Posts Tagged ‘cross’

What “sells”

August 25th, 2009 Comments off

“Another Jesus…a different spirit…a different gospel.” – 2 Corinthians 11:4

It’s quite easy to teach/preach what people want to hear.  Think about these statements: “You only need to be a good person to be saved”,  “God is a loving God and he doesn’t allow good people to go to hell,” or how about: “Everyone will go to heaven.”  If any of those statements sound great to you, then clear them out of your head right now, because ALL three of those statements are FALSE.  Salvation comes by grace, through FAITH (Ephesians 2:8).  Being good just doesn’t cut it because “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).  Therefore, pretty much everyone will go to hell and not heaven.  I’m not making this stuff up, this is the absolute TRUTH, BUT the silver lining – that glimmer of hope – comes from THE most well known verse of the Holy Bible: John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  That verse says it plainly, you MUST place your FAITH in God’s Son, Jesus Christ, to have eternal life in Heaven.   And when it says God gave his Son, that means he sacrificed his Son (his ONLY one) on the cross to pay the penalty we all deserve (hell), but God loves the world too much…to see everyone perish.  That right there is the gospel, and if any part of that struck you it is time for you to place your faith in Jesus Christ.  I’m pretty sure I know most of you who read these little blogs, and I urge you to talk to me if any of this struck a chord in your heart.

There may be many other teachings that you may have heard but isn’t the truth.  So how do we know what is true and what is not true?  It begins with us reading the Holy Bible, which I view as God’s direct Word to us.  If you want to know God and what He has to offer you, the best place to start is reading His Word for yourself, not listen to preachers all day and tell your what his Word means.  Which would you rather trust to be more accurate, an autobiography, or a biography written by someone else?  The Holy Bible IS God’s autobiography, because it gives us a very clear picture of who God is and what He desires.  This isn’t just a book of history, it is His story.  It is inerrant, and the prophesies explained in the Bible actually did come true.  There is one prophesy that has not been fulfilled and that is Jesus Christ’s return to this earth, and that is not a time that you want to be on the wrong side.  I’m not trying to scare you, but the end times aren’t going to be pretty…  We (Christians) don’t know when that time is and it could very well happen tomorrow…  Make sure you ARE on the right side…

I deviated a lot from today’s devotional, but I really felt that I should proclaim the gospel in today’s post and most of my posts from now on for that matter because there’s always a sense of urgency since we do not know when the end times are coming.  I guess today’s devotion made sure that I will continue to hold His Word close to my heart so that I may guard myself against false teachings as well as not be a false teacher myself.  The Word has a way of producing a Christ-like character in me that others will be drawn to!  So let’s take Apostle Paul’s advice when he warns us against anyone who preaches “another Jesus…a different spirit…or a different gospel.”

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Don’t keep your love in a box!

August 7th, 2009 Comments off

Mark 14:3 – “She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.”

Imagine…someone who went out of his or her way to do something for you that you can never repay them back.  How would you feel?  Would you try to repay them in some way or another, even though you know anything you do will never be equal the thing that that person did for you?  That is, in fact, what Jesus did for Mary (the sister of Martha and Lazarus).  We know in Luke 10:38-42 that Mary was captivated by Jesus’ teaching and cared deeply for him.  But the thing that Jesus did for both Mary and Martha was He rose their brother from the back from the dead!  How awesome that must have been especially for Mary who loved Jesus and her brother, because that is certainly something we do not have the power to do by our own strength.  How could she repay Jesus, or show Him her appreciation and love?  It was through her deep devotion that led her to take expensive perfume and anoint Jesus with it.  It was pretty much all that she could do! (Mark 14:8)

Jesus did something even greater than raising Lazarus for you and me.  He took the punishment for OUR sins on the cross, and there made atonement between us and God.  He tore down the curtain separating us and God, and now, we get to worship God freely, because we are made righteous in His eyes through the blood of the perfect Lamb, Jesus Christ.  Not only that, we receive the gift of salvation if we believe in what Jesus did, acknowledge how sinful we were, and place your faith in God.  If you don’t understand what that means, I think it is time that you understand that God loves you so much that “he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)  He did all this for you and me.  What can we do to repay him?  How can we repay him?  Simple (even though it is quite hard…) – we must follow Jesus’ greatest two commandments that he gave us in Matthew 22:37-39 ” ‘Love the Lord your God with ALL your heart and with ALL your soul and with ALL your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”  It is quite interesting how we can repay God for what he has done for us out of his great love for us, by loving him and others…

Actually, I feel I’m using the wrong word here, the word repay…  repay means something we do out of obligation…  We have to repay back all the money we took out from a loan from a bank, or repay damages done from our own accidents, or repay borrowed money from a friend.  Those are all obligations that we don’t do out of love, but a sense of guilt almost, because we are indebted to them.  If you understand that we don’t NEED to repay God back for what he has done for us, then you understand grace, something we’ve been given but do not deserve! (Not to be confused with mercy – NOT getting what we DO deserve…punishment for our sins.)  Once you understand grace, you’ll have this sense of love within you and devotion like Mary had when she poured out perfume on the Jesus.  Our actions are a result from devotion, and NOT obligation, and that is the type of love Jesus commands us to love our God and our neighbors with!  It’s the type of love that builds a deeper and stronger relationship with God and others.  It is the type of love that causes conviction and change in people’s hearts.  It is the type of love that cannot die… so don’t keep THAT type of love in a box!

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