Let Us Be Clear

www.bible.com/72/2pe.3.9.hcsb

We are waiting. We are waiting for the Lord to fulfill His promises to us to come back and redeem His people and take them with Him to Heaven. Christians have been waiting 2000 years. In fact will be 2000 years in 2030 since Jesus rose and ascended in AD 30, or later depending on how you figure it.

So there are voices that declare that Jesus’ return has been predicted pretty consistently and no one has got it right yet. Others, like the Preterists, say Jesus fulfilled His promises in AD 70, but many of them can’t agree on that either. So what are we waiting for? Funny thing no one ever mentions is that Jesus also comes for each of us at a time of His choosing, the day that no one of us expects, the day we die.

In John 14 Jesus says He is going away to prepare a place for us, but that He will come back (personally) to receive us when we die. Whether Jesus came in AD 70 or will in AD 2070, He comes back for each of us, so that no one loses out on His coming.

So the delay above has just as much to do with the apparent delay of Jesus’ Coming as it does the day of our death. Why does God allow bad things to happen? Because in His love, He gives time for repentance. He give time for the gospel message to work in the heart and for change to occur.

Just a few days ago, I talked with a woman whose husband lay dying. He had not until that moment put his faith in Jesus, and asked me to pray with her that he husband would now, at death’s door, finally give His life to Jesus. That was a difficult prayer. Because I knew that this man had countless opportunities to believe in Jesus, and that God had delayed until this very day to give him a chance for grace. The man died that day. He never woke up. Jesus came. Was he ready?

I write this so that you don’t have to be that guy. Don’t be the guy that stands at the threshold of glory, and is allowed to see all the wonder of Heaven, but never allowed in, because in a lifetime of opportunity, you never said “yes!” Jesus will come back, and for most, it is sooner than they think.

God bless you today. Don’t delay.

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Where’s Jesus?

www.bible.com/72/col.3.1.hcsb

Love this verse today! What a refreshing peace it brings. Why? Because it answers the question, where’s Jesus?

Two men come up to the door. They knock. The door opens. The question: Have you found Jesus yet? The answer: I didn’t know He was lost. Modern evangelism often acts like a great game of where’s Waldo. The object of the game is to find Jesus and then surrender to Him like He’s the one that found you. It’s a little confusing. Have you found Jesus yet? Has Jesus found you?

So when I read this verse, I find out where Jesus has been hiding. And no wonder so many haven’t found Him. He’s hiding in a place we can’t go on our own. That’s not fair. He is seated at the right hand of God! We can’t find Him if He doesn’t play fair. But then He doesn’t play fair, does He? “He doesn’t punish us as our sins deserve.” He gives us grace and more grace, undeserved favor where we have not earned it.

That also means that if we seek Him, He tells us where He is. He calls us to direct our attention to heaven. He tells us to direct our prayers and worship to heaven, to the throne of grace. Jesus doesn’t hide from us so that we have to labor to find Him. He tells us exactly where He is. It’s not, “Have you found Jesus yet?” but “Since you know where He is, what will you do with Him?”

God bless you today!

In Christ

www.bible.com/72/jhn.15.4.hcsb

This enigmatic statement had gotten a lot of attention in scholarly circles, or more precisely, by those trying to closely define the meaning of these two simple words. Yet the more we understand about Christ, the more mysterious this phrase becomes.

Christ is God. In fact, Christ is the second person of God (and that offers us a great deal to ponder by itself). Christ’s particular role is to redeem humanity from sin by suffering the wrath of God in our place so that we could receive His righteousness, and so be covered by His blood. Because Christ has become our Savior (yes, become, because there was a time that He was not, a monkey wrench in the immutability of God), He is also Lord and Mediator between God and saved humans. As you can see, just to talk about who Jesus is can become complicated quickly.

So then to be “in Christ” to remain in Him as He remains in us, and to make this a quality of our relationship with Him as a believer requires from us some careful meditation. For this is a prerequisite of fruit-bearing. So let me simplify this a little bit.

To be in Christ is to spend time following, imitating, studying His words and work, meditating on His promises, and even experiencing His presence, since He is the Living Christ. He is a Living presence, and as Christians, we are told to be present in Him. So that means we ought to spend some time in prayer, just talking and listening, even in silence, just being in His presence. Sounds a little mystical, I know, and I am not comfortable with mystical. But the pause to the outside world and the quiet time spent just spending time in Him, in His word, in prayer with Him can be what He’s calling us to here. I encourage you to spend that time just being with Jesus. Let Him abide in you, as you abide with Him.

God bless you today!

Loud Noises, No Meaning

www.bible.com/72/1co.13.1.hcsb

I’ve heard the phrase “Turn up the signal, drown out the noise” which seem cryptic on the surface, but as I’ve come to understand it, means that we focus on the meaningful communication and tune out the meaningless noise. We live in a world with a lot of noise. Everywhere we go thee is music, chatter, the noise of machines and the business of life. But none of that matters when what you want to hear are the sounds of your children, or your wife’s voice saying “I love you”. More than this, all of life’s noise drowns our the small still voice of our Heavenly Father. You can hear his voice if you listen closely. You open up His Book and His voice is right there.

Pail here is talking about love and its importance to the life of a believer. Without love, life is just noise. Love makes it meaningful. Love makes the message matter. So something we need to work on today is our love. Do we have it and is it meaningful? I suggest you do a love inventory. What and who do you love? Do you love to receive or do you love that you may give love. Love is powerful , and without it, life is useless noise. Don’t let your life be useless.

God bless!

Light It Up

www.bible.com/72/mat.5.14-16.hcsb

Being light all the time is tough. As this verse relates, being light invokes a few images. First the light of the world, much as sunlight is to the earth. We are responsible for bringing light to the whole world, to illuminate everywhere, not just in the places of our choosing.

We are the city on the hill, which can be seen for miles around. We are obvious by our activity in the day and by our lighted buildings by night. We ought to be obvious and difficult to be missed to the casual observer in our good works.

We are the lamp that shines in dark room (note how the images become more intimate) providing light to all who in the house. We are to be light to our own families, to all who live in our own house.

Lastly all of this light is in truth good works. If we are light, then we are doing good in our world. It’s isn’t enough to tell people about the light, but we must show them how to be light to others. Please don’t miss this. Christianity was never about your relationship with God alone. It always involves others. You cannot be a Christian and ignore your brothers in the faith. You cannot say “I love Jesus” and ignore the helpless, or hate the hurting.

I encourage you today to shine your light before men, showing them the goodness of God that we might save some. God bless you today!

Working Out

www.bible.com/72/php.2.12.hcsb

As many of us have undertaken a Nee Year’s resolution or two to do some self-improvement, may I remind you not to neglect this one.

While we are saved through the blood of Jesus, and enjoy His grace and mercy through His love, there is also a need to work out our salvation, making the effects of our salvation sure, by practicing our faith, our love for one another, and participating in the body of believers.

Don’t neglect this part of your salvation, the part that reaches out to others. God bless you today!

The Song Goes On

www.bible.com/72/col.3.16.hcsb

Ever had a song stuck in your head that just won’t go away? Yeah, me too. Those songs have catchy tunes and easy to remember lyrics. Well, guess what God has planned for us to do with the word of truth? Put it to music of course. Words and tunes come together to make it easier to remember (the alphabet song, anyone?) and be able to remember it much later. My wife tells me she could have a masters in late 80’s song lyrics. That’s how our memories work. So God has already put into place the directive to put these truths to music so that in times it struggle, we could remember.

Remember that while you worship this morning. God bless!