Tag Archives: Following Christ

Resist The Devil, Draw Near To God

We’ve been studying how God used Nehemiah – the Cup Bearer (or Butler) to the Persian King Artaxerxes – to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Some of you may have wondered why such a subject would be interesting or applicable to us. If so, you haven’t been paying attention to the news.

Our Federal Government has ignored the waves of illegal immigrants crossing the border into the United States. The Government seems unwilling to either finish building the wall on our southern border, or even to enforce policing of the breach with Immigration Control Enforcement Officers. Texas Governor Greg Abbott got tired of 4000 migrants crossing his border every day, straining his infrastructure. So Governor Abbott began to send bus loads of immigrants to Washington D.C. When the Mayor of New York City Eric Adams slammed Texas for sending illegal immigrants to Washington, D.C., Governor Abbot started sending bus loads of illegal immigrants to New York City.

I’m kind of amused, but also saddened. I’m saddened that conditions in Mexico are so pathetic that it’s citizens are flooding into the United States. But I’m also saddened that our hypocritical politicians, all of whom live in gated communities protected by walls and armed guards, refuse to secure our borders.

Walls are important. The Great Wall of China was built over centuries… Continue reading

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What Do I Do Until The Lord Comes?

Elijah lived in a horribly wicked world, and so do we. This world has always been horribly wicked. Yet God can use Elijah, just as He can use us, to change this world. Elijah stood up against the “popular” opinion, and, following God’s direction, prayed a drought on a wicked king and his kingdom. God answered Elijah’s prayers. Now, was Elijah some type of “Super Believer”? No. We are told that “{Elijah} was a man subject to like passions as we are”. Elijah was as broken as we are broken. But Elijah relied on Almighty God, and called on Him to bring drought into the land. My commentary states:

“God used Elijah to accomplish His own will and agenda. Elijah was His instrument. Prayer does not move a reluctant God, but channels His will and purposes through His children.”… Continue reading

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Keeping The Water Out Of The Boat

The nobles were to forgive the debt that the poorer people incurred, whereas the poorer people were to forgive the indignity that the nobles placed on them. The power of God’s Kingdom is in the presence of God – and God will only be present when we are in one accord. Jesus told us:

Matthew 18:15-20 (ESV) If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18 Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”

Oh that God’s Kingdom would grow! Lord, I pray, use us for Your glory. Use us to spread Christ’s Gospel and to build Your Kingdom. In Christ’s name I pray. Amen and Amen!… Continue reading

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God Gives Greater Grace

When you watch television or read the news, do you see “peace” in our America, or anarchy, hatred, division, and war? God wants us to have “peace”. Not just peace with Him (though this is important), but peace with others, and with yourself. Jesus said:

John 16:33 … in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

Jesus is the Healer. Jesus is the means to Grace with God. When the blind came to Jesus, He healed them. When the crippled came to Jesus, they left walking. When the leper came to Jesus, He took away their disease. When we come to Jesus – receiving Him as He is – God is free to not only forgive our sins, but also to free us from our sins. The Bible says:… Continue reading

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Saved, You Will Be Sanctified

Whereas the Apostle Paul was used by God to talk about salvation, James is used of God to talk about sanctification. What are the differences between the two?
Salvation Is What Jesus Does FOR Us
Sanctification Is What God The Holy Spirit Does TO Us

We are saved by faith in Christ. Receiving Jesus as Lord and Savior, Jesus sends the Holy Spirit into our lives. The Holy Spirit causes us to be “born again” as new creatures in Christ. The Holy Spirit causes us to be adopted into the Family of God. The Holy Spirit stays with us, guiding us into daily being more like Jesus. … Continue reading

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The Wall Is Repaired Through Unity

We have been studying the Book of Nehemiah, and how that wonderful Book relates to the Church today. God expects His Church not to languish, but to grow. As the Church we are called to promote the Kingdom of God in this present world. Jesus sent us with a specific commission to tell others about Him and His Gospel, and to be the light of God in this present darkness.

Israel was destroyed because they got away from the Word of God, and started to love themselves more than they loved God.

God sent a series of enemies into Israel – Babylon, Assyria, and Medo-Persia – to punish His people and awaken them from their sinful slumber. The Church in America today is in much the same place. We are a “Post Christian” nation because we as Christians have not stood at our post. Years ago the great Evangelist Dwight L. Moody said:

“A great many people have got a false idea about the church. They have got an idea that the church is a place to rest in … to get into a nicely cushioned pew, and contribute to the charities, listen to the minister, and do their share to keep the church out of bankruptcy is all they want. The idea of work for them—actual work in {and through} the church—never enters their minds.”

This is a poor concept of the Church. God calls His Church to work together for His glory. The reason that God gave us ministers:… Continue reading

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This Do In Remembrance Of Jesus

I always enjoy celebration of “the Lord’s Table” (1 Corinthians 10:21), also known as “The Lord’s Supper” (1 Corinthians 11:20) or “Communion” (1 Corinthians 10:16). Some people call this celebration “The Last Supper” or “The Eucharist”, and that’s fine, but I prefer “Communion” or “The Lord’s Supper”.

Jesus could have established His “Supper” at any time, but specifically chose the Jewish time of the “Feast of the Passover”. Why? Because … Continue reading

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Working For God

Please turn with me in your Bibles to Nehemiah chapter 2. 1&2 Samuel, 1&2 Kings, 1&2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah. Nehemiah is the Cup Bearer or the Butler of the King Artaxerxes (a Persian King and conqueror of Judah). God has moved on the heart of Ezra and Zerubbabel to lead Jewish exiles back to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple. Some 12 years later some of these exiles return to King Artaxerxes palace and tell Nehemiah that the walls of Jerusalem are destroyed, and the gates burned with fire.

When the walls of the nation are fallen and the gates burned, the criminal element rule the nation. The walls must be rebuilt if righteousness will return!

Nehemiah seeks first God’s permission to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls. Receiving permission from God, Nehemiah asks King Artaxerxes for help – who willingly gives it! Nehemiah travels to Jerusalem, surveys the damage done, then gathers the refugees in exile to present the facts to them. We read:… Continue reading

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Jesus Is From Above

John 8:17-24 It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. 18 I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me. 19 Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also. 20 These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come. 21 Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come. 22 Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? because he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come. 23 And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

No One Ever Spoke As Jesus Did

When a jeweler wants to show off the beauty of his diamonds, he does not put the diamonds on a white, clean surface. No, the jeweler puts the diamonds against a black surface, usually black velvet. The black focuses the eye on the light reflecting through the facets of the diamond. Displayed against the darkness, the beauty of the diamond comes out.

As our Lord Jesus ministered on this earth, the times that His beauty was most seen was when He was seen against a black surface. Many times we see Jesus being approached by those who were under the blackness of sickness and disease. Other times Jesus was seen against the darkness of sinful man. But Jesus shone brightest when He was seen against the darkness of self… Continue reading

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The Kingdom Of Heaven Is Like

Two years of the Covid pandemic brought out the worst in Americans. We watched Americans take over city blocks, while politicians told the police to stand down. Racism, rampage, and rioting was out of control, while well meaning (I’m sure) people talked about “defunding” the police. An article in the publication “The Atlantic” said:

“Bad behavior of all kinds —everything from rudeness and carelessness to physical violence—has increased … Americans are driving more recklessly, crashing their cars and killing pedestrians at higher rates. Early 2021 saw the highest number of “unruly passenger” incidents ever, according to the FAA.”

The American Medical Association issued a brief on May 12, 2022 that noted:

“The nation’s drug overdose epidemic continues to change and become worse. The epidemic affects every state and now is driven by illicit fentanyl, fentanyl analogs, methamphetamine, and cocaine, often in combination or in adulterated forms.”

What is going on in our country? Commentator Paul Harvey said a long time ago, “If America ever fails, it will be an inside job”. America is failing, and it is an inside job. We are doing it to ourselves. We are treasuring the wrong things, grasping at the wrong things. We as Americans need a new King.

We need Jesus…. Continue reading

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