Archive for November, 2013

Profess faith

JESUS SPEAKING

                “I also say to you, whoever confesses me before men, him the son of man will confess before the angels of God.  But he who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God” (Luke 12: 8 – 9.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

                Pride plays a major role in what we communicate to others; most intuitively hide what is unimportant or shameful, while openly expressing the things that are of great value.  In American culture, individuals utilize social media to post quotes, publish photos, and transmit thoughts.  Many also use billboards, bumper stickers, t-shirts, and jewelry to convey their beliefs to others.  Yet in a nation supposedly comprised of millions of Christians, Jesus Christ very rarely occupies the top position.   He is often displaced by more important things; like a career, a family, a political candidate, a sports team, a noteworthy cause, or even a unique lifestyle.

                Throughout history Christians have been persecuted for their outward professions of faith.  In many countries today, those who openly convert from Islam to Christianity face execution and imprisonment.  Only some are afforded the right to a trial; during these mock proceedings, evidence of a true conversion is presented against the accused.  To test the genuineness of our faith, we must ask ourselves a hypothetical question; “If we were to go on trial for our lives, what evidence would our accusers have to convict us of being true Christians?”  Would we be blamed for spreading the gospel?  Would we be found guilty of outwardly displaying our beliefs without shame or remorse?  Would others willingly testify that we followed the teachings of Jesus Christ?  Would we be condemned by love, and convicted by our faith?

                Only those who are proud to be disciples are truly committed to the Lord.  As believers we must actively seek to express our faith in obvious and practical ways; through words, deeds, and nonverbal communication.  Whether it is the bumper sticker that reads, “Jesus is Lord,” or the cross that hangs from our neck; outward displays of devotion strengthen our relationship with God.  Each time we openly express our love for Christ, we grow closer to our Heavenly Father; who in turn, pours out upon us, all of His spiritual blessings.

                “Lord Heavenly Father, give us the strength and the desire to share our faith with others.  May we never be ashamed to be called Your Sons and Daughters.  Continue to be our number one love; may nothing ever come before You.  In Your wisdom, give us opportunities to communicate Your message to those who are devoid of understanding; that they too would come to know You as we have.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things in Jesus Christ’s name, amen.”  God bless all of you. 

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The Resurrection

JESUS SPEAKING

“The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are counted worthy to attain that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. But even Moses showed in the burning bush passage that the dead are raised, when he called the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ For He is not the God of the dead but of the living, for all live to Him” (Luke 20: 34 – 38.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

            The resurrection from the dead is a central tenant of the Christian faith.  Jesus Himself rose from the dead, revealing that everyone who has faith in Him will never die; instead, although the body may temporarily perish, the believer’s spirit continues on in God’s eternal kingdom.  When God establishes a new heaven and a new earth, every faithful soul will receive an eternal body.  A body that does not grow old; diseases will be obliterated; death and suffering will not exist.  Pregnancy will no longer be necessary; marriage also will be a thing of the past.  Everyone will live in perfect fellowship with one another, and with God Himself.

            To prove that there is life after death, Jesus quoted an Old Testament scripture.  In Exodus 3: 6 God says to Moses, “I am […] the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob” (present tense.)  He doesn’t say I was the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob (past tense.)  Although Abraham Isaac and Jacob were physically dead, they were, and are still spiritually alive, living peacefully in God’s eternal kingdom.

            There comes a time when every human being must make the journey from this life to the next.  For those who believe, death is not the end; it is merely the beginning.  Faith in Jesus Christ is the vessel that carries us in to the presence of the almighty and everlasting Father.  May your faith remain strong as you are transformed in to the image of your savior; and may God comfort you as you eagerly look forward to your eternal future with great hope and joy.

            “Lord Heavenly Father, we faithfully await the resurrection of the dead.  We know that you have prepared a special place for us in Your eternal Kingdom, and we look forward to that day with great pleasure and overwhelming gladness.  Sanctify us, and fill us with Your Holy Spirit, that we might do Your works and accomplish Your will in this place.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.  

Genuine Giving

JESUS SPEAKING

                “And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you?  For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back” (Luke 6: 34.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

                Even the most evil individuals will give money to those who promise to pay them back.  Jesus desired that his disciples be completely selfless; therefore he taught them to give expecting nothing in return.  Everyone who longs to practice true Godliness must freely give (when they are able) to those who are in need.

                One day, as I was getting ready to leave the gym, I bumped in to an acquaintance who asked to borrow $10 dollars.  After giving him the money he continued to insist that he would pay me back.  (With this scripture in mind) I told him that the money was from God, and that I did not desire any form of repayment.  He understood that it was a gift and not a loan; as we parted ways I felt a warm blessing in my heart.

                The Lord is pleased when His disciples standout; when they shine; when they are more loving and more charitable than those around them.  Giving without expectation or the desire for repayment is just one identifiable characteristic of a true believer.  Whether we pass by a stranger begging for change, or a family member who needs help to pay the rent; if we cannot give freely we will not receive an eternal reward; may you always choose to freely give; may you love without restriction, and may you receive the ultimate compensation for your unconditional obedience.

                “Lord Heavenly Father, help us to be obedient, to be caring, and to be generous.  May we always freely give expecting nothing in return; for we desire heavenly rewards over earthly rewards.  May Your love for others flow through us, that our faith might be a light to all those who walk in darkness.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things in Jesus Christ’s name, amen.”  God bless all of you.

Reaching the sick

JESUS SPEAKING

                Then Levi gave him a great feast in his own house.  And there were a great number of tax collectors (sinners) and others who sat down with them.  And their scribes and the Pharisees (religious leaders) complained against his disciples saying, “Why do you eat with tax collectors and sinners?”  Jesus answered and said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.  I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (Luke 5: 29 – 32.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

                Those who had committed the greatest offenses were also the most eager to receive forgiveness.  The majority of prostitutes and tax-collectors possessed no illusions of purity; they were therefore capable of evaluating themselves honestly.  The religious leaders were blinded by pride; mistakenly believing they were righteous, they refused to accept God’s message of repentance and reconciliation.  The initial step toward real fellowship with God includes a genuine recognition of sin.  Many today are being crushed beneath the weight of guilt and shame.  Those who need healing the most are the first to be rejected by the self-righteous.  However, although the world has forsaken the worst offenders, God has not abandoned them.

                Those who lived within the boundaries of the Roman Empire had little compassion for the sick and the infirmed.  There were no hospitals, retirement homes, or assisted living facilities.  Poor sanitary practices often lead to outbreaks of disease that devastated entire towns, cities, and nations.  Those who became ill were usually abandoned by the strong; many were left to die alone in the streets.  Still, as Christianity began to spread, so did attributes like mercy, compassion, and love.  During a plague in Alexandria, Egypt, in 416 A.D., a group of Christians was assembled to care for those who had fallen ill.  They became known as “the Parabalani” (“the reckless ones”) because in caring for the sick, they selflessly exposed themselves to infection.  As they ministered, they preached the gospel.  We might safely conclude that those who lay dying in the streets received salvation at a far greater rate than those were healthy.

                As Christians, we are called to reach out and to care for the sickest of sinners; those who have been abandoned and left to die.  Drug addicts, alcoholics, prostitutes, thieves, adulterers, and fornicators are frequently the most willing to receive God’s message.  May we never shun sinners, nor abandon the lost.  The Holy Spirit will provide every faithful believer with opportunities to preach the gospel and to deliver healing to those who are afflicted.

                “Lord Heavenly Father, may we never forget that we are but sinners, saved by Your grace.  Provide us with opportunities to minister to the lost.  May we have compassion on the sick and love those who are dying.  May we continue to be instruments of Your mercy, and may others come to know true forgiveness and reconciliation.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things in Jesus Christ’s name, amen.”  God bless all of you.


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