Archive for March, 2015
“So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.” (2 Peter 3:14)
Through Jesus Christ, we can be spotless before God. We can stand confidently before him, knowing that our sins have been forgiven, that we are blameless. We can enjoy peace knowing that God welcomes us as brothers and sisters of his son Jesus.
Make every effort to be in a relationship with God through Jesus. Put your faith in him, turn away from your sin, and be born again in the waters of baptism. Then you will be able to stand before God spotless, blameless, and at peace.
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)
That is still the message Christians must proclaim today. Jesus came into this world to take away our sin. Share that good news today.
It was a hot day in the Uruguayan countryside. Gerhald Acosta wasn’t allowed to enter the factory that day because his I.D. card had expired. Now he was hitchhiking home, watching car after car pass by him without stopping.
Finally an SUV stopped, together with a car that was traveling behind it. A man from the second car asked where Acosta was going, told him they could take him part of the way, and invited him to get into the SUV. When Acosta got into the truck, he discovered that his benefactors were none other than Uruguayan president Jose Mujica and his wife Lucia!
Acosta says they only took him a short distance, as far as the next town, but that the famous couple was extremely friendly. Had Acosta not taken pictures during the ride, no one would have believed his tale.
We don’t often think of powerful people serving others; we expect them to want to be served. That’s how it was in Jesus’ day as well. That’s why he was such a surprising figure.
Rather than coming into this world in the nursery of a palace, Jesus was born in the stable of an inn. He had no castle to live in; he once said he didn’t even have a place to lay his head. Instead of receiving manicures and visiting spas, Jesus took up a towel and washed the feet of his disciples. Where others would ride in chariots or mount chargers, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey’s foal.
He told his followers: “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)
When the Creator of everything came to this world, he came as a servant. And he came to die on a cross so that we could have life.
It’s great to be given a ride by a president. It’s much, much greater to be given life by the King, Jesus Christ.
Are you trying to learn from wise people or from fools? Are you surrounding yourselves with good influences or bad? Are you doing what it takes to grow wiser or are you frittering your life away?
You need a community of believers to help you walk with God. Get involved in your local church.
This was the reaction of religious people to Stephen when he preached the truth about Jesus. Speaking truth will not always make you popular. But it does make you faithful. Speak truth in love today.
“Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.” (Hosea 6:3)
Isn’t it time that you admitted that God exists? Isn’t it time to let him rule your life? Isn’t it time to humbly go to him and accept the love he offers?
Jesus Christ has opened the way for you to approach God with confidence. Acknowledge him today!
But evil men are all to be cast aside like thorns, which are not gathered with the hand. (II Samuel 23:6)
Be very careful about who you associate with. You want your closest friends and associates to be people who draw you closer to Jesus.
“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.” (Isaiah 55:1–2)
God wants his people to stop eating junk food. Not literally, but spiritually. There are things that will quiet our spiritual hunger, but they won’t nourish us. They won’t satisfy our souls. Things like pleasure and power and entertainment.
God offers instead food that will meet our deepest needs; water that will quench our thirsty souls. We need to turn to him to get what we really need.
“Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.” (Mark 9:37)
How you treat children is a reflection of what you think about Jesus. Children are special to our Father. And to us. Treat them that way.
This is a question I have often been asked by people thinking about becoming a Christian. I am never sure why they ask it. Is it because they do not want to be locked in to weekly commitment? Have they had negative experiences in their past that make them not want to go ever again? Maybe they want to be sure they are still in charge of their life and time. Perhaps they like to play golf on Sunday, or spend the day in their pajamas. Or maybe it is a careful way to ask just how much is expected of them if they decide to follow Jesus.
But sometimes Christians have not been fair in answering the question. They may say it is something to discuss after you become a Christian. Or they may try to avoid having to give a straight answer. They may even feel guilty because they have issues with going to church themselves. Maybe it is just that they do not want to give an answer that may cause someone to say no to Jesus.
So if you are wondering if you have to go church when you become a Christian, let me answer the question clearly. Yes. Of course you do. For one thing, when you become a Christian you are added to the church. But you are expected to meet together with other Christians. We do this so we can share a meal called the Lord’s Supper and proclaim to the world our unity and our belief that Jesus died, rose from the dead, and will return for us someday. We do it so we can be inspired and motivated to love God, to love our neighbor, and to do good in this world. We meet because we need each other. We go to church because if we do not, it becomes much easier for Satan to pick us off while separated from each other.
Following Jesus is not just a series of things to do, it is a lifestyle. One that includes going to church.