Monday, August 29, 2016

"The Importance of the Resurrection to Our Faith"


“The Importance of the Resurrection to Our Faith”

 

 

And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.  Therefore, those who have fallen asleep in Christ have also perished.  If we have put our hope in Christ for this life only, we should be pitied more than anyone.        1Corinthians 15:17-19

 

We are living in a time, when our FAITH is being attacked and put on trial, almost daily.  Skeptics pick it a part and treat it as though it is nothing but myths and fairytales.  But God, the Creator of this Universe, tells us that it is MUCH, MUCH MORE than that.  In fact, He has given the gospel message the seal of His approval, the RESURRECTION of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

The Apostle Paul tells the believers in Corinth, that had Christ NOT been raised, their FAITH would be worthless, and they would STILL be in their sins.   Those who had fallen asleep (died) in Christ have perished.  If they put their HOPE in Christ for their lifetime ONLY, they should be pitied more than anyone.  And the skeptics would be right.

 

However, Paul did not leave them with that scenario, he continued with:  “But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.” (vs. 20)   Basically, Paul was saying that the RESURRECTION of the Lord Jesus Christ, is a REAL, DONE DEAL.

 

It is the SURE, STRONG, STEADFAST, FOUNDATION of our FAITH and HOPE of REDEMPTION for our poor, wretched, sinful souls.  It is a GUARANTEE of God’s promise to Jesus Christ concerning His rewards, which is the saints, those who are the TRUE BELIEVERS.  It is also the GUARANTEE of ETERNAL LIFE for the TRUE BELIEVER.  Verse 22, says:  “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made ALIVE.” And God’s Word is TRUTH.  That is ASSURANCE!

 

So don’t let those, who do NOT belong to God, the heathen and the skeptic, weaken your FAITH, but be STRONG, and STEADFAST in your BELIEF, knowing that you have a FOUNDATION that can NOT be done away with.   Soon we will SEE Jesus, in His RESURRECTED body and we will KNOW that His DEATH and RESURRECTION is the REAL, DONE DEAL for those who are the TRUE BELIEVERS.

 

If you have NOT given your HEART and LIFE to God, then you are not a TRUE BELIEVER and you may be a skeptic about the things of God.  If that is your case, then you are headed for an eternity in Hell, a place of perpetual torment, torture, heartache, pain, and agony, with NO ESCAPE.  But God, in His infinite MERCY and GRACE, is offering you the opportunity to come to Him with a TRUE REPENTANT HEART, CONFESSING your sins to Him and asking Him for His FORGIVENESS, BELIEVING, with ALL your HEART that Jesus died for YOU, and is ALIVE in Heaven, making intercession for you, before God, then ACCEPT His gift of SALVATION, and be ASSURED of the RESURRECTION of your body, the VALIDITY of your FAITH, and the GUARANTEE of your ETERNAL LIFE  in HEAVEN with God and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.  Do it NOW, while you still can.  He’s waiting, and coming SOON!!!

 

 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

"Why Pray?"


“Why Pray?”

 

 

During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, He offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverent submission.         Hebrews 5:7

 

 

PRAYER is conversation with the Creator of the Universe, the One and Only TRUE, RIGHTEOUS, LIVING God, our Heavenly Father.  PRAYER is the LIFELINE of EVERY TRUE BELIEVER.  It is a very IMPORTANT part of our FELLOWSHIP with God.  It brings us into a CLOSER, MORE INTIMATE, RELATIONSHIP with Him. 

 

PRAYER was of the UTMOST importance to Jesus. Even though He was God in the flesh, He felt a NEED to converse with God the Father.  Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.  (Luke 6:12)    Jesus told His disciples a parable to show them that they should ALWAYS PRAY and not give up.  (Luke 18:1)

 

REMEMBER, though Psalm 66:18, the Psalmist says:  “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will NOT hear.”  In order for God to hear your prayers, you MUST first REPENT of your sins, with a TRUE REPENTANT HEART.   Some think that PRAYER is a “give me” list, well it isn’t that.  God is NOT Santa nor is He the Federal Government.  The PRAYERS of a TRUE BELIEVER should be one of REPENTANCE, THANKSGIVING, WORSHIP, PRAISE AND PETITIONS.  He will HEAR when we are OBEDIENT and SUBMISSIVE to Him. 

 

If Jesus, who is God in the flesh, thought that it was IMPORTANT to PRAY, then should we think any less about PRAYING?  He knew that God would be the ONLY ONE capable of saving Him from death, through the RESURRECTION.  Even though He died on the cross and was buried in a tomb.  He did not stay dead, but came back to LIFE and through His RESURRECTION, the TRUE BELIEVER has the PROMISE of LIFE ETERNAL in Heaven with the FATHER and the Son. 

 

We are ENCOURAGED to PRAY DAILY, the Apostle Paul, tells us to PRAY without ceasing, which means we should be in a constant attitude of PRAYER, READY and WILLING to talk with Father God at any given moment.  We are encouraged to PRAY for each other, which is known as INTERCESSORY PRAYER.  James 5:16 tells us that the PRAYER of a RIGHTEOUS person is POWERFUL and EFFECTIVE.  These are some of the reasons we NEED to PRAY DAILY.  And we NEED to PRAY with the RIGHT motives, if we expect God to answer our PRAYERS. 

 

If you have NOT given your HEART and LIFE to God, then you are NOT a TRUE BELIEVER , and your prayers are ineffective.  You MUST come to God with a TRUE REPENTANT HEART, CONFESSING your sins to Him and asking Him for His FORGIVENESS, BELIEVING, with ALL your HEART, that Jesus died for YOU, and is ALIVE in Heaven, making intercession for you, before God, then ACCEPT His gift of SALVATION, and become a TRUE BELIEVER, with an ACTIVE PRAYER life and a HEALTHY, HAPPY, INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP with FATHER GOD.  Do it NOW, while you still can.  He’s waiting and coming SOON!!!

Friday, August 26, 2016

"Wait!"


“Wait!”

 

 

Wait for the Lord; be strong and courageous.  Wait for the Lord.         Psalm 27:14

 

 

We live in a “giddy-up-go” society.  A society with a “giddy-up-go” mentality.  We RUSH here and there thinking that we are accomplishing so much.  When in all actuality the ONLY thing we really ACCOMPLISH is ulcers, high blood pressure, anxiety, and heart problems.   To cap it all off we are living in PERILOUS, UNCERTAIN, and ANXIOUS times, so when you combine that with the “giddy-up-go” scenario, it makes for an EXPLOSIVE finale. 

 

The Psalmist, King David, I believe, knew a little something about this “giddy-up-go” mindset.  He knew a little bit about getting anxious and getting ahead of God, but he KNEW that it paid off more to WAIT for the Lord; especially concerning the things of God.  I believe that David’s words:  “Wait for the Lord; be strong and courageous.  Wait for the Lord,” are a much needed lesson for all TRUE BELIEVERS today.

 

Notice, his words were more of a command than a plea.  We, who are TRUE BELIEVERS need to realize that we are God’s SERVANTS and He is our MASTER, a GOOD servant does not go ahead of his MASTER and do whatever he THINKS or WANTS to do, but he WAITS for the MASTER’S instructions, and follows the will of the MASTER.  

 

David says; “be strong and courageous.”  When we are WORKING and STRIVING to do the will of the MASTER, especially during the times in which we live, we need to be able to WAIT for the Lord with STRENGTH and COURAGE, and having a STEADFAST HOPE and TRUST in the ONLY ONE who CONTROLS everything, and is ABLE to protect His SERVANTS as they serve Him. 

 

Notice, also, that the King repeats himself, “WAIT for the Lord,” which usually indicates the SERIOUSNESS of the statement.  We have a tendency to try and “go ahead” of God, when we SHOULD be WAITING for Him to give us the “go ahead.”  When we FOLLOW Him and TRUST His hand, we will be OBEDIENT to Him, and when we get to Heaven we will be able to hear our Lord Jesus Christ say; “well done, my GOOD and FAITHFUL servant!”  So remember; “WAIT for the Lord!” 

 

If you have NOT given your HEART and LIFE to God, you are NOT a TRUE BELIEVER, and you are doing the devil’s bidding, which will afford you a place in Hell, the place of torment, torture, pain, and agony.  However God is giving you the opportunity to come to Him with a TRUE REPENTANT HEART, CONFESSING your sins to Him, and asking Him for His FORGIVENESS, BELIEVING, with ALL your HEART, that Jesus died for YOU, and is ALIVE in Heaven, making intercession for you, before God, then ACCEPT His gift of SALVATION, and be STRONG and COURAGEOUS as you WAIT for Him.  Do it NOW, while you still can.  He’s waiting and coming SOON!!!

 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

"The Work of the Holy Spirit"


“The Work of the Holy Spirit”

 

 

But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth.  He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come.  He will glorify Me because it is from me that He will receive what He will make known to you.          John 16:13&14

 

Jesus’ disciples were not prepared for any more SPIRITUAL TRUTH at the time that He was trying to prepare them for His coming death and resurrection.  So Jesus informed them of the work of God’s Holy Spirit, the Spirit of TRUTH. He told them that the Spirit would GUIDE them into ALL the TRUTH, and that He would NOT speak on His own initiative, but ONLY what He hears from the Father.   

 

The Father would tell the Spirit what to tell the disciples concerning the Son.  The phrase: “and He will tell you what is yet to come,” was a promise to the disciples that their partial understanding of Jesus and His works would be completed.  And they would receive insight into the true meanings of Jesus soon to be death on the CROSS and His RESURRECTION, and the truths about His return.

 

We, who are TRUE BELIEVERS, today, also are guided into ALL the TRUTH about Jesus Christ, as the MESSIAH and about His works, His teachings and the TRUE meanings of His DEATH and RESURRECTION, and also about His RETURN. 

 

It is by the WORK of God’s Holy Spirit that we come to a SAVING KNOWLEDGE, to begin with.  It is by the drawing of God’s Holy Spirit that we are brought to the altar for the cleansing of our wretched, sinful soul.   Then it is His Spirit that guides us into ALL the TRUTH.  It is the Holy Spirit of the Living God, who DIRECTS our path and CONVICTS us of our sins.  He TEACHES us about the TRUTH concern the DEATH of Christ, and His RESURRECTION, and He equips us for our ministry.  He prepares our MINDS and HEARTS for the RETURN of Jesus.  

 

However, you can weaken the work of God’s Spirit in your life and leave yourself vulnerable to the LIES of the devil.  You can QUENCH the Spirit of God in your HEART, and miss the BLESSINGS of worshipping and praising the MESSIAH.  You can GROW in your FAITH by ALLOWING God’s Holy Spirit FREE ACCESS to your HEART and MIND.  If you have NOT given your HEART and LIFE to God, then you are NOT a TRUE BELIEVER and His Spirit is NOT in you.  You are guided by the devil and his lies, with a condemnation of an eternity in Hell, the place of torture, torment, agony, pain and despair for ALL ETERNITY.  But God is giving you the opportunity NOW to come to Him with a TRUE REPENTANT HEART, CONFESSING your sins to Him and asking Him for His FORGIVENESS, BELIEVING, with ALL your HEART that Jesus died for YOU, and is ALIVE in Heaven, making intercession for you, before God, then ACCEPT His gift of SALVATION, and receive His HOLY SPIRIT to guide you to ALL the TRUTH, and an ETERNITY in Heaven.  Do it NOW, while you still can.  He’s waiting and coming SOON!!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

"Three Characteristics That Should Mark Every True Believer!"


“Three Characteristics That Should Mark Every True Believer!”

 

 

We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.        1st Thessalonians 1:3

 

 

In this letter, to the church of the believers in Thessalonica, Paul wrote that he, Silas and Timothy remembered before God the WORK produced by FAITH, the LABOR prompted by LOVE, and the ENDURANCE inspired by HOPE of those TRUE BELIEVERS, all of which was done because of their BELIEF in the LORD JESUS CHRIST.

 

These TRUE BELIEVERS had turned AWAY from their worship of idols, and turned TO the TRUE LIVING GOD.  FAITH in Christ Jesus had brought them TRUE REPENTANCE, and the work they did for the LORD was produced by their FAITH in Him. 

 

Their LABOR, prompted by LOVE, consisted of their service to the One True and Living God, regardless of the persecution that they faced.  They pressed on through the persecutions and trials, and became VICTORIOUS because of their LOVE for their REDEEMER.

 

Their ENDURANCE was inspired by their HOPE in the Lord Jesus Christ.  They were waiting for God’s Son from Heaven.  They had saving FAITH in the past when they first believed in Christ Jesus, they were LOVING Him in the present, and they looked forward to His return with HOPE in the future.

 

FAITH, LOVE and HOPE, three sure CHARACTERISTICS of a TRUE BELIEVER.  Are they evident in your life?  If you’re a TRUE BELIEVER, they SHOULD be.  If you have NOT given your HEART and LIFE to Christ, then you are NOT a TRUE BELIEVER and you do not possess these characteristics, and are LOST without FAITH, LOVE and HOPE.  You probably aren’t looking forward to the return of Christ from Heaven.  Whether you do or not, He is COMING BACK anyway. If you fail to give your HEART and LIFE to God, you are destined to spend ALL eternity in Hell with NO HOPE of ever escaping the torture, torment, agony, heartache and despair.  However, you NOW have the opportunity to come to God with a TRUE REPENTANT HEART, CONFESSING your sins to Him and asking Him for His FORGIVENESS, BELIEVING, with ALL your HEART, that Jesus died for YOU and is ALIVE in Heaven, making intercession for you before God, then ACCEPT His gift of SALVATION and possess the THREE CHARACTERISTICS of a TRUE BELIEVER, FAITH, LOVE and HOPE.  Do it NOW, while you still can.  He’s waiting and coming SOON!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

"Condemnation or Justification?"


“Condemnation or Justification?”

 

 

Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people.   For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of one man the many will be made righteous.       Romans 5:18&19

 

 

In this passage of Scripture, the Apostle Paul, shows us the parallel between Adam and Jesus Christ.  The ONE trespass or sin of Adam resulted in CONDEMNATION for ALL mankind.  After Adam’s transgression mankind was born with a SINFUL nature.  But ONE righteous act of Jesus Christ resulted in JUSTIFICATION and LIFE for ALL who BELIEVE in Jesus Christ, and ACCEPTS His righteous act. 

 

Through the DISOBEDENCE of Adam many were made SINNERS, but through the OBEDIENCE of Jesus the many who BELIEVE in Him will be made RIGHTEOUS.  So the question that you MUST answer is; will you continue to follow Adam’s DISOBEDIENCE and be under CONDEMNATION or will you come to Jesus Christ and follow His OBEDIENCE and receive JUSTIFICATION and LIFE?

 

The choice is yours for the making.  Each choice has its destiny.  The path of SIN resulting in CONDEMNATION and SPIRITUAL DEATH, which will lead you to your ETERNAL destination, known as Hell the place of torture, torment, pain and agony.  Or the path of RIGHTEOUSNESS resulting in JUSTIFICATION and LIFE, which will lead you to your ETERNAL destination, known as HEAVEN, the place of ETERNAL bliss. 

 

If you have NOT given your HEART and LIFE to God then you are on the path of SIN and CONDEMNATION, and are heading for Hell.  But God in His infinite MERCY is offering you the opportunity NOW to change your destiny by; coming to Him with a TRUE REPENTANT HEART, CONFESSING your sins to Him and asking Him for His FORGIVENESS, BELIEVING, with ALL your HEART, that Jesus died for YOU, and is ALIVE in Heaven, making intercession for you, before God, then ACCEPT His gift of SALVATION, and follow Him to the path of RIGHTEOUSNESS, and to your JUSTIFICATION and ETERNAL LIFE in Heaven.  Do it NOW while you still can.  He’s waiting and coming SOON!!!

Monday, August 22, 2016

"When God Does NOT Hear Our Prayers"


“When God Does NOT Hear Our Prayers”

 

 

If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear.  But certainly God has heard me; He has attended to the voice of my prayer.  Blessed be God, Who has not turned away my prayer, nor His mercy from me!         Psalms 66 18-20

 

There are many people in the world today who believe that God HEARS and ANSWERS the prayers of EVERYONE who will pray.  However, this is NOT true.  According to the Holy Word of the Living God.  He will NOT HEAR the prayer of a person, BELIEVER or UNBELIEVER if they are harboring SIN in their HEART.

 

Now some may want to argue with me on this, but you CANNOT argue with the Word of God.  One thing to think upon is; if God could not even LOOK upon His ONLY BEGOTTEN SON as He hung on an old rugged cross, and became SIN as He took the SINS of ALL of mankind from the beginning of mankind to the very last person that will be born, what makes us think that God would HEAR a prayer from a sinful person who has SIN in their HEART.   Jesus, who KNEW NO sin became sin.  And the HOLY, RIGHTEOUS GOD of Creation could NOT look up on Him.  Matthew 27:46 says, “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?”  that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” 

 

What a TRAGIC time that must have been, when Jesus sensed a separation from the Father, because of SIN, that He had NEVER, EVER been a part of, SIN that was NOT His own, but the sins of mankind.  ‘He who knew NO sin, became sin.  So the SINLESS SON suffers SEPARATION from His RIGHTEOUS FATHER. 

 

When we harbor sin, ANY sin in our HEART, The HOLY, RIGHTEOUS, GOD will not, HEAR our prayers, UNTIL we come to Him with a TRUE REPENTANT HEART and CONFESS our sin to Him.  If you want Him to HEAR and ANSWER, then you must BEGIN your prayers with a plea for His FORGIVENESS, ACKNOWLEDGING your sins and CONFESSING your sins before Him.

 

The Psalmist, says that, God HEARD his prayer and did NOT turn away from his prayer, nor did He take away His mercy.  The point is CLEAR: Whenever God’s Children are in need or burdened they NEED to make sure their HEART is CLEAN and PURE of ANY SIN, then come to Him with their requests.  If you have NOT given your HEART and LIFE to God, then all the prayers you may have been praying have gone unheard.  The ONLY prayer that God will hear from an UNBELIEVER, is the PRAYER of CONFESSION and REPENTANCE, then and only then will He HEAR your PRAYERS.  In order to have God’s ear attuned to your prayer, you MUST come to Him with a TRULY REPENTANT HEART, CONFESSING your sins to Him and asking Him for His FORGIVENESS, BELIEVING, with ALL your HEART, that Jesus died for YOU, and is ALIVE in Heaven, making intercession for you, before God, then ACCEPT His gift of SALVATION, and be ASSURED that He WILL HEAR and ANSWER your prayers, as long as your HEART is CLEAN and PURE of ANY SIN.  Do it NOW, while you still can!  He’s waiting and coming SOON!!!