search of another country... is this worlds system strange to us and us to it?

Let us be careful dear reader, as followers of Christ to ever be found so bound to this world, for this is not the kingdom of Heaven but rather it is in us as His people, and one day will be an eternal reality to those who have given themselves to Christ.

John 18:36  "Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence."

It's not rights that the Church needs today but rather righteousness. Let us take our stand against the wickedness of this world, but let us not be so attached to this world that we feel as though we have to fight to keep it. This world is not our home... we're just passing through.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Don't Swerve

I Timothy 1:5-6 "Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling;"

To swerve is to change course. Some swerves are gradual, others are sharp and drastic. Swerving may be considered good when it is temporary, for avoiding danger, or when it is necessary to get back on the desired path. But in nearly every other case, swerving is dangerous.

There are many things that could cause one to swerve such as... Distractions, desires, difficulties and lets not forget the Devil! This old world offers many opportunities for the people of God to swerve and lose sight of the narrow way. We often swerve from God's Word which will ultimately leads us away from God's work and then away from His will for our lives. In order to be a faithful to our Lord we must stay the course and trust His perfect Word.

Fathers and husbands... we must not swerve if we are to be the spiritual leaders for our families, dear wives and mothers... lf there is to be any joy in your homes then you must not swerve! Preachers, teachers and all other who are redeemed by the blood of Christ; if we are to be a witness to this dark dreadful world we must not swerve! May our Father find us consistent and content as we follow Him in this life. May the prayer of our hearts as the children of God be like that of Psalm 25:4... "Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths."

God bless you all as you follow the narrow way. And just as the old seamen depended on the lighthouses for direction on the most foggy and ready nights on the sea; so let it be that we seek the one Lighthouse that we may be aware of any dangers that lay ahead in this often foggy and dreary world.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Go, Labor On

Go, labor on; spend and be spent,
Thy joy to do the Father's will;
It is the way the Master went;
Should not the servant tread it still?

Go, labor on; 'tis not for naught;
Thy earthly loss is heavn'nly gain;
Men heed thee, love thee, praise thee not;
The Master praises: what are men?

Go, labor on; enough while here
If He shall praise thee, if He deign
Thy willing heart to mark and cheer;
No toil for Him shall be in vain.

Toil on, faint not, keep watch and pray;
Be wise the erring soul to win;
Go forth into the world's highway,
Compel the wand'rer to come in.

Toil on, and in they toil rejoice;
For toil comes rest, for exile home;
Soon shalt thou hear the Bridegroom's voice,
The midnight peal, "Behold, I come."

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Servant or Bodyguard ?

I have recently realized that much of my religious life has been lived as though I was bodyguard to Jesus instead of being His obedient servant. But in my recent pilgrimage of seeking truth and the true Way, my eyes have been opened to many things.

When thinking about this my mind went almost immediately to Peter... How that it was Peter who had rebuked the Lord when He foretold of His own death in Matthew 16... "Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee." or how about the time in John 18 when he reacted so militantly... "Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear." And we all know of Peter's denial of following Christ which I feel gives us the idea that Peter viewed himself as Jesus bodyguard rather than His servant... "And Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. They said therefore unto him, Art not thou also one of his disciples? He denied it, and said, I am not."

But even though all of this is true about Peter... and we should be very quick to take it as a warning to all who will follow Christ; we must also understand that many many times in our dealing with others at some time or another we have reacted defensively as if we were protecting Jesus instead of being the meek humble servant that would best represent our Lord.

I remember one certain night that I wish I could erase from my memory. I was out on the street preaching and holding signs when a man, a good bit older than me had angered me while trying to explain a biblical truth to him... When the conversation had reached its boiling point I swiftly spoke to this man in a very unkind manner and insulted him greatly. I was immediately rebuked from within but was too stubborn to apologize to this man who had insulted my Lord. An hour or so later that man returned and I was able to apologize, but I quickly saw that I had ruined any chance of reaching him that night.

Now I'm sure that some of you will jump to the conclusion that I am insinuating that we as true believers should compromise in order to reach others who are in sin; but you can rest assured that that is not what I mean. Jesus words are swift, they cut very deep, and as His servants we need not go around acting is though we are the clean-up crew for the Kingdom of God. Christ's words are condemning enough without us making the lost feel as though we are out performing some burdensome duty for our Boss.

In Matthew chapter 5 Jesus is giving a list of those who would be considered blessed in their walk with Him... he sums up that list by saying this... "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men." Brothers and sisters I ask you... What could Jesus have meant by saying "Ye are the salt of the earth"? I believe He is saying that children, your lives will be watched! In the times of joyful bliss as well as in times of great suffering and tribulation... you WILL be watched! When you take My name to a lost sinful world they will put your faith in Me on trial to see if your following Me has truly given you contentment, understanding and peace... has this Jesus that you speak of proven to be more satisfying than all that this world could dare to offer you?... Is He truly the Way, Truth and Life?... or is serving Him a burden that steals your joy and binds you down? They will see this in how we handle ourselves in this blessed Way.

Nowhere in the Bible do we find that Jesus will say to us on that great day... "Well done my good and faithful bodyguard... you were faithful to rebuke sinners when they said something mean and untrue about Me... you lost your temper when trying to reach those who would not open their eyes and see the truth... your outward appearance was wonderful but was overshadowed by your defensive countenance... Good Job!" This kind of thinking is completely against Jesus' teaching on not returning evil for evil. It seems as though today that we are too driven to find the "perfect" situation for our Christian lives... so that we may serve Him more effectively. This kind of thinking produces nothing more that discontentment and ultimately a sour countenance and rude disposition.

Friends, I know that we all get frustrated while living in this dark world, but let us not forget that when we are living among and boldly speaking to others... that if we do not display the truth of Christ coupled with the meekness of Christ that we may be doing more harm than good. With so many denominations and religious sects out there, society has seen its share of individuals witnessing in the name of Christ who are saturated with bitterness and duty. So be it far from us who claim to walk this narrow path to be found guilty of making others feel as though we are better than them, but rather let us hold to truth with the understanding that we are considered the very seasoning that will give proof to a lost hopeless world that our hope is in Christ... and let us do this with joy and contentment in our hearts as His servants.

Jesus needs no bodyguards!