Have Faith In God Today!

For April 18, 2021
Trusting in what we have no empirical frame of reference is virtually impossible, especially in our materialistic, post-modern world where there is little or no regard for moral, godly, and spiritual underpinnings; especially with those related to Jesus Christ and the Christian Faith, just as the Bible depicts in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NKJV),

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!

Christian Faith demands that the cold, hard facts associated with our day-to-day existence have to be changed. Only then can we embrace the transcendent, eternal realities that exist—whether we choose to believe them or not. The “cancel culture” purveyors will never cancel matters of Christian Faith, which are always relevant, and eternally substantive.

To compensate for our lack of faith, we have adopted flawed views of faith. Some see faith as a way to impose our will upon God. Here, we reduce God from being the Almighty; the All-knowing Creator and Sustainer of all existence to a mere puppet on a string to do our bidding, (as if He were our genie in a magic lamp).

Yet our God will do exactly what He will do at the precise moment and in the precise manner that suits Him—not us! His ways appear mysterious at times, but they are always perfect because He knows what is best for us in every situation. Besides, He created us and knows the exact number of hair on our heads. Thus, He is well acquainted with our needs, wants, and hearts desires.

Those convinced there is no God and that everything is haphazard view faith as aimless, pie-in-the-sky wishing tend to overlook or ignore how from purely a material standpoint, faith is a major part of our day-to-day existence. Without faith, we would scrutinize our air, water, food, furniture, appliances, vehicles, boats, and airplanes; everything we wanted to use before we used it.

Another flawed view of faith is to equate it with our feelings. Here faith is present only when we are happy with ourselves or our circumstances. Yet our pride, selfishness, emotional wounds, sinful cravings, “well-meaning” people, and our Enemy, Satan can influence our feelings and deceive us.

God is faithful, and He will always be at work on our behalf, regardless of how we feel. The Lord said that we could move mountains and that nothing would be impossible with faith the size of a mustard seed. Job cursed the day of His birth, and yet He had a tremendous faith in God. To gauge the quantity or fervor of our faith, we can never rely on our feelings alone, because faith is a mystery that is essential to our human experience,

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:1, 6 (NKJV).

Have faith in God. He is a rewarder to those who seek Him with their whole hearts. Ungodly hearts are spiritually dead, and emotionally ungratified. They lack meaning, and grope out an unfulfilled existence; futilely searching for happiness everywhere, but never finding it—remaining sad, and empty on the inside.

God has supplied our answer freely through Jesus Christ. With our faith in Christ and repentance of sin, we can receive Jesus Christ who gives us a complete spiritual overhaul, a restored fellowship with God, and an abundant life that lasts forever. In essence, we turn from sin, turn to Christ, and invite Him to be our personal Lord and Savior. Then, God seals us with His Holy Spirit forever.

We may not experience significant external changes, like having our names listed in Who’s Who, or having others speak well of us, or even obtaining wealth, influence, or notoriety. Yet we do have a new, internal spiritual being that makes us new creations who are acceptable before God forever,

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new (2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV).

Won’t you have faith in God today? What a Wonderful Savior!

We Are Salt And Light!

For April 11, 2021
We all were once aliens, but God reconciled us to Himself through faith in Jesus Christ and called us out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9). Using His example as our model, we can form and nurture meaningful relationships that improve our social condition that advance the causes of others and allow others to experience the respect and dignity they deserve.

In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus describes our impact on the world around us as salt and light,

You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:13—16 NKJV).

We are created in God’s image—equal human beings—with the capacity to treat other human beings with sincerity, honor, and respect regardless of class or gender. Thus, it is possible to interact peacefully with others without bigotry and prejudicial lawlessness.

However, I am saddened by the heightening social hostility where people should express civility, tact, and understanding. I can understand how the unfortunate events in out history, (i.e., slavery, segregation, discrimination, etc.) continue to evoke rage in many people today.

Nevertheless, ours is not a perfect world. The exploitation and victimization that occur around the world remind us of: a) the presence of sin in the world, b) no one race/culture can point fingers since we all are guilty of exploitation and victimization, and c) there is much work to be done everywhere—within all races!

In other words, no one particular race “cornered the market” on victimization or being victimized. Other races have either imposed or faced discrimination, injustice, and hostility as well. No one should ever keep a record of past wrongs as some self-appointed vigilante. If all of us did this, there would be no one left standing since we are equal debtors. The Lord rightly says in John 8:7 (NKJV), “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone.”

Being salt and light applies to all areas of our daily, human interaction as we become expressions of Christ’s prophetic role by filtering everything we think, say, and do through a Bible-based perspective. In other words, we are people of the Bible who abide by its principles. Although we may listen to secular experts, the Word of God is the lamp for our feet that lights our path every day (Psalm 119:105).

We also exhibit His priestly role by being the living, holy sacrifices that are always acceptable unto God. Here, we intentionally consecrate every area of our lives to God through daily obedience so that the Lord’s perfect plan for others and us will always prevail. Jesus taught that to follow Him; we have to deny ourselves, take up our crosses, and follow Him daily (Matthew 16:24).

Then we live out His kingly role through our responsible and accountable service to others. Here again, we express prudence and justice in all our dealings with others. Exploitation of children, euthanasia, and human trafficking have no place where Christ’s scepter of righteousness and eternal justice exists (Psalm 45:6).

The unrighteous shall not inherit the Kingdom of God; we are bought with a price and belong to the Lord exclusively (1 Corinthians 6:9, 20). Thus, our bodies are to glorify God as we do all we can to please Him because it is the right and proper thing to do.

I believe being the Lord’s salt and light can heal nations as we practice a pure religion that is Spirit-driven and undefiled before God and the world around us. Let’s try being who we really are—God’s salt and light to spice up and illuminate a tasteless, dark world.

What a Wonderful Savior!

Jesus Got Up From The Grave!

For April 4, 2021
All humanity was in spiritual peril. Sin and death bound us, where there was no escape. But, Jesus’ single magnificent act would change the course of our future once and for all.

Up to now, Jesus Christ was like any other person who has ever spouted lofty ideals, performing magical tricks, and leading a group of misfits and non-conformists. This behavior was seen before. (Although raising the widow’s son, Jairus’ daughter, and Lazarus from the dead were spectacular accomplishments.)

He was approximately thirty-three years old, give or take—a relatively young man—cut down in the prime of His life. His claim to be God in human flesh, (or the Son of God), along with His claim to be our only means of redemption were without validation to this point. Then, something happened that distinguishes Him from anyone who has ever lived.

Jesus Rose from the Dead!

Through His resurrection, God glorifies the Son and validates His authority over Satan, sin, and death, making Him the most significant person who has ever lived, and it ensures us that He will not disappoint those of us who put our faith in Him,

By any and all standards, Jesus Christ has always been regarded as the greatest figure in human history. On any list of the world’s greatest men, we always find at its head Jesus of Nazareth. Regardless of whether or not men acknowledge Him as Savior and Lord, they must pay tribute to Him as the world’s outstanding man. 1

Many refer to Jesus as a prophet or teacher. Some say He was a good man who died tragically. If death was all there was, we would be hopelessly lost. But, praise the Lord! Jesus’ death is not all that there was to know about Him. He also rose from the dead, and He left behind an empty tomb. Although some have tried, we cannot ignore the implications of this historical fact.

    •  The empty tomb validates the Lord’s claim to be the Son of God or God in human flesh and that He, the Helper, and the Father are one.

I and my Father are one…I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper…the Spirit of truth…I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you (John 10:30, 14:16-18 NKJV)

    • It confirms God has approved Jesus Christ’s atoning sacrifice for our sin and solidifies the new and abundant life we have in Him forever.

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son (John 3:16-18 NIV).

    • It shows the Father answered His prayer to be glorified most emphatically.

Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:9-11 NIV).

    • It proves and assures we will also experience a glorious resurrection, just as He has,

And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God (Job 19:26 AKJV).

    • It assures us we can pray, read/study His Word, abide by His commands, trust His promises, attend church, observe His ordinances, serve others, and strive toward spiritual growth knowing our actions are productive,

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58 NIV).

The foundation of our Christian faith is the actual bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. Because of it, we sorrow not as others who have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13),

This is but natural, as Christianity must stand or fall with the resurrection. Christ “rose from the dead,” has always been a cardinal article of faith in the Christian Church; for the defense of the faith and comfort to the Believers. The difficulties that beset denial are found in: (a) the impossibility of explaining the empty grave; (b) the attitude of the enemies of Christ after the resurrection, revealing their helpless confusion; (c) the Disciples’ sudden transition from hopelessness to triumphant faith; (d) the founding of Christianity in the world, which can be rationally accounted for only in view of the fact that Christ actually rose from the dead.2

Our Christian faith, history, and theology derive from the idea that Jesus Christ rose from the dead physically. Along with the Disciples we, His Followers today, universally accept this as fact. And despite the two thousand years of skeptics, our Christian faith has never been a product of “lies, fraud, hallucinations, and sick minds.” Courageous, clear-minded Saints of God continue to die for their faith in the Lord because they know Him to be authentic and eternal. Christian faith stands or falls with the resurrection of Jesus.3

Our Lord willingly died to pay for our sins, and He triumphantly rose for our justification. He ascended into Heaven, where He now sits at the right hand of God, interceding for us. Soon, He will return for us, and we will be with Him forever in His peace and love. Won’t you trust Him today?

Jesus is risen…He is risen indeed!

What a Wonderful Savior!

Love In Action—Jesus Died For Our Sins!

For April 2, 2021
The word love has many meanings, although it defines our emotional attraction toward someone or something. For instance, we can love our jobs, houses, cars, classical music, pizza, and that old pair of comfortable jeans. Even the Ancient Greeks distinguished parental love (Greek: storge) from fraternal love (Greek: phileo) from the passion between lovers (Greek: eros).

However, Jesus Christ establishes a new love paradigm when He commanded us to love each other unselfishly and fervently, just as He loves us (Greek: agape). It is by this unselfish love, everyone will know we are His disciples (John 13:34—35). This is the highest form of selfless, pure love, which can only find its source in and expression through God. Jesus attests of this in John 15:13 (NKJV) when He states, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”

God’s love is completely devoid of sin and selfishness. In our strength alone, we are incapable of such altruism because we are motivated by, “What’s in it for us?” before we consider responding lovingly.

Although difficult, Christians have the capacity to express His love as we yield to His Spirit, who instinctively responds to others through us in the ways that serve their best interests. The Spirit within us extends this unique, powerful, transforming love to all people everywhere—so that even our enemies can benefit greatly.

1 John 4:7—8 tells us that God is love. And He continues to express it as He has from the beginning. When there was nothing, He created the earth and all that is in it to make a perfect habitation for imperfect humans. Even after we fell and sin contaminated this world, He extended mercy to Adam and Eve by promising The Redeemer who would restore our lost fellowship.

Romans 6:23 tells us the payment for sin is death. In other words, someone has to die, and blood has to be shed to remediate our sin to restore our lost fellowship with God,

For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul (Leviticus 17:11 NKJV).

God sustained our existence through Noah when sin was rampant, and He later produced a people of faith who would love Him and be a blessing to others through Abraham. Love delivered God’s people from Egyptian bondage, sustained them through the Red Sea, the desolate wilderness, and gave them a new identity in the land that He promised them.

God’s love foretold of One who would sit on David’s throne and rule God’s people with justice and mercy. He would also express God’s love completely by nullifying the curse and dominion of sin and by redeeming sin-cursed humanity in righteousness forever.

Only Jesus fulfills God’s enduring love for us. He left glory, inhabited human flesh, and walked on earth for thirty-three years; sharing His message of love, faith, and redemption. Unselfishly, He healed the sick, raised the dead, fed the hungry, encouraged the downtrodden, and taught about His transforming, redeeming message.

Yet, on the last day of His earthly life, He demonstrated exceptional love. Knowing that one sitting with Him during the Passover Seder would betray Him shortly, He did not condemn him. Instead, Jesus shared a morsel of food with Judas and gave him permission to perform the despicable act he contemplated. Jesus could have exposed Judas to the other eleven disciples in the room, but He showed love by feeding Him and giving Him another chance to repent.

Later that evening, while praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus had the opportunity to escape death on the cross. The disciples were asleep when the full weight of what was to happen in less than twelve hours hit Him like the proverbial “ton of bricks.” Jesus cried to His Heavenly Father and asked, if it were possible, to let the cup pass and excuse Him from the cruel death on the cross. Yet He was determined to fulfill God’s will, not His own.

After being beaten, spat upon, insulted, and crowned with thorns, our Lord still loved us so much that He was willing to be further disgraced and humiliated. Stripped of His clothing, Jesus was affixed to a wooden cross with metal spikes driven through His hands and feet. Then He was placed on a hill between two thieves before throngs of mocking people.

Instead of commanding legions of angels to destroy us, He surrendered His life for our sins and interceded on our behalf by asking His heavenly Father to forgive all those who were responsible—including you and me today.

Jesus died for you and I to prove His wonderful, matchless love for us. Won’t you receive His love today?

What a Wonderful Savior!

Hosanna To The King of Kings!

For March 28, 2021
During this week of consecration and celebration, Jews from around the world converged on Jerusalem to increase the city’s population exponentially as all Jewish males were required to attend the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost), and the Feast of Booths (Tabernacles).1

Passover and Unleavened Bread hold critical historical significance to the Nation of Israel and to Jews around the world as these observances commemorate the Children of Israel’s release from four-hundred years of Egyptian slavery (Exodus 12:1-13:16, 23:17, 34:23).

Although festive revelers, musicians, and celebrators packed the streets with song, dance, and reverie, this day marks the last week of Jesus’ earthly life, which culminates with what we observe as Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter.

The week began on our Palm Sunday, with Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into His beloved Jerusalem.  He presents Himself as the long-awaited Messiah riding a donkey. Crowds gathered to lay palm branches and their outer clothing in His path shouting,

Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven! (Matthew 21:9 NIV).

Jesus did not ride a horse, as would a conquering hero. Instead, He rides the donkey’s colt, a symbol of peace, to present Himself as God’s humble emissary sent to redeem a fallen humanity. His calculated actions fulfill these two Messianic prophesies,

Indeed the Lord has proclaimed To the end of the world: “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Surely your salvation is coming; Behold, His reward is with Him, And His work before Him’ ” (Isaiah 62:11 NKJV).

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey (Zechariah 9:9 NKJV).

Humbly, our Lord presents Himself as the Messiah, our Conquering Hero who will not only establish His eternal Kingdom where righteousness, justice, and peace will reign forever. He also presents Himself as the Holy One of Israel—the Lamb of God—who ultimately defeats the plague of sin and death that has troubled humanity since shortly after the Creation.

No one but Jesus Christ loves us so deeply, gives of himself so freely, and keeps us so completely in this life and the next. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords who delivers us from a life of sin and presents us before God in His role as our everlasting Advocate, Alpha and Omega, Bridegroom, Deliverer, Faithful and True Witness, Lord and God, Good Shepherd, Great God and Savior, Great High Priest, Hope of Glory, I Am, Eternal Judge, Friend, King of Glory, Lamb of God, Light of the World, Physician, Prince of Peace, Prophet, Ransom, Redeemer, Resurrection and Life, Righteous Judge, Rock, Ruler of Kings, Savior, True Vine, Truth, Way, and Word of God. The Lord Jesus Christ is, and shall forever be, our all in all.

What a Wonderful Savior!