Archive for June, 2014

Sectarianism is bad

November | 2011 | Jesus Speaks | Page 3 //

JESUS SPEAKING:

                “Teacher,” said John, “we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.” “Don’t stop him,” Jesus said. “No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us” (Mark 9:38-39.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS:

                Every good work done in the name of Christ is commendable in the sight of God.  Those who oppose such works (for whatever reason) practice evil.  The disciples mistakenly commanded an unknown man to cease casting out demons in Christ’s name.  Jesus rebuked them for ignorantly believing that God would only use members of their inner circle.  The man was filled with faith; enough faith to perform miracles in his name; he was not a stranger; rather, the man they confronted and corrected was in fact, their brother.  Authority and power come from God; they do not come from men.  Briefly, the disciples believed themselves to be more than servants; they selfishly attempted to set themselves apart, and to control and contain the work of God; in so doing, they stood in opposition to Him.

                Throughout the centuries, there have been many who have fallen victim to the exact same mistake made by the disciples.  Some vainly believe they alone possess the power and authority of God; such organizations are in fact cults.  The J-hovah’s witnesses say, “We acknowledge as the visible organization of J-hovah on earth, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society.”  The International Church of Christ says, “There is one church! There is one God. There is one kingdom of God and this is it!”  The seventh day Adventists say, “Since we keep all ten Commandments and have Ellen White as our prophet, we Seventh-day Adventists are The Remnant Church!”  The ‘True Jesus Church’ claims that they are “the true church restored by God through the Holy Spirit of the latter rain.  She is the revival of the apostolic church in the end times.”  Any organization that claims membership with them is a prerequisite for salvation stands in opposition to the Lord they profess to serve.

                Jesus Christ can never be replaced by a denomination; rituals and traditions cannot usurp the power of the Holy Spirit.  Those who say affiliation with their church is necessary are in rebellion against the one true and living God.  It can be very difficult to keep the gospel simple, and to keep Christ at the center of the faith (avoid those who practice sectarianism.)  Jesus is what connects us; he binds us to one another; he brings us together; he alone is our salvation and our strength; he is the center of our faith; may you always keep him close; and may you continue to seek fellowship with those who love him.

                “Lord Heavenly Father, give us discernment; may we never forget that faith in Your Son is what truly matters.  May our good works always be done in Your name.  Help us to avoid those who seek to replace our trust in You with a faith in a denomination or sect.  May we draw near to one another as we draw near to Your son.  Father, continue to fill us with Your Holy Spirit, that through us, Your miracles may continue to be done in this world.  We thank You Father, we love You, and we praise You, and we ask and pray all of these things in Jesus Christ’s name, Amen.”  God bless all of you.

 

The importance of action

 

JESUS SPEAKING

              “But what do you think?  A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go work today in my vineyard.’  He answered and said, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he regretted it and went.  Then he came to the second and said likewise.  And he answered and said, ‘I go, sir’ but he did not go.  Which of the two did the will of his Father?”  They said to him, “The first.”  Jesus said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that the tax collectors and the harlots enter the kingdom of God before you” (Mathew 21: 28-31.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

                There are two kinds of people; those who do and those who don’t.  The priests and religious leaders failed to obey God despite their many years of biblical study; they preached of righteousness but were unsuccessful in achieving it.  They confused knowledge with wisdom (knowledge is the comprehension of truth; whereas wisdom is the application of it.)  While the intelligent refused obedience, many prostitutes and tax collectors were receiving salvation.  These social outcasts possessed very little knowledge of scripture; yet what little they did possess, they chose to apply.  The gospel is not a thought or a good intention; it is an action.

                In the spring of 1862 a confederate Major General named ‘Stonewall Jackson’ fought a famous military campaign in a valley near the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.  His tactics were unorthodox and his troop movements unpredictable (he utilized speed and stealth to attack his union counterparts.)  Concerning speed, he reportedly marched his 17,000 men nearly ‘646 miles in 48 days’ (approximately 13 miles a day.)  Traveling at this furious pace, they met many natural obstacles (such as hills and streams.)  At one point however, they encountered a river too treacherous to cross.  Jackson told his engineers to draw up plans for a bridge; he then summoned his wagon master and informed him that they urgently needed to cross the river.  The wagon master immediately began to gather together every rock, fence rail, and log he could find; before sunrise the next day, the wagon master approached General Jackson and said, ‘The artillery and wagons have crossed the river sir.’  General Jackson replied, ‘Where are the engineers, and what are are they doing?’  The wagon master replied ‘they are in their tent, drawing up the plans for the bridge.’

                Knowledge is useless unless it is implemented to accomplish a task.  We are called to be ‘doers of the word, and not hearers only.’  The Christian life is a life of action.  When God commands us to love our enemies, we must love them.  When he instructs us to give to the poor and needy, we must open our wallets (and purses.)  When we are directed to pray for those who persecute us, we must drop to our knees.  Keep the commandments of God and you will be blessed; obey Him and you will experience peace; follow Him and you will know joy; joy eternal; joy everlasting; joy without end.

              “Lord Heavenly Father, give us the strength to live out Your commandments.  May we receive Your words and accomplish them.  May we be ‘doers of Your word and not hearers only;’ may our actions bring others to repentance; may we love our neighbors without restraint or indignation.  We love You Father, and 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.

Letting go and grabbing hold

JESUS SPEAKING

                “Again, the kingdom of God is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.  Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it” (Mathew 13: 45-46.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

                The message of “The kingdom of God,” is priceless; it is a treasure; a treasure more valuable than gold, and more precious than any diamond.  For contained within it is the gift of eternal life and the love of God.  As Jesus preached the message, a fortunate few recognized the truth and were willing to trade in all of their possessions to receive the Lord’s everlasting gift.  Many who came to believe sacrificed great wealth, time, relationships, homes, and positions within the community, in order to take hold of the true riches of God’s eternal kingdom.  As believers, we must let go of the world in order to fully embrace the Lord.

                Some people actually make a living letting go of one thing so they can grab hold of another.  Trapeze performers, for example, swing effortlessly back and forth, high above cold concrete floors.  For these men and women, timing and precision can mean the difference between living and dying.  The man who risks his life to spin through the air, must know when to let go of his swing and when to grab hold of his partner dangling from the opposite swing.  So too, the gospel is a message about ‘letting go’ and ‘grabbing hold;’ no one can ‘grab hold’ of the Kingdom of God unless they fist ‘let go’ of whatever they are clinging too in this world.  For the Christian, the pursuit of worldly rewards must end, and the pursuit of Godly rewards must begin.

               Sadly, during the Lord’s public ministry, thousands simply passed by him as he spoke; they chose to cling to their own lives rather than to grab hold of God and the life He was offering them.  Today, the Lord is still speaking; his message is still being proclaimed throughout the world.  Many still choose the temporary pleasures of this life over the eternal peace of God.  Most refuse because the Christian life is not easy.  There are many trials and hardships that accompany genuine faith.  Self-sacrifice and self-denial aren’t always popular, but they are necessary.  May we all choose to let go of our selfish pursuits.  May we loosen our grasp on the things of this world; and may we grab hold of and embrace the free gift of God.

                “Lord Heavenly Father, we come before You and we ask that You give us the strength to avoid selfish living; we long to serve others, and to sacrifice our lives to accomplish Your desires.  May we receive your kingdom with gladness, and may we let go of anything that is hindering us from completely submitting to Your perfect will.  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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