Are You a Doer?

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By Pastor Jeff,

Luke 2:41-49, “Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?”
From the birth of Jesus to this event we find very little written about the life of Jesus other than “And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him”. But here at the age of twelve He was letting everyone know that He knew what His purpose in life was to do His Fathers business!And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.”

Then again we have nothing written until the age of 30, Luke 3:21-23, “Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased. And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli” 

I have no doubt that Jesus could of started His ministry at any time but we see in scripture that the age of thirty was pretty significant as evidenced that is when Joseph appeared before the Pharaoh (Gen. 41:46, the priest entered service (Num. 4:3), David became King (2 Sam. 5:4) and a few others. Now that does not mean that we who are called into the ministry or any other work for our Lord have to wait until thirty, I believe that we do need some maturing as Christians before we step out so that our enemy the devil does not use our own immaturity to destroy us.

With that, we need in our church doers not just hearers, James 1:22-23, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:” I have less and less patience for those who say they are going to do something but never follow through even though your intentions may be good. That’s not good enough, its especially troublesome when pastors, evangelist, leaders stand at the pulpit and proclaim that they are going to change, going to pray more, going to read the bible more, going to do this, going to do that, then never follow through.

Let’s read Matthew 21:28-32, “But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went. And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not. Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.” I’d rather have someone who never proclaims that he will do something and is known as a doer than hypocrites who love to stand bringing attention to themselves who never do nothing. Matthew 5:37, “But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.”

One of my favorite song writers, singers is Matthew West for many of his songs speak to my heart especially songs like,  “Strong Enough, Do Something, Mended, Hello, my Name is…Broken Things” especially has meaning as you read these lyrics let them speak to your heart as well;

If grace was a kingdom, I stopped at the gate, Thinking I don’t deserve to pass through after all the mistakes that I’ve made, Oh but I heard a whisper, As Heaven bent down, Said, “Child, don’t you know that the first will be last and the last get a crown”

Now I’m just a beggar in the presence of a King, I wish I could bring so much more
But if it’s true You use broken things, Then here I am Lord, I’m all Yours”

The pages of history they tell me it’s true, That it’s never the perfect; it’s always the ones with the scars that You use, It’s the rebels and the prodigals; it’s the humble and the weak
All the misfit heroes You chose, Tell me there’s hope for sinners like me.

Grace is a kingdom, With gates open wide, There’s a seat at the table just waiting for you
So, come on inside!

Amen, God is looking for doers, especially those with the heart that cries out to Jesus and proclaims that “here I am Lord, I’m all Yours.” If that’s you then Jesus has a job for you, You may have to wait a little but it will be worth it. It may not be standing before thousands declaring the words of the Lord, for I will confess before you that if I never stood in a pulpit but found myself in His perfect will, I would be better than OK with that. But God may have you talking to your neighbor, praying for the lost, visiting the sick, cleaning the church, the things that may never be seen but others. God see’s and He’s the reason we should be a doer anyways!

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What is Christmas About to me?

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By Pastor Jeff,

I asked this question on Facebook recently and received answers that I pretty much expected, “salvation, the greatest gift, and  God’s love”  these are answers I agree with wholeheartedly. Isaiah 9:6, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

I must let it be know that I love Christmas, though the commercialism of it can be sometimes overwhelming, but even with that I can smile at. Since my grand kids came along my love for Christmas has grown as I get great joy in finding out what gifts they would like, the shopping for; whether on-line or in the store I find exciting, and then seeing the joy on their faces as they open their gifts.

I love that we have the opportunity to share the gospel as it seems people are more open to the message of Jesus Christ coming into the world to save sinners, who I am chief.  John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” becomes a powerful verse at this time of the year.

With that I must say that the last and this years Christmas is different in many ways for in the fall of 2018 I lost a good friend and my eldest son passed away, then this past January my youngest daughter also passed on after a battle with cancer. This of course has devastated me as I’m sure many before me that have gone through similar instances have. The interesting thing is that I don’t feel sorry for myself but have become more aware of those around who Christmas or any holiday, birthday, anniversary that has become hard to face.

I’m aware that though I still have that joy since I have hope in Christ Jesus, others don’t, and even those that do can struggle immensely. I understand that pain even with this hope and I realize that some will go through depression, anger, sadness that many can never understand. I become more sensitive to those and though I love this holiday I have learned the hard way that we can’t just brush people off and ignore the real hurt that is going on in their lives. 2Corinthians 1:3-4, “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”

To those that are going through tough times, who are hurting, who are mourning a loved one, I want to let you know that you are not alone, and God loves you and is with you in these times. Knowing this is what kept me and still keeps me going even though there is a great hole in my heart!

If you don’t know this God who loved you so much that He became a child, lived, suffered, died, and rose again so that we may have a hope beyond this corrupt world, I encourage you to find a bible believing church. If you are a believer and still are having a hard time, I also encourage you with the word from Apostle Paul in Romans 8:18, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” This life is temporal and relatively short but we will have an eternity to spend with Jesus Christ and our loved ones who have become Born Again.

This is what Christmas means to me this year!

My prayer for you is of comfort, hope, peace, and even that you may find joy this Christmas season, God Bless you!

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When God Speaks!

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By Pastor Jeff,

There was a popular commercial years ago that was about investing called “When EF Hutton speaks everyone listens” Speech is a very important part of our lives and I found out that just as our fingerprints there are no two voices are alike.

James 3:5-8, “Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” Proverbs 18:21, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” This gives our tongues (voice) a lot of power to seeming to do harm, but the tongue also can and should be used to warn, Ezekiel 33:6, But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.” healing, Proverbs 12:18 “There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.” and kindness, Proverbs 31:26, “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.”

So that is talking about mans voice, but what about when God speaks? Well I declare that God speaks with power for in Genesis 1 we have recorded, and it happened accordingly. Over and over again from the 1st chapter of Genesis to the last chapter of the book of Revelations we hear the voice of God crying out to us from the pages of the bible. What does God say? Here is just a sample of what God declares to us:

Deuteronomy 31:8, “And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.”                              Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”                                        Exodus 19:5, “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:” John 15:15, “Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.”                                                                                                        Psalms 139:14, “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”                                        Matthew 10:31, “Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.”     John 15:16, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”                                                              Ephesians 1:5, “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,”                                                                John 14:2-3, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

God tells us He loves us 310 times in 280 verses with the great message given us in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

These are just a a few messages from Jesus Christ to us of how important we are. It is true that sometimes our tongue can get us into trouble but when God speaks…Everyone should listen!

 

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We are His Reflection

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By Pastor Jeff,

Genesis 1:26-27, “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” In “His” image, or as I like to in this blog use the word “reflection”.

There is an old saying that people will see in you the only Jesus they may ever see, we need to reflect Christ in our speech, actions, and appearance in all we do. One of the things I would also like to concentrate is what occurred after Jesus walked with two men on the road to Emmaus that I find amazing, Luke 24:33-40, “So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” And they told about the things that had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of bread. Now as they said these things, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them, “Peace to you.” But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit. And He said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts? Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.” When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet.” What was on His hands and feet that would immediately make Jesus recognizable to Hid disciples? The scars from the Nails of course!

The thing I have noticed among many of Jesus’ followers is that they too carry scars that bare witness of their lives in Christ. Most of us have scars from injuries that show up on the outside as I can easily point to many on myself. But we also carry scars that cannot be seen from the naked eye. These can only be seen if we would open up our chest and expose our hearts. These scars can have the most long lasting affect on our lives and can destroy you if you keep opening up those scars or make it the focus of a horrible period of you life.

So what should you do? 1 Peter 4:12-13, “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.” So what should you do? Use it for the glory of God. I don’t know about you but I’m not ashamed of the scars that you can see on my physical body and likewise we shouldn’t be ashamed of the scars we carry upon our hearts. If we truly are the reflection of Jesus who proudly showed His scars of evidence of who He was; we likewise shall show our scars of evidence of living our lives for Him. Scars are evidence that we have overcome, the wounds have scarred over, we are able to use the pain of the past to show others how to overcome and not be held back. I want to show His power in spite of the scars on my life, Philippians 3:10, “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;” 

I want Christ’s reflection to be apparent in me, I want His power to be shown through me, I want others to see Jesus in me, and if that means scars so be it! Jesus used His scars to show the world who He was and so will I!

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Love is the Only Answer!

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By Pastor Jeff,

Am I only one that thinks our world has gone completely crazy? I’m sure everyone who reads this post will give a resounding, NO, It’s definitely gone completely bonkers!

When you read, listen to, or watch the News about politics, watch some of the new television series that keep popping up glorifying evil, and talk to your friends about life, you have to shake your head, look up, and declare “Come quickly, Lord Jesus, Come!” The division that has hit our world, our country, is not only becoming comical but also dangerous as we hear increasing calls for a revolution.

One of the greatest declarations in the Word of God is in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Amen!

But is seems that our world has taken a completely different view of what this scripture says, this verse seems to say this to many, “For God so loved the Liberals, that he gave his only begotten Son, that if you vote Democrat you will not perish, but have everlasting life.” or worse, “For God so loved the Conservatives, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever votes Republican will not not perish, but have everlasting life.” (you can insert any political view, color, sex, religious view in there and it would cover most issues dealing with our society today).

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NKJV, “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails…” 

One of the biggest things dividing our country which is pretty much equal with our political atmosphere is the word, “racist”. This has become a a 10lb. hammer in which if anyone disagrees with what you believe even if you can support it with facts and the word of God, they will whack you over the head with it. One of the things love requires us to as Christians to do is to tell others when they are in sin. Just see what happens when you call those in the LGBT that the movement is wrong, how quickly the hammer comes down, mention how abortion is wrong, and wham the hammer comes down. We agree racism is wrong, but if you declare that it is wrong because there is only one race, the Human race, and that many are using it gain an advantage, you better duck.

Jesus came to save sinners, 1 Timothy 1:15, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” Why? because He loved us, not because of or our color, sex, religious, political affiliation or whatever we claim to be. He loved us because we are His creation and He has no desire for anyone to go anywhere for eternity other than Heaven, 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

If we want to see revival, the power of Jesus Christ in regards to healing, miracles, people converted for the Kingdom of God, then we must abandon hate for Love, 1 Corinthians 13:13, “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 

Love is not just the answer for our world today, its the ONLY ANSWER

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Uncomfortably Numb!

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By Pastor Jeff,

I was and still am a little a fan of the Rock group, “Pink Floyd” who did a song in the 70’s called “Comfortably Numb”. Sometimes we welcome numbness when we are battling depression, sickness or disease, and even tragedy we welcome numbness.  It’s a kind of a defense mechanism to help us deal and sometimes avoid dealing with things around or in us. This can be helpful if you do eventually allow some of those feelings come back, are able to face them, and get resolution from it.

Being unable to feel pain may sound appealing, but it would be extremely hazardous to your health. Pain is, for most of us, a very unpleasant feeling, but it serves the important evolutionary purpose of alerting us to potentially life-threatening injuries. Without it, people are more prone to hurting themselves and so, because they can be completely oblivious to serious injuries, a life without pain is often cut short. There is in fact a disease called, “Congenital Analgesia” which has disastrous results for those who suffer from it such as severe burns, cuts, biting of their tongues and so on. Leprosy also can leave to nerve damage which can lead to broken bones, cuts, burns as well.

So what do I mean by “uncomfortably numb?” That is the best way I can describe about how I have felt since the passing of my daughter. I’m forever grateful for the 37 years I had with her and know we will meet again but since her passing I have had the range of grief, sorrow, depression, and now numbness. Isaiah 53:3, “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” This I know, that Jesus has been with me all the way through this process and His presence has been a immense comfort to me. I really don’t have a clue how a person can get through things in life without Him. I’m also aware that the numbness I have is not something that is beneficial to the Kingdom of God for Christ tells us in Galatians 6:2, “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” 

So this numbness that I have is becoming uncomfortable but I also want to hang on to it for if I have to endure any more sadness it would be almost impossible to accept it. As a christian though it is imperative for all of us to open up our arms and hearts to anyone that God puts in our path. It’s not easy but staying numb to those around us will only cause hurt, brokenness, lack of love for others, and even affect our relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I know there are many others out there that have had tragedies similar or even worse that our family has but if we are to be effective witnesses to our lost and dying award we must step out of that numbness and surrender our wills and lives to Jesus.

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When Words are Not Enough!

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By Pastor Jeff,

Deuteronomy 31:6,“Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” This promise is repeated in Hebrew 13:5-6, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”

As our family is dealing with the loss of two loved ones in a period of less than 15 months we have heard the statement repeated several times by people, “I don’t have words” or “I can’t even know what your are dealing with”. This is true as the old Indian saying goes, “walk a mile in his moccasins.” which is plain to understand that you can never feel or understand what another person is going through unless you have experienced the same thing. Even then can be difficult to comprehend as we all react to things somewhat differently based on our faith, relationship, and age.

This saying, “When you can’t look at the bright side, I will sit with you in the dark” comes from the movie in Alice in Wonderland, I had purchased a T-shirt with the phrase and had wore it to a interview from a local newspaper not thinking that a couple months later it would express my thoughts of today. It has been difficult and may never happen for at least me to go back and continue my life as it was before. It’s hard to be in a  group and discuss the things that once mattered to me. I even told people close to me that I need to be just left alone, that I had no interest in talking about it, but I know through it all that Jesus was there not telling me it will be alright but sitting with me holding my hand, handing me tissue to wipe the tears from my eyes (figuratively).

Listen, Jesus no matter how you feel, what you are experiencing, what you are thinking, in the greatest hours of despair, Jesus is there! Don’t always expect Him to speak words in your ears, to shake you, to even hug you, but know He is there, trust that!

It’s been very difficult in seeing any good of the tragic loss of my son and daughter and when I shared my daughters legacy in our church the scripture that God gave me is found in Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” To be honest I don’t feel good about what happened, I do Love God with everything in me and I do believe I am called for His purpose. But the good I can’t fathom, it hurts way to much at this point in time to think that, but I do believe it. Maybe all that will come of it is that I will get to share my story how no matter what has come my way, I can stand, even if my knees may be weak and wobbly, I will still stand, and if you ever find yourself not able to look at the bright-side I will sit with you even in the dark!

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Christian’s and Suicide

suicide

By Pastor Jeff,

Will a Christian that commits suicide go to heaven? That is a question that is in much dispute and I must say that I will not come to a definitive answer in this blog, but I will share some thoughts and let you come to your own conclusion. The reason I can’t make that definitive answer is that I’m not God and I do not claim to have answers to every question that man seeks answers to. However like the Apostles Paul did occasionally I will deliver my opinion on the matter.

In our bible we can recall six suicides mentioned, Abimelech (Judges 9:54), Saul (1 Samuel 31:4), Saul’s armor-bearer (1 Samuel 31:4–6), Ahithophel (2 Samuel 17:23), Zimri (1 Kings 16:18), and Judas (Matthew 27:5). If we want to add Samson to this equation we find seven! Everyone is tragic in its own right and everyone, even Judas was done under extreme moments of depression, fear, and despair.

I have in the last few years and more heavily this past year have studied Mental Health and especially how it is handled by the Church. I found that my past thoughts on the subject were severely lacking and judgmental. I can easily blame those that have in the past blamed any mental health issue on a lack of faith, seeking attention, or worse declaring those affected as being demon possessed. But this belief is just a cop out that I had to come to terms with as a christian first, a brother in the Lord, and then a pastor.

I have found out that this area is very complicated not only in the world but also in the church, I need to admit that I don’t have all the answers, nor do I know all of the questions but I’m searching with an honest heart. In looking at the word of God with this new perspective I have found that though our God is awesome, He chooses people that are very flawed to do His work. The prophet Elijah is one that jumps out at me, in 1 Kings 18 we find Elijah part of a great conquest on Mt. Carmel against 450 prophets of Baal. When we look at chapter 19 we find this same prophet fleeing under the death threat from Jezebel, verse 4, “But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.” Sounds to me that Elijah was severely depressed to the point of wishing to die.

The problem we have as Christians that the bible declares in Exodus 20:13, “Thou shalt not kill.” Could we not say that suicide is in violation of this commandment? After all you are taking death which is appointed by God into your own hands. I in recently years have seen extreme suffering by non Christians and Christians alike not only physically but emotionally. I in no way will defend someone that takes his or hers own life but I will not and cannot stand in judgment of them either. Jesus Christ is the one who has the keys, Revelations 1:17-18, “And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” It is “He” that will open the books, Revelations 20:11-12, “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.”

In most cases of suicide, no one is there at the time of the passing of the person, only God knows what the state of mind that person was in or the conversation they may have had with our Lord at the moment or time prior to them passing. Listen I don’t have the power to put anyone in nor take anyone out of heaven. That’s God business, I preach the gospel, do my best to love everyone, and keep studying the scriptures to have a reason of my hope. I take comfort in these words found in Romans 8:38-39, “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Let God be God!

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Radically Saved

radical

By Pastor Jeff

One of the definitions for the word “Radical” is, characterized by independence of or departure from tradition; innovative or unorthodox:“the daring, avant-garde spirit of the music was too radical for the conservative audience”

Tradition is important, 2 Thessalonians 2:14-15, “Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.” Mans’ tradition is not, Mark 7:9, “And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.” 

Jesus Christ came to not destroy the law but fulfill it according to Matthew 7:17. He did radically change the view that the so called spiritual leaders were teaching and requiring the everyday believer in God to follow. His words were powerful, John 7:45-46, “Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him? The officers answered, Never man spake like this man.” His actions showed His ability, John 3:1-2, “There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.”

The words of Jesus had authority, He spoke against the religious bondage that mankind had been chained to, He was unorthodox, He healed on the Sabbath, He spoke of things that no man could know, heavenly things, and His words angered the religious.

The same thing is happening today. We have so many people who will declare that they are Christians but have been chained to the traditions of men. In the face of trials or the possibility of suffering for Christs sake they melt into denial that would make Peter’s denial look petty. They wear t-shirts, jewelry, have bumper stickers, and even tattoo’s declaring their love of God. They however have no root and will show no real signs of repentance, holiness, or LOVE in there lives.

1 Corinthians 13:1-7, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”

Radically saved Christians have one purpose and it’s not following a bunch of rules laid out by Creeds, bylaws, television evangelist, authors or government. Matthew 22:36-39, “Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” 

Lets be unorthodox, independent from man’s traditions, daring to swim against the current, Radically Saved!

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Great Faith!

Great-Faith

By Pastor Jeff,

Several times in our bible we find accounts were Jesus was approached or approached someone and declared that they had more than the average faith, they had “Great Faith”. The Roman officer in Matthew 8:5-13, the woman with the issue of blood in Mark 5:25-34, and a Gentile woman in Matthew 15:21-28. Interestingly none of these were of the Jewish faith which makes the statement of Jesus even more profound.

We can look at many others such as Noah, Ruth, Joseph, Phillip, Paul and others and see that they exhibited much faith but these three are pointed out as having “Great Faith”. The bible tells us that we all are given faith, Romans 12:3, “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” 

As we look at the Gifts of the Spirit we can see one of the action gifts in 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.”Verse 9 again,To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;”

As I ponder on the “Gift of Faith” and “Great Faith” my first reaction is that I have never functioned in this area. But recently as I reflected on this I now believe that I have received a faith that I would not ordinarily have. Before Jesus Christ I believe a supernatural faith. My youngest daughter was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma at three months of age that crushed me to the core. It was pretty much a death sentence though the doctors would not give us any percentage on her chances. She had surgery to remove a tennis size tumor then several months of chemo. But I want to concentrate on the night of her surgery I had come home that night and as I laid in bed I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ and a supernatural feeling assurance came on me that in spite of what we were seeing and hearing it was going to be okay!

Just recently I had a similar experience as my daughter once again has been diagnosed with a cancer called Sarcoma Synovial which is inoperable and according to the medical field fatal. Of course this crushed my family and I and despite an astounding number people praying was not going to well. I couldn’t help but plead to God for healing and many people told me she would receive that healing. At the onset I had declare “We walk by Faith not by Sight” But I will be honest, doubt was overwhelming me and found myself very sorrowful and sad. I didn’t believe my words as I declared Isaiah 53:5, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”That all changed recently as I can’t pinpoint the exact time or how, I do know it was a Wednesday that that same assurance I had way back when had prayed that prayer at home came over me and by “Great Faith” in spite of what I hear or see will be healed once again to the Glory of Jesus Christ!

This is not a faith that I can say generated in me but it comes from my love of God and His love for me!

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