LUKE 9:26 on 9/26

tl-luke-9-26-on-9-26Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.  – Luke 9:26

If I had a nickel for every time I heard, “I believe in God, but I choose to keep my religion private and to myself”, I’d be so rich!  Yet – strangely enough, if I choose to share Christ with others, the target on my back gets shot at.  Oh, you haven’t noticed that target on my back?  Trust me – it’s there.

The most recent situation took place on facebook.  Most of my friends there are aware of my stance about faith.  I’m not ashamed to share it with anyone, and although I hope and pray it’s not annoying, I don’t apologize for my facebook posts or my blog posts.  I write Christian poetry – although I have written poems that are not particularly religious, I’m not going to apologize for writing what God has inspired me to write.

Apparently one of my friends didn’t get the memo.  This person ripped me a new halo about going overboard with my Christianity.  Well, long story short, it ended with unfriending and blocking.  Isn’t it sad when people can’t just let people post whatever they want on their own facebook wall?  Last time I checked, it was still a free country – so far.

It’s my belief that some encouragement is not a bad thing in our upside-down world.  Call me crazy, but a positive message of hope and love should be welcome on facebook.  Oh well…  I wonder who will be the next one to endure this person’s anti-religious rant?  I dunno – not my circus, not my monkeys.  That’s a Polish proverb – it means that it’s not my problem anymore.

I’ll just say it – nothing a human being says or does to me is going to change what I say or do.  When I’m being criticized, I know it’s really my Savior being criticized.  And by the way, this portion of Scripture has about 20 cross-references.  You know what that tells me?  It tells me that the Lord wants His children to share their faith along the way – it’s not to be held silently and hugged to yourself.  My favorite portion of Scripture on the subject is Romans 1:16.  Look it up – I’m too lazy to type it out.  😉

Oh alright – here’s a hint:  this happens to be my favorite song too.

I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 🙂

 

HEBREWS 10:16 ON 10/16

HEBREWS 10 16 & 17 ON 10 16

This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.  – Hebrews 10:16-17

Before Christ, our high priest, shed His precious blood for us, there were many animal sacrifices made under the old law.  And, it couldn’t be just any ol’ scraggly critter either.  The animal offered for sacrifice had to be spotless.  Under the old law, sacrifices often had to be repeated.  It was a necessity – done out of a sense of duty.

Once Christ shed His blood for the sins of the world, it was enough to procure for all nations and ages, spiritual pardon, or being freed from punishment in the afterlife.  Christians are encouraged to persevere in their faith through Christ Jesus.  Now we live not under the law, but under grace.  We serve Christ from a sense of love.

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That is the new covenant and no human inventions can be put in the place of the ultimate sacrifice of God’s Son, Jesus Christ.  No other sacrifice will ever be needed.  By faith we embrace this precious gift from God.  It’s the best gift He ever gave us – if we will seek Christ and accept His sacrifice, God promises (the covenant) He will not remember our sins (iniquities).  We can go through life clean, forgiven and free.

Have you heard the age-old definition of JUSTIFICATION?  I heard this from Billy Graham many years ago.  Justification is just as if you had never sinned.  Once you know your sins are forgiven – they are forgiven forever.

 

But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.   – Jeremiah 31:33

What a difference it is to be free from the law and live a life of freedom under the gospel!  We no longer have to take a goat to the temple and sacrifice it in order for our sins to be forgiven.  Then later, have to take another goat to the temple and sacrifice it to have our sins forgiven.  The law represents duty – but then Christ willingly gave His life at Calvary.

Grace isn’t a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal. It’s a way to live. – Jacqueline Winspear

Now we live under grace…  and I don’t know about you, but I am so thankful.  The grace of regeneration, which changes hearts and lives and gives us all we need for Christian service to others.  It’s not a cold law, rather a warm invitation wrapped in God’s love. 

 

 

 

LUKE 6:22 ON 6/22

TL LUKE 6 22 ON 6 22

Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.  – Luke 6:22

Does it bother you to be excluded from the “popular” group?  Do you think co-workers or others in your class hate you, or at the very least misunderstand you?  Well – me too, but I want to encourage you and let you know that God is blessing you while the world turns its back on you.

When we trust Christ and accept His gospel, it means there is an automatic target painted on our backs.  We have to  keep the eternal perspective in mind and remember that God’s blessings on our lives is forever and the acceptance or rejection of other people – well, it’s temporary and means little or nothing in the grand scheme of things.

Really – sometimes when we are excluded from some activities – it’s nothing that we need to be engaged in to begin with.  God really does protect His children from harm and keeps us safe.  We have to lean more on Christ when we are feeling especially left out.  By the same token, we need to pray that God will provide a safe haven with like-minded friends where we can feel accepted and loved.

Why is church so important?  It’s almost like a support group of sorts, where we are not seen as the world often sees us.  Finding a group of believers where you can feel comfortable and at ease to speak your thoughts and beliefs means so much to Christians.

While we are not to spend all of our time hidden inside the church building with like-minded brothers and sisters, it’s good to have a soft place to land after we’ve done our best to share the good news of Christ with a world that does not even almost understand what we’re talking about.

At times, we will be hated and rejected in this world simply for what we believe.  We profess, preach, teach and believe the full gospel of Christ from beginning to end.  Our Messiah came in the flesh and was the Son of God according to His divine nature, yet the son of man according to His human nature.

He walked the earth doing miracles – doing good.  He suffered, bled and died on a cruel cross as the Lamb of God – the only worthy sacrifice for the sins of every man on earth.  By the power of God He arose from the grave and sits at the right hand of the Heavenly Father.

When Jesus ascended into heaven, He left us a helper known as the Holy Spirit.  God’s Holy Spirit helps us navigate this life and do what God would have us do.

One day God the Father will instruct Jesus to come back to earth to take those who love and trust Him to heaven to live forevermore.

MEET GOD AT THE DOOR

God blesses His children – even when others make fun of us, reject us, and intentionally hurt us because of our faith.  It’s my prayer that you will notice less of the temporary hurt and look beyond to the eternal blessing from your Heavenly Father.  🙂

 

 

 

 

GENESIS 6:5 ON 6/5

GENESIS 6 5 ON 6 5

The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  – Genesis 6:5

Why would I choose such a negative Scripture?  Well, because the story doesn’t end there!  Did the Lord just throw up His hands and give up on us?  No – of course not!

Does this statement sound familiar?  “I’m a good person.  I don’t hurt people on purpose.  I don’t cheat on my mate and I pay my taxes.”  There are folks who think being good is good enough.  The truth is, every human is born with a sin nature that no amount of “goodness” within us can erase.  Every intention of the thoughts of our hearts are evil.  We have a root of evil that is bent to sin.

What is the solution to the problem of sinful nature?  When we celebrate Christmas – we celebrate the glorious arrival of the one and only perfect One – Christ Jesus!  God sent Him to live on our planet, serve His Father here – and eventually take the sins of the world – past, present, future – on Himself.  He willingly gave His life because He was the only one perfect and spotless Lamb of God worthy to erase our sins.

Once we trust Christ as our personal Savior (I didn’t say anything about religion) – it’s a relationship – at that time, we are free of guilt and shame.  I think I even lost some weight…  I can’t prove it, but I sure felt a lot lighter – 😉

SO…  even though God looks at every one of us and sees wickedness and evilness, once we are covered with the precious blood of Christ – when God looks at us, He sees His Son, Christ Jesus!

That is what I call HOPE TO COPE!!!  It’s good news for sure.  The gospel of Jesus Christ is great news for everyone.  God loves you…  pass it on!  🙂

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORYTraditionally, people had to enter the church building in order to hear God’s Word preached in 1865.  That changed one day when William Booth was invited to hold a series of evangelistic meetings in the East End of London.  It was a tent meeting in a Quaker graveyard.  The services were an instant success.

His popularity as a religious leader spread throughout London and he attracted followers who were dedicated to fight for the souls of men and women.

Drunkards, thieves and prostitutes were among the first converts to Christianity.  He preached the gospel message of hope and redemption, his goal of course was to lead people to Christ and get them involved in a church for further spiritual guidance so they could grow in their new faith.

In the spring of 1879, the newly named Salvation Army in London was very small and all the workers knew each other personally.  Eliza Shirley, a 16-year old, joined the Christian Mission and was appointed as an evangelist at one of the “stations.”  At first, her parents were skeptical.

Eliza’s father was an experienced silk weaver and sought employment in the United States.  He found work in Philadelphia and sent for his wife and daughter.  Eliza expressed her desire to begin a work in America after hearing from her father how ungodly Americans were.  She got permission from General Superintendent William Booth, and the rest, as they say, is history!

The Salvation Army came to the United States.  Eliza began the work with Booth’s blessing.  Captain Elijah Cadman, her superior officer, gave her 100 penny song books to take with her.  Little is Much when God is in it!

When they reached Philadelphia, Eliza’s mother shared her desire to begin Army work.  They walked and prayed for an affordable meeting place, settling on an abandoned chair factory.  The whole Shirley family worked together to get the place cleaned up and ready for the opening meeting.

They put up posters announcing “TWO HALLELUJAH FEMALES.”  They didn’t have any standard uniforms, drums, or any of the usual bling that attracted crowds, but people flocked out of sheer curiosity to their open air meetings.  I’m sure the words used on those posters brought out the curiosity in folks…  lol.

The police told them they couldn’t gather out on the street anymore, so they found a vacant lot several blocks away, but no one followed their march to the hall.

God has the most creative way of providing for His own.  A tar barrel fire was set by some boys on their lot.  When the Shirleys saw the lot filled with people watching the firemen, they went ahead with the meeting!  Reddy, the worst drunk in the area, walked over to the hall.  Others followed him over just to see what would happen to him.  Well, Reddy was converted and the news not only reached the local papers, but people were burning up the phone lines spreading the news up and down the coast!  For once the gossip was a good thing.

The Salvation Army was becoming a household name.  Shortly after the Reddy conversion, the Shirleys opened up another hall in West Philadelphia.  Eliza’s father was given a choice by his employer to keep his job or keep the Salvation Army.  He chose to keep the Salvation Army and lost his job.

When General Booth became aware of the situation, he promoted the Shirleys to captain and promised to send George Scott Railton to America to take charge.

Eliza’s father died in a fatal accident a short time later, but Eliza and her mother continued in the work.

Eliza married Captain Philip Symmonds.  They had four children and a good long life.

Philip and Eliza retired in Chicago.  Eliza became an ardent fan of the Chicago Cubs.

I love this part of the story…

As Eliza was on her deathbed, the Cubs were in the final games of the World Series.  She was drifting in and out of consciousness, alternately praying and asking how the Cubs were doing.

When word came that Eliza Symmonds had been promoted to glory, there was a moment of silence in the stadium in honor of this gallant lady.

https://youtu.be/3KnOfYVkCQk

Little is much when God is in it…  if you go in Jesus’ name.  🙂

BRING YOUR BIBLE TO SCHOOL DAY

TL 10-16 BRING YOUR BIBLE TO SCHOOL DAY

TAKE YOUR BIBLE TO SCHOOL

These days when kids take their Bible to school, it’s more than likely not the large family Bible with elaborate illustrations inside.  More than likely it is an app on their phone – and that’s okay!

Sit in any airport lounge and look around at the number of people who are hunched over, looking at a device.  The machines have already won – just in a way that the Terminator films didn’t imagine.  – James Cameron

When I was in school, mama kept our family Bible in the center of our coffee table. She wrote down the entire family tree, every important event (weddings, funerals, baptisms and every time I sneezed). As years went by and memories got fuzzy about details, we found ourselves opening the family Bible more and more to get accurate information. Now that my family has gone on to heaven, that Bible sets on my coffee table with my mama’s beautiful handwritten notes inside.

Well, times have changed. You know, it’s been a while since I was in school, but I remember when the Gideons came around to our classroom and gave each of us a pocket New Testament. So many things were just accepted back then as part of being in school. The Christian faith was respected and in many cases embraced in our little elementary school. We said a pledge to our country’s flag, then said a prayer in assembly every morning before going to our classroom. We learned from books instead of computers and thought just as much of art and music classes as we did of math and science classes.

My friend Karla was a Christian too. She was part of a congregation that did not believe in watching films of any kind – so she was given permission to go to the office or take her desk out in the hall when the rest of us watched educational films in the classroom. Some days I wished I could go with her instead of watching the film, to be honest.

I’m sure as technology  advanced it has left her congregation behind. I think about her often and wonder how she has faired in the world with just her faith and her sweet disposition to lean on. I wonder too if I’d be better off if I would lean more on my faith in God and less on technology. I don’t think complete ignorance is the answer, but I do think there is a simplicity in her world that is lacking in mine.

Today is BRING YOUR BIBLE TO SCHOOL DAY! Whether you come from a background that shuns technology or embraces it, you have the opportunity to carry God’s Word with you today. Our Bibles, whether electronic or an actual Book, are the road map we read as we travel through life. It’s where we gain wisdom and knowledge for the difficult days ahead. It’s not supposed to be a huge Book that sets on the coffee table and is only opened to find out what year something took place. It’s to be used and held close to you at all times. Don’t be ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, but carry God’s Word to school with you today. You don’t have to wave it around and act all goofy, but it shouldn’t be something to hide from everyone either. ❤

WORLD HUMANITARIAN DAY

TL 8-19 WORLD HUMANITARIAN DAYThe Bible teaches us that physical needs are to be met first, then people are open to dealing with spiritual needs.  That’s what witnessing is all about.  As we go we need to be armed with compassion, love and be quick to forgive.  Not everyone will be receptive to the gospel and they may lash out at us.  If we can have a good attitude and know we’ve met a need and shared God’s good news (planted a seed), it makes it easier to take rejection.  We did our best and that’s all God expects of us.

God led me to some wonderful words today:

The power of forgiveness transforms us from ‘victim to victor’ removing the power the hurt had over our life. Forgiveness allows us to no longer be defined by how we’ve been hurt. In the process of forgiving we find happiness, emotional and spiritual healing. – Barbara Dunn

This is the message being taught to this congregation in India by pastor David Brainard. He tells me that the need for Christ in India is great. The enthusiasm and hope he feels for the Indian people is contagious. I pray for pastor Brainard’s ministry every day and hope you will join me. They have planted seven churches in their region already and have plans to plant more churches.

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Pastor David

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8-19 WHEN GOD GIVES YOU WORDS

Pastor David would like to have friends on facebook to share his vision for the people of India. The need is not only financial, but he wants prayer support as well. He and his staff want to spread the gospel of Christ and forgiveness to all the people of India.

Once you catch a glimpse of the vision you can’t help but offer up prayers every day for this wonderful ministry. The need for Christ is world-wide, but there are still those in India who have never heard the name of Jesus, according to pastor David. In our western culture that’s difficult to fathom, isn’t it? We do know that Jesus will come back to take us home to heaven one day, but that can’t happen until everyone has heard the gospel of Christ.

God bless the ministry of pastor David and all who work with him. May they plant many more churches and spread the Good News of Christ even farther. Forgiveness is the cornerstone of our faith. Christ forgave our sins and we must in turn forgive each other. That’s the design God wanted for mankind. That’s the way it should be.

There are two immediate needs. The congregation is praying for a church van. They also need help to fund the congregation’s television ministry. Please prayerfully consider what part God may want you to play in this wonderful outreach to the people of India. Thank you.

If you would like more information, please email pastor David at:

Pastor David Brainard, mail id,
davidsudhakar_in@yahoo.com

I hope you will send a friend request to pastor David and learn more about the great things happening in India. God bless you! ❤