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Saturday, July 24, 2010

What are you looking for?

     Recently, I have read books by F.F. Bruce and Ed Wharton pertaining to historical Christianity.  I found them enjoyable and educational.  As always, I get something from these things that most people do not even begin to think about.  These books are filled with historical and scientific facts about Christianity.  While reading, all I kept thinking about is (Pr 11:27 NLT) saying you get what you are looking for.  
     Many people today are saying, "We need a man to rise up and lead this country back to prominence!"  It doesn't matter if you are satisfied or dissatisfied with the state of this country because we are looking for "A MAN."  You get what you are looking for!  We need God not a man.  this country was founded by God fearing men.  Early documents written by those men always included God.  We need a God fearing man.
     Therein lies the problem.  The problem can be summed up in one word.  DIVISION!  The phrase "United we stand, divided we fall" comes to mind.  How can this country elect a God fearing man when men are divided on what God says.  You see, problems don't occur in what God says.  Problems occur in what man says, God says!  Consider then, (Mt 16:15-18) Christ does not mean he will build his church upon Peter.  He is building his church upon what Peter said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."  Notice also,  Christ does not say I will build my "CHURCHES!"  The word is singular.  He says, "CHURCH!" If the church you attend is not the church in your Bible should you change churches or Bibles?
     How do you look at the Gospel?  Many men call the first four books of the New Testament "The Gospels."  You get what you look for!  Take notice the the word man uses is plural.  That is what man says.  The Bible does not use it in the plural form.  (Various Scriptures)  You see, the first four books of the New Testament are not four Gospels told by four inspired men. Rather, they are one Gospel told by four inspired men.  When we look the Bible the correct way we won't try to put Mark against Luke or Matthew against John.  We will know it is the same thing in four different ways!  We must do what all four says not try to use them against one another.
     Finally, consider your salvation.  Can you just pick a verse from one inspired man's version of the Gospel and say, "This is what the Bible says we must do to be saved."  Rather, it should be said, "This is what the Bible says we must do to be saved."  Look at (Jn 3:16) this verse tells us we must believe to be saved.  TRUE!  Also, (Rom 10:9) this verse says we must confess and believe to be saved.  TRUE!  This does not "contradict" what John says.  Rather it is "building" on what John says.  Again, (Mk 16:16) this verse says we must believe and be baptized to be saved.  TRUE! Do we forget about the confessing with our lips mentioned earlier.  NO!  This is building on what we already learned.  We must take the Bible as a whole and not 66 separate books.
     If we want reformation in this country a man can not do it for us.  We must unite on God's Word elect a man that will apply that Word to his life and this country then can be healed.  A wound must heal from the inside out.  Our country must heal the same way.  We must put the Word inside of us!

Have a red letter day,

Friday, July 9, 2010

More that a man!

Many men have laid their lives down so that others may have a better life.  This country was built on that very concept.  My last blog, Free At Last, was addressing that briefly.  Only one man has laid his life down for others and chose the time and manner that it would happen.  That man is Jesus.  He is the Son of God and my personal savior.  The following facts will provide evidence that Jesus died voluntarily on his time and manner.  They are not the only facts that provide this proof but the ones I have chosen.

Crucifixion was a brutal way to die.  It usually took 36 to 72 hours for a person to die. That is why the legs were broken on the thieves that were crucified beside Jesus.  (Jn 19:31-33)  It was to prevent them from supporting their body weight with their legs.  The crucified would push up with their legs to make breathing easier.  Breaking their legs would keep them from doing so and accelerate their death.  Jesus died in 6 hours.  (Mk 15:25-37)  This adds some explanation as to why Pilate had questions concerning Christ already being dead.  (Mk 15:44)

The importance of Jesus dieing that quickly on the cross cannot be overstated.  Had Jesus remained alive on the cross the length of time it ordinarily took a person to die there would be no evidence that he had the power to lay down his own life by his own will.  (Jn 10:17,18)
It was necessary for Jesus to die early while the strength of life was still in his body.

Had Jesus remained alive on the cross the length of time it ordinarily took a person to die his legs would have been broken along with the others.  (Jn 19:31-33)  It was said concerning the bones of Christ, "not one of them is broken."  (Ps 34:20)  Broken legs on Jesus would have went against the Word of God.  Jesus came to fulfill the Word not break it.  Jesus fulfilled over 300 Old Testament prophecies.

Remarkably, after only six hours on the cross, Jesus announced with a strong voice the moment of his death and he immediately died!  I want you to carefully notice that all four Gospels state the death of Jesus was the result of him giving up his spirit.  (Mt 27:50; Mk 15:37; Lk 23:46; Jn 19:30)  Also, notice in Jn 19:30, Christ "bowed his head" which demonstrates he had the physical strength to keep it upright prior to "giving up his spirit!"

This was a voluntary act.  Jesus pronounced his work "finished."  He "gave up his spirit."  Jesus died by an act of his own will at the moment he had chosen!  Even the centurion could see that this crucifixion was unique to all that he had seen with his own eyes.  (Mk 15:39;Lk 23:47)

The question is, can a mere man have the power and control over his own life as Jesus did, or was he more than a man?  It is reasonable to believe that Jesus was more than a man.  He was and is the Son of God.  His death at Calvary was not a failure but a victory.  He came to die so that all men will be saved and come to know the truth.
(1Ti 2:3,4)  I ask you today, have you obeyed the entire truth?  Many men today teach part of the truth.  Let me tell you, "A half truth is a whole lie."  Today is the day for salvation.  (2Co 6:2) 

Have a red letter day,

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Free At Last

I read the Declaration of Independence this week. Declaration Of Independence  I found it enjoyable.  Those men were so intelligent.  Early in the document it is written concerning what God entitles men.  I believe that is what has made this country great.  It was founded by God fearing men.  Now, spiritually, they had downfalls like all of us but read these great historical documents and you will see God all through them.  We want this nation to flourish again; we must have God fearing men leading it!  Today we are going to take a look at The Declaration of Independence and how we need to employ the things inside that historical document to get our freedom from sin!


Before anyone will change something in there life they first must have a need!  We always NEED this or NEED that!  We will pursue the things we feel we need!  Generally, we don’t realize we have a need until a problem or a struggle makes a need obvious!  EXAMPLE: We need money!  We must work to get money.  We must travel to get to work.  Therefore, we need transportation! PEOPLE SPEND A TON OF MONEY ON THAT TRANSPORTATION.
        A.  LIST/ENUMERATE advantages and disadvantages!
In Ben Franklin’s Philosophy of Choice we are told to make a list of pros and cons of difficult decisions! See which side is bigger or longer and it will aide in decision making.  I have done this with decisions in my life! 
I ask you today, what is #1 in your life?  What can you absolutely NOT DO WITHOUT?  What would make your life crumble?  That is what your master is!   
2Pt 2:19 For you are a slave to whatever controls you.
***We say we love and know Jesus but we live like Satan!  Look at your life this month.  List your actions!  ONE SIDE IS FOR JESUS.  THE OTHER IS FOR ANYTHING ELSE!  Which one will have the most entries?  That is what dominates your life! 
        A very similar thing takes place in the Declaration of Independence (D.O.I)  Right before they list several struggles they had with Great Britain.  This is written, “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security”
When we see from that list we made that maybe we are not pursuing Jesus like we should.  We need to “throw off” whatever it is!
        B.  The HEAD of all this.
You see Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, John Hancock & the other 53 men who signed the D.O.I. knew who was at the head of their struggles!  After they list their struggles on the D.O.IThis is written, “A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people” 
I find it ironic that the Bible says Eph 2:2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.
Satan is not your friend!  The Bible says he is our ENEMY!  If you are outside of Christ, Satan still is not your friend!  He wants you to burn with him!  He wants your heart to be evil continually!  
Jn 8:34,35 34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. 35“The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever
We are slaves to sin outside of Christ!  REPEAT: CHRIST CAN SET US FREE!  REMEMBER The D.O.I.  “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security”
We need to “throw off” what makes us slaves! SATAN and SIN 
We need to get a “new guard for our future security!  CHRIST

Once we look at our list we made!  Once we realize who or what is at the head this list!  WE MUST MAKE A DECISION!   To continue on this current path or change our path!
        A.  We must OPPOSE our current path!
ILL: If we go to a restaurant and do not like any aspect of the experience we say, "I WILL NEVER GO BACK THERE AGAIN!"  If we go to a restaurant and find a few problems with that place we say, "WEEL, I DIDN'T LIKE THIS OR THAT BUT I WOULD GO THERE AGAIN!"  DO YOU SEE THE DIFERENCE?  
When we strongly oppose something, we will be self disciplined to make the necessary adjustments to change what we are doing!
In the D.O.I they listed their problems, they realized who was the head of their problems, & THEY MADE A DECISION!  this is written, “We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved”
They severed all ties!  We must do the same!  We must reach out to God!
2Ch 7:14,15 and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15“Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place

        A.  REMOVE our old ways and thoughts.
D.O.I. as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do.
They were removing all they felt they were forced to do.  That’s what makes serving God so great.  He will NEVER force us to do anything!  You see when we take action in moving away from our old selves we must put away our old things that shape our lives.  Often this ends up friends and other things that seem to be a big part of our lives. 
Lk 12:51-53 Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; 52for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three. 53“They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”
Many people today are forced into a decision.  FOLLOW CHRIST OR FOLLOW ME? 
People are always forced into a corner when making decisions for Christ!  Eve experienced it.  Christ experienced it.  YOU MAY HAVE, MAY BE, OR MAY KNOW SOMEONE WHO IS EXPERIENCING IT! 

          B.  REPLACE the old with the new
Do you know what historical document came after the D.O.I.  They took action and removed all ties with Great Britain.  They replaced their former rules and laws they were forced to follow with a document that started like this, “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”   


Rom 6:3,4 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
Jn 8:31,32 “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
Gal 5:13 For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another

Today, I want to give take this opportunity to put away your old self and learn how to walk in the “newness of life!”  Today, I want you to become obedient to Christ’s Gospel.  Today, I want God to add you to his church!