Archive for the ‘christian’ Category

“Follower of Christ”

March 13, 2013

By definition, a Christian is a “follower of Christ”.

As we follow Christ, we become a disciple of Christ. The word “disciple” means a “learner, i.e. pupil”. The word “follow” in its Greek meaning, has to do with “union” and “a road”. This is very interesting when you think on these two words. When you picture in your mind being in union with someone on a road to somewhere. Along with that, the word “follow” also means, “to be in the same way with, i.e. to accompany, reach”. When these meanings are combined, we can really see the union that is involved as one “follows”.

However, its is very important to be reminded just who we are to be “following”. This is not just anybody we are to be following. This is the Son of God. This is the Lord. This is the Saviour. A due honor and respect must always be in order as we follow.

When Jesus said to Peter and Andrew “Follow me,” (Mt.4:19) what it meant by definition was, “Come here and get behind me, or get to the back”. It is important to remember this. When we follow Christ, we are following behind him. Yes, we are in union with him, but following “at the back”. This is also good to visualize. “Where He leads, I will follow”.

In the book of Mark, he says, “Come ye (you) after me,” (Mk.1:17) Coming after Christ is a follower of Christ (Christian). We learn as we follow. We become disciples as we follow. I like what the prophet Hosea said regarding this. “Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord:”(Ho.6:3a) The words “follow on” here mean to “run after, pursue”.

The Lord willing, I would like to address in another post, the prime condition, or requirement for being a Christian (follower of Christ).

It takes both

April 25, 2012

Jesus was very specific in teaching the “New Birth” to understand and enter the Kingdom. In fact, He said, “you must”. But I wonder how often it is overlooked, or complicated. Do you think Satan would try to stop this process at any cost? How about getting believers so caught up in everything else but the necessity of being born again? Or, how about adding stuff it? Taking away the simplicity of?

He’s done a very good job, to say the least. I say, lets return (if we were ever there in the first place) to understanding the new birth process. Understanding it enough to be able to share it with our neighbors (any one close to us).

In John 3:5, Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom the kingdom of God”.

Born of water and born of the Spirit (3:8) make up the “born again” experience. It takes both to complete it. Do you know what this means? Have you spent time with God alone and asked him to reveal it to you through His word and Spirit? Or, are you going on only what you have been taught about it, or how you were raised? Maybe what your church teaches on it? Do you run to the internet and check the best one that you agree with and call it good? What about pulling down the book off your bookshelf that says, “How to be born again?”

Without over complicating the understanding of being born of water and Spirit (believe me, it can and has been), could you explain it to an unbeliever? Do you know the basics of this teaching? If so, who revealed it to you? Did the “Teacher” (the Holy Spirit) have anything to do with it?

Overcoming all fear

October 27, 2011

By keeping (obeying) the words/commands of Christ, the love of God can be made perfect in us. (see 1Jn.2:5). When the “love of God is perfected in us” all fear is cast out. We then have confidence/boldness in this world. (see 1Jn.4:17-18). By abiding in the commands of Christ, we abide in His love. (see Jn.15:9-17).

More to the “thief on the cross”

October 22, 2011

Luke’s account of the common story of “the thief on the cross” sheds some light on what actually took place before the crucifixion.

This was new revelation for me of what one of the criminals did to secure a “place in Paradise”. I had never seen this before, but it surely fits with what is necessary for salvation. This was not an “earning of salvation”, but a necessary act that proceeds entering into salvation.

One of my Facebook brother’s had posted the following post. When I read it, my mind tried to recall the story. Somehow, I knew that there was something more. So, I went to Luke automatically and found his account of what had happened.

Here is the post :

“The thief had nails through both hands, so that he could not work; and a nail through each foot, so that he could not run errands for the Lord; he could not lift a hand or a foot toward his salvation, and yet Christ offered him the gift of God; and he took it. Christ threw him a passport, and took him into Paradise.” – D. L. Moody.

But what did the thief do on his own accord before Christ said, “….today you will be with Me in Paradise?”

We pick up the story in Luke 23:39.

“Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If you are the Christ, save yourself and us.” But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? “And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Here we see some striking things that took place before his death. First, he rebukes the other criminal. So, whose side is he on now? Satan’s or God’s? Then he goes on and says, “Don’t you fear God?” Do you think that this guy, by saying this, might of had the fear of God in him now? He continues and says, “hey, you are under condemnation also”. “You are guilty!”

Then, if this wasn’t enough, he uses his voice again and says, “we deserve this! We have what is rightly coming to us! This is just!” “But this man has done nothing wrong”. Here he confesses that Christ has done nothing wrong. Do you think that he might be saying that he believes in Him?

Now, this tops it all off. Here he confesses on Christ. This may not be the standard way of someone “praying the sinners prayer” or even one realizing that they have broken one of the “Ten Commandments” and thus they are not “a good person”, but salvation is gained.

He says to Jesus, “Lord“. What do you think of that? Is this confessing Jesus as Lord? He then says, “remember me when you get to heaven”. Does this sound like one who is repentant in heart?

This whole story has “Repentance” all over it. Yes, he did wait till the last moment, but he did confess and showed the fruits of repentance. By his own will he chose to “stand up” in front of the other’s, not only the other criminal, but all who were there. He spoke out for Christ! He openly confessed! Christ honored that and received him to Himself.

So, can we honestly say that the commonly called “thief” did nothing before his conversion? He just kept quite and said nothing? He was just a thief that was saved at the last-minute because of God’s love for him?

I must confess, that I had never seen this before. All I heard was all the story’s about the “thief on the cross” that had to do with “last-minute” salvation or the humility of the man, which certainly was the case. Can we have repentance without it?

So, the thief may have not been able to “lift his hands or feet towards salvation” but he did “open his mouth“. Food for thought, I hope.

Making the Devil somewhat happy

June 8, 2011

He is somewhat happy if all you do is “whistle and skip” yourself around in God’s kingdom. Oh sure, he is not completely happy and content, cause he still wants and tries to get your soul for eternity. But if you try to take someone else along for eternity, look out, all “hell” breaks loose.

If all you do is, surround yourself with other Christians, go to church, meetings and conferences etc., but never get outside of your circle and share Christ with a lost person, then the Devil is somewhat satisfied. If you life consists of keeping to yourself, your family and saved friends, you are missing out on what God’s heart is, and that is, saving the lost. It has always been about souls. It all comes down to it. God wants our soul for eternity, and so does the devil. A wasted life is one that has no effect upon the lost. God has saved us and has us on this earth for one main purpose, to be the light to those in darkness. To help snatch those who the devil has his grip on, and yells “they are mine for eternity!”

Our lives must have an effect on the lost in some way. We must be actively engaged in some fashion in reaching the lost. Each of us has a different “calling”, but it will involve  reaching out to the lost in some way, to those who have yet to be saved.

We must check our lives. Take inventory. If need be, pray and ask God to awake you to the lost around you, and to those outside of your own world.

Give me your heart that will cause my eyes to see. Then give me your ability to use my whole being to reach out to those in need

Who’s to say?

May 1, 2011

Barring in mind that God is about eternity, which has to do with people, would He cause or allow certain things to happen in our lives so that we would affect people for Him and his kingdom?

If this is true, and we would see life more this way, would life take on a whole new perspective? Could we look for the good more out of the unfortunate situations?

What if :

Your car breaks down on your way to work? Now the first response would be, “Oh no, I can’t miss work”. Or, “Great, how am I going to get to work now”. Or, “What about my car?”. While these are natural responses, and yes, they need to be addressed, but we must look to God as to why.

Ok, if I believe that God is about eternity and people (souls), what is going to be my response now? Is somebody going to stop on this roadway that I am on and offer assistance? Is this going to be a person? A soul bound for eternity? If so, am I ready for the encounter? Or, am I all wrapped up in my problem to be of no use to God or his kingdom?

How about the tow truck driver? Is he or she a person? A person that God loves and gave his Son for? Or do we not see that? Is all we see is that “How long will it take to get here?”

What if :

A storm comes in the night and blows your fence down? Do you stop and consider who are the people who are going to be involved in this accident? What about the insurance agent? What about the guys that they send out to repair the fence? What about the neighbor that you have never met? Would this be a opportunity to share Jesus? Do we believe that unbelievers are not going to make it into the Kingdom? If so, does it move us? Are we concerned?

In my outings as a street minister, I have to be reminded also.

My part-time work at a local retailer posts its schedules online. Two weeks ago, I noticed that I was not scheduled for this weekend. A week ago, I noticed that I was not scheduled for next weekend. So, by the grace of God, I prayed and sought him out regarding this. I called my supervisor and he informed me that there was no available hours in my department. He suggested that I talk to another person in another department. So, long story short, I was unable to get a hold of the supervisor Saturday morning. So, by faith I got ready to head out the door for downtown. I knew that there would be some brothers out ministering in a certain area, so I took off.

I get to the light rail train, and there waiting for the next train, I hear this yelling going on. I walk over to see what is going on. Two men were arguing about Jesus. It sounded like they were arguing about what skin color he was. One man was a caucasian man, the other was a Afro-American. I think it had something to do with it. Soon, the train came and myself and three others got on. One of the guys was the Afro-American man who was involved in the yelling.

So, as it turns out, the three of us all have opportunity to share on the train. Jesus was lifted up, to God be the glory. The other man who was arguing with this man on the train, never got on. He took off walking, so I never had a oppertunity to meet him.

So the day started off well. When I got to town, I did one prayer walk. After, I called my supervisor, in hopes that she would be in. She never answered the phone. Oh well, here we are and there is people everywhere. It’s a beautiful day and with the outdoor market staring me in the face as I look down upon it from the bridge above, I continue my prayer walk.

Soon, the brothers are sharing and I am across from them handing out Jesus tracts. I go to a couple of different areas and follow what the Spirit is leading me to do. He leads me to a very busy area where they cross the street. He shows me to do something a little different then I have done in the past. Stand there and smile, hold out one in each hand. This came from a vision He gave me when I was standing off to the side waiting for the next move.

So, the response was very good with some stopping by to share. Towards the mid-afternoon, I was led to hop on the train and head back home. I also sensed that I was to go into work and personally see the supervisor to see if I was to work tomorrow.

So, I get on the train, and as I always try to do, I look around at my surroundings. I noticed this young guy on my right, up a stair or two. I was impressed to say hello and give him a tract. He graciously took it and said thanks. Soon he stepped down in front of me and started to read it, word for word as the train moved down the tracks. When he finished and raised his head, I asked him what he thought. And for the next 15 minutes, we had an awesome dialog, sharing together.

He said that he was raised in a believing home, but they didn’t go to church much. I had a opportunity to encourage him that he needs to have other believers that he meets with on a regular basis. He agreed. I asked him to pray that God would send them. I also invited him to our fellowship. He seemed to be really blessed that he had this “God encounter”. (Remembering, that God is Spirit, and that he is everywhere, and that he is all about people). I also reassured him about Jesus, as being the only way.

Now, just as an example, who’s to say that my work schedule was all mixed up for one reason? Was it for the above guy on the train? Was it for the guys at the beginning of the trip? How about the 30-40 tracts that were passed out? Was there maybe one that God had specially prepared for the day? How about the guy that I gave  two quarters to, on the corner that I was sharing? He was blessed with the quarters, yes. But what about hearing the Gospel one more time in his life? Was that worth having a day off with no pay? What did it matter in the eyes of eternity?

So, may we all, by God’s grace, began to look more at each day from God’s perspective, which is “Eternity and souls”. God bless you all!

Spitting bullets

April 16, 2011

To me she looked like your average lady in her mid-sixties. She was kind of small in stature. A little on the heavier side. Her hair was covered with a scarf. I was presuming that it was because of the rain. To me, your everyday women.

That morning, before going out, I was led to some scriptures regarding those who would not make it into the kingdom of heaven. His word does list some certain types of people who will not enter.

So, as usual, I wrote down a few scriptures that I was given that morning, and headed out the door. When I arrived into the city, I had no clear direction as to where to go. This is not unusual for me, in fact it is probably the norm. It usually takes some prayer walking before I can hear, or sence where to go, or where to stop, or stay.

After about an hour or so, I ended up on a corner that I had only been to maybe three or four times at the most. I just stood there holding out a tract, with an occasional word or two. Very little response in the 30 or 40 minutes that I was there. So, I sensed that it was time to head over to the “square”. This is the “popular” place for evangelism of any type. But, for me, I want to only go there if I sence a leading to go there. I did, so off I went. It was one of the typical rainy days we get here. I went to a place that you might say, is my favorite spot. It also has a covering in which to stand, if it’s raining.

So, I stood there holding out a tract. At this place, people are waiting for the next light rail train that heads west. Little by little the crowd builds. Then, the Spirit prompted me to open the word and began sharing. I sensed that this was the time and opportunity to share what He gave me that morning, so I did……..

It started like this…. “God’s word tells us about those who will not make it into the kingdom of God. Those who will not inherit the kingdom. Fornicator’s, those who have sex…” AND THEN, ALL OF A SUDDEN, A LADY THAT WAS STANDING RIGHT NEXT TO ME, ON MY RIGHT SIDE, SHOUTED AND “WENT INTO ONE” for the next 10 minutes.

She said things like, “who do you think you are?”. “What right do you have to tell all these people this?”. “How dare you, talk like this!”  She went on and on, yelling the whole time.

Now, one thing I have learned, when it comes to “preaching” and that is, when one tries to stop the word and the Spirit, don’t give in. ( only by the Holy Spirit, of course. Only His power). So, all the time she was carrying on, the Spirit was still delivering. I must admit, that this lady was just like a “pack of wolves” in the spirit. She was ferocious and very furious. For just a second or two, I was temped to stop and address her. But, the Spirit said, “keep going”. As usual, there were several that were watching this as it was going on. Many times, it is for those who are on the sidelines. This has bore witness, more than once. In fact, just last week, for that matter.

This was awesome. A younger girl appeared just a minute into this lady’s rampage. She stepped in and said to the lady, “this man is doing nothing wrong. He’s not yelling. He is just speaking. He has every right too”. Well, this made her all the more mad. By now she was “spitting bullets”. I thank God for his armour! The fiery darts just reflected off the shield of faith, bless the Lord!

She asked me, “where are you getting this?” This was the only time I answered her. I said, “from the word of God”. She said, “oh, how do you know that’s God’s word?” As I attempted to answer her, she took her hand and hit my bible. I was so glad that I had a firm grip on it. Her hand just bounced off the cover. There was a lot of water in front of me, so that would not have been good, had it fallen to the ground.

I quickly remained in the Spirit and went on sharing what the Spirit was giving me. She never stopped, neither did I. Soon, she went off yelling and boarding the train, for who knows where.

Well, just another outing on the streets. We will continue to pray for that lady, and many others out there who need God so desperately.

Oh, for those who are interested, we were sharing from 1Cor.6:9-10. And Gal.5:19-21.

Dying while your living

April 1, 2011

When you turn to Jesus there is a whole lot of dying that must take place. It is a life long process of dying. It is a continual process of dying to ourselves. Dying to our desires. Dying to our ways. Dying to our dreams. Dying to our fantasies. Dying to our wants. Dying to our needs. Dying, dying, and more dying.

And the reason for all this dying? So Christ in us may surface to the forefront, so that the world would see Jesus, and we would be about The Kingdom of God.

There is however a real danger that can happen along the way of dying. What is that? Looking back. Looking back at all the stuff you have given up for God and His kingdom. Then it becomes regret. Satan plants seeds just like he did in the garden. “Has God really said that?” “Did God really require that of you?” The doubts began to overcome all the advances that were made for the Kingdom. Soon, one is drawn back into the world, and with time, the things of God become a distant memory.

The deceiver has struck again!

I have not regretted one thing that I have given up for God. Oh, at times there was some sort of grieving that took place, but when it was all said and done, the blessings for out weighed the giving up. In order for one to fulfill the call of God on their lives, He will show you personally what must go. It could be very minimal at times, other times it could be things that are very big in our lives.

It could be our jobs. It could be our homes. It could our families. It could be our business. It could be our church. Whatever He shows us personally along the process of our lives, that is what we need to give up. We give it up so we can move along on the tracks of His plan and purpose for our lives. We must be reminded that God is all about eternity. He sees the beginning from the end. He has eternity in view all the time. Whatever can be given up for Him and His Kingdom so that it can advance for eternity, is worth it to Him. We are here so very little of time that it should be no shocker to us to give our all for Him and Kingdom work. That is if we are indeed sold out for Him. This is if He is Lord.

I will not list all the things that I personally have given up for Him, except to say, it has been worth it all. Life with Him is a continual life of forsaking all and dying to ourselves. It starts the moment one is “born again”. You and I are called to die the moment we are born. And the question must go out…… how are we doing with it?

This all comes from The giver of life, Jesus the Christ. Read the gospels, if you doubt what has been written here.

The sharing of the “blinders”

March 27, 2011

 “I LOOK TO MY RIGHT AND HERE COMES A GUY PUSHING A SHOPPING CART DOWN THE SIDEWALK”

So another day of “street ministry” begins as I take out the front door and head down the sidewalk. Up ahead a short distance, I see a man with a “blower”, blowing the sidewalk off. He looks at me and smiles. I say hi to him and he takes his ear protection off and we began to share. I ask him if he is a follower of Jesus, and he says that he is. So the conversation takes off in a good way. He asks about my street ministry and I share with him a little about what goes on.

After about fifteen minutes, I asked him about his job and if  he get very many opportunities to share Christ with others while working. He said no because he gets so consumed with his work at hand, and also he and his brother (who owns the company) have such a busy schedule that they rush from one job to the next. This opened an excellent opportunity to share some of my experiences when I had a business. It was the same, “petal to the metal” rush from one job to the next. I shared with him that after about six years, the Lord began to deal with me about this pace that I was going. I told him that the last eight years of business in particular, was very awesome because I used my business as a ministry. I had such awesome opportunities to share with customers. Real friendships developed. Most of them where repeat customers, so I would get to see them every year.

Then I shared with him how even today when I work at my part-time job at a local retailer in the grocery department, that I have to war against not being so consumed with my work at hand, that I forget people who might be coming down the aisle shopping.

So, this is the “God shot” (as a brother once said). We are standing on the sidewalk talking. I am explaining to him what I do at my grocery store job. I bend down as if I am “stocking the shelves”. I take my hands and place them on each side of my head, as to show him that I have a tendency to put “blinders” on. I LOOK TO MY RIGHT AND HERE COMES A GUY PUSHING A SHOPPING CART DOWN THE SIDEWALK. AS HE GETS CLOSER, I TAKE OFF THE IMAGINARY BLINDERS AND SMILE AT HIM AND SAY HI. I SAY, “How are you? He says, “oh, OK”. I say, “Do you know Jesus?” He says, “yeah”. I say, “God bless you” and he continues walking down the sidewalk, pushing his cart.

How awesome was that for God to supply a literal guy with a shopping cart, walking down the sidewalk as if he was shopping at the grocery store where I work and have the same situation develop. God’s timing was impeccable. As soon as I put the blinders on and bent down, there he was passing right behind me. I could have not planned it better. It was God at the right time and place.

Bless His name! Experiencing God while your living! Nothing else like it!

Two Kingdoms at War

March 3, 2011

Which Kingdom are you in? Are you at war?

There are only two kingdoms. People are only in one or the other. There is God’s kingdom and Satan’s kingdom. And the battle is only over one thing. The human soul for eternity.

“Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath,” Why? “because he knows that he has a short time.” (Rev.12:12b)

“And the dragon (the Devil/Satan) was enraged with the women, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” (12:17)

The spiritual battle for souls is intensifying. I see it more and more as the day approaches. Satan is very, very angry because he sees the end coming and wants to get all the souls he can for eternity. More and more people are being overcome with all his devises, such as drugs, alcohol, sex, and pornography etc. Satan has his “hooks” in people so he can lure them to wherever he wants them to go. His main objective is to lure them right into eternity, to see them together in a place prepared for himself and all his angels. (See Rev.20:10, 15 and 21:8)

We as believers, are the “offspring” that he (Satan), has come to make war with. Do you sence this war going on? I am not talking about the daily troubles, such as, problems at home, problems at work, relationship problems etc. These are common everyday difficulties that all face in one form or another. It doesn’t matter whether you are a believer or not. What I am talking about is the warfare that is going on if you are actively engaged in some form of “rescuing the perishing”. This is where the main battle is. Yes, there is other forms of warfare that we as believers face. But, the hot spot of the battle is and always has been on the front lines battling for eternal souls.

Satan is at war with you, if you are “keeping the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ”. For all those who want to put God in a denominational box, and say that He is talking about the “Ten Commandments” here, need to take a look at this word “commandments”. It means, “injunction” which is “to enjoin”. “the act or an instance of enjoining: order, admonition.” The word “enjoin” has to do with “yoke”. “to direct or impose by authoritative order or with urgent admonition.”

We are safe with saying that it is those who are “enjoining” themselves into God’s word, God’s order and admonition. Those who are taking upon themselves the “yoke” of Jesus. Taking on His “authority” and “admonition”.

Satan is also at war with you if you have the “testimony of Jesus”. This word “testimony” means that there is “evidence given”. Does your life bear evidence of Jesus? If not, you are not at war, and you need to be really concerned. If Satan is not at war with you personally, then you need to be very concerned as to where you are in your relationship with God and his kingdom. The word “testimony” also means, “record, report, witness”. What’s our record with Jesus? How about our report? Our witness?

It is not as though we go looking for this “war”. No, we don’t go looking for Satan, and he is not under every bush either. However, if we are active in God’s Kingdom, there will be evidence of spiritual battle in this war. It will usually be manifested through people. Just like God uses people, Satan also uses them. In Revelations 12:9, it says that “his angels were cast to the earth ” along with Satan. He has untold angels roaming the earth today. If you are active, you won’t have to be looking very far for them. They will find you.

So, a good indicator as to whether you are in this war or not, is to take inventory of your most recent days here on this earth, and see if Satan has raised his ugly head at you. Do you see the battle raging through people around you? Does Satan send one of his angels across your path occasionally? If so, Good! You’re in the war for souls. Yours and others, and it’s a good thing.

In closing, how do we “overcome” Satan? The answer is found in verse eleven. “by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” Three things here. The blood of Christ. Our spoken testimony. And by not loving our lives while here on earth, even if it costs us our lives. Good then, the word “testimony” also comes from the meaning of “martyr”

God bless you as you march forward and take your place in His Army on the battle field.