Thursday, March 31, 2016

Being Naked is Not Appropriate

I have some GREAT news for you.  Satan has been defeated. Repeat - Satan HAS BEEN defeated. Not, Satan is going to be defeated, but Satan has been defeated (past tense). How do I know such things? Well, the Bible tells me so.

You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins.  He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.  In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross. Colossians 2: 13 - 15

Here's my question for you today: If Satan has been defeated (AND HE HAS!!), then why are we walking around in defeat? Why are we being overcome by the brokenness in this world? I think it's because we're walking around naked.

Please pick yourself off the floor.  I did say "naked" in this Christian blog, but please give me some time to explain myself. I think we walk around "spiritually" naked each day. I think we get up and go on with our busy lives without ever getting dressed spiritually. And, in doing so we are overcome by the world we live in. We get tired. We get scared. We feel rejected. We should never be overcome in this world because we are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus!! (Romans 8:37) 

How do you dress spiritually each day? I knew you would ask that question. Here's what the Bible says:

Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. Ephesians 6: 1-18

Please don't continue to walk around spiritually naked as a Christian. It's just not appropriate.

Jesus - Thank you for defeating and disarming the evil ones by dying on the Cross for us. Help us to walk in the victory You have already won for us.  - In Jesus' Name - AMEN.

For a deeper study read the books of Colossians and Ephesians.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

It's YOUR Fault!!

I am and forever will be amazed by our God. Our God is so incredible. He made everything and is Lord over everything. He has more power that we can even imagine. Think about Creation. He put the moon and stars in place at the beginning of time, and He places them in their spots each day. He made all the animals in the world and all the flowers and plants as well. He causes the wind and rain to come by speaking. That's power beyond what we humans can even comprehend. So why in the world did a God, with so much power and authority, subject Himself to such a horrible death on The Cross?

In Matthew 8 we see Jesus calming the wind and waves. Could He not have taken Himself off The Cross?

In John 9 Jesus heals a blind man. If He could heal someone from blindness then surely He could have healed the wounds of the nails after taking Himself off The Cross.

In John 11 Jesus brings a man back from the dead! What power!! But yet, He leaves Himself on The Cross! WHY?

Why would an all powerful God allow Himself to be beaten beyond recognition and suffer death through crucifixion? The answer:  Because of YOU! It's your fault!

John 3:16 tells us that "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life."

God SO LOVED you that He sent His Son, Jesus, to die for you. And, in doing so He paid YOUR penalty for the sins YOU have committed and will commit. It was for you. It was because He SO LOVED YOU!

This weekend I celebrate Easter with my family because I'm so thankful God SO LOVED me. I was going to hell without Jesus dying for my sins. There would have been no way I could have stood before God on my judgment day and told Him I deserved heaven based on my life's works. I'm so thankful for the free gift of salvation I find in Jesus.

What about you? Have you accepted God's free gift of salvation? Here's what the Bible tells us about salvation:

Romans 3:23  "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God"

Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Romans 5:8 "but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, 
Christ died for us."

Romans 10: 9-10 " because, 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 with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved."

Romans 10:13 "For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Please, call on Him today! HE SO LOVES YOU!

And just so we're clear on the complete story. Death could not keep Jesus. With all the Power and Authority in the World, Jesus rose to life on the 3rd day. HE IS ALIVE!  HE LIVES! DEATH WAS DEFEATED!

Jesus - I am and forever will be thankful for You. I pray that others hear Your true story this weekend and their lives are forever changed because of Your Truth. - In Your Precious, Powerful and Almighty Name ~ AMEN.

Services at Community Bible Church this weekend here in San Antonio, Texas:

  • Friday 7pm
  • Saturday 5pm
  • Sunday 9am, 10am, 11am, and 1pm

Thursday, March 10, 2016

He Sees You

God sees. And, not only does He see, but He sees EVERYTHING! He knows when we are sleeping. He knows when we are awake. He knows when we've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake! I know that sounds very close to a Christmas song for Santa Claus, but I do think that is how some of us view God's eyesight. I bet some of you view God the way I used to view God. I lived part of my Christian life thinking that God was sitting on His throne watching over us with His hand on the lightning bolt button ready to strike us when we get out of line. Boy was I wrong! That is NOT what the Bible teaches us about El Roi, The God Who Sees!!!

We can learn a lot about how God sees us from how Jesus lived. As I read God's Word I'm amazed at how Jesus, God With Us, saw things so very differently than the humans that walked right beside Him. For example, in Luke 19 we read of the story of Zacchaeus.  Zacchaeus was the chief tax collector which meant he had lots of money and a bad reputation in the community. Yet, when Jesus came to his town He saw Zacchaeus and wanted to spend time with him. Why? Because Jesus didn't see a sinner. He saw the heart of the man and what he would be when he started following God's plan. Jesus looked upon Zacchaeus with the eyes of a loving Father.

Now let's think about the story in John 8 where a woman, caught in the act of adultery, was taken to Jesus. She apparently saw herself as guilty because she not once tried to explain her actions or take up for herself. She sat in silence waiting for her punishment. The religious leaders, well, they saw things differently, too. These guys (bless their hearts) didn't even know the woman's name because they weren't really concerned with her. They were simply trying to trap Jesus. Their eyesight of the situation was based on anger, judgement, fear, and arrogance. But, Jesus saw everyone in this scene differently. He loved the woman brought to Him. It was His daughter and He stood ready to forgive her. He didn't see in her what they saw in her.  He saw a wonderfully and fearfully made woman. He knew her name was written on the palm of His hands. And, amazingly enough, He even saw the religious leaders differently and that is evidenced by how He responded to them. He,with all power and authority in the world, could have zapped those religious leaders with a lightning bolt. But, He did not. He even showed them grace in the situation.

When God looks at us He is not looking at us with condemnation. He is looking at us in love. We are His children and no matter what we do to try to mess things up, He loves us. He wants ALL of us to love Him back and have a relationship with Him. He is forgiving and gracious to us.

No matter what your past looks like, you can sleep easy tonight knowing that when your Father looks at you, He looks at you through the eyes of love. He looks at you like a momma looks at her newborn baby in a crib. Yes, that baby might have cried and made some poopy diapers, but that momma loves her baby with an unconditional love.

I challenge you today to read Luke 18: 1-20 and also John 8: 1-11 and truly think about how God saw the situation and the people involved. I think you might see a little clearer if you do.

Lord - forgive me when I have not seen myself and others as You see us. We are Your people. You have created us and You love us with an everlasting love. I want to see myself and the world through Your eyes. Help me to do so in the name of Jesus. ~ Amen.

For a deeper study read the following verses and journal/discuss with others what God says to you:

  • Psalm 139: 1 -16
  • Isaiah 49: 15 - 16
  • Ephesians 3: 18 - 91

Thursday, March 3, 2016

The Least of These

 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him,then he will sit on his glorious throne.  Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.  And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left.  Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.  For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,  I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?  And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’  And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’  And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” 
Matthew 25: 31 - 46 (New Living Translation)
 ~ ~ ~
I am compelled to help others. I want to bless others and most certainly I want to be a blessing to my Lord and Savior. This week I'm going to live with my eyes wide open looking for an opportunity to help someone.
How about you? Would you look for an opportunity to bless someone this week in the name of Jesus? Be careful when you do this. It just might change the way you do life. I know that's exactly what it has done for me.
Jesus, I love You and I want to serve You. I'm not worthy to even wash Your feet, but yet You love me and call me Your child. Help me to live a life of service to others for Your glory and honor. - In Your precious Name - AMEN.