Archive for the ‘Resurrection’ Category

Blessed union through Christ’s death and resurrection

November 11, 2008

Such powerful scriptures are found in Romans the 6th chapter. I would like to expound on them.

“Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?” (vs.1)
Shall we as believers, as those who have been washed in the blood of Christ, continue on in sin?
Some think so.
“God forbid!” (vs.2) Pretty strong words, aren’t they?

Now, Paul goes into a beautiful explanation on “death and resurrection.”
Let us break down these verses with the hope that they will sink deep into our spirits.

In verse 3, Paul explains “death” to sin.
“Don’t you know, that you were baptized into Jesus Christ and were baptized into his death?”
Don’t you get it! You died with Christ through baptism. There is a “union” that takes place here through his death. And the death is a death to sin.

Through a baptism of death, we died. “We are buried with Christ” How? “by baptism into death” (vs.4)
Now Paul gets into the “power”, the enabler (so to speak) the “Resurrection” power.
….”just as Christ was raised (resurrected) up from the dead, by the glory of God the Father, even should we also walk in newness of life.” (vs.4) Do you see the power here to live a life dead to sin? Just as Christ died to sin, we too are to have died to sin, and have been resurrected to a life of power to overcome sin. Not a life that always presumes upon the grace of God, and always sins. If that is the case, where is “the power?” There is none, point blank!

Walk in the power of the resurrection. There is no greater power. We are talking about a new life, a resurrected life. “Behold all things have become new.”

Verse 5, again talks about the “blessed union” we have with Christ. “Planted together” or “one with him” How? “In the likeness of his death”. The same holds true in his resurrection, the likeness of his resurrection. What a blessed union we have through both of these acts of obedience. They are made one through baptism.

Now if we truly have this knowledge, if we truly know that we have died, if we truly have had this experience, then as it says in verse 6, “the old man” or our “old being” has been crucified with Christ. What took place with this crucifiction? Our “body of sin was destroyed.” And what is the outcome? “that we should no longer be a slave to sin.” If we truly died, we died to sin. True Christians are no longer slaves to sin. They might sin once in a while, but will not habitually sin. Sin is the exception, not the rule. Why? because we have died. Remember our verse, “shall we continue in sin that grace my abound?” “God forbid!”

“For when a person dies, he is set free from the power of sin” (vs.7) By “dieing” through Christ death, we have died to sin. And since this took place, “we believe that we shall also live with him.” (vs.8) The Resurrection!

Verse 9, “we know that Christ has been raised (resurrected) and will never die again.” Because of this, “death will no longer rule” or “have dominion over him.” He conquered death!

Now I love the example put forth in verse 10. “And so, because he died,” What was the outcome? “sin has no power over him;” and because of this, “Christ lives his life in fellowship with God.” Because of this, what are we to do? Verse 11 tells us, “reckon yourselves” or “count yourselves dead to sin.” “Think of yourselves as dead, so far as sin is concerned.”

Do we? What did Christ’s death produce? “Death to sin”

And let us not forget what the resurrection produced! LIFE! “but alive to God (In union with him through Christ’s death and resurrection) through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Oh what a blessed union! All because of Christ! His death and resurrection!

What a blessed baptism!

To God be the glory, for great things He is doing!(Part#4)

November 5, 2007

All of this four part testimony took place in one day. It just goes to show you what God wants to do through all those who avail themselves and want to be used of God for His glory and His Kingdom.

After Dan stood up, we all hugged on him and such joy was in our hearts. Now here was a man who just a short time before, was totally intoxicated from drinking wine. Now he was sober and in his right mind. Praise God!

I have tried to do my best with God’s help to describe what took place, but words do have a limit.

He then asked if he could sing another song, we all said “by all means, let her go”. It was awesome to hear him sing every verse with passion and clarity. By the time he finished, we all knew something was about to break loose.

He yelled out, “DO YOU MIND IF I PREACH?” We smiled and said, “GO FOR IT”. First he started out with his testimony about how God had just delivered him from alcohol. Then he went into The Gospel. It was right on, every word. He shared also about seeking God while He can be found. He told the crowd how that God had said to him, “will you just seek me, I am here if you will seek me” It was awesome!

About that time a lady starts shouting and she walks over and tries to stop the flow of what God is doing. (this is almost standard procedure, the devil does not want things like this to take place so he fights hard.) This other brother goes over to her and finally gets her to go somewhere else.

Out of nowhere, walks up this lady and she says, “can I buy you guys some coffee?” She had been watching all that took place. She takes out her tablet and takes our order. Off she went, and returns with four large coffee’s. What a blessing she had been to all of us. She smiled and hugged us all, and off she went. God bless her richly!

Dan(the brother that just received Christ) continues to preach several times. Many were listening as they waited for the train. About that time another brother walks up and recognizes Dan. He said that he was with the local rescue mission. We then proceeded to tell him all that happened. His eyes began to water. He was very thankful. He said to Dan, “Are we now going to see you in church on Sunday?” Dan said, “You Bet”. Thank you God!

It was time for me to leave and catch the last bus out for the night. All six of us gathered in a circle and lifted up prayer and thanksgiving to God for what He had done that evening.
As another brother was finishing prayer, I heard the sound of Satan again. I looked over across the way, and sure enough his messengers had come to try one last time.

There stood three of them all dressed in black with their long coats, yelling out loud about Satan and saying all their usual junk. They had known what just took place, and they were there to stop it. TOO LATE. THE WORK OF CHRIST HAD ALREADY BEEN DONE. PRAISE HIM!

I pleaded THE BLOOD OF JESUS and we finished prayer and went on our way.

I trust this testimony was a blessing to you. This is just a drop in the bucket of all that God wants to do in these days. If you are not yet a part of what He is doing in the earth today, you need to be. Pray and ask Him, he will show you. He is about people. People are the apex of His creation. He loved them all so much that He gave His Son to redeem them back to himself.
May you be blessed also as you go out and do your part for Him and His Kingdom.
Amen.

To God be the glory, for great things He is doing!(Part#3)

November 4, 2007

In the last post, I had forgotten to mention that on my way to the city in the train, I needed to stop off and use the bathroom at a local store. After that, the Lord wanted me to go to a bus stop close by that I had been to several times before.

After praying, I jumped in and started to preach The Good News on one corner. One young kid didn’t like it, so he sounded off. (I spoke with this kid later, he is one step closer to Christ now) Then a young black guy came over to talk. He listened real well as The Holy Spirit moved upon his heart. It took probably close to an hour before he made the move to receive Jesus. But he did! Praise God! He went off changed by the power of God!

I called him that night on the way home. He said that he was at home resting. Now this was Friday night close to 8:00pm. He was saved from drugs and may have been either in a gang, or had came out of one. But glory to God he is changed! He said to me as we parted on the phone, “pray for me, I just want to live”. That tells it all.

Back to where I left off in “Part#2”.
It was 4:00pm at the train stop and it’s Friday night and there are people in need of hearing The Gospel everywhere as they wait for the train to go home from work. I started in and before long James showed up. We took turns preaching and God’s Spirit was moving as several came up to either take a tract or talk.

Then the distractions came once again. This young guy who had a plastic cup full of wine, starts to scream and yell and gets in our faces. James calms him down as I finish. I went over to him and tried to talk with him. He seemed surprised that I would have come over to talk with him after all his yelling and carrying on.

As we talked, God through His Spirit began to speak to him, a little at a time. He said he had to go use the bathroom, and asked if I would be there when he came back. I assured him I would. I miss out from time to time, but I knew there was hope for this guy. He came back with more wine and seemed to be even more intoxicated. What I really liked about this encounter was that the fact that he was still drinking, but God was still coming after him. I could see transformation taking place.

Now James comes up to talk to him, and gets real straight with him. The guy blows a gasket big time, screams and yells. The crowd turns and begins to listen in as to try and figure out what is going on. The guy storms off. I thought we had lost him then. James begins to preach again.

Minutes later he returns in a huff. I with the help of God, calm him down, and once again we(the Spirit and I) start to share Christ with him. He shares a lot of his problems and fears. Now, it was pretty obvious that this guy was a outcast by others, by the things he shared with me. But God was loving on him big time. I could see His love being poured out on our soon to be brother.

He takes off to smoke a cigarette across the street. I shared with James what was taking place. When he returned glass in hand, James apologizes for some of the things that he had said earlier. They hugged and forgave each other. It was powerful to behold.

James starts in again, sharing God’s love and power to change lives to the crowd. The guy who I will call Dan, comes over to me again. This time I am noticing that he is listening more and getting closer to The Kingdom as we spoke. All of a sudden, HE TAKES THE CUP OF WINE AND THROWS IT 30 FEET DOWN THE BRICK WALKWAY. Wow! I was taken back! HE THEN BEGINS TO SING THE SONG, “CREATE A PURE HEART IN ME, O GOD, AND RENEW A STEADFAST SPIRIT WITHIN ME” He sings every word of the song. I noticed that he was sobering up as he was singing. God was moving!

He finishes the song and immediately DROPS TO HIS KNEES AND STARTS TO REPENT BEFORE GOD AND CONFESS. It was really powerful to hear him repent before God and ask Jesus for forgiveness and to be his Saviour and then his Lord. I knelt down with him and prayed for complete deliverance through God’s Son, Jesus Christ. (now remember, this is all taking place in a public square with lots of people standing around watching and listening) Praise God!
We finally stood up together and gave praise to God! He is Born of The SPIRIT OF GOD!

I will continue with “part#4. Wait and see what happens next. It’s a real testimony, glory to God!

To God be the glory, for great things He is doing!

November 3, 2007

I woke up early this morning giving God praise and glory for what He did yesterday. God is showing forth His power on the streets, big time. He is changing lives. Restoration is taking place right before our eyes. To God be the glory! I pray that you will be inspired to get out and use what gifts and callings that God has blessed you with. You are unique and because of that, you can reach people that I can’t, and vice verse. Isn’t that so like God? He is unique and He made you unique to reach unique people.

It was one of those days where I did not receive orders from Him as to where to start exactly. I was impressed to just set out and see what happens. This is something that I did on a regular basis for about a year, and it was “oh so awesome”. Going out, but not knowing where. I pray that if God has yet to impress you by His Spirit to do this, that He would and that He would do it soon. Amen.

The first human encounter was a young guy at the traffic light on my way walking to the bank. I shared with him and he really listened. I believe it was another seed planting. He took a tract, and I pray that He will come when God again draws his heart to come to Him.

After the bank, (praise God there was money in the bank!) I went to the bus stop and talked (tried to) with a Hispanic man. I don’t know Spanish (but I should) so lately God has had me use a key from my pocket and tell them that the key to God is Jesus Christ. He smiled and nodded his head. I pointed to the heart also.

When I got on the bus, I immediately saw a young kid that I have talked to before. He is very quite. I sensed that there was pain and sorrow in his life, so I asked him, “has there been some painful things happen in your life?” He said yes. I said, “Have you lost a mother, or father? “A family member?” He said no, but that he did not want to talk about it. God knows and I can pray for him.

Soon I got to the first city and the local transit mall. The Lord had me do the usual prayer walk around the block. Then had me stand and start to pass out tracts and do some preaching. A young guy and his girl friend came up and wanted prayer. I first asked them if Jesus Christ was their Lord and Saviour. They said no. So I went through The Gospel with them and praise God they turned from the old life to the new! We prayed and they received Him as Lord and Saviour! The Angels where singing again! Hallelujah!

Well, of course about that time a messenger of Satan shows up (standard procedure) and we rebuked him in Jesus name and pleaded the blood of Jesus Christ. He flees, praise God!

Another brother which I just met a couple of weeks ago, stops by and we have an awesome time talking about God and His goodness. We share out loud what He has done. This is real powerful in a public setting. Whether on a corner, or in a building elevator, or on a bus or train, give God the glory out loud. You will be amazed at what takes place.

I moved across the street and there stood a young black man who was blind. My heart went out to him. I stood there praying for him quietly. Then God’s Spirit moved and I began to talk with him. I asked him if Jesus was his Lord and Saviour. He smiled and said “oh yes”. I asked him how long he had been blind, he said “since I was a year and a half old.” My heart swelled with compassion for the man.

I stood there and The Lord reminded me of my morning walk to the bank earlier. As I was walking along, God began to show me my five senses. I went through all of them one by one. I smelled, I saw, I heard etc. I ran my fingers along the concrete divider. I began to weep and appreciation came over me. Why me? as I thought of others that don’t have some of these senses. I certainly didn’t deserve it. God in His love and mercy has given them to me for His glory. May they be used for Him.

So as I stood there with this blind man, tears of compassion began to flow as I prayed to The Father for him. I looked up and saw the blue sky. The trees with their leaves turning. I pleated with God that he might see again. I asked him if I could pray with him for complete healing of his eyes. He said, “sure”.( before this I was a little reserved, because I have learned that you need to be very careful and sensitive with people who have disabilities). But I really sensed that God’s Spirit was working and He wanted to heal him.

Just as we started to pray, I looked up and there was a girl standing next to us that I have met out on the streets before. I had to refresh my memory and ask her if she was a believer or not. She said she was. I explained to her what was taking place and asked her if she believed that God could restore this man sight. She said, “yes” so we prayed together.

When we finished praying, I asked the man if he could see. He said. “not yet, but I believe I will”. Praise God he will! I believe!

He gave me his telephone number and I expect when I call him, that he will tell me he now sees. Praise to God! He is healing our brother! He will see this side of eternity! He will look up and see the blue sky, the trees! Oh praise God with me! For He is great and greatly to be praised!
“To God be the glory, for great things He is doing!”

I will stop here because I personally don’t like long posts. So if I don’t like them, I will not make them, right?
The above is only one quarter of what God did that day. With His help, I will try to write some more later.

I write these testimonies so that first God would be glorified in them, and second that you the reader would be encouraged to go out and use your gifts and callings for Him and His Kingdom. Amen

First Importance

August 8, 2007

The Apostle Paul, writing to the church in Corinth says, “Brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel” (1Cor.15:1). We also need to be reminded from time to time about the gospel. It’s too easy to get caught up in everything else, and forget the main point or emphasis. When was the last time you took time to refresh yourself with the studying of the gospel?

If you had an opportunity today to share the gospel, how would you fare? By that I mean, would the hearer be able to understand what you are saying? Would it be plain and simple enough for them to grasp? Or would it be way too “churchy” or “religious”?

Paul goes on to say in the second verse, “By this gospel you are saved,”. The gospel of Jesus Christ “is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes:” (Rom.1:16)

He continues, “if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.” (vs.2) Are you “holding on firmly” to the gospel? Even if you have been saved for 20, 30, 40 years?

Have you studied everything under the sun, but have forgotten the gospel?

Paul says, “For what I received, I passed on to you as of “first importance:” (vs.3) What he is saying is, this is what is most important. First things first.

And what is this “first importance”? What is it that we need to be reminded about? “that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,”… (vs.3)
“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.” (Isa.53:5)
“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree,” Why? “so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds we have been healed.” Healed from what? Healed from our sins! (1Pet.2:24)

And the “first importance” continues with, “he (Christ) was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures,” (vs.4) Oh! let us be reminded this day of “The Resurrection”. Just because it is not “Easter”, do we still remember it through out the rest of the year?

Be honest, when was the last time you thought about Christ’s resurrection? How about refreshing yourself in the scriptures regarding the resurrection. How long has it been?

“But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep it’s hold on him.” (Acts 2:24)

It is all for not if Christ has not been raised. “Our preaching and our faith is useless” (1Cor.15:14). More importantly than that he says, “we are then found to be false witnesses about God.” (vs.15) How about this, “Our faith is futile, and WE ARE STILL IN OUR SINS” (vs.17)

In other words, if there is no Resurrection of the Dead, if Christ has not been raised, then we best pack it up and go home. Lights out, show over. We are all still dead in trespasses and sins. And all those that have died before us “are lost forever.” (vs.18) All our loved ones, everybody, lost if there is no Resurrection.

“BUT CHRIST (don’t you just love those words) has indeed been raised from the dead,” (vs.20). He appeared to Peter, and then to the twelve. After that, Christ appeared to more than 500 (vs.6). There you have it! HE IS RISEN! Hallelujah!

Death came through one man, Adam. But the resurrection also came through one man. And that man is The Christ (vs.22). In Adam, we all die, but (don’t you love the “buts”) in Christ all will be made alive (vs.22).

How awesome and wonderful is The Resurrection of The Christ. In Christ we are made alive. There is no death to our spirit when we are in Christ. Our spirit man lives for ever and ever with our creator, God.

In closing, spend some time reviewing the “first importance”, The Gospel of Christ. You will be refreshed and blessed. Who knows, you might not be able to contain it and the next thing you know, your rushing out the door to tell somebody!
Amen.