Archive for June, 2015

Become a Follower


            “As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Mathew sitting at the tax office.  And he said to him, “Follow Me.”  So he arose and followed Him” (Mark 9: 9.)


            The calling of Mathew is among the shortest conversion stories recorded in the bible.  As a tax collector, he was hated and despised by his own people.  Still Jesus saw something in him worth saving.  As the Lord passed by He uttered two simple words that would forever transform Mathew’s life; “Follow Me.”  His response was concise, immediate, and unwavering.  Mathew arose, abandoned his position, and began following Jesus Christ.  

            During the 1880’s, a famous baseball player named Billy Sunday had a similar experience.  One day, he and his teammates entered a saloon and began drinking.  Upon exiting, Billy spotted a group of Christians singing hymns and preaching about God’s salvation and forgiveness.  As the tears rolled down his face, he turned to his teammates and said, “Boys, I’m through!  Going to turn to Jesus Christ.  We’ve reached the parting of the ways.”  Some mocked him, while others encouraged him.  He promptly entered the Pacific Garden Mission and gave his life to the Lord.  Later he said, “I called upon God’s mercy.  I staggered out of my sins and into the outstretched arms of the Savior.  I became instantly a new creation in Him.  The next morning at practice, my manager, Mike Kelly, greeted me and said, ‘Billy, I read in the paper what occurred yesterday.  Religion isn’t my long suit, but I won’t knock you, and I’ll knock the daylights out of anyone who does.”  Billy Sunday would go on to become one of the greatest evangelists of the early 20th century.

            Like Mathew, and like Billy, God is still calling many to follow Him today.  Jesus Christ desires that all would come to know Him and submit to His discipleship.  Some respond to His call; still others do not.  How can you respond to God’s calling and receive salvation?  First, find a quiet place; reach out to God in prayer, and ask Him to enter your heart.  Turn away from your sins, and publicly profess a faith in Jesus Christ.  Get involved at a local church and be baptized.  Request an easy to read version of the bible (read it every day; beginning with the gospels.)  As you grow in the knowledge of God and submit to His commandments, you will experience a marvelous transformation. The old things will pass away; for behold, God makes “all things new.”

            “Lord Heavenly Father we thank You for calling us to be Your disciples.  May You continuously dwell within our hearts and minds.  Give us the strength to turn away from sin and death. May we receive the Holy Spirit and embrace the new life we have in You.  Teach us; guide us; be our king and our friend. 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.

Miracles Happen

JESUS SPEAKING               

                Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath.  And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up.  But when Jesus saw her, he called her to him and said to her, “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.”  And he laid his hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God (Luke 13: 10-13.)


                On a certain Sabbath day, Jesus was teaching in the synagogue; those who were listening would soon witness a wonderful act of divine charity.  In the midst of the crowd, there sat a deformed woman; who would unknowingly become the target of God’s mercy and grace.  For 18 years her twisted spine had condemned her to a life of humiliating hardship.  Jesus called her forward; and with one touch, she received her long awaited freedom; freedom from embarrassment and ridicule; freedom from shame; freedom from discomfort and pain.  Filled with gratitude, the once distorted woman honored and praised God for His compassionate work.  Miraculous healings such as this, serve two wonderful functions; they relieve suffering and inspire others to honor and glorify God.

                Approximately ten years ago, I was a resident in a mental institution; I was unable to work and incapable of completing even menial tasks; like laundry and cooking. I was filled with fear and couldn’t sit still for any extended period of time without suffering a fit of extreme anxiety. I was also surrounded by other disturbed individuals; one poor woman was actually undergoing electro-shock-therapy. In a place where pajamas and slippers were the daily norm, I was unaware that God would eventually call me forward. Sometime after being released, He laid his hand on me; healing my unhealthy mind. But he didn’t just heal me; He also transformed me in to a completely different person. Today, I’m married and own a home; I hold down a job and have wonderful friendships; I’m involved in a number of ministries. I give as much as I can and I serve others whenever possible; I truly love and empathize with those who are suffering. I am a responsible individual that can be relied upon. A man who was once dead, has been made alive again. I’m an example of God’s miraculous power. I have become whole, not because of anything I have done, but because of what God has done for me.

                Have you experienced a miracle?  Has God called you forward; has He done something amazing?  If so, then you are truly blessed; if not, He can and will heal you…if you let Him.  Have faith in the Lord and nothing will be impossible; trust in God and you will experience something miraculous. When you do, remember to give God the glory and honor He so greatly deserves; point at Him and proclaim, ‘My deliverer has arrived…and I have been set free; praise be to God.’

                “Lord Heavenly Father You are worthy to receive glory and honor and praise.  We thank You for all of the amazing things you’ve done in and through us.  We desire to see even greater miracles; increase our faith; and do the impossible. We’re excited to see You accomplish Your mighty works. 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.

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