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Posts Tagged ‘Christ’

It’s heartbreaking to me seeing all the posts and listening to people talk about how they’d die for their faith in Christ, yet…. they choose sin over Jesus every day in the way they talk, treat people, what they watch on tv, read in books, post on Facebook, the jokes they enjoy, and the way they spend their time (“I’m too busy to read my Bible or pray or spread the Gospel… that Candy Crush Saga is so time consuming ya know!”).

As John McArthur wrote – “True repentance and faith in Christ denies the usual depraved longings of the human will.”
Or go straight to our Savior, Jesus Christ Himself, and see what He has to say…

“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth; I did not come to bring peace but a sword.  For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.  He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.  And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.  He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.”  Jesus in Matthew 10:34-39 NASB

Folks… He is pretty clear on what He expects of us.  Don’t allow yourself to be fooled by false teachers and there are plenty of them out there!  Nothing is more important.  Nothing.

I share this because there was a time when I thought (was just positive) that I was in the “good” with Jesus, but I wasn’t taking up a stick for Him, never mind a cross.  I was living in sin, doing what I pleased while saying I loved Him.  I was lying to myself and Satan was loving it.  It’s Satan’s goal to keep us deceived.  Some of Satan’s greatest weapons are preachers and people that sit in churches each week thinking they’re okay and leaving the impression with others that they’re okay.  The Bible clearly states to KNOW FOR YOURSELF. Once you’ve heard the gospel message, you will be held accountable.

Please.  Get this right.

We never know what tomorrow will bring, or if we’ll get another chance.   Don’t break His heart by not taking His gift and living for Him.

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In Acts 9:22 we’re told – “Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah.” 

So, how exactly did Saul (Paul) go about “proving” that Jesus is the Messiah?   Ever wonder about that?   I did and what I discovered was that it wasn’t proven by him simply because he was highly educated, brilliant scholar, though indeed he was.  No, it was more than that.

His relationship with Jesus changed who he was completely and people could see this.  They could clearly see the evidence that Jesus was indeed the Messiah because Saul’s life changed and he backed up everything he said with how he lived.  This is something that should happen to all Christians.

Following Christ makes you totally different in ways you can’t begin to imagine until you’re living it.  The people around you should be taking notice.  Often times, it’s not something they really like either.  Being a true follower of Jesus isn’t always popular with friends and family, but it will bring you to a new place unlike any other.  It’s amazing.

How has being a Christ Follower changed your life?

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What is your definition of a Christian?    I’m surprised by the various meanings people attach to that one word.  Some people think of a Christian as someone who attends church each Sunday, others think of it as someone whose parents were church goers and therefore they attended church their entire lives, maybe even being baptized as a young child and now going is simply part of what they do; a habit.  Others still, consider a Christian as someone who has prayed the “prayer of salvation” at some point in their life.  But what truly defines a “Christian”?

Wikipedia shares information on the etymology and states that:   The Greek word Χριστιανός (Christianos)—meaning “follower of Christ”—comes from Χριστός (Christos)—meaning “anointed one”[5]—with an adjectival ending borrowed from Latin to denote adhering to, or even belonging to, as in slave ownership.[6] In the Greek Septuagint, christos was used to translate the Hebrew מָשִׁיחַ (Mašíaḥ,messiah), meaning “[one who is] anointed.”[7] In other European languages, equivalent words to ‘Christian’ are likewise derived from the Greek, such as ‘Chrétien’ in French and ‘Cristiano’ in Spanish.  (Borrowed from Wikipedia.org)

A Christian is a follower of Christ.  What does that mean though?  What does it look like to “follow Christ”?

Jesus Himself tells us in Matthew 7:21-24 –  “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’   Then I will tell them plainly, ‘ I never knew you. Away from me you evildoers!’  “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  

Mark 8:34-38  says – “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.  For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.  What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?

In 1 John 2:3-6  We’re told – We know that we have come to know Him if we keep His commands.  Whoever says, ” I know Him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person.  But if anyone obeys His Word, love for God is truly made complete in them.  This is how we know we are in Him: Whoever claims to live in Him must live as Jesus did.  

And in 1 Peter 2:21 it says – To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

There are plenty more Scriptures to show us how as a Christian we are called to become more like Jesus Christ and follow in His example each day of our lives.  Not in any effort to “work for our salvation”, because we already know we can’t “earn” that.  Instead it’s to show the world that we ARE indeed followers of Him that first loved us and died in order to pay our own debt for our sins.

James 2:14 – 19 shows us the importance of our actions in day to day life –  What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds?  Can such faith save them?  Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food.  If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep arm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?  In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.  But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”  Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.  You believe that there is one God.  Good!  Even the demons believe that – and shudder.  

Let’s make it our life’s mission to be sure and follow Christ every single day, giving Him our very best in all that we do, and show the world what Christians really are!

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Happy Easter 2013!

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Whenever I run across a book that really speaks to me, I like to share it with others.  Living the Life God Has Planned – A Guide to Knowing God’s Will by Bill Thrasher and Joseph M. Stowell III is one of those books.

I actually got it for only $0.99 on my Kindle Fire recently and I would have to say that it’s been the best $0.99 I’ve spent in a long time!  It would’ve been well worth the regular Kindle price of $7.19!

The reviews on Amazon.com will tell you all about it and how valuable it could be to add to your Kindle, hardback, or paperback library.

Here are a few of those reviews:

More Christians struggle with the will of God than any other spiritual concern.  Bill Thrasher provides an excellent guide to discernment in decision making for daily living.  Comprehensive, realistic and biblical.  You can’t afford to miss this one!
-Howard G. Hendricks, Distinguished Professor, Chairman, Center for Christian Leadership, Dallas Theological Seminary

Another book on living in the will of God?  Yes, but this one is different, for its focus is on the Person of God as the center of our lives and the answer to all our questions and needs.  Good theology.  Good exposition.  Good Illustrations.
-Charles C. Ryrie, Author and Scholar

Books about the will of God abound, but this one is especially helpful.  It teaches you that knowing the character of God is the basis for understanding and enjoying the will of God.  No clever formulas or simplistic procedures in these pages–just solid practical truth from Scripture, truth that transforms life.
-Warren W. Wiersbe, Author and Conference Speaker

Not only have I been reading, enjoying, and learning so very much, but also we’re using this for our family Bible study.  My husband and I take turns reading from it aloud with the three of our children still at home.  Whenever there’s a Scripture verse given, we all use our own Bibles and look the verse(s) up and the kids will take turns reading those.  We also stop to explain and discuss what we’re reading and learning.  It’s a great book to do this family style of study with and no matter what the age, God’s Word is getting in.

I really love it and am so thankful to the Lord for bringing this one to my attention.  I had been praying about wanting to know more about God’s will for my own life when I ran across this gem.

If any of you decide to give it a try, I’d love to get your comments on it!  🙂

Keep on gently speaking!

** I was in no way paid, or even given a book for this “review” – I just really love it that much and wanted to share it with others.

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Personal Disciple-Making Plan.

Can’t say enough good things about what David Platt and Francis Chan are doing in the area of encouraging people to get out there and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with everyone possible.

I fully believe we need to get serious about sharing the truth and the love of Christ.  I hope you enjoy this blog post I’m sharing that can help you in this area of life that is soooooo very important.

Keep speaking…gently.

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Coming in March: An online study based on The History Channel’s miniseries, “The Bible”.

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I can’t begin to tell you all how very much I liked this post. It’s come at a perfect time in my life for reasons I won’t get all into right now. Suffice it to say that I have a hole to go dig.
If this post speaks to you in some way, please share it in the comments section. I’d love to hear about the necessary holes in your life and how the Lord blesses you with a brand new shovel.

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The following is a post from a friend of mine on Facebook (Pastor Ken Smith). To me, it’s about God’s incredible power and how He knows exactly how the story needs to go, if only we’ll follow Him.

In Kroger I was meandering around the bakery working my way to the back of the store. Heard whistling an old song I haven’t heard in years coming from the aisle over… Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! O what a foretaste of glory divine! I then started to sing.. not stupid loud but in a normal tone.. Heir of salvation, purchase of God, born of his Spirit, washed in his blood. This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long; This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long.

Then an old black man walks around the corner and he stops whistling and we just sing…

Perfect submission, perfect delight,
visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
angels descending bring from above
echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

THIS IS MY STORY!!!! …..

Perfect submission, all is at rest;
I in my Savior am happy and blest,
watching and waiting, looking above,
filled with his goodness, lost in his love.

THIS IS MY STORY!!!! THIS IS MY SONG! PRAISING MY SAVIOR ALL THE DAY LONG!

By the end we had most the folks in Kroger over by the bakery and deli. When done I simply told them… If you don’t know God, seek Him. He will let you find him. I hugged the old black man who had tears running down his face. Come to find out… he just buried his mamma who was 97 a few days ago. She had them sing that song at her funeral and it was stuck in his head. He used to be all about God but life, business success, well known,… all that sort of got in the way and God was now far away from his life. A while later, standing in the produce section… that old man found that blessed assurance now Jesus is his.

Look y’all… there is no recipe for witnessing to another about our Savior. Many times you just go where it goes. An old man whistling… a song being sung… even though it an odd place for that to happen… the kingdom grows by one. You don’t have to be fearless… it can be a scary thing. You just have to be willing to overcome the fear and open your mouth at any time. God still does strange things in very strange ways. I really didn’t even want anything in Kroger… just went in looking. Wasn’t a revelation… no voice of God saying go into Kroger… to be honest I wasn’t even particularly looking for the opportunity. He knew though… He knew.

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If you’ve read very much of my blog then you know already how near and dear to my heart Make Way Partners is.  They work so very hard to help the widows and orphans in the world and they could use your help too.  Visit the link below and find out some of what they’ve done already and find out how you can be involved in helping to share Christ’s love.

http://www.makewaypartners.org/documents/MWPYearEndNewsletter2012forweb.pdf

Also, please visit the link below to change dot org and sign the petition to request that

UNSC, AU and US: Provide Civilian Protection in Sudan.

http://www.change.org/petitions/unsc-au-and-us-provide-civilian-protection-in-sudan-2?utm_campaign=action_box&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=share_petition

It’s amazing to read all that they have accomplished and I know you wouldn’t want to miss out on doing what you can to help them accomplish even greater things in the future!

Make Way Partners Mission Statement:

Make Way Partners is a Christian mission agency committed to prevent and combat human trafficking and all forms of modern-day slavery by educating and mobilizing the Body of Christ.

 “…he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners.” Luke 4:18

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