Confessions

Jesus Christ, the historical man who walked this earth a little more than 2000 years ago, is the son of the living God, who created all we see and works even to today in the lives of men. This same Jesus died, was buried, and rose again showing himself to witnesses who wrote about these events so you and I can know about them today. He is now in heaven, working in the hearts and minds of men, to bring them to a knowledge of God so that people may be saved from their sins and can live with him forever.

“until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts”

Sorry I have been gone. I have been absent in my own mind. Still am. Thank God for his mercies and tender love.  Let him who has ears to hear, hear before it is too late.

God bless.

Do You Need a Doctor?

I want to know why we are so quick to judge one another yet so incapable of honest personal assessment? Do you? I am always wondering how I can do better, looking for sin in me and struggling with it. I am far from perfect. My desire is to know God and be like his Son. I hope you do too. However, let me warn you, if you do not think you need a good deep look at yourself then you are a good as dead. If you think you are sinless, a light to the lost, and the keeper of truth then watch out. You are in for a hard fall.

Jesus ran into this blindness often. When he went to teach and heal, he kept running into the “religious”. Don’t get me wrong, these “religious” people meant well, they were decent folk.  They were trying to do what was right. The problem was they had missed the point. I think we have missed the point as well.

As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.

While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and “sinners” came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?”

On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Matthew 9:9-13

As a side note I find it interesting that on one occasion after talking to the Pharisees like this, Jesus’ apostles took him aside and asked him if he realized he offended them. NO! Not Jesus.

Are you offended? Have you asked yourself lately, “Do I need a doctor? Am I sick?” Let me give this warning…

Jesus is coming back to this world. Will he find anyone faithful? Will he find be faithful to death? I know I am a crazy fundamentalist bible thumpin’ red neck. I know I am not talking about anything real popular. This is not as fun as American Idol or 24. BUT, GOD IS REAL. And he has a very simple message for us.

“I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” Go and learn what this means. It should scare you to death. And at the same time thrill you. God loves you so much he was willing to give up the thing he valued the most, His Son. Jesus loves you so much he was willing to give up his position and come to earth to be a sacrifice for sin. To heal our relationship with God.

So now what.

Be a different kind of people. Be Jesus kinds of people. Want deeply to love and obey this God who loves you so.

God bless.

Flashlight Fetish

I have a deep personal love affair with flashlights. Not sure when it really took hold, probably when all the different LED flashlights came available. I really think they are neat. Everyone should have 3 or 4 around the house. I actually carry one with me all the time.

It may be genetic. My Grandfather, Papa, always carried a flashlight too. This Christmas I gave a Craftsman LED equipped Ball Cap away in our family free for all. I put a little card in the package that said, “In loving memory of “Papa” who’s light still shines in all of us.” I have so many fond memories of us giving him a hard time about having a flashlight all the time.

In another way, because he was a good Christian man, his Christian light shines through us too. His dedication to Christ has lead many to know Jesus, especially his Grandchildren. Papa never mentioned a spiritual connection to his love of lights so I will.

“Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”- Luke 2:28-32

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

Jesus is the light that shines in the darkness. John 3:19 says the world loved darkness instead of the light. I hate sitting in the dark at work when the power goes out. I hate sitting in the dark of my sin lost spiritually too. We do not have to be in the dark.

God bless. Turn on the light.

Your Will Not Mine

I want what I want now before you get yours! I want. You want. We all want. Why don’t I just want what God wants?

Before Jesus’ death he went up to the the Mount of Olives to pray. Luke records Jesus’ simple prayers in chapter 22:42.

“Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”

Jesus the Son of God could have asked for anything. For that matter could have demanded anything. However, he did not. Paul writes, “You must have the same attitude as Christ Jesus had.” And continues with,

Though he was God,
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
he took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor
and gave him the name above all other names,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:5-11

If you could have everything you wanted, if nothing was refused you, would you be willing to say No? Could you say to yourself, “God, Your will be done?”

God Bless

Missing the Boat

A long time ago, God spoke to a man named Noah. He said…

Now God saw that the earth had become corrupt and was filled with violence. God observed all this corruption in the world, for everyone on earth was corrupt. So God said to Noah, “I have decided to destroy all living creatures, for they have filled the earth with violence. Yes, I will wipe them all out along with the earth!

“Build a large boat from cypress wood and waterproof it with tar, inside and out. Genesis 6:11-14 

The world was full of evil but Noah found favor in God’s eyes. God’s message came to Noah and it was now time to act. Noah had a couple of choices. Build a boat or don’t build a boat (To build or not to build, sorry, just had to say it). The word of God came to Noah, God said, “Noah, I am going to destroy all this I have made, but I want to save you. Build a boat.” Just as Satan caused Eve to doubt the word of God, I am certain he tried to make Noah doubt too.

Noah built the boat.

Today, God speaks to us. He says,

“I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” John 3:3 

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.

“There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.” John 3:16-21

“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

You may wonder, “Is it true Lord, are you really going to destroy all this? Do you really mean it?” Just remember…

Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit.

So he went and preached to the spirits in prison—those who disobeyed God long ago when God waited patiently while Noah was building his boat. Only eight people were saved from drowning in that terrible flood. And that water is a picture of baptism, which now saves you, not by removing dirt from your body, but as a response to God from a clean conscience. It is effective because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 3:18-21

Just as God destroyed the world by water God will return. The water that cleansed the earth then now through baptism cleanses you from sin. Effective because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The boat has arrived.

Jesus said, “When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. In those days, the people enjoyed banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat and the flood came and destroyed them all.” Luke 17:26-27

God bless.

An Empty Tomb

Today we remember the empty tomb. The only universal Christian “holiday” is the day Jesus rose from the dead. Why? Well because Jesus rose from the dead! If you are a Christian this is the reason for existence.

Luke records the moment of Jesus’ death.

It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.

The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things. Luke 23:44-49

This is when the Pharisees, Teachers of the Law, and Elders were happy. They had not been so for some time. Jesus was a very sharp thorn in their side. But for now they had won or so they thought. Everyone thought Jesus’ ministry was over. The apostles, his family, everyone. However, the story did not end here.

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words. Luke 24:1-7

Jesus lay dead in the tomb until sometime Sunday morning. At that time, God rose his son from the dead. He became the first born of many and overcame death. The very thing he promises us, who put off our self and put on Christ, participating with him in his death burial and resurrection.

It’s in the book. Take a look.

God bless.

The Christ By Prophesy

Before Jesus left for Heaven, He explained to the men on the way to Emmaus everything the scriptures said about himself. 

He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”

Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Luke 24:44-49

Here are some of the many scriptures from Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms.

Moses

And I will put enmity 
between you and the woman, 
and between your offspring and hers; 
he will crush your head, 
and you will strike his heel.” Genesis 3:15

The Prophets – Isaiah

He was despised and rejected by men, 
a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. 
Like one from whom men hide their faces 
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he took up our infirmities 
and carried our sorrows, 
yet we considered him stricken by God, 
smitten by him, and afflicted.

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. Isaiah 53:3-5

The Psalms

because you will not abandon me to the grave, 
nor will you let your Holy One see decay. Psalm 16:10

The stone the builders rejected 
has become the capstone; Psalm 118:22

There are many more and probably some better. Many claim to be a Christ but none are equal to the real article.

God Bless

The Son of God

Who was Jesus? Was he the Son of God? I suppose that question will be debated throughout mine and your life time. There is not dodging the issue on this one either. We all make our choice. Was he or wasn’t he. I suppose you know which camp I am in. By now I hope it is obvious, I believe that Jesus is the Son of God. No mere man, Jesus left heaven and came to earth to save me. How do I know? That is a long story and more than I want to cover for now.

One reason I know, Jesus said he was the Son of God. The Christ come to save us from our sins.

At daybreak the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and teachers of the law, met together, and Jesus was led before them. 67″If you are the Christ,” they said, “tell us.”

Jesus answered, “If I tell you, you will not believe me, 68and if I asked you, you would not answer. But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.”

70They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?”
      He replied, “You are right in saying I am.”  Luke 22:66-70

And later before he was crucified… 

And they began to accuse him, saying, “We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Christ, a king.”

So Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
      “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied.  Luke 23:2-3

You can choose for yourself. Many have claimed to be the Christ, some still do. This one did not just speak words, he backed them up with power. That power is still changing men today. Changing me. Changing You?

God Bless

Did You See Him?

After Jesus rose from the grave he appeared to many people. Many before his death struggled with believing that he was the Christ. Even his own brothers doubted.

Still there were many who believed. One was Simeon, the old man in the temple. The Holy Spirit had revealed that he would not die until he saw the Lord’s Christ. When Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple, he praised God and said…

“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you now dismiss your servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all people,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and for glory to your people Israel.” Luke 2:25-32

Jesus once asked his disciples who the people said he was. When he asked them, Peter testified that he was the Christ.

Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say I am?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life.”
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Peter answered, “The Christ of God.” Luke 9:18-20

After Jesus was put to death, many thought him dead and buried. But, no, on the third day he proved once for all that he was the Lord’s Christ. Paul recounts in 1 Corinthians the vast number of people who saw Him after he rose.

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, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born. 1 Corinthians 15:3-8

I can only imagine what it was like. Meeting with other believers and hearing everyone in great excitement ask, “Did you see him?” You could argue this is the greatest lie ever told. However, there are witnesses. Witnesses who when tortured and even killed never changed their stories. People were transformed from fishermen to Saints because they saw him!

Do you see him? I hope you do.

God bless.

Saul, Did What?!

I am sure this was the question asked by the High Priest that sent Saul to Damascus. Can you imagine how shocked and disappointed he men was when he found out his poster boy had jumped ship.

When we first meet Saul in Acts chapter 7 he was on the side of the Elders and leaders of the Jews. He was watching everyone’s stuff while folks watch Stephen being killed.

Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul.

While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.

And Saul was there, giving approval to his death. Acts 7:58 – 8:1

Then in Acts 9

Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. Acts 9:1-2

Paul describes himself in his early days as a really good Jew.

If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless. Philippians 3:4-6

All that changed when he met Jesus. Saul became Paul and instead of “breathing out murderous threats,” Paul became the preacher. Not to take the message to his beloved Jews but to the world of Gentiles. At the end of Acts 9 we find the Jews asking them selves a very good question.

All those who heard him were astonished and asked, “Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?” Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Christ. Acts 9:21-22

Paul confesses this of Christ during one of his sermons in Acts.

As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead. “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Christ,” he said. Acts 17:2-3

Jesus the Christ. The Son of God who changes people. Regular people like you and me. If we let him.

God bless