Tag Archives: Following Christ

Two Wandering Hearts

The world loves to blame it’s woes on something or someone else. Dear ones, the action you take, moment by moment, will lead to whether you are blessed or cursed tomorrow. God has given you the gift of life. You have neither earned it, nor deserved it. What you do with that gift is up to YOU. You can twist the gift. You can choose poor companions for your journey. I heard one speaker tell a group of graduating High School students:

“The friends you embrace today will determine your future tomorrow.”

Let’s look at Luke 15 –

the longest “Parable” Jesus ever Created

Someone asked Jesus one time, “Why do You speak in parables?” (Matthew 13:10). Jesus said, “Because the Godhead wants you, My followers, to understand the truths of the Kingdom of God, but the Godhead does not… Continue reading

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Let’s Live To Please Jesus

Lifeway Research, one of our Southern Baptist Resources, released a mid-pandemic study May 2021 on the state of the Church in the United States. The study noted that prior to the pandemic “In 2019, approximately 3,000 Protestant churches were started in the U.S., but 4,500 Protestant churches closed…” The information did not just come from the Southern Baptist denomination, but analyzed “congregational information from 34 denominations and groups representing 60% of U.S. Protestant churches to arrive at the church plant and closure numbers for 2019”. In 2014 there were more openings than closings of Churches, but in 2019 the trend reversed.

The American Church is experiencing a demise, though we live in a place of amazing freedoms. However the early Church GREW in a hostile Roman and Jewish world.

Christians were not only persecuted by the Roman Empire for the first 300 or so years that the Church started, but the Jewish religious authorities actively sought out and persecuted Christians as members of a cult. The term “Christian” was not a compliment. The Bible says:

Acts 11:26 … the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.

An article in Relevant Magazine entitled “Where The ‘Christian’ Name Really Came From” notes:… Continue reading

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Saving Our Nation

Turn with me in your Bibles to Jeremiah Chapter Five.

The Book of Jeremiah is the longest book in the Bible. By counting the number of words in Hebrew or Greek, Jeremiah has 33,002 words, whereas Genesis has 32,046. Jeremiah is also a very difficult book to read – and few Christians have ever read or contemplated its words. Most believers look at the Book and think, “This only deals with Israel and Judah – not with the Church. Jeremiah wrote to a people under the Old Covenant of works. The Christian and the Church are under the New Covenant – so there’s nothing here for me”.

I disagree. The Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 10:11 that the things which happened to Israel and Judah are examples for us in the Church Age (1 Corinthians 10:11). Further, the Apostle wrote:

2 Timothy 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the {believer} of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

When the Evangelist Stephen (Acts 6:8) preached Christ at the “synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians” just prior to his martyrdom, Stephen referred to Moses and Israel, saying:… Continue reading

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Choose You This Day

Turn with me in your Bibles to Joshua chapter 24.

Joshua is an old man now, ready to retire as the General of Israel’s Army. Joshua made a decision as a young man to follow God. He has led Israel through battle after battle, to victory after victory, because he followed the Lord. At the end of the road Joshua had many more blessings than he had cursings. Why? Because he chose to follow God. He chose to rest in God’s Grace.

Someone asked me the other day, “If God is all powerful, if God is everywhere, and if God is ultimately in control, then why is our country – our world – in such a mess.”

The problem is not God’s, but ours. God is gracious. God is faithful. And we consistently keep choosing to walk apart from God. You are the sum of all the choices you have made in life. And Beloved, you are responsible for the choices you make. … Continue reading

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My People Have …

Adam and Eve were given rule over all the earth. “They were both naked … and were not ashamed” (Genesis 2:25). They were stewards of all creation in God’s stead. What happened? The Serpent (a picture of Satan – see Revelation 12:9 & 20:2) came into Eden and, like Monty Hall, offered Adam something in place of what he already had. Adam took the bait. He switched a ten dollar bill for a figment of his imagination hundred dollar bill. Adam didn’t just lose Eden. Adam didn’t just lose the world. Adam lost his relationship with God. Adam traded his relationship with God for something worthless.

We repeat this pattern over and over.

In the Book of Jeremiah, the Prophet is speaking to a nation (Israel), warning them that destruction is coming. Last time we were in this Book, we were in chapter one. There God gave Jeremiah two visions. He had the vision of:

Jeremiah 1:11 … a rod of an almond tree… Continue reading

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Without …

God hates sin. Sin calls for death, separation from God. God despises sin because it causes His creation (us) to be far from His embrace. Sin separates us from God (Colossians 1:21). Evil is sin’s outworking.

BEFORE THE CROSS the ONLY place you could receive forgiveness for sins was at the Temple.

BEFORE THE CROSS the ONLY way you could receive forgiveness of sins was by sacrifice of animals via the priests of Israel.

What Animal Sacrifices Teach Us

Only by the shedding of blood is there remission of sin. Why was it shedding of animal blood? Because a sinner cannot pay for the sins of another sinner. Man is fallen. We are all broken, all sinners. Innocent animals were sacrificed to cover man’s sins, but this covering was temporary and insufficient.

A perfect Man was needed to make proper payment for our sins. There were no perfect Men, so God made one!

The broken cannot make a perfect Man – so God decided to do so. God Himself entered into His creation as Jesus Christ. The Book of Hebrews tells us that it is only Jesus that can make purification for sin (Hebrews 1:3). It is only Jesus Who – among all humans – entered this world without sin. It is Jesus that the Father said,

Hebrews 1:8 (ESV) “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of righteousness is the scepter of your kingdom”

Jesus Christ is God the Son, Who came into this world to save us from our sins. The Scripture says:… Continue reading

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Prayer Makes Us Like God’s Own Heart

As this is Wednesday night and our focus is “Prayer Meeting”, I have taken to giving a devotional that focuses on Biblical Prayers. Tonight we are looking at a prayer of David found in Psalm 16. God said of David:

Acts 13:22 (ESV) … I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.

Why did God call David “a man after my heart”? Was it because David was flawless? No, for David as King allowed sin to entice him into evil. Everyone knows of David’s murdering of Uriah, the husband of Bathsheba (2 Samuel 12:9-10), so that he could take Bathsheba to be his wife. David already had a wife, King Saul’s younger daughter Michal (1 Samuel 18:20-27), when he pursued Bathsheba. While David was a fugitive, running from King Saul, he married Abigail (1 Samuel 25:39-41), the widow of a surly shepherd named Nabal. David also “took Ahinoam of Jezreel” (1 Samuel 25:43) to be his wife. David also married “Maacah, the daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur, the mother of Absalom” as well as “Haggith”, the mother of Adonijah (1 Chronicles 3:2). To say that David had a “complicated” family life is an understatement!

David was flawed, but David pursued God in prayer. God was the true Love of His life. … Continue reading

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Who Is This Man? A Palm Sunday Message

As Jesus headed to the unnamed Ruler’s home, a woman in the crowd, “diseased with an issue of blood for twelve years” (Matthew 9:20) saw Jesus. Thinking to herself, she said:

Matthew 9:21 … If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole

Touching Jesus – just the hem of His garment – caused her to be healed immediately! Jesus told her,

Matthew 9:22 … Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith has made thee whole!

Who is this man who can heal without a thought? But He is more, more than just a Healer. When He reaches the Ruler’s home, the mourners are crying over this twelve year old girl who has died. This Man said:

Matthew 9:24-25 … Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn. 25 {Jesus responded, and} He went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose.

Who is this Man Who not only heals, but raises the dead? The crowds around Jesus grow larger and larger every day. Then it comes time when the Jew must go to Jerusalem, to celebrate the Feast of the Passover. What a special time Passover is! It commemorates the time that God saved Israel from Egypt. The lamb without spot or blemish was to be taken into the home, … Continue reading

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Who Is In Jesus’ Family?

His earthly mother Mary is at the door of the house, but cannot get to Jesus. God used Mary to bring forth Christ. Jesus Christ is the Messiah, the Savior of all who will believe on Him. Jesus is …

Revelation 1:5 … Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own Blood …

Jesus is Man. Jesus is Perfect Man. Jesus is Sinless Man. You ask, “How can there be a sinless Man?”, and my answer is, “Only if He is a Unique Creation and God”. Adam was sinless in the Garden of Eden, but when Adam sinned, “by one man – Adam – sin entered into the world, and DEATH BY SIN; and so death PASSED UPON ALL MEN, for that all have sinned.” (Romans 5:12). All humans born naturally are born sinners. This is a problem because, though God loves us, God is holy, without sin (1 Peter 1:16; Isaiah 57:15).

God is holy – but we are not! How can the gap be bridged between God and Man?

A Perfect Man, a Messiah, a Savior, cannot come through human effort. Humans are fallen. God must make a way. God must enter the creation as Man. This is what happened in Jesus. Jesus Christ is ETERNAL GOD THE SON. He declared Himself …

Revelation 1:8 … Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

“Alpha and Omega, Beginning and the Ending” is a title given only to God, “The Almighty”. Our Lord Jesus existed with God the Father and God the Spirit from eternity past. God left eternity, and came to this earth through a virgin named Mary. Yet though Jesus has a beginning as a human,… Continue reading

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Who Is God?

Turn with me in your Bibles to Jeremiah chapter 1. Jeremiah comes right after Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Solomon, Isaiah, JEREMIAH. Jeremiah was known as the “Weeping Prophet”. Why? Because God had been good to Israel, but Israel turned away from God. God’s people were chasing sin. God’s people had become indistinguishable from the lost peoples around them. So God sent Jeremiah to a hard hearted people with an uncomfortable message.

Jeremiah preached to Israel more than 40 years. The Book of Jeremiah, is the longest book in the Bible by Hebrew word count. It has 22,285 Hebrew words.

Jeremiah Teaches Us The Goodness
& Faithfulness Of God

We see God’s goodness in Jeremiah’s appointment: We are told in Jeremiah 1:1 that these are “the words of Jeremiah, the son of Hilkiah, of the priests that were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin” (1:1). Jeremiah is the “son of Hilkiah”. Jeremiah’s father “Hilkiah” is the Hebrew חִלְקִיָּה Chilqîyâh, {pronounced khil-kee-yaw’}, which means “The LORD {YHWH} Is My Portion”. The Priestly Tribe of Israel, the Levites, were given no land when they entered Canaan. As priests, God was their Portion (Deuteronomy 10:9; 18:1-8). As the son of a Priest,… Continue reading

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