Who you followin?

John the Baptist was a famous man in his days. Many people thought he was the Messiah. Others thought he might be a prophet. Others didn’t care, they just knew he was very spiritual and they looked up to him as a mentor. In fact, these men were called John’s “disciples.”

But let’s see what happened in those days…

First, we know that John NEVER claimed to be Jesus:

John testified about him [Jesus] when he shouted to the crowds, “This is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘Someone is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’” – John 1:15

He [John] came right out and said, “I am not the Messiah.” – John 1:20

But let’s look at what happened shortly thereafter…

35 The following day John was again standing with two of his disciples. 36 As Jesus walked by, John looked at him and declared, “Look! There is the Lamb of God!” 37 When John’s two disciples heard this, they followed Jesus. – John 1:35-37

Ok, so now what, you ask? Simply put, STOP “idolizing” that pastor or priest that you look up to becuase he is so “spiritual,” and start following Jesus. Following a person and being discipled by them is GREAT, but in the end, you need to be in a relationship with Jesus. God needs to be the one discipling you and teaching you. Religion won’t save you, that religious leader can’t save you, and be no means will a “feel good” preacher make you feel good in eternity.

Follow God in everything  you do. Open your eyes, your ears, and your heart to the only truth there is: Jesus

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. – John 14:6

In case there are any questions, the answer is simple: Jesus.  The ONLY way, the ONLY truth, the ONLY life, the only way to Heaven!

a plea for help

Are you struggling in life? Then maybe this prayer to the Lord in the form of a Psalm will help you also:

Psalm 17 – A prayer of David.

 1 O Lord, hear my plea for justice.
      Listen to my cry for help.
   Pay attention to my prayer,
      for it comes from honest lips.
 2 Declare me innocent,
      for you see those who do right. 
3 You have tested my thoughts and examined my heart in the night.
      You have scrutinized me and found nothing wrong.
      I am determined not to sin in what I say.
 4 I have followed your commands,
      which keep me from following cruel and evil people.
 5 My steps have stayed on your path;
      I have not wavered from following you.

 6 I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God.
      Bend down and listen as I pray.
 7 Show me your unfailing love in wonderful ways.
      By your mighty power you rescue
      those who seek refuge from their enemies.
 8 Guard me as you would guard your own eyes.
      Hide me in the shadow of your wings.
 9 Protect me from wicked people who attack me,
      from murderous enemies who surround me.
 10 They are without pity.
      Listen to their boasting!
 11 They track me down and surround me,
      watching for the chance to throw me to the ground.
 12 They are like hungry lions, eager to tear me apart—
      like young lions hiding in ambush.

 13 Arise, O Lord!
      Stand against them, and bring them to their knees!
      Rescue me from the wicked with your sword!
 14 By the power of your hand, O Lord,
      destroy those who look to this world for their reward.
   But satisfy the hunger of your treasured ones.
      May their children have plenty,
      leaving an inheritance for their descendants.
 15 Because I am righteous, I will see you.
      When I awake, I will see you face to face and be satisfied.


What if Jesus came to visit you?

If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into.

You may have heard that quote before. It’s from Matthew 24:43. And it applies to our lives in many different ways. In this context, it is telling us to prepare for the Lord’s return. In conjunction with that, I propose the following situation.

Let’s just assume that Jesus could just stop by and visit you  on any single day. He just casually walked up to your front door and rang the bell. Or He just happened to walk up the stairs of your house and knocked on your bedroom door. You respond by opening the door, and then what?

Would you have to say “Excuse me just a moment while I…”  

Would you have turn around and “clean up” some things? Are there items in your room/house that are inappropriate and need to be “hidden” so Jesus doesn’t see them? Would you have to log-off the internet because of the websites you were visiting were crude and explicit? Would you have to change your clothes because what you were wearing was too revealing or inappropriate?

If any of these items are true, then I remind you that Jesus IS watching. The Holy Spirit is around us ALL the time. God is everywhere and knows everything. It’s too late to clean-up once He knocks at the door. The time to clean things up is NOW.

God isn’t there just to impose or spy on you. Just the opposite, He is there because He loves you. He wants to bless you for what you are doing! Are you allowing Him to bless you by following His commands, or are you failing His commands and now need to pray for forgiveness?

Don’t wait another minute. Take time now to make things right. “Repent” as Jesus said; He is ready to forgive you . . . all you have to do is ask.

How many commandments?

John and Jane were not a very religious couple but tried their best; they only went to church once a year. As they were leaving the church, the minister said, “John, it sure would be nice to see you and Jane here more than once a year” “I know,” replied John, “But, we’re very busy people, leading active lives but at least we keep the Ten Commandments.”

“That’s great,” the minister said. “I’m glad to hear that you keep the Commandments.”

“Yes, we sure do” John said proudly, “Jane keeps six of them and I keep the other four”.

 

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

 

1. Do not worship other gods.
2. Do not worship idols.
3. Do not misuse God’s name.
4. Keep the Sabbath holy.
5. Honor your father & mother.
6. Do not murder.
7. Do not commit adultery.
8. Do not steal.
9. Do not lie.
10. Do not covet.

Which ones are you keeping?
 


You can’t handle the truth!

You’ve heard the famous quote from the movie “A Few Good Men” as the colonel was under oath in court:

                 Kaffee: I want the truth!
                 Col. Jessep: [shouts] You can’t handle the truth!

I have to wonder how true this quote is for a lot of people, in a lot of situations, and possibly even for YOU. Yet, this problem has been around for thousands of years!

31To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – John 8:31-32

You see, Jesus was telling the Good News to a group of Jews that had gathered around Him.

He continually sought out people for the purpose of bringing them to God and discipling them – the Great Commission in action. In this case, He was clarifying and teaching the law of Salvation.

 33They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”

 34Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.                – John 8:33-36

The people wanted to know the truth, and Jesus taught them the truth. It is through Him, THE “Son” – The Son of God, that you can be set free. But He also reminded them that sin has no place in the family. Thus, I want you today to do one of two things:

First, if you don’t know for 100% that you are going to Heaven, I pray today that you will ask Jesus into your life and allow Him to set you free. Click here for more information:
http://whativaluemost.org/Gospel_main.aspx

Secondly, if you do know Jesus and have already asked Him to be your Lord and Savior, then I challenge you to pray and ask God to forgive you of all your recent sins, and ask for help to refrain from sinning any more. We are all sinners, saved by grace through Jesus. But that doesn’t mean we should continue to sin. Everyday we should do our best to avoid sin. But we need God’s help to stay strong. Pray for spiritual strength today. 

Go ahead: you should fall into one of the categories above.  Now is the time to do one of those two things.  Do not read any further until you do one or the other above….

 

 

 

 

The truth…well, you can handle it if you’re willing to listen and obey. I ask of each of you though, did you do one of the above? Why not? I think today’s quote then, must apply: “You can’t handle the truth,” or you would have followed Christ’s teachings. The passages of Scripture clearly demand a response.  Read the remaining passages from John 8:45-47 …

45Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! 46…why don’t you believe me? 47He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”

I’m asking you again to please pray today; it changes everything!

The Biggest Loser

The word “loser” has had bad connotations for most of my life. However, now it has become famous with the latest TV show “The Biggest Loser.” Focused on how much weight a person can lose through exercise and diet, the Biggest Loser TV show has made many people famous as they lose 30, 40, and even over 50% of their body weight (up to 160 lbs or more!). The motivation that these people have had to lose that much weight in order to get healthy amazes me. They committed their lives to lose as much weight as possible.

There is a similar story about being a loser in the Bible. Jesus said:

Mark 8:35-36
35 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. 36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

While this doesn’t deal with losing weight, it does deal with similar struggles. First, you must have the motivation to lose something. Secondly, you must commit to losing it. In this case, Jesus is talking about giving one’s life up in order to save one’s soul.

What does that mean? It simply means: if you decide to live for yourself here on earth (as a lost person), then your eternal soul will be lost (you will not go to Heaven). However, if you lose your life (commit your life to Christ and His teachings) – you will save your eternal soul (and go to Heaven).

So, is your eternal life worth it? Or do you feel that your short life here on earth is really worth losing your soul? It’s a simple question that for all of us has eternal consequences.

I pray today that you will become the biggest loser of your earthly life, and save your eternal soul. Next time you talk with somebody about the TV reality show Biggest Loser (or about losing weight in general), you can now use that opportunity to share your faith and help save another soul through the Scripture quoted above!

a message from beyond the grave

We often hear stories from people concerning the paranormal. We hear of near-death experiences when people describe a room they visit, or a hallway they walk through that, when described, has attributes we may think of Heaven having: a bright light, a peace, a comfort that only comes from beyond this life.

How many of these are true stories?  That’s for you to decide. However, we do have one story from beyond the grave that we can trust: Jesus came back to visit many people following his gruesome crucifixion, burial, and resurrection. He didn’t come back to describe Heaven, or to tell us what to expect when we get there. He came back with a message. As he was visiting the disciples:

Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” – John 20:21

Why is this important? It’s not important because it’s a message from beyond the grave. But it IS important because of who it came from and what it means.

Jesus, THE SON OF GOD, commanded His followers to be like Him. Pure and simple, He showed us how to live, setting the perfect example, and then commanded us to follow in His footsteps.

During Jesus’ life on earth, His mission was to find the lost, tell them the gospel, and disciple them into followers of Christ. That too is OUR MISSION. It’s a message we cannot fail to accomplish. God didn’t put us here on earth just for our own Salvation, but to aid in bringing others to God. Pray to receive a spirit of obedience today, and follow in Jesus’ example of preaching the gospel to the ends of the earth!

Patience…

Wow, that little word puts a lot of people on edge. We ask for it (patience that is), but then we are impatient in waiting to receive our request. So what does patience have to do with Scripture? Let’s see how this passage about patience puts a twist into our thoughts:

Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you;
And therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you.
For the Lord is a God of justice; Blessed are all those who wait for Him.
– Isaiah 30:18

I ran across this verse this morning during my devotion and thought it was neat how the Lord is waiting, waiting for us. See, we always think that we are waiting on Him. We lift up our prayers and wait… and wait…   and wait….     But wait a minute…how long has the Lord been waiting on us? How long has He asked you for something and YOU haven’t answered?

Maybe the Lord has asked you to use your talents for the church. Maybe He’s called you to a ministry in missions or in evangelism. Maybe He’s called you like He called me and it took me over a year to respond to Him.

…don’t be like me, I once was blind, but now I see.
…Give into the Lord TODAY! Wait no longer, because
…He’s waiting for you and wants to bless you!

Is that you? Is the Lord calling on you, while you impatiently wait for Him to answer your prayers? He will patiently wait for you; Scripture reminds us that He will be gracious to us. However, why make Him wait any longer? Maybe if you answer Him today, then you will see the answer you’ve been waiting for!

I love what the preacher mentioned last night in church: when the Lord takes something from you, it’s only so He can give you something better! Give in to Him today, make Him wait no longer!

Answer Him and allow His blessings to surround you! Remember Scripture says “Blessed are those who wait for Him.”  Don’t be impatient with Him. He isn’t impatient with us. He has waited on some of us for a long time! Don’t make Him wait another minute! Stop what you are doing and pray NOW, answer His call, and allow Him to use you and watch the many blessings follow.

a song…

I love contemporary Christian songs (don’t get me wrong – Hymns are good too).
But one got in my head today as I read through the book of Psalms, as I was reminded how neat it is that a lot of the songs we sing are based directly from Scripture.

Psalm 121:1-2

I look up to the hills, but where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord, who made Heaven and earth

My help does come from the Lord. So many times during the month, year, decade, I get the feeling that I’m in control. Just about that time, God reminds me that I’m not in control, but He is in control.

My help comes ONLY from the Lord. What’s interesting in this Psalm is the ending:

Psalm 121:7-8

The Lord will protect you from all dangers; He will guard your life

The Lord will guard you as you come and go, both now and forever.

You see, He’s not going to let you down, not now, not then, not ever. But first, you do have to come to Him. You must give your heart to Him. Ask Jesus to be your savior today!

click here >>  http://whativaluemost.org/Gospel_main.aspx  << click here

Psalm 100

I simply wanted to remind everyone to thank God today:

Psalm 100 – A psalm for giving thanks.

 1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. 

2 Worship the LORD with gladness;
       come before him with joyful songs.

 3 Know that the LORD is God.
       It is he who made us, and we are his;
       we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
       and his courts with praise;
       give thanks to him and praise his name.

 5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
       his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Thank God…for EVERYTHING!