Will the Real Christian please stand!

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Will The Real Christian Please Stand!

John 3:16-17  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but haveeverlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”     Before I get into the devotion today I want all of us to look at the second Scripture above. I know we are all familiar with John 3:16, but as we read John 3:17 I want us all to stop and ponder on the words might be saved. Now that we have pondered for awhile let’s talk about the leading word might. First might has two meanings. Past tense of may, and used to express liberty, probability, or possibility in the past. It also means Maybe. Now that I have you confused, Let me say there is nothing wrong conditional or uncertain about the word might. It is simply a difference in the manner of speaking.         What do you  really believe? I’m not talking about what you put on your facebook page or what religion you claim. What do you put your faith in? What is your identity? We all have ready made answers to these type questions, but when it gets down to it, are we being truthful or is it a load of crap?     If you’re anything like me you grew up in a house that had a Bible or two in it, and one or both of your parents were Christians. I grew up thinking there was a God, however the older I got and in High School, I just let the idea of God just fade away. But I still wanted to display the Christian image. Many years later it all changed and I finally started to see. The Bible isn’t a rule book. It’s a love letter. It’s not about my performance. It about Jesus.’ 
    My Friends, Grace isn’t there for some future you, but for the real you in any situation. The Lord is not waiting until you clean yourself up, because He will clean you up from the inside to the outside.  The truth changed my life, and I’m convinced it will change yours. 
Amen!
Reading: John 3:15-21
Ref: HGSB
Heritage Dictionary p.863
May God Bless YouAnd Your FamilyMinister Robert A. Lail Sr.The Cross Life Ministry

My Daddy’s Stronger Than Your Daddy

  • People often say God is powerful or strong. When I was a kid I used to challenge my friends by saying “My Daddy is stronger than your Daddy.”  Did you ever say that?  
  • Now think about your Heavenly Father. Nobody is stronger than he is.  He created the universe with mere words from his mouth, out of nothing visible (Heb 11:3). He created man in his image from the dust of the ground and breathed life into him (Gen 2:7). God has power over life and has defeated death (Joh 11:26). God is in control of all circumstances (Jer 32:27). And most importantly God is holy, just, merciful, and loving (Joh 3:16).  
  • There really is nothing God can’t do other than be inconsistent with his own word (Joh 1:1; Eze 12:25A; Jer 31:26). We on the other hand are different. We often fall short of our word. We don’t keep it fully. We even base our word on human wisdom (which is sin) rather than God’s. But Jesus based his life only on God’s word (Mat 4:4).
  • The key to consistent living according to God’s word is giving your life to Christ and trusting in the gospel, because he kept God’s word perfectly for all who trust in him (Joh 5:19). The Apostle Paul explained it this way: “But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus (Rom 3:21-26).
  • You can be strong, because your Heavenly Father is strong, and you are his through faith in Jesus Christ.  You have an enemy who will try and defeat you: he is the devil.  But you have armor to fight against him (truth, righteousness, the good news of the gospel of peace, faith, salvation, the Holy Spirit inspired and empowered Bible, and prayer). “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.” (Eph 6:1-18).
  • Children brag about their Daddy’s strength, because they think he is really great and they love their Daddy.  Christians boast about the Lord’s strength, because Jesus is really great and we love him.  “For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” (1Co 1:26-31).
  • It’s ok to feel weak and long as you know where your strength comes from, for, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2Co 12:9).  “I lift up my eyes to the hills.  From where does my help come?  My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.  He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.  Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.  The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand.  The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.  The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.  The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.” (Psa 121).
  • What about you? If you have never participated in this ministry reach out to us and tell us how we can pray for you and what the Lord is doing in your life.  May the Lord bless you richly today!

Pastor Greg

INTRODUCTIONS TO THE BIBLE (CONTINUE) NEW TESTAMENT

JAMES

JAMES–the seven books of the New Testament from James through Jude are called General Letters. This first one was written by James, the brother of Jesus. He was one of the leaders of the church in Jerusalem. James wrote this letter to teach Christians the practice of Christianity. He insisted that if we have real faith, we will show it by acting like Christians. He gave practical advice on things like anger quarreling, showing favoritism, taming the tongue, boasting, patience, and prayer.

Your Story, His Story

  • What is the story of your life?  I’m not talking about just a list of where you were born, your family, or your marriage.  I’m not talking about the places you’ve lived or the things you have accomplished.  I’m not even talking about your successes and failures.  What I am talking about is the direction of your life.  Where are you headed?  What are your goals?  No matter whether you are young or old, this is still important for you.
  • A lot of people just live day to day.  The Bible says, “Do not be anxious about your life,  what your will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on….But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Mat 6:2 5-34).
  • What is the kingdom of God?  What is his righteousness?  The kingdom of God is his rule over all creation…the creation he has made for himself, including you!  How do you seek it?  Well first of all just know if you know Jesus Christ as your Savior, you are a citizen of his kingdom, because you are declared to be righteous by faith. ”But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (Joh 1:12).
  • Then what?  Well you can be a citizen of the USA, but not really be very engaged in what the USA stands for and is all about.  You can be a free loader and just drift along, only looking on what you can gain from being a citizen of the USA but never thinking about what you can give back.  President John Kennedy once said, “born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage” – and pledged to “pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty…And so my fellow Americans ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.”
  • What can you do for the kingdom of God more than just exist and live in it as a citizen?  Give back to God’s kingdom by being a servant to others.  Jesus said these words…”But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mat 20:26-28).
  • The Apostle Paul went on to expound this…”If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.  For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.  Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry….Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other, as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.  And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.  And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body.  And be thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.  And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Col 3:1-17).
  • So, be a person who lives and works for the Lord, be a person who places others higher than yourself, be a person who knows the Bible and loves to apply it it your life, be a person who is connected to other Christians in the community and in a Bible believing church, and be a person who is thankful.
  • Your story, His story.  Which life will it be for you?  “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death” (Pro 14:12).  “As for rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.  They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life” (1Ti 6:17-19).
  • I’ll take his story for me.  I’m so thankful he told me his story, but not just to possess it.  “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.  Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant…” (Phi 2:3-7).  
  • “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write upon him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name” (Rev 3:12).  What about you? If you have never participated in this ministry reach out to us and tell us how we can pray for you and what the Lord is doing in your life.  May the Lord bless you richly today!

Pastor Greg

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Proverbs 17:22

Laugh Regularly

When was the last time you laughed until tears streamed down your face? Maybe it was watching a funny movie with family, sharing a joke with coworkers, or cracking up over one of your own mistakes. Regardless of what led you to laugh, we see in God’s Word that laughter is good medicine for our souls. When we can lighten our load by seeing a different perspective or celebrate the silliness in an unexpected situation, we’re often reminded of our own limitations and God’s power and sovereignty.

Sometimes we become so burdened by the weight of all we carry. Pressured by the demands of our many responsibilities, we forget to laugh. Our heart becomes hardened and our joy dries up. But laughing regularly and frequently restores a wellspring of joy and gratitude in our lives. We pause and realize that we don’t have to be responsible for every detail today. God is in control.

Phil Cavness

INTRODUCTIONS TO THE BIBLE (NEW TESTAMENT) CONTINUE

HEBREWS

HEBREWS-at the time this letter was written. Christians were being hurt and killed because they believed in Jesus. Some of the Jewish Christians were thinking about giving up there Christianity and going back to the Jewish faith. The book of Hebrews was written to teach Jewish Christians that the Christian faith is better in every way than the Jewish faith. It shows how Jesus completed the Jewish faith by making the final sacrifice for sin. After his death, none of the Old Testament sacrifices were needed. Chapter 11– the famous chapter on men of faith in Old Testament times–gives Christians examples to follow of faith and trust in God.