JUSTIFICATION…

Justification…

A heart beats with the chest of a 91 year old man. It is a human heart that he has, no doubt. A heart is also beating in the chest of a 50 year old woman. Yes, it is also a human heart, no doubt. There is a teen-age girl whose heart too is beating systematically within her. Surely her heart is a human heart as well. Then there is a lively boy five years of age and a cooing girl only one month old. They have human hearts, no doubt. What do you say about a child whose heart is beating at 3 weeks and a day in the womb? That child also has a human heart beating within the chest. It is not a monkey’s heart, no a pig’s heart… it is a human heart.

To intentional rip the body apart of the 91 year old man, the 50 year old woman, the teen-age girl, the five year old boy or the one month old girl to stop the heart from beating would be murder. There is no way you or anybody else can justify tearing apart a human in the womb to stop its beating heart that is, yes, human!

If you agree it would be murder for the 91 year old man, the 50 year old woman, the teen-age girl, the five year old boy or the one month old girl, then what kind of perverse logic is being used to say it is ok to murder a child in the womb and stop the beating heart, the same human beating heart that you and I have?

The most helpless among us needs a voice that will boom out the injustice that has taken place on so many helpless lives. May you be that voice.

MY REDEEMER LIVES!

MY REDEEMER LIVES!

But a man dies and is laid low; he breathes his last and is no more… If someone dies, will they live again? —Job 14:10, 14

The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus. As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?” Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” The eunuch answered, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. —Acts 8:34-39

So many people believe that when you die that is it and life is over, existence is over. They believe we are a product of chance with no supernatural existence. Yet they need to “come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will” (II Timothy 2:26). It is the devil who has “blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (II Corinthians 4:4). But “God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ” (II Corinthians 4:6). God can change the most hardened person to become a gentle servant of His and the Apostle Paul is the example of this (Acts chapters 9 & 26).

Job answers his own question later on— “I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth” (Job 19:25). He knew that his redeemer existed then and saw into the future when He would come to the earth. This redeemer would be someone more that a man as we are told that “No one can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for them—the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough—so that they should live on forever and not see decay (Psalm 49:7-9). So it would take more than a man to redeem the lives of people. Who would it be?

“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God” (I Peter 1:18-21). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_-flIpeAsc

In the passage above the Eunuch heard the good news about Jesus and called on His Name. He said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” This is the redeemer Job spoke about thousands of years previously. “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13), but we need to bring the gospel message to them! Romans 10:14-15). Are you? Will you? Oh, that you and I would! That is why we are still on the planet (I Corinthians 5:9-10).

Dear Father, please help me to be faithful in sharing the good news of Jesus with people. I thank You for Chris who called on You last night. Be pleased to do a mighty work through his life by the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus. So be it!

PREACH THE WORD!

PREACH THE WORD!

And Saul approved of their killing him. On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison. Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there. —Acts 8:1

Up to this time the church did not move out of Jerusalem to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19-20) or to be witness beyond Jerusalem to “Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). But through the martyring of Stephen, Saul sought to further destroy the church. It was through this persecution that broke out that God used to move the church outside of Jerusalem. All the believers “scattered throughout Judea and Samaria” as the Lord desired. Only the Apostles remained in Jerusalem.

God uses many situations and circumstances to further His plan. Persecution in the context here was used so that believers would carry the “seed” of God’s Word to Judea and Samaria as the Lord desired. There are those, like Saul in this situation, that think they can destroy the church when all they are doing is causing the storm of persecution to blow seeds of the Word to other parts of the World. There they will take root and grow and the church will continue.

There are those who are concerned that the church will continue in the next generations. I have no concern whatsoever about that. Jesus will continue to build His church in this world until the end of time. The church may ebb and flow in various parts of the world, but it will continue. Just because the church does not flourish in one area does not mean it is not flourishing in another area. Now, we surely would like to see the church flourish in our area and have a major impact in this world. May it be so! But we have to be faithfully about what the Lord God Almighty wants us to be faithfully about. Are we spending to talking with Him (prayer) , are we spending time listening to Him (His Word), are we spending time sharpening each other up (fellowship), are we spending time taking the gospel to the lost (witnessing) and is all this motivated out of our love for God and for our neighbor? May it be so!

These scattered believers in the context of the verses above “preached the Word everywhere they went.” Wow, may we do the same! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbdJXKqVgtg

Dear Father, may I share Your gospel with those around me. May it be so today and for the rest of my life and be done in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in authority of Your Son, Jesus.

THE BREVITY OF LIFE

THE BREVITY OF LIFE

Our days on earth are but a shadow. —Job 8:9

My days are swifter than a runner. —Job 9:25

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. —James 4:14

My neighbors are in their latter 80’s. They have lived next to us for about 25 years. Hard to believe they were in their 60’s when they first moved in or that I was in my latter 30’s. A few weeks ago the wife was moved to a nursing home. She’s doing well there. Now the husband is moving there this week. He will be leaving tomorrow. It will be their last move on this planet. Where did the time go. Life has taken a drastic turn for them.

It is also hard to believe that I am in my 60’s— my neighbor’s age when they move into the neighborhood. I now have seven grand-daughters. That is very hard for me to fathom as well. Really, am I already in the grand-father age? My children are having children! Wasn’t it just yesterday that I was a child?

Surely “our days on earth are but a shadow” — here for such a brief moment. Like a swift runner passing by so life passes quickly by or as the mist in the morning over a lake is soon gone… vanishes and is no more. So our lives will soon vanish from the earth and we will be no more here— as multitudes before us who were once here.

As I spoke to my neighbor yesterday about the hope we have in Jesus that eternity is ahead. No more broken bodies, no more health issues, no more pain, no more suffering, no more sadness, no more broken relationships… no more moving. Jesus is our life— our life eternal.

My neighbors will be a half-hour away. I will stop and see them still, but it will not be like walking next door, sitting at their table for a cup of coffee. No it will be different, but life is full of changes, of different things. I am so glad that the Lord does not change and that He is always near. I am so thankful to know that one day all those who know Him will make their final move to heaven. Oh, what a joy that will be. We will be in our eternal home with all those who love Jesus. That is our hope when our light has left this earth; when our candle has made its final flicker! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eiRhcR4Vg10

Dear Father, I am so grateful to know my home is in heaven and that I am just passing through as a stranger and foreigner on this planet. I look so forward to being with Jesus in heaven and with all those who love Him. May I serve You well in the waning years of my life and do so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.

YIELD TO HIS WILL AND DO HIS WILL!

YIELD TO HIS WILL AND DO HIS WILL!

“At that time Moses was born, and he was no ordinary child. For three months he was cared for by his family. When he was placed outside, Pharaoh’s daughter took him and brought him up as her own son. Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action. —Acts 7:20-22

“When Moses was forty years old, he decided to visit his own people, the Israelites. —Acts 7:23

When Moses heard this, he fled to Midian, where he settled as a foreigner and had two sons. “After forty years had passed, an angel appeared to Moses in the flames of a burning bush in the desert near Mount Sinai. —Acts 7:29-30

And Moses the servant of the Lord died there in Moab, as the Lord had said. He buried him in Moab, in the valley opposite Beth Peor, but to this day no one knows where his grave is. Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone. The Israelites grieved for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days, until the time of weeping and mourning was over. —Deuteronomy 34:5-8

Moses was 40 years in Pharaoh’s household, 40 years in the wilderness as a shepherd of sheep, 40 years as a shepherd to Israel and then he died. How old are you? Do you think too much time has gone by for the Lord to use you, work through you in ministry? If you are feeling like your life is over in ministry, then it is time to get a new perspective.

The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, “The Lord is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him” (Psalm 92:12-15)

Why are you feeling like life has passed you by or is passing you by? God has not finished working with you— “he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6). Nor has He finished working through you— “for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” (Philippians 2:13). What is it that God is “working in you to will” and then “to act in order to fulfill his good purpose?” God is creating a willingness in you to take action in fulfillment of His good purposes. So… will you obey to be and do what He is willing that you be and do? That is the question. It is not that God is done with working in and through you, it is whether you will obey or not! May you obey!

Dear Father, may this be so today. May I be and do what You desire. May my will line up with Your will. Not only for today, but may this be so for the rest of my life in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDAITgJXO1I

TRUST

TRUST

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing. —Job 1:21-22

I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil.” —Job 3:26

Then Job answered the Lord: “I am unworthy—how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth. I spoke once, but I have no answer— twice, but I will say no more.” —Job 40:3-5

Messenger 1: your oxen and donkeys were stolen, your servants slaughtered and I am the only one that escaped to tell you. While he was still speaking— Messenger 2: your sheep and servants were burned up by the fire of God that fell from heaven. I am the only one that escaped to tell you. While he was still speaking— Messenger 3: your camels were stolen, your servants slaughtered and I am the only one that escaped to tell you. While he was still speaking— Messenger 4: your seven sons and three daughters died as the house collapsed on them from a strong wind. I am the only one that escaped to tell you. In the space of a few minutes Jobs life was completely altered.

Life for a follower of the Lord can change very quickly. Jesus told us that in this world we will have tribulation (John 16:33). It comes in various forms, but it will come. When it does the Lord has not changed toward us. What will or is our attitude toward Him in tribulation?

Job initially fell to the ground in worship (Job 1:20). But then he had many thoughts. He wished he hadn’t been born (Job 3). He believed God was against him (Job 6-7, 16, 18-19). He wanted to explain to God his innocence (Job 9-10, 23, 27, 31). He wondered why the wicked are secure (Job 12, 21). He wanted to let God know he was innocent and should not be going through this (Job 12). He wondered why the wicked don’t suffer, but the righteous do (Job 24). Job longed for the “good ole days” (Job 29). He felt like his life is ebbing away (Job 30).

Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said: “Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge?” (Job 38:1-2). When the Lord finished questioning Job then Job responded, “You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know” (Job 42:3).

Like Job we ask questions about why we go through difficulties. But also like Job we do “not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.” God’s bigger picture is not known to us and when we go through difficulty we struggle as to how that fits into that picture, but “He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he” (Deuteronomy 32:4). Oh, that you and I would trust Him with those things we do not understand! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsQ58qn7G_4

Dear Father, I understand only what You desire to reveal for Your purposes. May I fully trust You for those things You have chosen not to reveal, even when my emotions are screaming out for explanation. Yes, may I trust You through the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus. So be it!

SERVING

SERVING

In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.” This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them. So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith. —Acts 6:1-7

The early church in this situation sought the Lord in who was to do what ministry. Leadership was to be about the ministry of the Word of God and prayer. It was not their responsibility to “wait on tables.” This is not to say they would not do that, but their focus was to be elsewhere.

The whole group discussed this and agreed that others should be chosen to “wait on tables.” The group chose the seven and they were prayed for and served in this area. Because of this ministry delegation the Word of God spread and the number of disciples increased rapidly.

Are you and I serving where the Lord would have us serving to be of most benefit to the church? Where are you serving? Are you serving? Oh, that we would be serving where the Lord Jesus would have us serve. So be it! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rznoe3zKxM

Dear Father, help me to be the servant You desire and to serve where You would have me serve. May this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus. May it be so.

TEACH AND PROCLAIM THE GOOD NEWS!

TEACH AND PROCLAIM THE GOOD NEWS!

Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah. —Acts 5:42

“They never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.” This happened “day after day.” No wonder “the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47).

I have seen this myself when the focus is on getting the gospel out. Both in California and New Hampshire when I have gone to where there are many, many people gathered and share the gospel with many there was always fruit. Within the multitudes there were those who were ready to trust Jesus and many willing to listen to discuss. But this is when there is focus on talking with many people specifically to share the good news about Jesus with them. Speaking with this number of people through a normal working day does not happen. It is only when there is a concentrated focus and this was happening day after day in the early church. How can this be done today?

Surely as we go through our “normal” day we need to be ready to bear a verbal witness for Jesus, but there also needs to be a concerted focus at other times to share the gospel with those outside our “regular” sphere of influence. Here’s an interesting thought from one of Ray Comfort’s team members:

“I must confess, I don’t always like street witnessing. It’s uncomfortable, it’s time-consuming, and few want to join me. But I’d love to show you why I think your church needs a street evangelism team. Let’s say that every week your church has two first-time guests. Assuming your pastor preaches the gospel in every service, that means in a year’s time 104 people will hear how to be saved (praise the Lord!). However, if you take a team of 10 people witnessing, split into 5 groups, and go for 2 hours, each group speaking with an average of 21 people, you will preach the gospel to 104 people.

Church service + 1 year = 104 people

Street team + 2 hours = 104 people

This is true. You can speak to many people in 2 hours if you go to where there are many people! A couple of evenings ago I spent 2 hours sharing the gospel among a multitude and shared with around 30 people myself. There were others sharing the gospel as well. I had opportunities to share Jesus with individuals, couples and groups. You know what? People were pleasantly engaging and thankful. That is not usually how we think in our minds it is going to happen. Unfortunately we can have negative thoughts in our minds that keep us from sharing the gospel. This is part of the spiritual warfare that is taking place. Satan will do anything he can to keep us from sharing the gospel. Fear is a big one! Proverbs 29:25 says, “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.” Fear of man holds us like a snare to keep us from being and doing what the Lord desires. His Word is clear (Romans 10:13-15). May we be faithful in this area! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4e_zYa0EY0Q

Oh Dear Father, please help me to not be distracted from being obedient in this area. Be pleased to work through Your taught and proclaimed Word to draw many people to Yourself. May this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.

BE BOLD IN HIM!

BE BOLD IN HIM!

Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. —Acts 4:29

Oh, that God would give us boldness to speak His “word with great boldness.” Is this your desire? Do you want to speak His “word with great boldness?” Oh, that we would pray and speak according to His desires.

Boldness, not fearfulness is what the Lord desires of us. Do you fear speaking His Word? Don’t fear but instead ask the Lord for boldness. Then trust Him and speak His Word.

Dear Father, whoever it is You desire me to speak to may I do so with a boldness that comes through Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus. So be it! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQeCJ9EgLXQ