Posts tagged ‘Jesus’

June 21, 2016

Benediction

This Benediction has blessed me sincerely and I think about it often through the week. My Pastor states it at the end of every service and it comes from scripture(which is best!).

I wanted to define this term first for you out there who are not familiar. There were 5 total, but these 2 below suit best.

Benediction:

noun
1.

an utterance of good wishes.
2.

the form of blessing pronounced by an officiating minister, as at the close of divine service.
The scripture comes from the book of Jude which only has one chapter. Verses 24-25:
24 Now to the one who is able to keep you from falling, and to cause you to stand, rejoicing, without blemish before his glorious presence, 25 to the only God our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority, before all time, and now, and for all eternity. Amen.
Now isn’t that beautiful!  It fills me up with a Christ like love every time I hear it. May it be a true blessing to you as well as you ponder and meditate on these glorious words.
Blessings!
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April 22, 2016

Super Chapters of The Bible – Old Testament

To begin this blog post I wanted to preface it by sharing with you how I got the idea. My pastor David Dunn was speaking one Sunday recently and he honed in on a Luke Chapter 16 as a focus for the cross-reference of James Chapter 5. What stood out to me was so much insight and knowledge and gumption to this Chapter in Luke that I named it a “Super Chapter”. I also felt like other Books of the Bible had that same effect on all of us. I am not saying that other chapters aren’t as important as these are, I am just saying that I feel like these Chapters in the Bible are extra special…at least to me and maybe to you as well. This isn’t a perfect science either and this is mostly for fun and education as well. I will also highlight a verse or two that I think ‘coin’ the chapter in my opinion also. I would love for you to comment on your own “Super Chapters” you think are as good as the ones I will be focusing on below. Enjoy:

Genesis 50. Besides Chapter 1 being so important with the Words,”In the Beginning God created”, I felt so much goes into Chapter 50 along with forgiveness/redemption and Verse 20 “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
Exodus 20. Great stories/depictions of the Israelite’s leaving Egypt, etc. but come on, The Ten Commandments….which are still valid today! Thou shalt not….
Leviticus 18. Big on rules, this Book with its regulations and laws of how to properly handle yourself in this life. God gives us the ‘what not to do’ summed up in Verse 22-23,‘Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.Do not have sexual relations with an animal and defile yourself with it. A woman must not present herself to an animal to have sexual relations with it; that is a perversion.”
Numbers 14. Grumbling from the Israelite’s and Verse 2, Joshua and Caleb’s good report, The Glory of the Lord shows up and more. Verse 8 is the highlight of that Chapter as well,”If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us.”
Deuteronomy 6. Jesus quotes this chapter in Verse 5 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Also, do not put the Lord to the test, and Fear the Lord.” Pervading topics throughout the Bible.
Joshua 24. Now I know Chapter 1 is great but Chapter 24 summarizes the whole book well. Highlight Verse 15,”But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
Judges 4 I love that a Woman named Deborah leads the army and people of Israel in battle and service. Verse 9 “Certainly I will go with you,” said Deborah. “But because of the course you are taking, the honor will not be yours, for the Lord will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman.” Notable mention is Samson in Judges 15 & Gideon Judges 6.
Ruth 1. Only 4 Chapters, but a powerful account of her life I think we can relate to in some ways. Summed up in this verse, the Faith of Ruth is shown here, Verse 16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.”
1 Samuel. Too many good chapters for sure and thus debatable. I have always liked this Verse 22 in Chapter 15: But Samuel replied:“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice,and to heed is better than the fat of rams.”
2 Samuel 12. The culmination of accountability comes to a head with David’s initial response and then his penitent heart after Nathan rebukes him. Verse 13 “I have sinned against the Lord.”
1 Kings 3 The wisdom of Solomon is on display here as God had granted him. Verse 28 “When all Israel heard the verdict the king had given, they held the king in awe, because they saw that he had wisdom from God to administer justice.”
2 Kings 19 Many Kings of Israel that do good in the sight of the Lord on the throne and Many that do evil just the same during their reigns. I love this prayer and the Chapter is powerful in itself. Verse 15 “And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord: “Lord, the God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth.”
1 Chronicles 4. The Prayer of Jabez. Famous book and a good read. Verse 10,”Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.”
2 Chronicles 7. Famous Verse 14 from the book and chapter “if 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 I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” Notable mention is Chapter 1 when Solomon asks for Wisdom rather than anything in the world and God gives him more than he expected because he asked with right motives a la Matthew 6:33.
Ezra 7. Some Chapters in books of the Bible are more ‘Super’ than others. Still others have more than one. In the case of Ezra it wasn’t so easy. I went with Chapter 7 Verse 28..”Because the hand of the Lord my God was on me,…” and this chapter had the most substance of God being addressed than the others as well.
Nehemiah 1. Boom, right off Nehemiah gets into the grit of what the whole book is about. Fasting, Mourning and Praying. The Rebuilding of Jerusalem’s walls. Verse 5,”Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments,” – This is how we should pray, like our forefathers.
Esther 4. Powerful story of bravery. Not any mention of God in this Book(The only Biblical book to do so) and the famous words of encouragement from Mordecai in Verse 14…”And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”
Job 38. The Hammer drops! After Job’s wife says to Job “curse God and die” in Chapter 1.The conversation between God & Satan and the litany of 3 of Job’s badgering friends ridicule him and on and on, God gives the last word…Are you done? Verse 4-5,“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?Tell me, if you understand.Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!Who stretched a measuring line across it?” I love these verses. Puts us all in CHECK! WHERE WERE YOU…
Psalm 91. With TOO many good Chapters to count, I’m going with this one. Verses 1-2 are beautiful in a maze of others “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty 2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,my God, in whom I trust.”  I must share that I love Psalm 23 as well, which I do have memorized.
Proverbs 3. Again pick your favorite and go with it.They are all Super! Verses 5-6 always quickly come to my mind “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;6 in all your ways submit(acknowledge) to him,and he will make your paths straight.”
Ecclesiastes 2. Amongst the ‘Wisdom’ of Solomon and so much meaningless…Verse 25 makes a point “for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?”
Song of Songs 1. Starts off so beautifully and I must go with beauty, Verse 15 “How beautiful you are, my darling!Oh, how beautiful!Your eyes are doves.” Speak like this to your spouse and your marriage shall endure!
Isaiah 53. Without question, in my opinion, one of the most important Chapters in the entire OT. Verse 5 about Jesus(The coming Messiah) “But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;the punishment that brought us peace was on him,and by his wounds we are healed.” *Honorable mention to Chapter 1:18 and 40:31. Again too many good Chapters in this Book.
Jeremiah(aka Weeping Prophet) Chapter 1. So many great verses in this first Chapter alone. Verse 5, 9 & 17. I really like the Verse 5“Before I formed you in the womb I knew[a] you,before you were born I set you apart;I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Notable mention to Chapter 29:11.
Lamentations 3. Not sure there is really a Super Chapter here, but if there was, 3 would be it. Verse 31-33 “For no one is cast off by the Lord forever.32 Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love.33 For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone.”
Ezekiel 37. Not a very famous book, but of the quoted and powerful chapters in a 48 Chapter book this is it. Verse 4-6,”Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! 5 This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath[a] enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.”
Daniel 3. One of my most favorite books of the OT and this Chapter in particular. Jesus comes alive as the 4th person in the blazing furnace. Verse 25- He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”
Hosea 4. The adulteress/whore wife likened to Israel’s prostituting herself to other god’s. Verse 14b”a people without understanding will come to ruin!”
Joel 2. Quickly becoming one of my favorite Minor prophet books. This famous Verse 28,”“And afterward,I will pour out my Spirit on all people.Your sons and daughters will prophesy,your old men will dream dreams,your young men will see visions.”
Amos 4. A serious call-out of Israel throughout the book and in Verse 13 God makes a statement,”He who forms the mountains,who creates the wind,and who reveals his thoughts to mankind,who turns dawn to darkness,and treads on the heights of the earth—the Lord God Almighty is his name.”
Obadiah 1. Only 1 Chapter here and Verse 15 stands out ““The day of the Lord is near for all nations.As you have done, it will be done to you;your deeds will return upon your own head.”
Jonah 3. Oh how we love to tell this tale to our children in SS class 🙂 Chapter 3 really points to God’s willing nature to forgive as shown in Verse 10 “When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.” However, Nineveh was destroyed some decades later for her same faults historically.
Micah 6. Another famous and quoted verse that I truly love. Verse 8,”He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.And what does the Lord require of you?To act justly and to love mercy & to walk humbly with your God.”
Nahum 1. Three short Chapters and mostly in regard to God’s wrath. Verse 3a,”The Lord is slow to anger but great in power;the Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished.”
Habakkuk 2. Anther 3 Chapter book. Habakkuk brings 2 complaints to the Lord and He responds twice. Verse 20 “The Lord is in his holy temple;let all the earth be silent before him.”
Zephaniah 3. Three Chapters again. More judgement and wrath but ultimate restoration found in Chapter 3 Verse 17,”The Lord your God is with you,the Mighty Warrior who saves.He will take great delight in you;in his love he will no longer rebuke you,but will rejoice over you with singing.”
Haggai 2. Two Chapter book. That is why these are called the minor prophets. Shorter books many of them. Haggai ends leaving you wanting…but I like Verse 5 “‘This is what I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt. And my Spirit remains among you. Do not fear.’
Zechariah 4. Verse 6b ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.
Malachi 3. This is the end of the OT. Famous verse from this book in this chapter Verse 10 “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it”

October 21, 2015

Christianity today….

Where to start….

I have been having conversations with ‘Christians’ over the last few years and among them I have found that they differ from my views on biblical topics.  Do not judge they say or there isn’t just ONE way to Heaven or God would never do that or Why would God do that.  This Comic strip below really expresses what I have found Christianity to resemble a lot like lately in light of the current times. I will elaborate a bit more after you read the strip below:

i'm a C BUT

This comic strip really hit home for me in light of my conversations with not only Christians but non believers as well.  I keep hearing these common themes of ‘it’s personal’ and ‘that’s how I feel’ a lot.  For me, reading scripture and knowing Jesus and my God whom I serve is how I get to know him and learn what He wants from me and how I should live. It is not a feeling or something to be kept quiet.  We are meant to live out loud and shout the good news from the Mountain tops.

The sad situation is that there are so many Christians that believe this way and that needs to change. And that change needs to start with you and me.  To end with scripture that is apropos, I will end with this one.

 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work – 2 Timothy 3:16,17

May 23, 2014

Racism

When I see my beautiful daughter that is almost 2 years old interact with different kids of all races at her Pre-School, I realize something quickly and evidently. She looks and treats everyone the same. Which teaches me a huge lesson – that racism is NOT something your born with – it is something that is taught. Taught by family/friends/society whomever it may be. The issue of racism is a sad one and frankly, it truly disgusts me.

Being a Christian, I realize a lot of things. When it comes to racism, I realize that it is the Devil’s ploy to get us to hate each other and cause strife amongst ALL of us children of God. That’s right, we are ALL children of God. He created each and every one of us. We are taught this through God’s HOLY BIBLE and believe it is truth. If you are a Christian and know what God says in Genesis, that HE created each and every one of us, then there is NO room for us to hate another race.

God wants us all to love each other and share that love with each other, not hate. There is a spiritual battle going on for each of our souls. Believe that! God wants you to be in His Kingdom and treat each other as you would like to be treated.

Love is our only hope and love’s name is JESUS!

Blessings!

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April 17, 2014

Love after US

I had to use this from a devo that I follow from Jim Denison. It’s powerful and I don’t think I could put it any more eloquently than he did.

God has always taken the initiative to restore us to himself.  He sought Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.  He sought Noah, calling him to build the ark that would save the human race.  He sought Abram in a land we call Iraq today.  He sought Jacob on that night they wrestled together, and Moses at the burning bush, and David after the king had sinned horrifically.

Then he sought us in the most miraculous, unexpected way of all—he became one of us.  He folded the glory and power which created the universe down into a fetus who grew into a baby who breathed our air, walked our dirt, faced our temptations, felt our pain, died on our cross and rose from our grave.  We could not climb up to him, so he climbed down to us.

He sought fishermen beside the Sea of Galilee, tax collectors in their booths and trees, lepers in their abandoned loneliness, and demoniacs in their cemetery hideouts.  He was the housekeeper who sought the lost coin, the shepherd who sought the lost sheep, the father who sought the lost son.  He sought Peter after his denials, and Saul of Tarsus as he persecuted the church, and John on his prison island of Patmos.

And then the day came when he made you.  Not because our planet needed another person, but because he wanted an intimate, personal relationship with you.  He led me to write these words so he could use them to seek you today.  So he could wash your feet and cleanse your sins and commune intimately with you.

May this Easter be a blessing to you and your family as you ponder on just how much God truly loves you and me and the ultimate price he paid on our behalf because of that love.

April 9, 2014

Love one another

Jesus told us as his second commandment to love one another as we love ourselves. With that, I wanted to share my wisdom of growth in my Christian walk and faith in this post.

There are many ailments that plague our society today. Many of these ailments are pointed out in the scriptures. Morality(or the lack thereof) is the biggest of them in my opinion of what ails our society today. As a Christian living in todays society we are thrust into the spotlight and are put in positions to defend our faith against these ‘ailments’ of society. It has taken me a long time to get to this point in my walk with Christ. My answer to these ailments is several fold. First and foremost, is that we must address everything in love. Second, is that if we hope to change one’s mind, we must be willing to understand and give respect. If we don’t, then we will never reach a lost world that desperately needs Jesus.

I know that these ‘Morality’ issues are hard to address and deal with and that we don’t like to address these issues most of the time. What I am trying to say is this, “Love everyone, no matter what and let God make the change in the person” Our job is to Love as Jesus did, not to judge. Our job is to water the soil, it is God who makes the growth. Our job is to plant the seed, it is God who fertilizes and makes the change, not us.

If Christians can give a listening ear and show respect and love then people will listen to us. If we don’t show that type of behavior to people then they will never listen to us. Show Respect to earn respect. We were given 2 ears and 1 mouth. That’s because we should listen twice as much as we speak, especially when we are trying to get the Good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ out to a dying world.

Blessings!

November 5, 2013

All Religions?

Great Story on Christianity:

An elderly professor of world religions surprised his colleagues by declaring his commitment to Christ. He explained: “It was as if I had fallen into a deep, abandoned well. Muhammad came by and told me it was the will of Allah that I be in this well, then he left. The Buddha came by and told me if I would cease desire I would cease to suffer in the well, then he left. A Hindu teacher came by and told me if I was faithful in the well I would escape through reincarnation, then he left. Confucius came by and told me if I’d not tripped I would not be in the well, then he left. Jesus came by, saw me, and got into the well with me. That is why I am a Christian.”

July 24, 2013

Wisdom

Imparting wisdom is not that easy. Especially when it comes to young people. What I have learned though is that those who seek it will find it.

As you grow older you take notes of things that have worked and haven’t worked. Like wasting time with sales people in person or on the phone(Don’t do it). But, more importantly is God and your relationship with Jesus. This relationship will be your most important relationship of your entire life, bet!!

So to impart the most important wisdom is to share about my life experiences walking with God with you. Memorizing scripture is one of the first ways in which you can begin to grow in your walk with God. Building close relationships with other Christians is also important. You need those around you to keep you accountable and hold you to a higher standard. Reading scripture is second to none as well. You need to know what God says about topics you will face in your time here on earth and how Jesus responded to those situations as well. Having a healthy Church home(close to where you live) is also needed.

As I’m writing this I am thinking of many scriptures that come to mind to justify my imparted wisdom to you. Don’t give up the assembling of yourselves together(Hebrews 10:25) – As iron sharpens iron, so does one brother sharpen another(Proverbs 27:17). These are scriptures I know by heart.

The opposite of these is true as well. Pray for those you want to evangelise and spend quality time with them and build a rapport. Help them to know that you care and when they realize that, they will realize that your God is real and loves them too!

Stay away from those who are rebellious and spew hatred, racism and evil deeds. They will do nothing but cause you harm now and possibly forever. Pray for them, but keep those people out of your circle of friends.

Trust…that everyone in your life will disappoint you! The quicker you come to this realization, the better off you will be. Then realize that God will never leave nor forsake you. He loves you and always wants the best for you, even if you think that it is not the best in that moment. That HE should be your trust and he will take care of you.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of Knowledge,
but Fools despise wisdom and instruction – Proverbs 1:7

July 19, 2013

Evangelism

Christians can disagree on matters of faith and practice while agreeing that the world needs Jesus. Someone told Dwight Moody, the famous evangelist, “I don’t like your soul-winning methods.” Moody said, “I don’t like them much, either. What are yours?” The man admitted he didn’t have any. Moody replied, “I like mine better than yours.”

Copied From denisonforum.org

Thanks Jim Denison.

May 1, 2012

Salvation

I had a very rough week here at work last week. I was beaten up a bit you can say. It was pretty tough. I was trying to figure out why.  Then I remembered that my wife Heather and I were about to go on a spiritual retreat with our 10th Grade Sunday School students along with other senior high students. The weekend was to be a powerful one and the devil was trying to extinguish my excited spirit.  I wasn’t having any of it of course!

As we drove last Friday afternoon after work to Camp Piney Woods in Groveton, TX, I got pulled over by a police officer. I was like,”Oh Great, this will top off the week I had perfectly!”  The police officer said I was speeding, when I thought I was going the speed of traffic.  I also told him, after he asked, that we were headed to a Christian retreat for the weekend and that my wife is pregnant and I wouldn’t drive like that. Well, he checked on my Drivers License and vehicle information and found everything checked out fine and came back and said please slow down and let me off with a warning.  The whole time I was praying, please Lord be my defender and don’t let me get a ticket.  Well, thankfully and to God, i didn’t get that ticket!  Crazy!!

Heather and I were greeted by our students upon arrival with hugs and much love. We were smiling ear to ear and very happy to be there.  Saturday was full of fun. We played volleyball,basketball and swam.  We heard some great preaching and powerful music by one of my favorite Christian artists Robbie Seay Band!  The scriptures that were focused on were from Mark 1, 2 & 3. 

After the long day and dinner and another sermon, we broke up into groups and I was alone with 6 of my 10th grade boys discussing the weekend and what had affected us and it’s impact.  I always try to make the Gospel relevant to them and real.  One of my boys, as I asked him about the weekend and what kind of impact it had on him, started crying.  I knew God was working on his heart.  I spent the discussion time talking about Jesus and what this weekend means and the students poured their heart out too.  Afterwards, I spent some one on one time with this one student.  Little did I know, God was working on his heart big time.  We talked about salvation and where he was and he said he hadn’t accepted Christ yet.  We talked some more and I wasn’t sure if it was going to happen that night. But finally, after much conversation, he said he was ready and I was blessed to lead him in the salvation prayer.  Praise God!!  The angels in heaven were singing!!

Sunday was fun and we closed the weekend out mid-day.  We drove him and I crashed. Physically and Spiritually exhausted.

Looking back now, I realized that the devil was trying to keep me down, but God said NO and had a bigger plan and that was using me to bring another life to accept Jesus.  How Awesome!! What an honor it is to be able to bring another soul to Christ.  I am truly honored to be able to have done this.

Thank you Lord for the opportunity to share your love with others and to rejoice over a lost soul that is now found. Amen!