Saturday, October 20, 2012

Jesus is Above All

Jesus is Above All”

John 3:31-36  --  "The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all. 32 He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony.33 The man who has accepted it has certified that God is truthful. 34 For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit. 35 The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands.36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him."
Two times in verse 31 it says “above all.”  Jesus is the one who is above all.  As Christians it would do us well to remember this; drive this verse home in our head, make it part of our heart, soul and mind.

Last week a survey was released that stated that for the first time in America’s history Protestant Christians dropped below being 50% of the population.  I received a phone call about this asking what I think about it.  Two things: 

1.    It is fulfillment of Scripture (1 Timothy 4:1 says “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.”

2.    It challenges us to do our job—reach the world for Christ.  If we truly believe what it says in John 3:31-36 (printed above), what more motivation do we need?

Jesus is the only way.  He alone is “above all.”

Thursday, October 11, 2012

“It is written”—Telling the devil to “be gone”

Luke 4:4 says:  Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone.' "

Jesus was tempted by the devil and to every temptation Jesus said, “It is written…”  He used God’s Word to battle the “evil one”.  In Ephesians 6 it talks about “the full armor of God”; note—the only offensive weapon is the “sword of the spirit” which is the Word of God.  Fight evil with the Word of God.  Here are some evil fighting words; may I suggest you use them liberally.

·         When the devil tempts us with the idea that God cannot be found or does not care, use Jeremiah  29:11-14 which says:  For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.14 I will be found by you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile."

·         When the devil tells us that God couldn’t possibly accept us plus with all the day-to-day frustrations of life, God couldn’t possibly give us rest, use Matthew 11:27-30:  "All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.28"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

·         When we are afraid, lack peace and feel so alone (the devil likes us to be alone—that’s when we are the most vulnerable).  Remember this from John 14:25-27 --  "All this I have spoken while still with you.26But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

·         When you are tired and weary and devil says, “Where is your God now?” read Isaiah 40:28-31 --  Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

·         When the devil says, “Good luck; you are on your own”, read Philippians 4:19-20And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. 20 To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.  And, in Colossians 1:9-14For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.10 And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

With whatever lies the devil is tempting you with use God’s Word to tell him to “be gone”; be gone from my life.  Jesus is my Lord and Savior. 

Walk on Christian, Jesus is with us.

Fight on Christian, with Jesus we win in the end. 

Be Christ to your neighbor; with the peace of Christ, live it out.

Occupy with love-demonstrated in word and deed by the power of Christ.


Thursday, October 04, 2012

Do you love The Master?


Slavery is a cruel system. But, in earlier times and in some cultures, slaves were well taken care of.  The slaves were poor; they had very little, if anything.  Masters on the other hand needed a loyal work force so they took good care of their slaves.  American slavery was for the most part cruel.  Almost all were taken into slavery against their will.  Order and loyalty to the master was enforced with barbarism and violence.

Jesus says in Matthew 20:25-27, “Jesus called them together and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.  Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave

Words like slave and servant may rankle some of us.  We like our freedom to do our own thing when we want it, how we want it, we want our own way.  Does the word Master (Jesus) –word- make you uneasy?

Jeremiah writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit says, “I know, O LORD, that a man's life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps.  Correct me, LORD, but only with justice-- not in your anger, lest you reduce me to nothing.  Jeremiah 10:23-24.

Our life is not our own.  The quicker we learn that in life, the easier life will be.

Exodus 21:5-6 says "But if the servant declares, 'I love my master and my wife and children and do not want to go free,' 6 then his master must take him before the judges. He shall take him to the door or the doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he will be his servant for life.” (Some translations render servant  slave.)

Slave by choice?  The slave wanted to remain a slave and not go free.  Why?  Notice verse 5 says “But if the servant declares, 'I love my master!”  Yes, we will become willing servants or slaves only when we “love our Master.”  We are the slaves; Jesus is the Master.  Are you willing to become a slave for life?  A slave by choice?

The question to ask is, “Do I truly love my Master or are we just playing games?”

Love the Master!  Do His will.