Tag Archives: Following Christ

Come Join Our Team

Once saved, you are members of the Family of God. As such, you are expected to DO what God tells you to do. You are to obey His commands, rain or shine, mountaintop or valley, good days or bad days.

Are you His? Do you know Christ as your Lord and Savior? If so, bless the Lord, O my soul! If not, today give yourselves to Jesus! There is only one place that you will discover peace with yourself, and peace with God. That is in the arms of Christ. Run to Him. Give your lives to Him not just once, but daily and forever. For in Christ is power and glory…. Continue reading

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Rightly Dividing God’s Word Part 3

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved {δόκιμος dokimos} unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing {ὀρθοτομέω orthotomeō} the word of truth.

The Apostle tells us that we are to prove the genuineness of our salvation through study of God’s Word. But we are not to just take scriptures singularly or out of context. We are to “rightly divide” the Scripture, a word that means “to handle aright, to teach the truth directly and correctly”. When the Scripture is not “rightly divided”, when Bible verses are read out of Scriptural or historic context, problems occur. Continue reading

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Let Us Be Light

Isaiah was raised up of God to do His will, to preach repentance to a people that would not repent. Yet God wanted Israel to know that He was not done with His people. But before He could assure Israel, God had to assure Isaiah. Isaiah’s ministry was very discouraging. The words we see above are not addressed to Israel, but to Isaiah. Though the TBC {Tennessee Baptist Convention} only quoted part of the text, let’s read the WHOLE text:

Isaiah 49:6 And {God} said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth…. Continue reading

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Joy Not In Things, But In God

People today find their joy in all the wrong places. In Psalm 100, one of my favorite, we see the Scripture telling us over and over to rejoice, to praise, to be happy, to be glad. The entire Psalm, meant to be sung in the Temple of God by a Cantor or Worship Leader, is one long praise. The song begins by telling us to give a cry of victory over the trials of life, then commands us to rejoice as we serve our God. Yes, the entire Psalm is about being happy, rejoicing, being satisfied beyond belief. Read with me:

Psalm 100 Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. 2 Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. 3 Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. 5 For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

Only The Saved Know Where Joy Comes From

C.H. Spurgeon wrote in his sermon “The Claims of God”:

BRETHREN, it is a trick of Satan to distract us from the most important and vital matters by the suggestion of trivial considerations. {That old Devil} will fill our eyes with dust to prevent our looking to the bronze serpent for healing; from the preaching of Jesus he endeavored to distract human attention by debates upon the tithing of mint, and anise, and cumin; the making broad of the borders of one’s garments; the wearing of phylacteries … {Satan} followed this method at Jacob’s well. When our Lord spoke to the {Samaritan} woman about living water, and the salvation of her soul, the evil spirit prompted her to {say,} “Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and You say that in Jerusalem men ought to worship.” With this same art Satan still works!

The devil tried to do the same thing with our Lord Jesus Christ in the wilderness. The devil offered Jesus food, prestige, and power as avenues to joy. Jesus’ simple reply was, “It is written”.

Oh that we would learn from Jesus. Satan is destroying our nation through trivial and godless things, distractions from the most important truths. I am told that one political party made great gains in this last election because they capitalized on the anger generated by the Supreme Court overturning Roe vs Wade. Thank God it was overturned! People are upset because the Supreme Court has sent the question of legalized abortion back to the states, where it should have always been. One party has said that they will codify abortion into U.S. Law. Even if they do, people will not find joy in this. There is no joy in evil and selfishness. There is no genuine joy to be found in things…. Continue reading

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Rightly Dividing God’s Word Part 2: God, Stewardships, & The Age of Innocence

Salvation is not by our works, but by faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ. He died for our sins, and rose again to lead us as believers, His Church. As we study the Scripture, we are always aware that:

All Scripture Is Written TO The Believer, But
Not All Scripture Is Written FOR The Believer

The Social and Ceremonial portions of the Mosaic Law found in the Old Testament are written not FOR the Gentiles nor the Church, but FOR Israel. We did establish this: Whether OLD or NEW Covenant, no one has EVER been saved by their works, but by faith in God. Once saved, however, the believer is to follow the commandments of God…. Continue reading

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Just Making Sure

When I was a boy one of the greatest Rock Bands of that day was called “The Beatles”. The Beatles were an English Rock Band from Liverpool, England. Highly influential, the Beatles popularized long hair, free love, music videos, and use of mind altering drugs. The group was anything but Christian. John Lennon, the group’s leader, said:

“Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn’t argue about that: I’m right, and I will be proved right. We are more popular than Jesus now; I don’t know which will go first, Rock and Roll or Jesus. Jesus was all right, but His disciples were thick and ordinary. It’s them twisting it that ruins it for me.”

People have been promising the destruction of Christianity since Jesus rose from the grave – and yet, our faith continues on. The Beatles broke up April 10, 1970 – only about 10 years after the band was formed. John Lennon was killed by a madman December 8, 1980, a little over ten years after the band broke up. …

… And yet Christ and His followers continue on. Why is this? Because our Founder, the Lord Jesus Christ, is greater than anyone who has ever been. Jesus is not just a Carpenter’s son, born in a small town named Nazareth. Jesus is more than this. We who follow Jesus know that the world will always be against our Savior. Yet we are not discouraged. We …

Hebrews 12:1-2 … lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Our Savior was not dominated by death. Though executed unjustly, He laid His life down for us, to make payment for our sins. Jesus said, … Continue reading

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The Best Foundation Is Jesus

Jesus loved to ask questions when He taught. By asking questions, He made His hearers THINK about their response before they answered. Jesus asked, according to the website Red Letter Challenge, 305 questions throughout the Gospels.

In this chapter alone Jesus asked 10 questions when being challenged and when teaching. This is His 10th Question.

People came to Jesus, crying out “Lord, Lord”. They wanted Jesus to do something for them. Jesus healed the lepers, the blind, the sick. But Jesus had something greater to give to those in need.
Jesus offered Himself as King of our lives.

Jesus IS Lord. When John the Baptist preached, his message was “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand” (Matthew 3:2). When Jesus preached, His message was “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent and believe the gospel.” (Mark 1:15). The Gospel includes the “Kingdom of God”. Jesus is the King of the Kingdom. He “came to save HIS PEOPLE from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).

Jesus IS Lord. He cannot be anything less. Scripture is clear that “without holiness, no one shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). Pastor Stephen J. Cole notes:

“Genuine saving faith always results in a life of progressive godliness. If a person claims to be saved, but has no hunger for God’s Word, no growing hatred of sin, and no growth in godly living, he needs to examine whether he is truly in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5).”

The proof of salvation is that you want to please your Lord. John 3:16 – perhaps the most quoted text of Scripture in the Bible – says –

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

It is true that salvation is a free gift of God. But once saved, you are brought into the Kingdom of God, and Christ is your King. Pastor John MacArthur wrote in his book… Continue reading

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Is Your Salvation FORGED By God Or a FORGERY Of Religion?

Please turn with me in your Bibles to Acts chapter eight. The message God put on my heart for you is:

Is Your Salvation FORGED By God, Or A FORGERY?

Opening: That may seem like a strange question, but I think its a very important question you MUST ask yourself before you leave this room. God doesn’t want you guessing about your salvation. We are told in 1 John 5:13, “These things (the Scripture) I have written to you, that you may KNOW you have eternal life”. God wants you to KNOW that you are saved. Not just religious, but saved.

“What’s the difference?”, you ask. I’m glad you asked!

Illustrate: The other day I went to Ollies – a local discount store – because they sent me a 15% off coupon for a complete purchase. You know me – I love free or discounted. I had bought a non-stick copper pan that was supposed to last forever from Ollies. “Forever” is about 3 years. Having received this discount I headed toward Ollies. Finding the newest “you can never scratch it, even if you throw it in a volcano” frying pan, I headed toward the checkout with my coupon and pan. I got in the shorter line.

Thank goodness, because “Religion” was in the longer line.

Religion is the devil’s tool. Religion has little to no love for God, and certainly loves only its follower. Religion attacked Jesus when He walked this earth. Religion persecuted the early Church. Religion crucified, stoned, and beheaded the Apostles. Religion boiled the Apostle John in oil. I can always spot religion.
Religion loves rituals, not relationships.

Religion is two people arguing in Ollies – not about salvation through Jesus – but on whether you should worship God on Saturday or Sunday. One believed you worship God only on Saturday. The other, on Sunday. Me, I think EVERYDAY!

As these two argued, I never – NEVER – heard them mention the name of Jesus, the Cross, or the empty Tomb. Let me talk for just a minute about the “Sabbath”, the seventh day of the week. Beloved, the שַׁבָּת Shabbâth, {pronounced. Shab-bawth} was NEVER given to the Gentiles, but to the Old Covenant Jew. Israel under the Old Covenant was commanded to have a WEEKLY Shabbâth (Exodus 20:8-9), a SPECIAL Shabbâth during the ceremonial feasts (Exodus 12:16; Leviticus 23; Numbers 28:18, 25-26;… Continue reading

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Who Has Your Heart?

What is IN the spiritual heart is manifest in what you OUTWARDLY do. Religion cannot fix a heart problem.

Our Lord Jesus put it this way. Jesus chastised the religious Pharisees of his day – because they twisted the Word of God to make allowance for their sinful practices. Their are many in our world who do that today – you might be one of them! Jesus told the Pharisees:

Matthew 15:7-9 (ESV) You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: 8 “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; 9 in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”

Preach: Jesus said of the Pharisees, “their heart is far from Me”. God gave us His Word, the Holy Bible, to show us His Standard and His Savior. We are to follow His Savior Jesus Christ with all our hearts. We are to love God with all our hearts. Jesus came to this earth not just to heal our physical bodies, but to fix our heart problem. He said:

Matthew 15:10-11, 17-20 (ESV) … “Hear and understand: 11 it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.” … 17 Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? 18 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. 20 These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.”

When we look around our America today, around our homes, in our schools, what do we see? Certainly there are good things out there. Certainly there are good people. But I’ll guarantee you, there were a lot of “good” people who stopped traffic to pick up and, yes, steal money that was not their own. They did not earn that money. They had a heart problem.

Jesus came, not to be a Hero, a conquering King,
but to be a Healer of our hearts…. Continue reading

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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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