Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christ said, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life."

Those who would seek to bring Sonshine instead of religious accusation, weirdness, or condemnation into the lives of others, how can they really bar such light away from themselves? 

" Your light we see light." Ps. 36:9

"In Him was life, and the life was the light of men." Jn. 1:4
Check it out, believers. I just started a new Christian community page that you can join in Google+ if you want. It's basically for the purpose of edifying one another for His purpose. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Why reach out to lost people during the holidays, or on any other day?

Here’s why…

* People are hurting, broken, guilty, lonely, empty and afraid to die.

* People are living in the last days and need to decide. Just look around you to see what is happening and how things have accelerated. And no matter your eschatology one thing is for sure… you and I are living in our last days. Life here is so brief. It’s like a vapor (Ps. 39:11, 62:9, Jam. 4:14)—gone so quickly.  

* People cannot gain and enjoy righteous fellowship with God by money (the God who hates destructive sin can't be paid off), by good works, by suckin'-up or by any other efforts. 

Many people believe that they will have a chance to talk fast and get right with God postmortem (after they die and face the Judge), but it ain’t gunna happen. They Bible makes this clear—gotta make your reservations in advance through Jesus Christ. Remember Lazarus and the right man?  

* People cannot even reach out to God for forgiveness by their own efforts. We all need to respond as the Holy Spirit woos and draws us to Jesus.

* People have value - they matter. Christ reached out and He still deeply loves lost people, wanting each of them to repent, believe and be saved.

* People can have all their needs met by faith in God. True fulfillment, inner peace, eternal purpose, and real satisfaction can only come to a person once they have been forgiven by Jesus.

“When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. "Zacchaeus!" he said. “Quick, come down! For I must be a guest in your home today. Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy.” Luke 19:5-6

The Lord ain’t so much into where a person is coming from as in where that person is headed. He ain’t so much into how much sin a sinner has committed per se, but is very much concerned that all have sinned and all need to turn to Him away from it today. Of course Jesus will accept those who humble themselves in repentance and He will show them his unconditional love as they come to the cross willing to be changed.

* People have great potential - there's potential there for all who are made righteous, that they each will grow spiritually, become fruitful and will be used of God for world-changing exploits—yes, to accomplish great things for the glory of the Lord. Christ catches His fish so to speak and then He cleans them.

That which I used to loath (talk of truth and the things of God), I now love and that which is used to love (sinning) I now loath. Religious folk try to change sinners from the outside in (remember the Pharisees?), but Jesus can change any of us from the inside out.  

“Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, "I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have overcharged people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!" Luke 19:8

Witnessing to lost people domestically or overseas.. for the purpose of winning them to faith in Christ (..meaning to the Jesus in the Bible) is the heartbeat of God. It’s the mission of every believer. And newborn baby Christians are the lifeblood of the local church.

Some believers who say they aren’t called to evangelize or discipleship in Christ need to re-read their Bibles. Some with an honest heart might even say they don’t like evangelism, but what they don’t like is some off-base, strange, or religious “caricature of evangelism” that ain’t the soul-winning that Jesus did cuz all true believers really love evangelism the way Jesus won people.

I love how Zacchaeus humbly turned and received Christ. He repented. Repent means to be sorry for what you’ve done and then stop doing it. Too many people confuse feeling remorseful with this, but they are not repentant. I love how Christ dealt with Zac. 

And it all happened so simply rather than religiously. Zacchaeus repented, trusted Jesus and was transformed from greedy to generous, from selfish to selfless, from a person with a thieving heart to one with a heart of thanksgiving. God made him content and changed him from a person of full loneliness to one of true excitement and joy, from one of rejection to one of good acceptance in the Beloved.

“Jesus responded, ‘Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a son of Abraham. And I, the Son of Man, have come to seek and save those like him who are lost.’" Luke 19:9-10

That can happen for you today. It can happen right now! Do you need get right with God? Don’t put it off. Come to Christ just as you are.. before anyone or anything can distract you from this. Nothing, no nothing at all is more important!

I wish there was some wonderful place called the land of beginning again. Where all our mistakes and all our heartaches and all our sickening sin could be dropped on the floor like an old shabby coat and never be put on again. ~ Anon.

Simple talk to Him in your own words. Ask and allow God to forgive you and then make you loving like Christ—one who is strong spiritually and seeks to rescue the lost. He is completely sovereign not kinda sovereign, and He desires to use you in His exciting plan.  

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.'" John 14:6

"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12

You simply receive Jesus by humble turning and sincere invitation.

Jesus said (in Revelation 3:20), "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him."

It's about turning to God from a self directed lifestyle (repentance) and appropriating His forgiveness for your sins.  It involves trusting Him to transform you and then maturing you into what He wants you to be. Many intellectually acknowledge the facts of Christ's deity (Jesus being God), and about His crucifixion, bodily resurrection and ascension, but agreeing with the Bible alone is insufficient for obtaining salvation.  Having had emotional or supernatural experiences are also inadequate.  By an act of your will, you receive Jesus with His full-orbed redemption by faith and that solely is enough!

Kurt, what specifically are you asking me to do? This...
1. Recognize that you are a sinner (admit your need) 
2. Repent of your sin (be willing to turn) 
3. Realize that Jesus Christ died for you on the Cross and rose from the grave. 
4. Receive Jesus as Lord into your life to empower and control you by the Holy Spirit (through prayer). Stay with Him in fellowship with a Bible teaching church. 
5. Resolve to do it publicly. Everyone, who Jesus called, He called openly and publicly 
6. Respond to Christ now! Why NOW? Because God says now, Today is the day of salvation, now is the acceptable time. The Devil will say “tomorrow,” but Jesus says now.

Biblical “Salvation” begins with:
1. Repentance – a change of mind, we have a new mind about God.
2. Conversion – a change of life, we have a new life from God. 
3. Regeneration – a change of nature, we receive a new heart from God. 
4. Justification – a change of state, we have a new standing before God. 
5. Adoption – a change of family, we get a new relationship toward God. 
6. Sanctification – a change of service, we have a new condition with God.
"As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His Name." John 1:12

"For whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Romans 10:13   

Check it out in context. Prayerfully read: Luke 19:1-10

Friday, December 14, 2012

Tears. Prayers. The entire nation weeps.

Another senseless massacre. The gunman opens fire inside of Sandy Hook Elementary. Little kids saw things they never should have seen. Young parents and teachers too. So many executed for no reason.

How could this happen again?

So sad.. so shocking and tragic, a whole classroom dead...

..20 children among 28 dead. Particularly heinous! They were 'lil kids and it's only 11 nights from Christmas! How will their crushed families get through this season when all those gifts are left unopened under the trees?  

Pure evil, such needless pain - unimaginable!!!

And why do they keep putting the names of the killers on TV....when more will only lust after this sort of fame? They'll get pain and shame non-stop.

Comfort the crushed in spirit, the brokenhearted, the hurting and the wounded, Lord. Show us who we can help, as your body. "Now we exhort you, brethren… comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak.." Paul, (1 Thess. 5:14).

All the wrongs will be righted one day at the final Judgment. All the tears will be wiped away. The Lord is there and ready to bring His comfort to all those who are grieving now in Connecticut.

Man, so sad.. I just learned of that horrific shooting-slaughter at the elementary school in Connecticut with 28 dead, Including 20 little children. No words really. I don't think they've even discovered the motives of the shooter from couple days ago at that other shooting yet! Our prayers go out for those dear family members and the mega-shocked co-workers as they all are still trying sift through the details just to learn which loved ones have been lost.

I really don't get stuff like this.. stupid senseless killing. 

Our hearts are so heavy today, but together our hope is in our Savior, Jesus Christ.

P.  Lord, please be there to hold each of those in shock.. brokenhearted, hurting family members and friends in Christ's Name. Minister peace to their minds. They really need you bad. More grace Lord, pour out your Spirit and minister during this time. Amen.

"On the cross, we sufferers see that God now knows too what it is to lose a loved one in an unjust attack." ~ Tullian Tchividjian

Let’s pray and continue to pray for these parents. How will it be this week when they're seein' empty little shoes laying around the house that will never be worn again, or when there'll be empty chairs at the breakfast table?

This type of thing keeps happening and God just weeps with all those crushed inside. I'm lookin' at the words of Jeremiah the prophet that addressed another similar attack on children. "A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted, because they are no more." (2|18mat).

Our Lord is right there with those hurting family members, Immanuel (God with us – that was what the incarnation was all about). Cast all your cares on Him and He will sustain you, parents.

And I believe those little children are there with Him, never to be wronged or hurt again. I get those ideas from the Bible. And Jesus will bring His comfort to us as well as we put our trust in Him. 

Christ said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these" (19|14mat). And when Jesus voiced these words, He just wanted to love them, to hug them, to protect them, to help each child as best He could. He still does.

But these little kids were ruthlessly attacked today, cut down.. and this shooter will now face eternal consequences for the choices made. This wasn't at all God's fault. He didn't will this at all. He hates all destructive murdering and murderers like the one who killed my little sister years ago will be judged by Him.

And these children have now come to Jesus in different way their parents could have never foreseen and they are in heaven - it belongs to such as these. Makes me so want to be there to help somehow. You too I'm sure. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Freely you have received, freely give. This is a good season for that.

I'm not at all in an ideal spot to hunt–n–peck this out on a mobile device but who cares?

OK, God cares.

Why be "out on the take" as so many empty, lonely and fearful souls are doin' when instead you can, of Christ's fullness, go give His love away today?

Ever been around dry sponge kinda people, only talking about themselves non–stop? So graspy, distracted and uber–needy cuz their focus has been all wrong for quite awhile? Hey, it can happen to any of us..... especially this time of year.

Man, we need to pray at home and on the go, to have pity, to have some compassion and also get real with them in hopes of them stopping to refocus on the Lord and His will for their lives.

We don't need to use too many words with em (they might already be hurtin'..), but we do need to use some. True words. Isn't that what you would want? Sure.

You know this. God cares no matter the condition we're in, and so can we care.. in His Son.

We love Him.. and others because He first loved us.

"Our capacity to love others is grounded in God’s love. Any ability of ours to consistently show selfless love for others is primarily a reflection of His love. Any love that comes from us is simply sharing with others what has been lavished on us by Him." ~ Ed Rea

If I'm taking time away from it all to get with God to listen and simply receive from His Word, then I will indeed have.. to give away in His Name. This time of year is about being a blessing to others right?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Ever been backslid, no-slid, side-slid, or front-slid?

Not sure if I've ever been side-slid or front-slid per se. I guess I've done this while snow-skiing and surfing before, but I've never done this spiritually. Not fun or good. Going forwards for me never seemed to be about sliding too much. It seemed much more intentional than that. It had to do with discipline in regards to God's gentle lead. God has a part and I have a part and I respond and obey Him.    

I remember how the Apostle Peter backslid right before Christ's crucifixion ..yeah, after he said that he never would ditch Christ. I think that anytime any of us believers sin, it's showing that we can be hypocritical to some degree. Christ has never been that way and won't be. It was a very sad time for Peter when he denied Christ three times. He trusted himself too much before and while he was warming himself at the fires of the world. Yup, Peter had followed at a distance. Are you currently doing that? 

Believer, the moment that we quit moving forward spiritually is the moment that we begin to go backwards. Don't do it

Backsliding can be a process that deals with neglect in prayer, pride, compromise or perhaps self-confidence. Did you know that prayerlessness is a sin.

I know for me prayerfully living in the pages of the read and try to do what it says in a non-religious kinda Way..really helps me hate sin and love God more.   

When you spend too much time hanging out with the wrong crowd doing the wrong things, they can pull you down. Be a witness for sure. Represent Christ in public with His love, but don't let them pull you down spiritually. Bad company corrupts good morals. This is the most basic stuff, but I love to be reminded of it.  

Why do people fall away from a close relationship with Christ? Is there a way back into right standing with Him if you have done that? Sure and just like when you met Jesus, it starts with repentance and faith.

When you blow it, get back up again. Get up more time than you fall down, and learn how not to stumble again – Christ will teach you.

Feel like bailing out at times, hiding away from the shame and all? I've been there. We all sin though we try hard to avoid it, but we can have a new start and learn from it all. We can receive power from the Holy Spirit to overcome sin, Satan and our fleshly nature that tells us to do what it tells us to do. Hey, need some fresh hope today? I love what the psalmist wrote, "You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in Your Word" (Psalm 119:114).

The Lord was so gracious to restore and strengthen Pete and that's what I want Hm to do for you as well. I want to encourage you in the basics today. Please start with prayer, and then read for a bit in the Bible, and then seek out fellowship with growing Christians who are spiritual rather than carnal or worldly. And then… when you are on-fire and solid in your walk with Christ again..guess what. You will naturally desire to help others who are hurting, depressed, disappointed, and who have backslid or who have never even met the Word of God.

"Christianity is Christ plus nothing!" ~ Leonard Ravenhill

"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." 2|9eph.

P.S. Have you never backslidden before because you've never front-slidden? Have you ever repented (I mean hung a 160 degree turn away from all sin to God..), or trusted Christ by faith in a personal way? God wants you to Believe in His Son, Jesus Christ. So talk it through with Him  today asking for free forgiveness and to be born again spiritually (according to John 3 in the Bible). This is rad-important for you. Nothing is more important.