Archive for February, 2022

Seeking the Lost

JESUS SPEAKING

“Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!’ Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15: 8 – 10)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

Like this woman’s missing coin, the world is full of lost human beings; individuals who possess no knowledge of their creator. They have wandered off, stumbling about in darkness as they journey toward eternal condemnation. Yet Jesus came to seek and to save those who are perishing. Every believer who shares God’s loving heart will continue Christ’s evangelical work upon this Earth. As disciples, we are commanded to reach out to the lost; that others might hear the gospel of forgiveness and be reconciled to the Lord.

Many years ago, a dynamic missionary leader in India named Robert Wilder was dining with three naval officers. During the course of their conversation one of the officers remarked, “Why don’t these missionaries stay home and mind their own business?” Dr. Wilder replied, “Suppose you were ordered to take your battleship to Constantinople tomorrow, would you choose whether to obey or not?” The officer responded, “If we are ordered to go, we must go, even if every ship is sunk and every sailor killed.” “Quite right,” replied the missionary. “I have orders from the divine government: ‘Go and preach the gospel to every creature.'”

Like Robert Wilder, we too have been commanded to spread the gospel message. To seek out and to save the lost. This is what brings our God pleasure; this is what causes Him to rejoice. We can accomplish this evangelistic endeavor by witnessing to others, sharing our testimony, handing out bible tracts, and posting messages to our social media accounts, etc. We must be bold, we must be zealous, and we must always preach the truth, no matter the consequence.

“Lord Heavenly Father, You are worthy of all honor and praise. May we continue your work upon this Earth; reaching out to those who have wandered away. Remove our fears, that we might communicate Your message with boldness. Use us as instruments of Your love, and may our efforts be fruitful. 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!

Jesus is the Only Way

JESUS SPEAKING

  Therefore Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep.  All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.  I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.  He will come in and go out, and find pasture.  The thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy; I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10: 7-10.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

  Shepherding was a very common first century profession.  A shepherd’s duties included feeding and watering his livestock, fending off hungry predators, and keeping them free from dangerous parasites. Over time a bond would form between the shepherd and his sheep.  Often, after many days and nights of grazing in the open fields, the shepherd would need some time to rest.  Upon returning home, he would place his flock into a pen where they would remain unharmed.  Jesus is the ‘Good Shepherd.’  He came to gather His sheep together and lead them to safety.  In this parable, the sheep pen represents heaven; Jesus is the gate; a single opening through which one can enter.  Only those who have faith in and follow Jesus Christ are granted access to God’s eternal kingdom.

  Today, flying is a very common mode of transportation.  In recent years however, terrorists have used airplanes to commit terrible acts of violence against many innocent people.  In an effort to prevent these attacks from occurring, airport security has become quite serious.  There is now only one way in and one way out of an airport.  Those seeking to enter through the security checkpoints must possess the proper identification.  No license or alternative form of identification means no entry.  This rule is without exception; a nice smile, a kind face, and an appealing excuse are of no benefit whatsoever.  In many respects, God’s kingdom is identical.  Simply put, there is one way to enter; and only those who have faith in the Messiah are granted access.

  Jesus Christ is the ‘Good Shepherd.’  He came to lead his sheep into everlasting life.  Many have heard His words and received Him.  Still others have rejected Him entirely.  Despite their many differences, the faithful and the unfaithful have one thing in common; they will both eventually stand before the Lord; and only those who have called Jesus master and followed His teachings will be able to enter God’s eternal Kingdom. 

  “Lord Heavenly Father, may we enter Your everlasting Kingdom.  We have come to trust in You; please lead us, teach us, and provide for all of our needs.  May we be Your sheep and may You be our Shepherd; may we know Your voice and never be deceived.  Protect us from those who would seek to do us harm and inspire us to reach out to those who are lost.  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! 

Temptation

JESUS SPEAKING

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6: 19 – 21)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

     Jesus urges every follower to remain focused on the virtues that are eternal, rather than indulging in the momentary enjoyment of some passing pleasure. We are told in 1 Peter 5: 8, to “Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”  One of Satan’s most efficient tactics is to create blindness. He elevates the allure of a present desire, while simultaneously concealing the long-term, or eternal consequences that will eventually arise as a result of engaging in some sinful activity.

Adultery is one of the most serious sins an individual can commit. Infidelity destroys families and devestates entire households. We read in proverbs 9: 13 – 18, “A foolish woman is clamorous; she is simple, and knows nothing. For she sits at the door of her house, on a seat by the highest places of the city, to call to those who pass by, who go straight on their way: ‘Whoever is simple, let him turn in here’; and as for him who lacks understanding, she says to him, “stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.’ But he does not know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of hell.” This woman’s plan was to corrupt those who were innocent; to blind human beings by emphasizing the enjoyment of immediate gratification; adultery may appeal to the flesh but it is destructive to the Spirit. Those who are deceived will act without contemplating their future torment. They can’t comprehend the ugliness of an eventual divorce; they can’t envision the trauma their children will endure, or the loneliness of partial custody. Like brute beasts they can see only what is right in front of their face, and no more.

As long as mankind walks upon this Earth, Satan will continue his campaign of temptation; presenting us with momentary pleasures devoid of eventual consequence. How then can we resist the trickery he employs to corrupt and defile those who love Jesus Christ? Simply put, we must emphasize and remain focused upon eternal virtues; things such as fidelity, selflessness, honesty, respect, charity, and kindness. The light of God’s eternal kingdom illuminates the devil’s lies and creates a genuine vision of those things which the Lord values.

“Dear Heavenly Father, may we avoid distraction and remain focused on our eternal destination with You in Your Kingdom. Protect us from sinful temptations that could arise and cause us to suffer. May we see the end from the beginning. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit Lord, that we might preach the gospel with boldness. 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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