Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Faith, Belief, and One Question

     Religious observances completed in the eyes of the masses are sadly done at times to make us look good on Sunday in front of others the aforementioned masses who ironically are feeling the same way. Religion is a list of things one must accomplish to be right in the sight of their god or deity. Jesus of Nazareth however is the only One who claimed to be God. He is the One who proclaims, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life." He proclaimed, "It is finished" when he paid a sin debt that you and I owed with His life. The story does not end there. This Jesus, the son of Mary, this man who is God in human form defeated death by rising from its grasp providing a way  for us to return to God through the sacrificial death on that cross. Do not mock faith when historical records, secular science and even mathematical equations proclaim Jesus Christ's validity as God. Yet, despite all that, The Bible proclaims it. It all comes down to a question Christ asked: "Who do you say I am?"

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A new year and new beginnings mean nothing if the old habits reign.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas Gift

With college work and life taking hold, I have not been able to really spend the time on the site delivering messages like I would like, but then again, no one may be reading, but then again, I do this for God. It is December, it is Christmas time, heavy on the Christ little on time, so let us look for a minute or hopefully think for a minute about the reason of the season. If you are one figuratively speaking ,“hell bent” on despising Christmas programs because of Christmas songs, plastic babies that depict the birth of Christ, or simply aggravated by the thought that a holy God exists, and loves you despite your being a secular, educated ass, then this may not be for you. However, it is just for you. There is a story about a young woman who went away to college in the fall, leaving her plants and her goldfish in the care of her mother, who had a tendency to be forgetful. Some of us may know somebody with a "brown thumb." This mother had one. The plants that the daughter left behind in the care of her mother died at the end of the month. The mother dutifully broke the bad news to her. When the young woman called a week later, her mother confessed that the goldfish had died too. There was a long pause, then in a fearful voice the girl asked, "How’s Dad?" As we come into the Christmas season, it is easy to forget what is important…like feeding Dad. Seriously though, we easily get our priorities mixed up. And the true meaning of Christmas gets lost. We begin to think it is about presents, decorations and parties. But the truth is… The true meaning of Christmas is not found in the wrappings, but in the gift Did you know Jesus is apparently more lost than Waldo because every time someone is saved or even people mock those people who have gotten saved both ironically cry the same thing? “I’ve found Christ,” weeps the sinner turned saint through faith in Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. “Have you found, God?” smirks the mocker. God has never been lost, folks. God the Father has been here with us the entire time. Jesus as the Bible teaches is knocking at the door of our hearts wanting nothing from us except our trust, or love, our faith in Him alone. Let us go to the most read chapter of the Bible in December with a heavy re-read okay of the first half of verse 12. Luke 2: 1-14 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. 2(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 3And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. 4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 5To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. 6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. 8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. And this shall be a sign unto you. The redneck comedians albums of “Here’s Your Sign” really should hit us in the head. For over two thousand years, generation after generation has grown hearing as the hymn refers, “the old, old story.” It has been 401 years since King James published the Holy Bible as one unit. There we go! As I stated it, we can have people say, “Well, man made this book.” Yes, man published it, but I challenge you along with your skeptical belief and fear to prove the Bible wrong. Perhaps you can show inconsistencies within. People have tried and will continue to try holding themselves above God believing their own hype if you will. Do you need Jesus? Redundant even if you think you do not, of course you do. Look at the Word! Verse 10: And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. We are all people. You are all people. Think about the shepherds, the ones who got the memo first, think about how the church grew out of the faith of 12 regular men. God often chooses to do his greatest work through people or things we normally think of as weak or unimportant. This is what- Paul means in I Corinthians when he writes: Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. To God, nobodies are somebodies. To God, each one needs to hear the good news. The good news is this friend: Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, is real. He came to earth to save us all from sin. He died on the cross, but rose from the dead by the grace of God the Father. Today at this moment, He waits for you to accept Him as Lord. Do not miss the Savior and His gift of eternal life. All you can do is realize that He is real and that you need him. Turn away from the crap, the stuff you do in life that you know is wrong and just focus on Jesus. You don’t have to know all the scriptures or even understand anything except that Jesus loves you, the Bible tells you that anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. We can’t work our way to Heaven friend. Jesus is the only way. Romans 10:9-13 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 12For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. This day, the Christmas season, do not miss out. There are four kinds of folks that miss seeing Baby Jesus: Some miss the baby because they are too distracted by all the world offers now. -Some miss the baby because they are too busy and don’t have time to find out about him. -Some miss the baby because they are too scared to let him take control of their lives. -Some miss the baby because they are indifferent or ignorant of their need for a Savior. Look to Christ today, while yo still can. Tomorrow may not be as kind.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Gehenna Dnoora. Most educated skeptics of the Bible being totally God's Word and Truth usually refer to Gehenna Dnoora, the burning garbage dump being Jesus' reference point to Hell. They love to gloat how Gehenna Dnoora is now a wonderful place that does not burn and such. The idea of Christ dying on a cross is foolish in their eyes. They are right from their pov. Until they humble themselves before God they will never see their need for God. The Bible will be to them a fairy tale written by mentally unstable men. The question we all answer at one time or another is who do we say Jesus is to us? We weigh the evidence and we run from the truth when it does not add up to what we think it should. 2+2 equals four. However, 1 Christ plus 3 nails also equals 4 (given) too. Before you can believe in Christ and confess Him as Lord you have to acknowledge your need for Him. That's the toughest part. The 12 that died in the theater massacre thought not of taking their last breath there. We never do think that today could be our last. What if it is? Christ taught the way to Heaven, not a way, but the way. He said He was the way. I will not convince you that Jesus is the Christ. God will. Look to the Bible and you will see.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Whether or not one calls Jesus the Lord comes down to one word; faith. It is through faith that a belief occurs. What about your faith? When thinking about your faith, is it as solid as a barrel cactus that is unwavering, focused, immovable, growing steadily-- oblivious to blazing days and cold nights? Or is it more like the delicate African violet. The smallest disturbance bruises a leaf, the slightest variance in moisture causes our faith to wilt?
How can we strengthen our faith in troubled times when we sometimes have a difficult time under normal conditions? Sometimes we feel a sense of being overwhelmed when things start coming at us from all directions. When pressures increase, we often find that our faith starts to waver. Is it possible to strengthen our faith in troubled times? Is it possible to have strong, unwavering faith?  Let’s look at two examples of faith and belief in action.
We find Jesus in Matthew chapter eight returning from the mountains:
1 When He came down from the mountain, large crowds followed Him. 2 Right away a man with a serious skin disease came up and knelt before Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”

     Right away we see the man’s trust, his belief, and his faith in Christ being the healer. Notice he did not demand or throw his arms up in a dramatic fashion for the entire world to see. This man, this leper demonstrates three things that everyone should do when calling upon Jesus. First, he kneels to Christ showing his humility to Jesus. We as Christians are to emulate Christ; therefore we take up the humility shield if you will. The second thing he shows us is his request to Christ that demonstrates that it is His not our, but His will that will be done. Remember that before the crucifixion occurred, Christ prayed too that not His own will, but rather God the Father’s will be done.
3 Reaching out His hand He touched him, saying, “I am willing; be made clean.” Immediately his disease was healed.[a] 4 Then Jesus told him, “See that you don’t tell anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses prescribed, as a testimony to them.”  
Nowhere in the Bible does Jesus ever refuse to heal someone. The man, the leper, acknowledged Who Jesus is, humbled himself before Jesus, and then thirdly, accepted the gift of healing from the King of kings.
Jesus tells him to go to the priests and so forth because frankly most commentators explain that His time to reveal had not yet occurred. I understand. So, from a leper, a man most ran from, were terrified of, we see how we are and need to approach Christ. Now there is another that approached Christ that was not a despised man, but a respected military veteran so to speak.
When He entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, 6 “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, in terrible agony!”
   7 “I will come and heal him,” He told him.

 8 “Lord,” the centurion replied, “I am not worthy to have You come under my roof. But only say the word, and my servant will be cured. 9 For I too am a man under authority, having soldiers under my command.[b] I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.”

 10 Hearing this, Jesus was amazed and said to those following Him, “I assure you: I have not found anyone in Israel with so great a faith! 11 I tell you that many will come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13 Then Jesus told the centurion, “Go. As you have believed, let it be done for you.” And his servant was cured that very moment.
On his way into Capernaum Jesus encountered a Roman centurion. A centurion meant that he was a career military person who was in charge of 100 men. Centurions were the military backbone throughout the empire maintaining discipline and executing orders. He understood the Roman military system where all authority was delegated. When he spoke to his men, he spoke with the emperor’s authority and so his command was obeyed without question. A soldier who defied him would not just be defying a centurion but the emperor himself.
He was a God-fearing man although he was a Gentile, an outsider. He lacked the background of Old Testament revelation that the Jews had in order to help him understand Jesus. Although this man might have had some gaps in the Old Testament heritage concerning Jesus, yet it was the knowledge he had concerning authority in his career that applied to Jesus and which was a big key to strengthening his faith during a time of great need.
In his thinking Jesus was under God’s authority and when He spoke--God is speaking. To defy Jesus was to defy God.
When Christian Herter was governor of Massachusetts, he was running hard for a second term in office. One day after a busy morning chasing votes and (no lunch) he arrived at a church barbeque. It was late afternoon and he was famished. As he moved down the serving line, he held out his plate to the woman serving chicken. She put a piece on his plate and turned to the next person in line.
“Excuse me,” Governor Herter said, “do you mind if I have another piece of chicken.”
“Sorry,” the woman told him. “I’m supposed to give one piece of chicken to each person.”
“But I’m starved” the governor said.
“Sorry,” the woman said again. “Only one to a customer.”
Governor Herter was an unassuming man, but he decided that this time he would throw his weight around a little.
“Do you know who I am?” he said. “I am the governor of this state.”
“Do you know who I am?” the woman said. “I’m the lady in charge of the chicken. Move along mister!”
The centurion knew that Jesus had a whole lot more authority than that. He had authority over sickness and suffering, and the centurion was very concerned about his servant who was at the point of death. He had a genuine concern for his man. In the Matthew account, he spoke to Jesus calling him, “Lord” which was a sign of his belief in Jesus’ deity. He says, “Lord, my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering.” He defined the need clearly to Jesus. It was not vague and generalized. In the Message Bible he says, “Master, my servant is sick. He can’t walk. He’s in terrible pain.” He stuck to his point when making his request.
In Luke 7 we have more information about this servant--he was highly valued by the centurion and he was sick and near death (vs. 2). The Luke account tells us that the centurion sent some highly respected Jewish leaders on ahead to ask Jesus to come and heal this servant. They spoke highly of this Roman centurion. They said, “if anyone deserves your help, it’s this man. He loves the Jews and even built a synagogue for us.” So Jesus went with them.
When the need was presented clearly to Jesus, He answered the man, “I will go and heal him.” It was no big problem to Jesus. He says, “Sure, I will come and take care of the problem.”
At this point the man says, “Oh, no, I don’t want you to go to all that trouble. I’m not worthy for you to enter my house. But just say the Word from where you are. He is not backpedaling here. He is saying, I have so much confidence in you that I know that if you just say the word, it will be done. I too am a person under authority. I say go here or go there or do this or do that and it is taken care of. He didn’t need to see Jesus come to his home or lay his hands on the sick servant. He said to Jesus--”Lord, just SAY THE WORD.”
How many of us pray, yet we do not believe that the Father, Son, and Spirit hear our needs and desires? Granted, He knows them, but the act of prayer is more than lip service to make ourselves feel better, folks. God wants to hear from us. Just say the word above I believe can be understood as an answered prayer.
When G. Campbell Morgan was a young Christian he used to visit several elderly ladies once a week to read the Bible to them. When he came to the end of Matthew’s Gospel, Morgan read, "Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age." He added, "Isn’t that a wonderful promise?" One of the ladies quickly replied, "Young man, that is not a promise. It is a fact!" Warren W. Wiersbe, MEET YOUR The centurion said, “Just say the word and my servant will be healed.” That’s a fact.

In what way do you picture the authority of Jesus when it comes to answering your prayers? If we could see this clearly, it would strengthen our faith tremendously. What does scripture tell us about His authority?

STORY: Believing things ’on authority’ only means believing them because you have been told them by someone you think trustworthy. Ninety-nine percent of the things you believe are believed on authority. A person who balked at authority in other things, as some people do in religion, would have to be content to know nothing all his life.

Matthew 7:29 says that “Jesus taught as one who HAD authority.”

Matthew 9:6 says, “the Son of man HAS authority on earth.”

Matthew 28:18 says, “ALL authority in heaven and earth has been given to me.”

If he has all authority, then wouldn’t he be able to take care of your problem?
The centurion’s word was law to his soldiers. His faith in the power of Christ to heal was illustrated by the dominion he had as a centurion over his soldiers. His faith in the word that Jesus spoke was certain. Because he knew all about the power of authority--he recognized Jesus’ power and authority over disease. Jeremiah 23:23 says, “Am I only a God nearby? and not a God far away?” This shows both the immanence and the transcendence of God. When we pray for people at a distance, know that God hears that prayer just as if you were right with the person.
Are we a people that, as the leper did, humble ourselves to God Almighty, acknowledging His will first? Are like the Centurion that despite the earthly prestige we hold, hold Christ most high above all others? Do we possess a faith that believes that the very words of Christ will make it so? Do we possess the faith that is real and lasts?