What are the chances?

They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator–who is forever praised. Amen. – Romans 1:25

There is a Caribbean saying; “when you give someone an inch, they may take a yard” (roughly paraphrased). With the enemy, when he gets an inch, he doesn’t just try for a yard, he is going in for the kill. Denying Jesus removes His protective gear and gives the enemy just that foothold he needs to lead people astray and destroy them. If anyone has an ear to hear the Gospel, I pray will hear. If you’re not on Jesus’ side, you are in bad company. Even the atheists know what they are preaching is impossible. Is a few fleshly pleasures on earth worth your eternity with God? It is okay to submit to God, He is very good. Everything good under the sun that we enjoy is made possible because of Him. The love we share between family and friends, laughter, the beauty in nature etc. If we are eternally separated from Him, we will be eternally separated from those things too. I’m not saying come to Christ on those terms, but do come to Him recognizing your need for Him. We have all sinned; if we have placed someone or something as more important than God in our lives, the Bible calls this idolatry; if we’ve used the name of Jesus as a cuss word, it is blasphemy, we’ve sinned. If we have told a lie, we are guilty. If we have had sexual thoughts towards someone who is not our spouse, Jesus refers to this as committing adultery in our hearts. I am speaking plainly, that you may plainly understand and see your need for the forgiveness of the Father, for He is holy and as a holy God, He will not allow sin within His sanctuary. Our sin will not be patted on the back on that Great Day. Either we know Jesus, or we don’t.

 

Lukewarmness, quit it.

lukewarmNo one knows their time or hour; one minute on earth, the next minute eternity. Everyone will face death, some sooner than others. Next time you see a report about the dead, check to see who you are living for. Is it for God?

Jesus says if you are not with Him, you are against Him (Matthew 12:30). There is no in between. So quit with the lukewarmness; the church on Sunday; then parade on the streets, and dance in the clubs with all your L.O.L (Lots of Liquor). Jesus says He will spit out lukewarm people (Revelation 3:16), that means He wants no part with them. We can’t fool God. And He will not be mocked. Where your heart is, that’s where your treasure is. Heaven has its one brand of treasure, I highly recommend this pick, however, hell has something else to offer too, that is, the absolute absence of experiencing God’s presence. Since everything good comes from Him, it means hell is where you experience nothing good.

Some say that earth is hell, actually it isn’t, we can still experience the beauty in nature, the love from family and friends. These are good things, and the source of this goodness originates from the good God who in the beginning made the earth perfect until it was corrupted through disobedience of the first man and woman. There is a way to be reunited with God from this broken fellowship, and that’s through Jesus Christ. Believing in His work on the cross, and accepting that we have fallen short of His glory (we have all sinned) is the gospel truth that leads to salvation. While we cannot earn salvation by our own good works (Jesus wouldn’t have gone to the cross if salvation was up to us), but if one is saved, they will deliver the fruit of good works. So we don’t do good works on our own merits to get saved, but good works is evidence of salvation, not lukewarmness. So quit it and think about your living before you die.

*Everyone will die, repent:
Luke 13:2-3 And Jesus said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. ”

*Lukewarmness leads to death/hell:
Revelation 3:16 – “So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.”

*Salvation is a gift from God:
Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

*Faith/salvation produces good works:
James 2:17-18 – “Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.

The burden: a call to repent

burdenWhen someone becomes a new creation in Christ, not only do their eyes become open and they acquire hatred for sin in their lives, but they also attain a God-like desire to see others come to a knowledge of truth and receive Christ Jesus as well. There is indeed a heavy burden on the hearts of Christians when they look at the unsaved. Jesus has called His followers, the Christians, to share the truth, and while it is not always easy, it certainly must be done. For one we must obey God and two, we must obey God. God wants us to love Him, put Him first and love others. He then went on to say if we love Him we will obey Him. (John 14:15) We see love requires action, an obedient action.

I write again to share what has been on my heart. I see a generation that is drawing further and further from God. Every time I open my Facebook, I see my friends practice a lie and how heavy my heart grows. How I wish I could just share the Gospel and everyone would believe and repent. Here’s what Jesus says about those who practice a lie:

Blessed are those who wash their robes. They will be permitted to enter through the gates of the city and eat the fruit from the tree of life. But outside the city are the dogs–the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idol worshipers, and all who love to live a lie. ” – Revelation 22:15

Quickly one might want to say they are no sorcerer, they are not hurting anyone and in fact a “good” person. The Bible says there is none that is good, all have fallen short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) So there goes that claim.

If that doesn’t convince an unsaved man/woman of the lack of self-goodness, let’s take a look at the condemnation of sexual immorality. It’s not just talking about those who engage in sex with many different partners, but even those who are exclusively sexually active with one person, “in love” or not. Let me give a scripture, because I am not making this up.

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, and they are these: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, quarreling, rivalry, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envying, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like. About these things I tell you again, as I have also told you in times past, that those who do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God.” – Galatians 5:19

God really condemns sex outside of marriage. Notice how that verse begun with adultery and continued with fornication (pre-marital sex). Fornication in itself is sex out of marriage, because such an act is done when there is no marriage. The thing is, if we claim to live for God, if we call ourselves a Christian such a practice should not be in our lives. Even if you see another so called believer living such a lifestyle, that doesn’t make it okay. Even if the entire neigbourhood or country was practicing a life that is opposed to the Word of God, it is still not okay to follow in their ways. God’s Word is the authority which we must adhere to. Remember this also:

Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” – Matthew 7:21 (Obedience again…)

The other practices listed in Galatians 5:19 are also abominations to God, they are sin and sin is an abomination to a holy God. For those who think that practicing homosexuality was only condemned in the Old Testament/Hebrew Scriptures, I got another verse for you, because I am not making this up.

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

It is a wicked lie being spread that it is okay in this day and age, a lie that I too once believed. I remember in the past hearing that it was okay for females to practice with their girl/female friends. Practice for what? God says to abstain from sexual activity until marriage, and what is marriage, a union between a man and a woman under the authority of God.

Each human is inclined to some sin, by the grace of God we can attain freedom from practicing the sin.  If you’re a Christian this is what the Word says concerning you.

And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:11

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him [Christ] who loved us.” Romans 8:37

If you have not left your sin at the foot of the cross (repented from sin), this is a gentle, yet urgent call to do so. If God speaks to your heart today, don’t think that you have time to answer tomorrow. You do not have the ability to independently initiate a desire for God. This is why you read in the Bible or hear from the “religious people” the constant proclamation of “saved by grace”. God is the one doing the drawing/calling, not you.

No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.” – John 6:44

One of the things that I have seen rampant today is immodest attire among women. There is a particular celebration on my island and other islands which further encourages this dress mode. It’s called carnival. Here’s what the Word says:

in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing,” – 1 Timothy 2:9

Modesty forbids boastfulness. We should not be boasting our bodies in such a way that promotes lust and other forms of sexual immorality. There is a way to look attractive yet modest and it doesn’t involve small/skimpy bras and underwear on the streets. If this be too much, consider this: if God came to visit you in bodily form, would you dress and dance as you do, as you did on “last lap” carnival parade?

I am not here on a soap dish, because I too know what I once was. I practiced just the same as 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 condemns. The good news is by God’s mercy my eyes are now opened to sin and it is no longer me, or about me but about Christ. I was spiritually crucified with Christ, and now He lives in me. I am not claiming perfection either, but I am claiming a new lifestyle because of Jesus.

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” – Galatians 2:20

Are you now convinced that you are living in opposition to God? Great, your heart is ready. Please confess your sin to Jesus, repent from your sin, which is a decision to turn or move away from the practice of and ask Jesus to be your Lord and Saviour. He is waiting, and He wants you to live for Him.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” – Revelation 3:20

God knows your name, your every thought, each worry, each tear; will you call upon His name today for liberty that only He can give? I sure hope and pray so. I’ve got a burden, a burden for you and God wanted me to share this with you. (Matthew 28:19)

How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” – Romans 10:14

Repent, repent, choose Jesus and live. 🙂

Unless ye repent, ye shall perish the same!

repentJust heard the news of a long time family friend’s passing. It is a common thing in times like these for many to question why; if the person who went on to the next life dies before 50, we respond “gone too soon”, and if over 50, we still want to believe that the person had enough strength for some more years. The thing is, the Word says we are appointed to die once and then face a judgement (Hebrews 9:27). Jesus proclaims the urgency of repenting while we have the chance in the following passage:

Now there were some present on that occasion who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. He answered them, “Do you think these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered these things? No, I tell you! But unless you repent, you will all perish as well! Or those eighteen who were killed when the tower in Siloam fell on them, do you think they were worse offenders than all the others who live in Jerusalem? No, I tell you! But unless you repent you will all perish as well!” Luke 13:1-5

After sharing the gospel with some, I have been told “I don’t want to be saved now, sometime later.” I am sorry to say, but none of us know the appointed time. This is not a scare tactic; however I hope by the power of the Spirit hearts will be convicted, and those who are not yet in Christ Jesus will stop and think for a moment. Please stop and think about your eternity. Money, fame and the rest of the “carnivals”, “socas” and “dancehalls” of this world will pass away; even the best relationships on this earth will go too (Matthew 22:30), but our spirit will live on forever. The thing is, where are we headed? Are we prepared to spend an eternity with God, or an eternity separated from Him? He has provided a way to Himself, but those who reject Him in this life, will be rejected in the next. We reject God as number 1 in our lives when we place anything above Him. That includes a desire to hold on to a particular relationship and the sinful benefits of it (e.g. fornication/pre-marital sex [Galations 5:19-21] ) instead of obeying what the Word says in regards to it. Jesus said:

For whoever is ashamed of Me and of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” – Mark 8:38

By the grace of God I am saved (I didn’t do anything to earn my way here, so I can’t brag), by that same grace so can you too be saved. I am not making this up, it is all there in the Bible. Please believe, your eternity depends on it.

May hearts be open to receive Christ Jesus today.

Merry Obedience to Christ this 2013!

*Mat 6:33* But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.

As we go into 2013, let us meditate on this verse. Notice it doesn’t say seek the provisions or the hand of the Lord but His Kingdom and righteousness. We receive all that God has in store for us when we walk according to His ways.

I am not sure where the idea of a new year’s resolution came from, but it wouldn’t be a bad thing to make one for 2013. I’ve decided to ask God for help so that I can put Him a lot more first in my ways. I say to my soul God is the greatest, and He is. But as long as I am in my earthly tent, I fall short. In areas that I fall short, I need to acknowledge His righteousness more. That means more prayer, more stillness and less independence.

*Pro 3:5-6* Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding. Acknowledge Him in all your ways, and He will make your paths straight.

Happy New Year!

Life Without Jesus is a Lamentation

Jerusalem-Destroyed

Lam 2:19 – Arise, cry out in the night: in the beginning of the watches pour out thine heart like water before the face of the Lord: lift up thy hands toward Him for the life of thy young children, that faint for hunger in the top of every street.

Broken fellowship with God is heart wrenching. God had allowed Jerusalem to be brought to a complete desolation by the Babylonians. The passage in verse 4 says that God “bent His bow like an enemy”.

There is a well known verse in the Bible that says “if God is for us, who can be against us?” What happens when He removes His protective arm? Well it is simple, if He’s not for us, anyone can be against us. We see that God is the author of life. And as Christians, obedience and holiness is the call of this new life that Jesus has brought us to. Selfish pride is not pleasing to God; I know I am guilty of this at times. Through my toils this semester I see how imperative it is to cry out to and seek the Lord in prayer. Without a Christ filled life we find ourselves bitter, angry, tired, lazy, anxious and more that are not Jesus’ will for us. Life without Jesus is no life at all but a complete and utter lamentation.

Make No Mistake

“My name is Legion, for we are many. (Mark 5:9)” is apparently quoted in the movie Ghost Rider. So many times I hear the Bible being blasphemed as a book of fables, yet the secular world continues to quote from it. Could there be an agenda behind that? Could it be that the “super powers” of this world knows something that it tries to compel its audience to believe to be a fake? Could it be that “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12)” Make no mistake about it; those in “high places” will admit to a spiritual world. Look and listen and you’ll hear many of the “greatest” entertainers of the secular attesting to being “taken over” when on set. We either have the Spirit of God dwelling within us or not! Do not be deceived. There is only one God, He is not I nor is He you. In John 8:58 Jesus proclaimed Himself as God Almighty “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM.” He went on to say in John 14:6 “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.” You wouldn’t take Preparation H for a headache, now would you? Or would you go to the dentist, when you have a stomach ache? The remedy for sin is Jesus Christ. Either we believe Him or reject Him as a lunatic. I have heard some say He was a good teacher, but not God. Would a good teacher claim to be God? Again either Jesus is God or He is a lunatic and a blasphemer. I believe what He says, do you?

Just Stop and Think (Francis Chan)

A short video that will inspire the highest ideals, the clearest and most noble biblical values, and which do so with a commitment to holiness.  This is the salvation message and you got to get it!

Visit their website: http://juststopandthink.com

The Good Harvest

harvestLife like a corn harvest can be challenging as well as tiring. Today, I as well as some other mates had the privilege to harvest corn at the Bethel foundation, which is a home for blind orphans in China. Without a good system in place, the task could have proven to be an unnecessarily tiring one. Our group decided instead of chopping all the corn stalks down and then picking out the corn cobs in the heap of chopped down corn stalks, while one chopped the other would pick and another would also bag. We did this in a row like fashion, and by time we knew it, we had harvested hundreds of corn in just a couple of hours. Our system was effective and it kept us on target. Life too has an effective “system” for its challenges, whether good or seemingly bad, that works every time. What I am referring to is faith, faith in Jesus Christ. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, but you often feel drowned in heart ache or tasks of life, then it just could mean that you feel that way because you are not using that God given privilege to go to God in prayer. It doesn’t matter what you’re facing, could be an exam, financial issues, marital issues whatever; prayer is your most effective system in overcoming any problem that you may face. If you do not know what to pray for, just pray that the Lord’s will be done and you are ready to accept the outcome of His will.

I myself for the past two days was down in my spirit. I was broken hearted by the actions of a friend and was just not my usual “up to beat” self. We all have these kinds of days, and though the Good LORD does not cause them to happen, He can and will use them for good. All we have to be is ready for Him to do so. In the past two days I have been crying out to God for strength, crying out to Him to give me a forgiving heart and asking Him to bless the friend that had hurt me. The latter of my prayer was not easy, but it’s necessary and I trust God to bring forth a good harvest having humbly petitioning it. It’s always necessary to call out the name of anyone we may have a conflict with. No one likes mentioning the name of someone that they are in some way or another not pleased with. You will even notice parents, even though they love their children dearly, will say to the other spouse “your daughter/your son did this or said that…”. During the easy days it’d sound more like “our daughter Jane/son John… ”. There’s more intimacy when things are good, but often a disconnection otherwise. So with that being said, when we pray for someone who has hurt us in some way or another, it is best to mention the person’s name or at least petition the matter with words like “God, please bless my friend”. This in no way gives the person license to what they may or may not have done, but it’s an effective “system” that harvests good character. Spending time with God in prayer is something we need to do daily, good days or not. The Bible records many times when our Lord Jesus prayed. If God the Son prayed, then we too should see this as pertinent in our lives. Don’t go another day without talking to your God, better said: don’t go any day without talking to your God, our God. Just like today my buddies and I harvested corn with an effective system which kept us on target, so too do we need to commune daily with God in order that we too remain on target, which is in His will. Praying in spirit and in truth keeps us geared towards the will of our LORD. Praying and believing that God will answer any prayer within His will, is simply known as trusting God, hoping in Him or waiting upon Him. We know what the Word says about this:

Isaiah 40:31

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

We should delight in the LORD always, in this way He will harvest His good character in us.

 

Everybody’s watching you now

 

fos
Fruit of the Spirit

Recently, I’ve had quite a few things on my mind. Dominantly, I’ve been thinking that being a Christian is quite a struggle. The fruit of the Spirit which any true Christian possesses is love which then gives birth to: joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and and self-control. Almost everyday I feel as if I’ve failed to display one or more of these attributes of the one fruit, love (Galations 5:22). This can be quite discouraging. However, it is no reason to give up. Making a mistake doesn’t mean we are without Christ. Though however, when we do wrong our actions are indeed without or out of Christ. God never promised this was going to be easy. Instead He warned of the exact opposite.

John 16:33

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

What does it mean? Exactly as it says. We’re going to have issues, there’re going to be moments when we fall. But there’s good news, Jesus has overcome this passing world. 🙂 So what does that has to do with us? Simple, simple. Our God did it, we lean on Him for help and we can do it too! Through our Lord Jesus, all that is His will is possible. So let me say this, it IS God’s will for us to be in a relationship with Him. So no matter what, never give up! God intends for us to be with Him.

Declaring Jesus as our Lord and Saviour marks us for life. First of all, if we declare this to a mate that hasn’t publicly claimed Jesus as their Lord, that mate is automatically, subconsciously going to be observing our now mannerisms. There’s going to be a magnification on our actions. They’re going to want to know what’s the difference between then and now, because ultimately, everyone is looking for one thing. Many say happiness or true love, but what they really mean is fulfillment of their spirit. As we know, only the Lord Jesus can meet the needs of the spirit. He made us just to connect with Him. If folks see that positive change birthed from the Spirit in us, they too are going to want to have the Spirit living in them. Yes, they really will and do want, Richard Dawkins included. So what do we do? Do we worry about what others think? No! Human beings are insatiable, we’ll never please the whole world. So what do we do? Do we search exasperatedly God’s will for us? No! God reveals His will for us when He so see it fit. Our job is to obey and follow His revealed plan. God’s will for us will never contradict Himself. So we can be assured that when He reveals a plan, it’s a plan that’ll draw us closer to Him.

I cannot emphasis how important is daily prayer and Bible study. I find that whenever I get so busy in the speed of school and the like, I often end up feeling drained and disconnected from God. Also important is attending church. I don’t mean going to a building. I mean being in a community of other followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, this is the church. I had a friend who said she’s looking for a church in Beijing. I was quite delighted to hear this. Only to find out that she knew about the church I belonged to. She said “I know this, it is just a building, like a simple room. Not a church.”  What it appears she was looking for, was a building with stained glass and all the fancy decorating of other buildings that contains a church.  A church is not the building! A church is made up of followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I’ve come to realize that it is immensely difficult to continue loving others the way Jesus did without expecting anything in return.  I might have said this in one of my previous posts, but how wonderful an example Jesus set before us. Remember when Judas betrayed Him? Why do you think the disciples didn’t even know who the betrayer was? It’s simple. It’s because Jesus’ attitude towards Judas was consistently of love and kindness. Had it been spiteful, no doubt the disciples would have been like “Oh, Jesus you mean Judas? Yes, we noticed how you treat him.” I’m often driven by emotions, by present feelings. This is not what God wants. He wants us to show the fruits of the Spirit regardless of our current situation. A difficult task, yes. Attempted on our own, impossible to even see a small improvement! However, if we continue to seek, listen to and obey God, in time we will become more an more like the piece of clay He intended us to be.

Thankfully we are saved by the grace of God. Had He have dealt with us according to our actions, I probably wouldn’t be typing this note now. None of us would be here actually, as we have all sinned. Wonderfully, great is the love of our Lord Jesus Christ. So we are delivered from sin through God’s great act of mercy.

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.

We need God’s salvation, so we continue in this race. Let it be known that:

Ecclesiates 9:11

the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

God’s mercy doesn’t just fall on one group of people, but the entire nation, the entire world. When we claim Jesus as our Lord, we don’t just sit back and say “I’m a Christian now. I’m invisible.” We’re not! It’s not going to get comfortable only until we are reunited with our Father in heaven.

1 Corinthians 16:13-14

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. 14 Do everything in love.

This is what we are compelled to do for it pleases God. Not to mention, everybody’s watching us now. Setting a good example, still pleases God. In the end, we do it all for the glory of God our Rock, our Redeemer, our Healer, our Jehovah Jireh, our Counselor, our LORD, our wonderful King and Saviour.

Hosanna, hosanna in the highest!