Tag Archives: follow Christ

Live Like You Are Beloved

I have always resisted the easy believism preaching of “God loves you, and has a wonderful plan for your life”.

This type of preaching became popular in the later 20th century church, and often pops up in the current culture as well. I do believe that “God loves you”. But I’m not sure how “wonderful” the plan for your life is, as “wonderful” means “to inspire delight, pleasure or admiration”.

Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. But we live in a fallen world absolutely opposed to the Biblical Jesus. If you live for Jesus, expect – at best – discomfort!

That’s what 1 Peter chapter 4 focuses on: S-U-F-F-E-R-I-N-G! I have talked with other Pastors who tell me they’d rather focus on the love of God and future Heaven, than they would on the darkness of this world. But Beloved, we live in a dark world. Not too long ago Canadian Authorities chased two brothers Damien and Miles Sanderson who killed at least ten (10) people, and wounded eighteen (18) more with knives. Why did they do this? Because we live in a fallen world.

Every dark and evil thing in our world today can be traced to sin. It is sin that separates us from God. It is sin that drags people down…. Continue reading

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A Couple Of “F” Words You Need To Know

Salvation is a FREE GIFT from God. I agree with this statement. It is supported by the Scripture. The words “FREE GIFT” are only found together in these texts:

Romans 5:14-18 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. 15 But not as the offense, so also is the free gift. For if through the offense of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. 16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offenses unto justification. 17 For if by one man’s offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) 18 Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

Salvation is a FREE GIFT from God. It is purchased by Jesus, delivered by the Holy Spirit, and planned by God the Father. However, we need to be careful that we are defining the word “FREE” as GOD DEFINES “FREE”, and NOT as SATAN DEFINES “FREE”.

When Satan says something is “FREE”, he means,
“absolutely without consequence”

Illustrate: Yet Satan’s “FREE” is often a lie. The other day, I was leaving a discount market and heard that there was a large box of FREE items at the front door. I, like everyone else, loves FREE stuff. So I went out front and, accompanied by a mother and her daughter, went through that box. I found what I expected – junk! But I picked up a few things. I picked up a set of coasters with my “preferred pronouns” on it…. Continue reading

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How To Avoid A Catastrophe

Every time there is the threat of a winter storm, or some form of bad weather, people rush to the supermarkets and buy all the milk, bread, and eggs they can get. When the Coronavirus hit America we went through what many called “Charmageddon”, or what I called “The Great Toilet Paper Rapture”. One day the markets all had toilet paper, the next day, “poof!”, it magically disappeared.

As Americans, we love to panic, lest a trial become a catastrophe! Our message tonight is “How To Avoid A Catastrophe”. We’ll be in 1 Corinthians Chapter 10.

1 Corinthians 10:1-6 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. 5 But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. 6 Now these things were our examples …

Word Study: Though we today are under the New Covenant of Grace, and not the Old Covenant of the Law, what happened to Israel is just as applicable to us. What happened to Israel is called “our examples”. The word translated “examples” is the Greek τύπος týpos, {pronounced too’-pos}, which means “a pattern, formed by strokes or blows, a type, a teaching, an imprint”. The same word was used by Thomas when he doubted to resurrection of Christ, saying:… Continue reading

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Choosing The Best Part

The only way you can know of God the Father is through Jesus Christ. And NO ONE knows Jesus Christ completely BUT the Father. This is what Jesus said. Jesus says, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”. Rest for the soul is in Jesus. Put your body at His feet. Hear Him, and do as He says. Cast your hurt and suffering on Him. Jesus said “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me”. Jesus is Lord! Jesus is Lord! Let Him put His yoke upon you. This is what God wants us to DO.

A Christian Is Saved By Sitting At Christ’s Feet.
A Christian Grows By Sitting At Christ’s Feet.

We as Christians are to DO, not SOMETHING, but WHAT JESUS SAID DO. Mary did not rush about cleaning the home and cooking the meal. Mary was not trying to impress Jesus with her works. So many of us try to do this. We try to do SOMETHING because OTHERS are looking at us. We want to do SOMETHING because we sincerely want to please our Lord…. Continue reading

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Our Business Is God’s Kingdom

When Sherry and I were stationed in England for the United States Air Force we had the wonderful opportunity of riding these big red double decker buses in London. We’d taker our boys to the top floor of the bus – an upper “uncovered” floor – and enjoy a wonderful view as we rode around town. It was wonderful to ride those buses – that is, when you could get on them.

There were several times when our family was waiting at a bus stop, excited to ride the bus … and the bus driver passed us by without stopping! It wasn’t just us, but this happened frequently throughout London. Someone finally complained about this to the London Transit Authority, the organization that maintains the city buses. The London Transit Authority issued a public paper that stated the following:

“It is impossible for us to maintain our schedule if we are always having to stop and pick up passengers”

The Transit Authority forgot what its purpose is. Without passengers, the bus is useless. Without passengers, the Transit Authority makes no money. The business of the London Transit Authority is to take people around town in buses.

What Is The Business Of The Church?… Continue reading

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Slow Down And Look

John the Baptist was given a simple commission from God. He was to go into the wilderness, and to baptize those whom God sent. It was in the wilderness – unplugged – that John found the Messiah.

John 1:29-33 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. 30 This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. 31 And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. 32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. 33 And I knew him not:…

This passage fascinates me. In the passage we see the witness of John the Baptist concerning Jesus Christ. Twice John tells us, “I knew him not”. This is the Greek eidō autos ou, and it carries the sense that

John knew Jesus as COUSIN, but not as CHRIST.

John the Baptist and Jesus were cousins. When Mary became with Child of the Holy Spirit, the Angel Gabriel told her:

Luke 1:36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.

Mary, the mother of Jesus, and Elisabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, were cousins. Their children were cousins. They grew up not far apart, and perhaps played together as children. And yet John says, “I knew him not”. He knew Jesus as a cousin, but had no idea that He was the Messiah. How did John come to know that Jesus was the Messiah? … Continue reading

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Life Verse From The King

Many Christians today choose our focal verse as their “Life Verse”. Please turn with me in your Bibles to the Book of Proverbs, to:

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

It is no wonder that this is the “Life Verse” of many Christians. But this was also the “Life Verse” that an ancient parent shared with his child. We know this because of our context:

Proverbs 3:1-4 My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: 2 for length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. 3 Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: 4 so shalt thou find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man.

This ancient father was telling his son of a Law that he was to follow. He told his son, “If you heed this law – this Life Verse… Continue reading

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Living With Surety (A Wednesday Devotional)

Death comes to all, and none of us truly know when we will have to “put off this my tabernacle”. Sooner or later it must come. To avoid being frightened of that time – for it should not be frightening to the Child of God – Peter says:

2 Peter 1:10 … brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall

“Give diligence” or make sure you DO this. Make sure, first of all, that you are CALLED of GOD. Every person Jesus has ever saved, He has called. Jesus said:… Continue reading

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Follow God Up The Mountain To Be Saved

Turn with me in your Bibles to Matthew chapter five. Today we’re going to look at what Jesus taught about the Law. As we come to Matthew chapter 5, we read:

Matthew 5:1-2 And seeing the multitudes, he {Jesus} went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: 2 and he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying…

The Saved Believer Follows God

It is become fashionable today to say that you can be a Christian, and yet there be no obligation to follow Christ. Some “preachers” have invented the title, “Nominal Christian”, to apply to those who profess to be Christian, and yet have no evidence of Christlike works in their lives. In many cases the “Nominal Christian” is, in outward appearance, no different than a lost person. Some who profess to be “Pastors” and “Evangelists” who confuse the free gift of salvation with lawlessness. They say, “You can be saved by faith in Jesus – but then God expects nothing else of you”. This is a lie from the pit of hell. You will never find such a salvation in the Bible.

Under the Old Covenant God saved Israel by faith … but Israel had to do what God said to be saved. The Lamb without spot or blemish had to be killed. It’s blood had to be placed on the doorway of the home. The Covenant required a following. After God worked through Egypt that night, bringing death where the Blood was not, Israel had to follow God out of Egypt…. Continue reading

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Christian, Take Up Your Cross

Matthew 10:38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

Matthew 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

“His Cross” Proves Every Human Life Is Precious

This past week former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted for second degree murder, third degree murder, and second degree manslaughter. Chauvin knelt on the neck of a suspect named George Floyd. Floyd plead with Chauvin. He said “I can’t breathe” at least 16 times. Floyd asked for “water”. I watched the video, and heard Floyd saying “Don’t kill me … I’m about to die”, and crying out for his mother. If I had been there I probably would have been arrested. My heart broke as I watched Floyd die.

Whether Floyd was a criminal or not, he was none the less made in God’s image and in God’s likeness (Genesis 1:26). When God made the animals no details are given, other than God allowed Adam to name them (Genesis 2:19). When God made humanity, He “breathed into Adam’s nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7). Humans are distinctively different from animals. When Noah got off the Ark, God told him:

Genesis 9:2-6 …. the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered. 3 Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. 4 But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. 5 And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man. 6 Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.

Noah and his descendants were given the animal kingdom… Continue reading

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