Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Mark 9:22b-24 But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!  Jesus said to him, If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”

This weekend Pastor JJ was at our College/Career Age Retreat, so Mike (from our small Group Bible study delivered the Sunday Sermon message on the above passage and the topic of “Believing”. He gave us five questions on the subject of believing to think about.

1. What does believing mean? The word in Greek is “πιστεύω pisteuō”, which means “to have faith – i.e. credit to God; entrust” (Strong’s Dictionary of Bible Words & Webster’s). Conviction of the truth that God tells the truth and that Jesus Christ is Truth. If God said it, then that settles it. Do I believe it? Do I obey His holy Word and do what He says? To believe is to obey His Word. Galatians 3:5-6He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?— just as Abraham  “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”

2. What does one believe? Believe in our personal relationship to God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) and the sovereign authority of the Trinity. Isaiah 45:12 I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded. We believe Creator God’s perfect Word, not man’s flawed word. There is no prophesy of the Holy Scriptures that is a private interpretation. What truly matters is not people think, but what God thinks. 1 Peter 1:15-16 As He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”

3. On Whom do we believe? Romans 10:8-10 What does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. The word “confess” in Greek is "μολογέω homologeō", (homo means “same” / Logeo means “word”), literally "same word", to acknowledge, to agree with God. Profess is the same word in Greek, with the meaning to acknowledge and declare. We get our word “professional” from this. They put their knowledge into practice and practice what we preach. We don’t just confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, we don’t just agree with the message, we are the message in profession by living out our belief in obedience. Does that make sense?

4. What difference does believing make?  Galatians 3:21-22 Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. Believing faith is the vehicle to righteousness, but the profession of and obedience to God’s Word, Will and Way in a transformed life is the fulfilling evidence of redeemed soul and regenerated heart. The flip side of King is Subject, the flip side of Master is Servant, and the flip side of Lord is Slave. In America, the connotation to slavery is negative, but only because the term “bond slave” is foreign to us today. The bond slave of Christ is a loving term, where we willfully choose to know, live for and serve the Lord, where our delight and will is the delight and will of our Redeemer King, who loves us, reconciled us, saved us and made us whole. This is not oppressive bondage; Jesus died for our sins so that we may be restored, live and have life eternal.  
5. Why can we put our trust in God? 2 Chronicles 7:14If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” The word of man is always changing and unreliable. God is never-changing and totally reliable, always and forever faithful to His Word. God is not a respecter of men and conditions; God is a respecter of His Word. God created (1) physical life, (2) biological life, then (3) spiritual life. There is nothing too big for God. You put full trust in a chair to hold you, so believing, you sit without a doubt or though of otherwise. Put your full trust in our amazing, Almighty, Lord God. Rejoice and have true joy in the Lord. To believe means to obey. Allow God to bless you today. Believe.

In Christ, Brian

Saturday, October 27, 2012


John 11:25-26Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

As our small group home Bible Study come to the conclusion of our series on the gospel of Jesus Christ, we also came to the conclusion that this salvation from sin is a matter of life and death. Either dead in sin or alive in Christ today and where we will spend eternity with either torment in hell or rejoicing in heaven forever. Our choice. The wages of sin is death. Our Creator Father, the living God, sent  His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay for our sins. He died in our place. He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures(1 Corinthians 15:3-6). Christ is alive. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand God of the Father, making intercession for the Believers (Romans 8:34), until we come home to be with the Lord (John 14:1-4). And they shall never die. Do you believe this?

1 Corinthians 15:12-18 “Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.”

The Bible teaches that our Savior, our blessed Redeemer Jesus died as an atoning sacrifice for our sins then rose from the dead on the third day according to the scriptures, and therefore there is a resurrection from the dead for all who are in Christ. Psalm 89:48What man can live and not see death? Can he deliver his life from the power of the grave?” If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead after promising to do so, what does that make Jesus Christ? If Jesus were not raised from the dead, where are you and I in our sins? We have God’s Word. John 5:24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. We know the gospel. Are we going to trust, believe and rely on the Bible or mortal man?  
Romans 10:9-13 If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.” Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
You will never die. Do you believe this? What will we do with Jesus?

Revelation 20:6Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. For them the second death holds no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ.”

In Christ, Brian

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Jesus – One Having Authority

Matthew 7:24-29 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall. ”When Jesus had finished these words, the crowds were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.”

Pastor JJ exhorted and challenged us in His Sunday sermon series on “Amazed – Encounters with Jesus”. The most important question in the world is: “What will you do with Jesus, the One having authority?” Does He in your life? Have we integrated the eternal with the temporal, the spiritual with the physical, and our faith in the Lord with our daily living? Does the Lord of lords bring passion to your faith, with an excitement that is real and alive? Where is your house built?    

Matthew 28:18 Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

There are those who would say that Jesus is a nice story about a good man, but nothing more. That Christianity is a belief that truly affects the lives of sincere Believers, but just a wishful fantasy for fools and a crutch for the weak. Those blind to Jesus’ love, mission, life and grace are spiritually blind and cannot see the Truth (Luke 6:39, John 3:3, 1 Corinthians 2:14). The Sermon on the Mount by Lord Jesus is a set of standards to be lived out by the children of God, the citizens of the kingdom of God. What truly is a “good” person, in light of Isaiah 64:6 and  Mark 10:18? What is the “good” life? No man’s ideas. Moral relativism proclaims: “I don’t need a foundation because the only thing that matters is what is right to me” (Glory be to me). Man’s religion states that any foundation will do. All roads to go the same place, so just choose one” (My will be done).

John 1:4-14In Him (Jesus) was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.”

What does the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ really mean? What does that truth require of us and our life? Jesus did not only come to show us the way to salvation and heaven; Jesus is the way to salvation and heaven. Do we say: “This I believe in?” We dedicate and devote our life to God, and commit to live for Christ, our Lord and Savior; not to live like the world, but like the kingdom. Living the Word of God as life unfolds, day to day and moment to moment for the One who has authority and meets our needs, according to His purposes. Is our will and way aligned with the Lord’s will and way? What do you thirst for? Where is your house (called “life and faith”) built. Is it constructed on the shifting sands of godless beliefs or centered on the solid bedrock foundation of Jesus Christ and His kingdom way and truth? There is where we find the “good” life, with the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-25). Be amazed.

John 3:31-36 “He has come from above and is greater than anyone else. We are of the earth, and we speak of earthly things, but he has come from heaven and is greater than anyone else. He testifies about what he has seen and heard, but how few believe what he tells them! Anyone who accepts his testimony can affirm that God is true. For he is sent by God. He speaks God’s words, for God gives him the Spirit without limit. The Father loves his Son and has put everything into his hands. And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment.”

In Christ, Brian

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Jehovah Saves

Matthew 1:20-23 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).

Truth is essential in any authentic relationship. Therefore it is important for us to understand that all have sinned, how sin has consequences, and how the penalty for our sins can be paid in full by Christ alone. He was made sin for us and died in our place to save us from hell. But do we understand how He could pay for our sins? What made Jesus’ atoning sacrifice acceptable to God? Why was He able to die as our substitute? So many today need to hear and know this, and this is where our Small Group Bible Study picked up from last week in our study of having a real relationship with God.
2 Corinthians 5:21 “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

In order to be our substitute , Jesus had to be without sin. This is why, in God perfect plan of salvation, Jesus was conceived in Mary with no “original sin” from the Holy Spirit. If He were born in sin or if He committed sin, He would have had to die for His own sins, because the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). In the Old Testament book of Leviticus, verse 17:11 tells us that without the shedding of blood there can be no remission (or taking away) of sin. Until the death of Jesus Christ, animals were sacrificed  and their blood was used to cover man’s sin. John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

Romans 4:25He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.”
Our Creator, Father in Heaven, Lord God, out of the grace of His mercy and love, sent His Son to pay our debt – the sin of the world, past, present and future. Jesus took our transgressions and we put on His righteousness by the covering of His blood, and thereby justified, declared not guilty and acquitted on “lack of evidence”. Amazing grace. Our Savior willfully received what He did not deserve, so that we would not receive what we deserve and that we would receive what we did not deserve. And the proof that Christ’s propitiation was an acceptable payment in full for our sins is that His resurrection from the dead. Praise be to God! Do we have reason to rejoice and give God our worship; to give the Lord all the glory and honor; to give our Redeemer our dedication and devotion?  

Romans 5:15-20 “For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification. For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.) Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.” Jesus Christ, our Savior is Jehovah. Jesus saves! Hallelujah!
In Christ, Brian

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Theology and Religion

2 Peter 2:17-19These men are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him.”

Once the Lord revealed the Way, the Truth and the Life to me, I had a thirst to know Him more, and more deeply, building upon my faith and to make Him, His gospel of salvation and His light of truth known to other. That’s why I am thankful for those in the past and today, who teach and expound upon the Word of God to define and explain their detailed meaning and godly intent for my improving understanding and life application as a growing Christian. Not for prideful head-knowledge, but to know more about God’s purpose and will for my life as I follow Jesus daily.

1 Peter 3:14b-15 “Do not be frightened. But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.

Have you heard that Christianity is not a religion; it’s a relationship? What’s that mean exactly? I heard that there is a basic difference between Religion and Theology, which helped me distinguish between the two terms. Religion is the study of human behavior (anthropology) towards God from a man-centered perspective and involves sociology (the affairs of men). Man reaching God. As in Exodus 32, like all other nations, people desire a god that is tangible, that they could see, that was contemporary, that was relevant, and a god that they could get excited about. A religion that corrupts the image of God and His attributes, from the true and honorable worship of God to sensual creaturely manmade things and nature, as a substitute of the “living’ God. Suppressing the truth and exchanging the incorruptible, transcendent, holy God – who is, for the corruption of earthly things. 

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

The most basic sin is idolatry, involving stripping God of His attributes and placing at the center of our worship something other than God Himself, not the knowledge of the true God. People say that Theology doesn’t matter; what counts is (1) “feeling good” about yourself and what you think, say and do. (2) Being ministered to meet our physical and psychological needs. (3) Having a place where we can feel the warmth of friendship and fellowship, and (4) having a sense of belonging. This is an “existential” philosophy that is rampant today. They’d say: “We don’t need doctrine, we need life!”  But the truth is that Theology is life, because it is the knowledge of God.

Romans 1:21-23For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God.” 

True Theology is first the study of God and His attributes, including the study of mankind (anthology) through holy God at the center and how the Creator reaches down to us. Christianity is a faith different from all others because it is centered and focused on the character of Creator Lord God, not man.  Our lives with never be transformed, reformed, brought into conformity with Christ until we first have a clear understanding of the original form, of the model, of the ideal, and of our true humanity that is found in Jesus, which is a matter of Theology that permeates the entire structure of life. There is no more important knowledge to inform our lives than the knowledge of God. This is why I thirst for a sound understanding of God. Trust God. Seek God.

Matthew 7:7-8 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

In Christ, Brian

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Evolution Education System

Romans 1:18-25The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

I was listening to a presentation by Australian Creationist Speaker Ken Ham this week. Mr. Ham stated that because of the Evolution education system in America, we tend to think of the present being the keys to the past, instead of biblical revelation being the keys to the past. So, more and more, we tend to take our present ideas to the Bible, instead of using the Bible to build our thinking. We've been evolutionized in our thinking. Evolutionized is not the idea that molecules change into people over millions of years through “upward” progression, where one kind of animal turns into another kind of animal and ape-like creatures into man until finally you have your average American. This theory is not evolution, but just a mechanism that Darwin popularized to defend the idea that life arose without God.

Psalm 53:1 “The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, and their ways are vile; there is no one who does good.

Ultimately, Evolution, in essence, is a whole philosophy of life that teaches that man, by himself, independent of God, determines truth; saying : I’m going to determine truth for myself.” My will be done, not Thy will.” We all have the propensity to want to take the words of man, rather than the Words of God, and tell God what He meant, rather than letting God tell us what He said. If the Bible is the infallible, inerrant Word of God, then all of our thinking, in every area, must start with God’s perfect Word because He is the only one who knows everything and with infinite wisdom. People, in rebellion, try to turn God in the direction in which they want to go, instead of letting God speak to them. Why? Because we are accountable to God for our thoughts, words and actions contrary to the Sovereign Author and Creator of Heaven and Earth (Genesis 1:1), so they attempt to disprove His Holy Scriptures and the history that is the foundation in every area of our lives, by indoctrinating society with a lie. If you knock out the Foundation, the Structure will collapse. If we preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and teach the authority of God, then the culture will change as hearts transform to the Truth, because in Holy Scripture, God Himself is speaking. What is Truth? Who is God? Who is Christ? As lights in the darkness, let’s make Him known.  

In Christ, Brian

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Hireling & the Shepherd

John 10:9-15I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.  The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them.  The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.

I heard a presentation by Author and Christian comedian Ken Davis from an old CD that really challenged me to think about my faith, or lack of it, in boldly standing for and with the Lord in our Culture today, because of secular “political correctness” & “public opinion”. Mr. Davis asks us: “Have Christians today, learned to follow the hireling, instead of the Shepherd? Would the child of God let someone into their home that spoke like they do on television or in the movies today? Would you allow someone to come into your home who said: “I have some slide pictures to show you, bring your children to see? Then show you slides of their immorality, their sinful philosophy, their anti-God blasphemy, putting down the Lord and spitting in His face, mocking His name and that which is pure? Everyday, we are bombarded with this. The Bible states it correctly when it uses the imagery that we are just like sheep, when we blindly follow each other around and compromise our morality. We adapt to the customers and patterns of, not only the secular world system, but allow it to lead our church world away from the Lord Jesus, lying in the stench of the very sin that Christ died for. Why? The #1 excuse for not following Jesus Christ is: I’m afraid.” We are afraid more of what the world (the hireling) thinks of us, than what God (our Shepherd) cares about.

Matthew 9:36 But when He (Jesus) saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.

If we are afraid that we can not live up to God’s expectations, realize that is why Jesus came. When we claim the name of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, God begins to move in our lives, but we also find that Satan waits outside the door like a Lion or Wolf to attack the flock to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. We need our Good Shepherd. Have you heard skeptics claim that Christianity is a crutch? Well, in a way, it is because we are a generation crippled by sin, which needs the “Great Physician”. Without the Lord, we can only lie in our own disability and die, because the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:21-23). We desperately need the Lord. The hard-hearted, God-rejecting world defiantly and rebelliously says: “Who needs God? I control my own life. I don’t need God. I am tough!” Good luck with that, as Hebrews 9:27 says, “It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.” We need to be driven to a daily, minute by minute relationship with our Shepherd Jesus, because we life in lawless world system, alluring the flesh, where Satan roars.

Psalm 23:1-3The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.

He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
This world is a scary place for a defenseless, unprotected sheep. There is a resolution also to the truth that there are heart-aches in this world that we bring. We, like sheep, need to recognize our desperate need of something other than what the sinful world can offer. We are disparate for the Good Shepherd. When the Lion attacks to steal, and to kill, and to destroy, we run, not away from the Lion, but to the Shepherd, driven to Him because we live in a world of sin, more deadly than any of us can face on our own. John 10:27-28My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.” When we are in Christ, walking with the Spirit, aligned with God's perfect Word, Will and Way, we can say: “I’m with Him!” Romans 8:38-39For 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 created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Isaiah 53:5-6 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

In Christ, Brian

Saturday, October 13, 2012

I've Got Some Good News & Some Bad News

1 Corinthians 15:1-4 Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.”

We've started back up our Friday evening Small Group Bible Study and picked up where we left off in our topic study of the Gospel. The word “gospel” translates into “good news.” The gospel reality is like the old adage: “ I've got some good news and I got some bad news.” “Give me the bad news first”, because the good news is the remedy to the bad news. It is the bad news that makes the good news good. Sin is serious, with serious consequences. Sin separates us from God by enmity, places us in bondage as slaves to sin, keeps us from experiencing true life and, by the wages of sin earns us the second death. The bad news is that all have sinned. No use pretending that it isn’t true, we need a Savior. But, there is good news. There is hope. There is help! A way has been prepared for you and me to be reconciled with Almighty God, made right with Sovereign God, and to be accepted by God – Maker of Heaven & Earth. Our Heavenly Father is faithful and loving, merciful and forgiving, not desiring anyone to perish, but come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). God could not excuse the sins of the world, so He sent sinless His Son, Jesus Christ, to take our place as an atoning sacrifice in order to pay the price to redeem us. Then He was raised from the dead, conquering sin and death forever. He is seated at the right hand of God, in heaven today, interceding for the children of God. One day soon, after this life is over, we shall be with Him forever more. Is that good news, or what!?

2 Corinthians 5:17-18 & 21 “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

I heard it said put this way: Jesus Christ paid a price that He did not owe, because we owed a price that we could not pay.  This is what Psalm 103:8-18, John 1:1-14, John 3:16-18, Romans 6:20-23, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, and Ephesians 2:1-10 tells us. Take some time to read these passages of bad news and good news from Lord God. By His grace (by God’s unmerited favor), we are offered, as a free gift, what we do not deserve – redemption, salvation, and reconciliation in Jesus Christ – the Blessed Redeemer. The question is: “Will we, in faith, take God at His Word and believe that Jesus’ death on that cross paid for ALL our sins? Do we believe that God means what He says? Will we repent of our sins against God and accept the gift of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior?

This is why the gospel of Jesus Christ is “good news". When you think about it, the joy of your salvation means so much and we have a great deal to be thankful to God for. He is worthy of our worship and praise. He is worthy of our love and adoration. He is worthy of our loyalty and allegiance. Christ died for us. Shall we not live for Him?

2 Corinthians 5:14-15For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 

In Christ, Brian

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Youth with Truth

Romans 1:16For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek (aka Gentiles).”

I was listening to an interview with Christian apologist, evangelist and writer Josh McDowell done some years ago and what he had to say about his experience in bringing the “good news” of Jesus Christ to the youth of today was quite eye-opening. With all the programs designed to draw youth to the church like friendship evangelism to develop a relationship first and the belief that you have to entertain kids or lose them, which denies the work of the Holy Spirit in bringing them to a saving knowledge of the Lord, He found that this is not meeting their deep spiritual needs. They have the same desperate fears, the same hurts in life, the same insecurities and the same lack of esteem. They are looking for the truth that God is Holy & Righteous and loves them. God has placed the truth in their heart to deal with.

Ecclesiastes 3:11He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.
This asks the question: Church, are we keeping the main thing the main thing? Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior. Why? I read that one of the most amazing and most difficult facts to learn about God is that He loves us in spite of what we are. He loves us, not because of what we are, but because of what He is. For the Bible tells us that “God is love” (I John 4:8). God loves you. You couldn’t do anything to keep God from loving you, just as you could never stop the Sun from shining. Now, in the same way as you can take yourself out of the Sun’s light, you can take yourself out of God’s love, but the Sun doesn’t stop shining and God does stop loving.

But the same Bible that tells us that God is loving and gracious also tells us that this same God, because He is” just and righteous” must punish sin. God can’t open the backdoor of heaven and slip sinners in. He’d be no better than a crooked Judge who lets criminals off. God must do something for the guilt of sinners. There must be judgment and justice served. Everyone understands this in their heart. Hebrews 9:27 “It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.”

This creates a problem, which God has solved in Jesus Christ. He died upon the cross and roes from the dead to pay the penalty for our sins and purchase a place in heaven for us. Hallelujah (Praise the Lord)! The youth want to know this truth. Share about the deity of Christ. Share about the truth of the Holy Scriptures and why its reliable. How you know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. How you know it’s true. Never discount the work of the Holy Spirit in your and their lives.

1 Corinthians 2:14 “ The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

In a world of empty promises for happiness, the youth today are starving to hear the truth. They have haunting questions that they do not believe there are answers for. When you share the truth of the gospel, they will listen to you more than ever before. Are you a Christian? Can you explain why? Because the gospel is true. It’s about the person of Jesus Christ, not religion (man attempt to reach up to God); God - the One who is passionate to have a relationship with you - reached down to us. Reach the youth with truth.

In Christ, Brian

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Fields are Ripe for the Harvest

John 4:34-35 Then Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work. You know the saying, ‘Four months between planting and harvest.’ But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest.

Comfort zones are places that all of us seek and enjoy, churched or unchurched. The find a regular route in life that is predictable, with nice things and  surrounded by those who meet the needs of the "good" life with the least amount of stress. But, children of God we are not alone here. This is no heaven, but a lost and dying world lost in sin and in need of the Savior. 

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. 

We have been sent out with the ministry of reconciliation for the saving of the lost in sin. The fields are already ripe for harvest, but the workers are few. We need to get out of our comfort zone and help others to come to a "saving" knowledge of Jesus Christ, the Blessed Redeemer. Can you invite someone who does not know the Lord to church with you this week? There is a "world of hurt" out there looking for forgiveness of sin, salvation and a restored relationship with their Maker. Let's make a difference this week, and make inviting others a part of our regular comfort zone, knowing that eternal lives are truly at stake. 

In Christ, Brian

Monday, October 8, 2012

Rejoicing in Heaven

Luke 15:3-7 Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. 

When it comes to "life and death" matters, it is not considered "being tolerant" to be silent when you can save a person. It is the same with "eternal life and death" matters of sin and salvation through Christ. How are those who do not know the Lord to come to a "saving" knowledge of Jesus Christ without someone telling them? How easy it is to start by just inviting friends, family, neighbors and co-workers to go to your local church with you. The Love of God is what everyone needs. 

Ephesians 2:10 says,"For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. What better good works are there then helping to bring others to a "saving" knowledge of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world? Invite someone who does not not the Lord to go to your local church with you this week. Can you hear the rejoicing in Heaven? Another sinner repented and accepted the Lord as their Savior!  It can start with a simple invite.

Matthew 25:23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

In Christ, Brian

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Commissioned to Go

Matthew 28:18-20 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore GO and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

It is a grim and frightening reality to know that all have sinned (Romans 2:23) and that the penalty of sin is death (Romans 6:23). But if you are wondering if there is a light at the end of the tunnel, there is! God is a faithful and loving God, forgiving and offering hope to all who will believe the "good news". It's the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ, that you can be reconciled to God and brings you into a meaningful relationship with God. Jesus commissioned us to go and tell those who do not know the Lord about Him and His good news. National Back to Church Day was just a few weeks ago, on September 16, 2012, now would be a great time to invite someone you know who does not know the Lord to go to church with you. What better way to introduce them to their Creator and their Savior, who loves them enough "to die for". Invite a friends, a family member, a co-worker or a neighbor to go with you to your local church next week. So GO! It's a heavenly thing. 

In Christ, Brian