Month: March 2013

Give Someone a Hand

Not too long ago, while we were watching Jeopardy, my little daughter did something that I thought was pretty neat. When the show was over and the audience began to clap, my daughter decided she would chip in and started to clap along with the crowd. She didn’t know what the people did to deserve the clapping, but in her little world when someone claps for you it means you did good…at least that’s what mom and dad has done to encourage her. At that moment in time she just wanted to give someone a little encouragement by giving them a hand.

Who among us, other than those who think they’re an island to themselves, doesn’t enjoy a little encouragement every now and then? The fact that human hearts and confidence can be torn down shows that they can be built up – after all, something has to be built before it can be torn down, right?

At times I think of some of the people who Jesus interacted with and I can’t help but wonder about how good they felt after meeting Him. Now it’s true that not everyone felt so good after talking to Jesus, but those who were seeking to be built up spiritually sure did.

Think of the leper in Matthew 8:1-4 that Jesus touched! After being healed, Jesus reminded this man to give credit to God. Jesus built him up spiritually. Think of Zacchaeus in Luke 19:1-10. The crowd called him a sinner, but Jesus called him a son of Abraham! Imagine how those words would’ve built up someone like Zacchaeus spiritually.

Without a doubt Jesus knew how to give someone a hand! What about us? Do we know someone who could use our hand? EA

Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.” (Romans 14:19)

Should We Only Listen To The Words in Red???

Are the “words in red” the only words we must be concerned with when it comes to the commands of Christ found in the Bible? Some are under the opinion that the other epistles (letters) which make up the New Testament do not have as much authority as the ones that go by the title “the gospel of Jesus Christ according to….” Such an opinion concerning the scriptures is wrong, and it is a dangerous opinion to have.

For one, it undermines the heavenly authority of Jesus’ apostles and prophets and the foundation upon which the church itself is built upon. Consider the following scriptures:

Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:19-22)

Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior,” (2 Peter 3:1-2)

If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 14:37)

Without the written knowledge that the Holy Spirit has made known to the church through the apostles and the prophets, the church today would not have a steady foundation of truth to follow or be built upon, much less teach (1 Timothy 3:14-15).

I have a full assurance in the Holy Spirit and His ability to complete the mission He had in reminding, revealing, reinforcing and regulating the doctrine of Christ to the apostles and prophets of the church (John 14:26, 15:26, & 16:7-14). He accomplished it with the Old Covenant and He has accomplished it with the New Covenant as well.

If we refuse to listen to the Holy Spirit inspired men and the “words written in black” which have been preserved through the providence of God, then in reality we are refusing to listen to the “words written in red” that promised it would happen! EA

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

(2 Timothy 3:16-17)

How We See Our Self Can Determine What We’ll Hear About Our Self

When Peter saw Jesus perform a miracle he said,

 “…Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” (Luke 5:8).

What did Peter mean by this? Did Peter mean he wanted nothing to do with Jesus? Not at all; Peter was amazed that Jesus wanted anything to do with him! Peter understood there was no pulling the wool over this man’s eyes. Every scale on his heart was as visible as the scales on the fish he just helped to pull out of the water.

Peter told the Lord to depart, but the Lord told Peter to come closer when he told him, “…Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.” (Luke 5:10).

On the other hand, many people are going to be told by Jesus,

“…I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” (Matthew 7:23)

What does Jesus mean by this? Does this mean Jesus wanted nothing to do with them? Not at all; Jesus is speaking to people who wanted nothing to do with Him! These people failed to realize there is no pulling the wool over Jesus’ eyes. The outward scale of good works won’t overrule a refusal to remove the inward scales of a rebellious heart.

Until we learn to obey from the heart the doctrine of God (Romans 6:15-19) and see our self correctly (James 1:21-26), we may hear something about our self we don’t expect! EA

Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? – unless indeed you are disqualified.” (2 Corinthians 13:5)

Related Article:

I Serve A Resurrected Savior

JESUS IS A RESURRECTED SAVIOR

To say that a belief in the doctrine of the resurrection is important to Christianity would be an understatement. In fact, this doctrinal principle is absolutely key, essential, necessary and foundational so much so that it is completely truthful to say that, “No resurrection means no Christianity!” You cannot have one without the other (1 Corinthians 15:13-19).

The individual writers of the New Testament use the word “resurrect” in its different tenses no less than 40 times! And those 40 times do not include the different references to people “being raised from the dead.” The gospel preaches not only a crucified Christ – it preaches a risen Christ! The apostle Paul used the Old Testament scriptures to tell the Jews, “…that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ.”” (Acts 17:3). Paul left no room for anything but an understanding that says Christians serve a resurrected Savior.

THERE IS NO DOUBT ABOUT IT

The apostle Thomas refused to believe it when the other disciples told him that they had seen Jesus alive and well. The only way he would change the doubt in his heart was by seeing Jesus with his own eyes. Thomas got what he asked for in John 20:19-28! Not only did Thomas see Jesus, over 500 witnesses at one time saw Jesus on this side of the tomb (1 Corinthians 15:6). Witnesses do away with doubt and when it comes to Jesus’ resurrection the doubt not only flies out the door, it flies out of the heart. Blessed are the ones who kick out doubt without seeing (John 20:29).

THERE IS NO BONES ABOUT IT

Peter and John ran to Jesus’ tomb and found nothing but used grave-clothes and a napkin laid in place. No body or bones were there to be found (John 20:1-9). The disciples carried the body of Jesus to the tomb, but Jesus left under His own power (John 10:18). The Jews could not deny it, so they lied about it (Matthew 28:1-15). All other religions serve a lord who has died. Christianity serves the only Lord who died and rose again! An empty tomb was found then and much to the chagrin of others today, that tomb will be empty tomorrow.

THERE IS NO QUESTION ABOUT IT

Peter preached to the attentive audience on Pentecost day that all doubts, bones and questions were gone! He told them that the body of king David was still in Jerusalem, but the body of King Jesus was ruling upon the throne from Heaven (Acts 2:25-36). The people chose to kill Jesus but they could not stop Jesus from living! Peter used scriptural and physical evidences to do away with the questions of Jesus’ resurrection. He preached with conviction and that conviction cut the crowd to the heart. At the end of Peter’s sermon they only had one more question and they got their answer, but it was not about Jesus’ resurrection (Acts 2:37-38).

THERE IS NO WAY AROUND IT

We not only can sing the words “I serve a risen Savior” but more importantly we can read them as well. We can choose to believe now, or we can have no choice later. The apostle Paul said, “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” (Acts 17:30-31). There is no way around it; the gospel of Christ ends the same way every time.

No doubts; no bones; no question; no way around it – Jesus died for our sins on the cross in the past, Jesus lives in Heaven today and in the future we will meet Jesus in the air. Hallelujah, what a resurrected Savior!