Make It Known

1 Corinthians 15: Make It Knownbloglove-699480_960_720

“Now I make known to you, brethren,

the gospel which I preached to you,

which also you received,

in which also you stand,

by which also you are saved,

if you hold fast the word which I preached to you,

unless you believed in vain.”

1 Corinthians 15:1,2, NASB*

The Rev. Billy Graham impacted my life through the word he preached. He introduced me at age twelve to my need to know Jesus as Lord. By God’s grace, the man spoke the word of the gospel that took me from infancy in my faith to the toddler stage of faith. Through the years, many other godly men and women have helped me on my journey from faith to faith. But each one spoke the same message, even as Billy Graham did. I never heard a message from him that did not focus on the gospel of Jesus Christ. Like the apostle Paul, he made the gospel known to those who would hear. Like the Corinthians, I received the gospel, grew to stand in the gospel, and am saved for—

“faith comes from hearing,

and hearing by the word of Christ.”

Romans 10:17—That’s the gospel.

Paul simplifies the gospel into three tenets.

“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received,

  • that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
  • and that He was buried,
  • and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.” (15:3,4)

The Gospel:

Is to be preached—

“For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God,

God was well-pleased

through the foolishness of the message preached

to save those who believe.

For indeed Jews ask for signs, and Greeks search for wisdom;

but we preach Christ crucified …

And He said to them,

‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.’”

(1 Corinthians 1:21-23a;Mark 16:15)

Is to be received—

“And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying,

“Be saved from this perverse generation!”

So then, those who had received his word were baptized;

and there were added that day about three thousand souls.”

Acts 2:40,41

“And for this reason we also constantly thank God

that when you received from us the word of God’s message,

you accepted it not as the word of men,

but for what it really is,

the word of God,

which also performs its work in you who believe.”

1 Thessalonians 2:13

Is the truth we stand in before God—

“Truly, truly, I say to you,

  • he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life,
  • and does not come into judgment,
  • but has passed out of death into life.” John 5:24
  • “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1
  • “I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God.
  • Stand firm in it!” 1Peter 5:12b

Is the power of God to save—

“For the word of the cross

is to those who are perishing foolishness,

but to us who are being saved

it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18

“For I am not ashamed  of the gospel

for it is the power of God for salvation

to everyone who believes,

to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”

Romans 1:16

“For by grace you have been saved through faith;

and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;”

Ephesians 2:8

This is the gospel:

Jesus Christ, the Son of God—

died for our sin—

  • “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf,
  • that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21
  • “Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same,
  • that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil;” Hebrews 2:14

He was buried in the flesh—

“Therefore we have been buried with Him

through baptism into death,

in order that as Christ was raised from the dead

through the glory of the Father,

so we too might walk in newness of life.”

Romans 6:4

“In reference to your former manner of life,

you lay aside the old self,

which is being corrupted

in accordance with the lusts of deceit,

and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind,

and put on the new self,

which in the likeness of God

has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.”

Ephesians 4:22,23

He arose from the dead—

“Now if we have died with Christ,

  • we believe that we shall also live with Him,
  • knowing that Christ having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him.
  • For the death that He died, He died to sin, once for all;
  • but the life that he lives, He live to God.
  • Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin,
  • but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” Romans 6:8-10

It’s the gospel. We, the people of God, are commissioned to preach it—some from a pulpit, others as teachers,  all by our lives.


For Thought: When was the last time you shared the gospel of Jesus Christ with another? Ask God to send someone your way to help them walk from faith to faith.

Today’s Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:17-21. What gives you hope in this world?

Our Prayer: Heavenly Father, may we boldly proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ in word and deed to your glory, honor, and praise.


*All scripture taken from the NASB.

Christ’s First Word of the Gospel

blogdesperate-2676556__340“For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription,

TO THE UNKNOWN GOD,

whom therefore ye ignorantly worship

him declare I unto you …

And the times of this ignorance

God winked at;

but now commandeth all men every where to repent;”

Acts 17:23,20

If I asked my family to repeat a saying their dad uses often, I would be surprised if no one answered, “I am not stubborn. I am steadfast.” In many respects being steadfast can be good – steadfast in the truth; steadfast in walking with God; steadfast in loving others. These are good things, which do belong to my husband. But other things i.e. refusing to ask for help, refusing to read directions when the project before you lies in a shambles, or refusing to turn around when you’ve traveled miles in the wrong direction. Many of us identify with these things and the frustration accompanying them. Until, as a last resort, we turn from our own thinking and seek the help we need.

Many people hang on to a belief system they steadfastly refuse to turn from even when a mountain of proof shows they are going the wrong way, and they need to seek a different way. I read once, and I believe it was in David Guzik’s comments found on the Blue Letter Bible website, that the first word of the Gospel Jesus came preaching was, “repent.”

We don’t hear that word preached much anymore. It is one of those old time words, but it is where the Gospel begins.

“Repent; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand …

Now after that John was put in prison,

Jesus came into Galilee,

preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,

and saying,

The time is fulfilled,

and the kingdom of God is at hand:

repent ye, and believe the gospel.”

Matthew 4:17; Mark 1:14,15

When the Lord God spoke to the prophet Ezekiel, He left us a good definition for repentance.

“Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord God.

  • Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions;
  • so iniquity shall not be your ruin.
  • Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed:
  • and make you a new heart and a new spirit:
  • for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
  • For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God:wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.”(18:30-32)

Repentance turns from an old way of life –  to a new life due to a change in of the mind and heart. It is a turning away from a life filled with self to a life filled with Christ. Godly repentance is demonstrated in a new life found in turning away from the ways of the world, the lies of the world, and the ultimate death of the world and turning to –

Jesus Christ who says:

“I am the way, the truth, and the life:

no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

John 14:6

 Jesus began his earthly ministry preaching repentance. He gave instructions to his followers to continue preaching it.

“Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures. And said unto them,

Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer,

and to rise from the dead the third day:

And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached

in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”

Luke 24:45-47

After Christ’s ascension he appeared to John and preached repentance to five of the seven churches in Revelation. Also, in the last chapter of Revelation an angel says the call to repent stops when Christ returns. He tells the apostle John.

“He that is unjust, let him be unjust still;

and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still:

and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still:

and he that is holy, let him be holy still.”

Jesus then interjects the reason why:

“And, behold, I come quickly;

and my reward is with me,

to give every man according as his work shall be.”

There will not be time to repent when Jesus returns. Our eternity is sealed.

How do you define repentance?

 

“Jesus Loves Me”

“Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so…”

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“But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me; for of such is the kingdom of heaven… Come ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord.” (Matt. 19:14 Ps. 34:11).IMG_0499

My all- time favorite song is “Jesus Loves Me”. I learned the words and was introduced to this truth as a child and continue to learn the truth of the words as an adult.IMG_0525

“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God…”1John 

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3:1.

And it is that same love that motivates us to be about the work of the Father. He has given us the privilege and the joy of calling the children to come to Him. Thank you for your prayers and giving that make this work possible. I hope you enjoy a few of the pictures from our mission trip and Day Camp. If you offered a prayer or gave in any way, the joy of God’s blessings are yours as well. IMG_0644IMG_0620

From the sandsof the Black Mesa with its arid dry heat, to the humid and stormy weather of So. IL, children are coming to the Lord. Let us rejoice and be glad, never failing to teach them the fear of the Lord and the truth of Jesus’ great love for each one.

Gospel of Love

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Image courtesy of pixabay

“And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.” Eph. 3:19.

The fullness of God cannot be comprehended apart from the love of Christ which is written in His blood contained in the Gospel of His love. The bold scriptures are from 1Corinthians 15. This post is a bit longer but I beg you to stay with me.

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel…preached of me… not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ… by which also ye are saved… (Gal. 1:11,12.1Cor. 15:2a)

For I delivered unto you…

“…how that Christ died for our sins… “Father if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground…”

”Then took they him, and led him…And the men that held Jesus mocked him, and smote him…And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused him. And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate…I have examined him…found no fault in this man…nothing worthy of death…they cried, saying Crucify him, crucify him…”

“Father forgive them for they know not what they do…And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.” (Taken from Luke 22, 23).

“…according to the scriptures…All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth…he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken…John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world…This is the Son of God.” (Isa. 53:6-8.; John 1:29,34b.)

“And that he was buried…And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death…Isa. 53:9; When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph,  who also himself was Jesus’ disciple…He…begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered. And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulcher and departed.”(Isa. 53:9; Matthew 27:57-60).

“And that he rose again the third day…And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay…Matt. 28:5,6; Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils…Mark 16:9; Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again…Luke 24:5-7; Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father, but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her…John 20:17,18; After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once…”1Cor. 15:6.

“…according to the scriptures…Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. For David speaketh concerning him, I FORESAW THE LORD ALWAYS BEFORE MY FACE FOR HE IS ON MY RIGHT HAND, THAT I SHOULD NOT BE MOVED: THEREFORE DID MY HEART REJOICE, AND MY TONGUE WAS GLAD; MOREOVER ALSO MY FLESH SHALL REST IN HOPE: BECAUSE THOU WILT NOT LEAVE MY SOUL IN HELL, NEITHER WILT THOU SUFFER THINE HOLY ONE TO SEE CORRUPTION. THOU HAST MADE KNOWN TO ME THE WAYS OF LIFE; THOU SHALT MAKE ME FULL OF JOY WITH THY COUNTENANCE.” (Acts 2:23-28/Ps. 16:8-11).

Jesus is the Gospel of love. To receive the Gospel is to receive Jesus Christ. Believe and be saved.

“But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” John 20:31.

One question: Do you believe what you have read? As much as I welcome your comments, it is more important you confess to God.

If you are a believer in the Gospel, I ask you to share this wherever you can, for “the gospel of Christ… is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth…” Rom. 1:16.

How Do You Plea?

th2“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, Counsellor…”Isa. 9:6.

I am guilty.

“But the scripture hath concluded all under sin…” “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”(Gal. 3:22; Rom. 3:23).

 

Nothing I have can pay my fine, because according to the law,

“There is none righteous, no, not one…There is none that doeth good, no, not one…that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” Taken from Rom. 3:3-19.

Judgment is pronounced.

“For the wages of sin is death…” Rom. 6:23a.

My Counselor, my Advocate stands before the One on the throne and declares,

“…if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess before my Father which is in heaven.” (Rom. 10:9-10; Matt. 10:33). “…the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Rom. 6:23b.

My pardon is secured.

“That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Who is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” Eph. 1:12-14.

Counselor…also translated Advocate/Mediator, Intercessor, Helper, Comforter…He is our peace with God, our praying Savior, our constant Companion.

“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”  “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” (1John 2:1; 2Tim. 2:5,6).

“How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance…for Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us”. (Heb. 9:14-15,24).

“…he hath poured out his soul unto death…he was numbered with the transgressors…he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” Isa. 53:12b.

“Neither pray I for these alone but for them also which shall believe on me through their word.” John 17:20.

Before Jesus ascended to the Father, He promised to continue being our Advocate, Mediator, Helper and Comforter, not only before the Father, but here on earth through His Holy Spirit.

“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever, Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive…ye know him: for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” John 14:16-17.

Jesus, the mediator of the new covenant…”See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven…Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear”. Heb. 12:25,28.

What is your plea? Mine is not guilty by the blood of the Lamb!

Thank you, heavenly Father, for our Counselor/Mediator who has purchased us with His blood. May we serve you acceptably bringing you glory, honor and praise. Amen.

The Birth Certificate of a Son

child-1806218_960_720“For unto us a child is born…” “…a woman…being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered…and the dragon stood before the woman…to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth a man child…and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.” “I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.”(Isa. 9:6; Rev. 12:1-5; Dan.7:13).

“…unto us a son is given…” “Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh…” (Rom. 1:3) “And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli…which was the son of Nathan, the son of David…the son of Phares, which was the son of Juda …the son of Jacob, which was the son of Isaac, which was the son of Abraham… the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.” (Taken from Luke 3:23-38).

“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man…as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same…”(Heb. 2:9, 14a).

As a boy, “…Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.”  As Mary watched her son grow into manhood, the words and events hidden in her heart surely echoed through her mind: “Son of the Highest”, “given the throne of his father David’, “reign forever; and of his kingdom no end”. The smile these brought suddenly disappeared as the stabbing words of Simeon pierced her heart, “Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul…” Her son’s road to the throne would be paved by the prophet Isaiah’s words.

“For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, [there is] no beauty that we should desire him.  He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were [our] faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.  Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.  But he [was] wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace [was] upon him; and with his stripes we are healed…and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth… he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death… he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many…” (Taken from Isa. 53:2-12).

Hope bursts through the gloom for Mary, those closest to Jesus, and for us all, as we remember the Son of man is the Son of the Highest. He reigns forever is stamped on our hearts. He would taste death but death would not devour Him.

“And though they found not cause of death in him, yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain. And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre. But God raised him from the dead… and we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise…made unto the fathers, God hath fulfilled…in that he hath raised up Jesus…But he, whom God raised again, saw no corruption. Be it known unto you…that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by him all that believe are justified from all things…”(From Acts 13:28-39).

Joy to the world!

“For as in Adam all die, even so, in Christ shall all be made alive.”(1Cor. 15:22).

How will you celebrate the Good News this Christmas season? I hope you will share this post with others so they too can know the hope of Jesus Christ this Christmas and all eternity. May God prosper His word as it goes out into the world.

 

 

What’s In Your Closet?

Praying with Paul…“That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing…” (Col. 1:10a)My translation: We need the knowledge, wisdom and understanding Paul spoke of in verse 9 to live a life that tells the true worth of the Lord we serve, fulfilling His purpose in creating us… bringing Him pleasure.

“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power; for thou hast created all things and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” (Rev. 4:11).

blogcloset-426386_960_720The truth that we can bring the all -powerful, all-knowing, self-existent One, pleasure is mind boggling. Before we can walk worthy of the Lord and be pleasing to Him, we must be dressed for the occasion. What’s in your closet?

“Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garmetns, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.” “And he(Adam) said, I heard thy voice(God’s) in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” “And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment.”(Rev. 16:17; Gen. 3:10; Matt. 22;11-13). Walking naked in the Revelation passage means receiving of the same judgement as Babylon. For Adam, he was cast out of the garden. And for the wedding guest, “Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

We were all born in nakedness, exposure of our sinful self before the all-seeing Creator. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God:” Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” (Rom. 3:23: 5:12). “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags…” (Isa. 64:6). That’s the bad news. The good news? God purchased us a whole new wardrobe, beginning from the inside out.

“And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him and unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.”(Zech. 3:4).

“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.”(Ezek. 36:26,27).

To receive this new heart Jesus says, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God…Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh: And that which is born of the Spirit is spirit….Ye must be born again.”(John 3:3,5-6).

Now our heavenly Father begins to dress us according to the “newness of life”. “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” (Isa. 61:10). “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.” (Rev. 19:7,8).

This new wardrobe of salvation and righteousness  cannot be bought with money or good works. It is a gift purchased with the blood of God’s own Son, Jesus Christ. “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” (Acts 20:28).

Take a look in your closet. Are you dressed with the world’s mind, the world’s riches, garments stained with sin or are your garments made of white linen, which is your righteousness in Christ? One will fade and turn to dust, leaving you naked. The other will keep you walking worthy of your Lord, pleasing Him and entering into His joy that is yours now and forever.

Heavenly Father, may we, your children, the church of Jesus Christ, live before you bringing you honor and glory. May we please you in all we are and do. May we walk in your purity and holiness before a lost world. Amen.

May those dressed in fine linen gather this weekend and rejoice in our new clothes, praying for one another and those still walking in nakedness. Hope to see you Monday and continue our prayer journey for the church of Christ.

 

Have You Received the Call?

…the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.” Rev. 17:14.

blogtelephone-box-164260__340Only those called, and chosen and faithful accompany the Lamb. If I understand this correctly, the called may or may not be with the Lamb “For many are called, but few are chosen.” Matt. 22:14. The call must first be received before we can be among the called.

The call: “…there is no God else beside me: a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else…the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.”

The call or invitation into God’s kingdom sounds throughout the earth each time the gospel is spoken. Only those responding positively to the gospel message are counted among the called. The called are those, “…not…ashamed of the testimony of our Lord…Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now  made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”2Tim. 1:8-10. The call goes out to many, but the majority turn a deaf hear to the truth.

For, “…we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called …Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God…For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called…That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification and redemption: That according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” 1Cor. 1:23-31.)

Those among the called receive God’s invitation to experience a relationship with Him through the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And He tells the wise man to not, “…glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for these things I delight, saith the Lord.” Jer. 9:23,24.

“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God…” 1John 3:1a.

The call, “be ye saved” has gone out throughout the earth. Have you heard it? Have you received it? Are you among the called?  And if so, have you been chosen and for what? That’s for tomorrow, Lord willing.

Praying all that read this know the salvation of the Lord. If you do not, won’t you hear His call today?

PS. I need your prayers. This week when I start to write, interruptions bombard me. So, know, if there is cohesive thought to my posts, it definitely is to the glory of God. Maybe that’s why the interruptions; to keep me mindful it is by His Spirit. Thank you.

It is Done

“Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl upon the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple from the throne, saying, ‘It is done.'” Rev. 16:17, NASB.

030Brother Joe Burkey, aided by his sons, worked in his carpenter’s shop throughout the winter prefabricating 7 cabins. When Spring’s promise of new life pushed winter away, the time arrived to finish the work. To best of my memory, with a vast number of  volunteer workers, the cabins and a multi-purpose building(dubbed the Big Building) complete with restrooms, showers, kitchen and dining area, a.k.a. chapel, finished the work in about 3 1/2 months, ready to welcome around 100 campers and helpers. I use the term, “finished” loosely, as the work still goes on today.033

God’s word speaks from beginning to end about His work being done. “Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. And by the seventh day God completed His work which He had done; and He rested…” Gen. 2:1,2a. But only from the work of creation. More work loomed ahead, for mankind’s sin brought death into God’s work, and God would not allow death to reign forever.

“After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, in order that the Scripture  might be fulfilled, said, ‘I am thirsty”…When Jesus therefore had received the sour wine,He said, ‘It is finished!’ And He bowed His head, and gave up His spirit.” John 19: 28, 30, NASB.

Jesus, God the Son, in His humanity, drank the full cup of God’s wrath meant for you and me. He took our condemnation that we might be pardoned, our judgment of death that we might live eternally.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16, NASB. 

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Rom.8:1, NASB

“He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” John 3:36, NASB.

God’s wrath was finished on the cross of Christ for all who believe in the Son, but another day is coming, spoken of in Revelation 15:1, when God’s wrath will be completed on those who would not believe and receive the love gift God offers.

“Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels who had seven plagues, which are the last, because in them the wrath of God is finished.”

God’s love is for you no matter what you’ve done or are doing. Simply receive it and know the freedom from condemnation His love brings. I leave you with the two choices.

“…It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of water of life without cost. He who overcomes shall inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” Rev. 21: 6-8.

“…He said, Write, for these words are faithful and true.”

Praying you know the completed work of Christ in your life.

And as we join our hearts and voices in congregational worship this weekend let us praise our Creator, Redeemer, King. Have a blessed weekend.

 

The Greatest Privilege

blogreligious-2598299__340“Dear Jesus, forgive me all my sins I’ve ever done. Thank you.” Maybe not the most theologically correct prayers of repentance ever prayed but most definitely one of the sweetest and purest of prayers I have had the privilege of hearing, and it came from a little 7 year old boy with tears streaming down his face. He knew he was a sinner and Jesus could save him. In time he would grow into the rest of the story of salvation as his child-like faith grew in the One who has power to save. What more is there?

“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” This is the story we preach.

For a time we have been given the greatest privilege a person can have. God has entrusted us with the gospel of eternity.

“And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” Rev. 14:6-7

Preach it. Live it. Judgment is coming. We have the message of salvation that delivers all who believe Jesus is the Son of God, born of a virgin, lives fully God and fully man as He walked this earth, died to take the wrath of God on Himself for us, was buried and rose again, to live and reign forever. He is our Savior, Redeemer, and soon coming King. Hallelujah! Believe it and live eternally. Reject it and receive God’s wrath eternally.

And to the saved from the wrath of God, find where God is working and join him. “Say not ye, there are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.” John 4:35. There is a marriage supper coming, but supper isn’t, yet. He is still working in the fields and that is where we should be.

Praying as God has given us the gospel to preach and teach, we find ourselves about the Father’s business of planting and watering, and thanking Him for the increase.