Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Someone is Watching You!

My friend and former associate Pastor Arvid Moin, wrote a wonderful manual titled “Living Epistles.”  “Living Epistles” are men and women whose lives leave an impression on all of us of what it means to be a true follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. In the day that we live so many people seem to be unaware of how important it is to be a faithful follower of Christ.

We must not forget that others do watch our lives and even make decisions based upon how they see us act and talk. It is not enough in these days we live to be just a casual Christian; we must make a quality decision to be a true follower of Jesus Christ and walk before Him with honor and integrity. We all know that people do watch our lives and observe the things that we say and do, so no matter how we cut it, we are a letter read by all men!

The Apostle Paul stated that he did not need a letter of introduction or recommendation. His legitimacy as a minister of the gospel was proven by the changed lives that he had ministered the gospel to. He says that the mark of genuineness of the believers was not in letters written with pen and ink, but it was the fruit of the Spirit of the living God that was written on the tables of the human heart. 2 Corinthians 3:2, 3 (NLT) “The only letter of recommendation is you yourselves. Your lives are a letter written in our hearts; everyone can read it and recognize our good work among you. Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This “letter” is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is not carved on tablets of stone, but on human hearts.”

In 1 Corinthians 11:1, Paul was not timid about encouraging believers to follow him. He called them to “imitate him just as he imitated Christ.” Such boldness can only come from the confidence of his own walk with Jesus Christ. He was not exalting himself, but in himself he knew the Holy Spirit had produced the sound character and fruit of the Holy Spirit within him.

As believers, we are to give the unbeliever a chance to believe through us. Our lives are to be a form of language by which God can address who He is to unbelievers. Someone said, “We are all called to preach the gospel. And sometimes we use words.” We can be mild and gentle when others are angry and upset. We should be humble when they are haughty and praise God when they are cursing Him. We must be consistent and steadfast when they are crumbling in despair. It is what we say and do that others observe and read. They read what is written, whether it is true or a lie.

“Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, in your faith, and in purity.” 2 Timothy 4:11 NLT

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Believing

Jesus said to the man whose son was possessed by a deaf and dumb spirit, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” Mark 9:23

I believe that God wants all of us who believe on Him to see that the realm of God’s Kingdom is the realm of possibilities! There is nothing that is impossible with God! Jesus said, “If you can believe, all things are possible.”
I am constantly hearing people ask “Why do we not see more of God’s miracles today?” “Why do we not see more of our prayers answered?” “Why do so many Christians suffer from fear and doubt?” “Where is God when I really need Him?”

I believe that the church today is not in a crisis for our faith, but it is in a crises for believing! The answer for deliverance of the young boy to be set free from a demon spirit was the confession that came from the father of the child when he confessed the words, “Lord, I believe!” This father’s faith had been shaken when the disciples had failed in their attempts to cast out the demon from the boy.

It is apparent from this account in Mark 9 that we are never to put our trust or hope in man or in someone else’s gifting to produce the supernatural results that we need. We must get God’s own word (Rhema) into our spirit that will bring BELIEVING FAITH to make possible for us what before seemed to be impossible.

Jesus wants us to know that it is when we believe Him, believe His word, (trust completely and totally upon Him), that our prayers will be answered and our miracle becomes possible.

We must now allow others to talk us out of believing faith, including ministers, theologians, or well-meaning Christians, especially those who might say….”all miracles ceased after the Apostles died….” - “healing is not in the atonement,” or “it may not be God’s will to personally help you.”
 It is not difficult for many people to get talked out of believing God for miracles. Jesus said, “Whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” Matthew 21:22  So, by believing, and confessing God’s word that you believe; “all things become possible!”
No matter what we face today—God can make a way where there is no way through!

Josh Schmidt made a comment Sunday that I liked. He said, “Believing also includes “lieving.” We must leave behind our fleshly thinking and leave our doubts behind. Leave the faithless generation and start believing that “all things are possible with God!”

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Created to Be!

The next four weeks of ministry are a follow up to our Easter Sunday services which did impact many people’s lives. It is important for all believers and newcomers to the faith to grow and develop into what God has purposed for our lives. Each one of us is called into something far bigger than ourselves. It is greater than us because it connects us to the greatness of God!

Created to Be(ing).

God has called us to Believe.
We are called to Belong.
We are created to Become.
We are created to be God’s Building.

Each of these next four Sundays will testify of God’s inner working of His Holy Spirit in us and help us understand how to walk out every day Christianity which will convince the world that a real Jesus lives inside of us.

God’s purpose for each of us is to continually “be conformed into the image of His Son.” (Romans 8:29) This is called in scriptures, God’s predestined plan. God foreknew and predestined (planned) for all believers to be like Christ. God has purposed His will to be done in us which is “good, acceptable, and perfect.” Romans 12:2

Because of the human side of our nature, none of us can live the Christian life through our own self-effort. We are bound to fail and we know it. Therefore, since we have Christ living in us, and He alone is perfect, we must continue to abide daily in Him. It is not Christ and us trying to live the Christian life, it is Christ in us who actively encourages us by His Spirit to live His life through us.

To “abide” means to “remain.” Remain spiritually focused. Remain God conscious. Remain submitted to Him. Remain faithful. Remain loving toward Him. Remain true to His Word. Jesus stated in John 8:31, “If you abide in my word, you are my disciples indeed.” And “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” John 15:7

Abiding in Christ every day means your prayers become more effective, it brings a more fruitful life, and your joy becomes full through experiencing Christ’s joy from within you. (vs. 11)  If we believe these things and live in them we will continually be satisfied with the goodness of the Lord. Daily Christian living is as simple as ABC! ABIDE - BELIEVE - CONFESS. These will make us overcomers!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Christ Our Righteousness!

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile.” Romans 1:16  “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith. As it is written, the just shall live by faith.” (Verse 17)

Another important verse from Romans 4:5 says that “it is not to him who performs works, but to him who believes on the one who justifies the ungodly, that his faith is counted for righteousness.”  The great exchange which took place when Jesus Christ died on the cross was the exchange of our sins for His righteousness. “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21.

The Easter message of Passover, Crucifixion, and Resurrection is found in the fact that “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself NOT IMPUTING OUR TRESPASSES UNTO US….” 2 Corinthians 5:19

What did God impute unto us? Impute means to reckon, to take into account, to put down to a person’s account. It means to exchange our sins for His righteousness. “But for us also, to whom righteousness is imputed, if we believe on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” Romans 4:24, 25

God’s righteousness is revealed in the gospel on the ground of faith as the absolute condition of salvation. Our condemnation under sin was impossible for us to pay to receive God’s forgiveness. We could never justify ourselves by doing enough good works to receive God’s acceptance. He is too holy and perfect for us to acquire His holiness through our own effort.

Romans 3:24-28 speaks of God justifying us and imputing His righteousness unto us. Justification is God’s act of declaring the sinner righteous, so that the divine righteousness is judicially reckoned to our account.

This divine transaction is on the basis of grace or the unmerited favor of God the Father revealed in Christ, which provides it, (vs 23) and the blood offered through the death of Christ, which procures it, (vs. 25-27) and is appropriated by faith that the Spirit produces in our hearts. (vs. 28)

Passover and Easter both are God’s answer to our sin, guilt, and condemnation. Justification brings both peace and access into God’s grace of salvation. Our future security in the assurance that Christ’s death and resurrection life has resulted in providing to us a life of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. (Romans 14:17)

May your life abound in His righteousness. Easter Blessings!