In a Rut

Are you in a rut? Adrian Rogers and others have said that the word “way” literally means a “rut” like a chariot wheel would make in the road.

Are you in the way of others seeing Jesus? Or are you in The Way of Jesus? – following Him and walking in The Way (Jesus – John 14:6)? His way is the rut that ends in eternal life.

It’s not bad to be in a rut. It just depends in which rut you are living.

1 Peter 2:21 (KJV)
“For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps.”

Designer Comfort

From jeans to cars, people seem to place a premium on “designer” items. Hopefully, these products were made according to the designers intentions.

Our God, the original and ultimate designer, is the “God of all  comfort” (2 Corinthians 1:3) and intended for His people to be comforted. That’s one reason He sent the prophets in ages past (Isaiah 40:1) and the sends the Holy Spirit today (John 14:16). The Holy Spirit is referred to as The Comforter – that is “paraclete,” the Apostle John’s descriptive title.

In these troubling days, people everywhere are searching for comfort. One of the best ways for us to most clearly reflect the image of God is to be comforters. God doesn’t comfort us just to make us at peace but to enable us to comfort others with that same source of comfort. He comforts us to make us comforters. That’s the Designers intentions.

2 Corinthians 1:4 (NASB)
Who (GOD) comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

Grace Yourself

Give yourself some grace.

Many today find it very difficult to love themselves. Some self-help gurus suggest that you take a personal inventory and look for the good, make some improvements or learn to live with yourself as you are.

Love is a grace you bestow on someone not because they deserve or earn it but because you decide to give it. Why not give it to yourself? Don’t try to earn your love or look for reasons to love yourself. DECIDE to love yourself now. Hey, no offense, but if our perfect God can love us in all our imperfections then we can also – through Jesus Christ. Just look at yourself through the magnifying glass of the cross. You’ll see a person loved by God for whom He gave His only Son to die.

And remember: your are loved…by God, by me and by millions of born-again Christians. You might as well be loved by you. (Then you will be able to really love others too.)

Romans 5:8 (NASB)
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Is Seeing, Believing?

People have always sought proof before they will believe the truth.

When sharing with others the way of salvation in Christ Jesus, some have responded, “I’ll trust Jesus when I see proof.” Saving faith is not generated by seeing proof, but by accepting truth revealed. Faith comes by hearing (and accepting) the truth, not by seeing and experiencing proof. One time a man asked for someone to raise from the dead so that his five brothers might believe and be saved. Jesus said (Luke 16:31) that “If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”

Friend, accept the truth presented in God’s Word and do seek or wait for proof.

Romans 10:17 (KJV)
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

Both Priest and Prince

Melchizedek of the Old Testament was unique. He was both king and priest (Hebrews 7:1).  Unique because in Israel’s history, a man could be one or the other, but not both.

Christ is like Melchizedek – both King And Priest (Hebrews 7:17).

So is every born again, believer in Christ. We are sons of God (thus princes – Galatians 3:26) and priests (1 Peter 2:9). That is what we are and how we should live. Live like a prince, not a pauper or orphan, and like a priest offering up yourself as a spiritual sacrifice (Romans 12:1) and interceding (1 Samuel 12:23) for those around you.

1 Peter 2:5 (NASV)
“You also (like Christ), as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

Vetted for Heaven

These days there is much concern about vetted those who would come to America. One group who automatically gain access to our country are those who have an American passport – showing they are citizens of the United States of America.

Why should people be surprised that there is a vetting process for those who would enter Heaven. Some argue that the requirements are too narrow and that no one can enter. Those who have given their lives to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior have been born anew and are already citizens of Heaven (Philippians 4:20). Only citizens are allowed to enter THAT country. Do you have Heaven’s passport.

Revelation 21:27 (NASB)
“And nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”

 

Three Feet Deep and Rising

Since before the times of the Old Testament saint Job, some people have been accusing those who are subjected to great natural calamities as being worst sinners. There are a few today who say that the people of Houston deserve the rages of Hurricane Harvey.

What does Jesus have to say about this?  From Luke 13:1-5, we learn:
1. All, everyone has sinned.
2. Those who suffer from calamities aren’t worse sinners than those who don’t suffer.
3. Sinners will perish.
4. All, everyone everywhere, need to repent.
5. Those who repent will be forgiven and spared.

God doesn’t like to punish sin and sinners. He does delight in forgiving and delivering those who repent and call upon Him for deliverance. God is just, merciful and gracious.

Luke 13:3 & 5 (KJV)
“I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”

Merry-Go-Round

You’ve heard, “What goes around, comes around.” Life is like an old fashioned merry-go-round. On the carousel, the pretty horse may have just past, but it will be back. Likewise, the way we treat others is the way we are later treated by others.

This is true about forgiveness: when we forgive others, others are more likely to forgive us. The same can be said of showing kindness and doing other good things for others.

This is also true of the negative: –  bad attitudes, evil actions, not showing support toward others, often results in the same attitudes being reciprocated.

Luke 6:31 (NASB)
“Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.”

Friend or Acquaintence

Israel Houghton has written a wonderful little chorus that most of us like to sing in contemporary or traditional worship. It repeats (of course) the phrase “I am a friend of God: He calls me ‘friend.'”

WOW! Such a humbling, comforting, mind-boggling concept – that the eternal Creator of everything would care enough about us to identify Himself with us as a friend. Then too, we must remember that friendship is a two-way street. It is a reciprocal relationship. However, like many things in life, we humans often like the benefits without the investments. We want the promises that come with being His friend without any obligations in following Him.

Does He call you friend?

John 15:14 (NASB)
“You are my friends if you do what I command you.”

Know When the Power Is Off

Recently, I got a brochure from the electric company entitled: “How to Know When Your Power Is Off.” — DUH!  This is not rocket science, folks. When the electricity is off, nothing powered by it works…no television, no lights, no refrigerator, no microwave, no blow dryers. So if these are all not working, your electricity might be off. Check it.

Perhaps the saddest thing about the Old Testament hero Samson is not that he let a pagan woman know his pledge to God and then cut off his hair, but that he forfeited his power and didn’t even know that God had left him (Judges 16:20).

Likewise, when Christians continue sinning or failing to follow Jesus, they grieve  or quench the Holy Spirit. Then when that Christian needs the Spirit’s power in his life, he doesn’t even know it is missing.

1 Thessalonians 5:19 (KJV)
“Quench not the Spirit.”

Ephesians 4:30 (KJV)
“And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”