A word of encouragement from a sojourner for Truth

Archive for May, 2013

Band of brothers

2Co 5:17-21
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (ESV)
When you get saved you join the King’s army.  You join a local unit when you join the Church.  Your identification is your public baptism. Question 1….. Are you serving in your unit. Question 2….Are you following your Captain’s. orders?  Witness,  teaching, training, fellowship and corporate worship.The great commission and our role in the minstrel of reconciliation should positively effect kingdom growth,  Church growth,  and the moral climate where you live and work. What are you doing to follow your orders? Can others identify you and the unit you serve in or are you AWOL. (from Sunday’s Memorial Day Sermon)

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Love never gives up

Sometimes I weary of the selfish, backstabbing, lieing, cold, hateful, weak minded people in the world. The pain of ministry, the loss of demas to Paul I understand all too acutely. I long for more like disciple’s like timothy, titus, Lydia, Deborah etc. Where are the true soldiers of Christ who give not to get, love without measure, fighters for truth, reason, and faith? Then I remember 1 Corinthians 13. Take a moment. To do a simple humility test. I’m using the message version but any version works. Remove the word for love and place Jesus’ name there. See how much he has done for you. Then place your name in the same place. See how much you need to grow. Thank God he is still working on me.
Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, doesn’t have a swelled head, doesnt force itself on others, isnt always “me first,” doesnt fly off the handle, doesnt keep score of the sins of others, doesnt revel when others grovel, takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything, Trusts God always, always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end. Love never dies….

Sign post #4

Sign post #4
1 Peter 2:12 (KJV)
[12] Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.
We have considered three sign posts that enable the church and the believer to truly impact the world as salt and light. This final sign post follows naturally the other three: love, unity, hope and finally good works.
Jesus told his disciples to do good works openly.
Matthew 5:16 (KJV)
[16] Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Sometimes Jesus warns us to do things in secret such as private prayer time. He chastens those who pray only to be heard. Yet he commands good works to be done openly a d for the benefit others. This issue is easily reconciled. We are to do good works openly and for others benefit without needing any credit. All glory goes to our heavenly Father. Remember the great commandment to Love Him with all our being and the second is similar to love our neighbor as ourself. So when you operate doing good things for others let God get the glory. Don’t forget that love does not boast.
1 Corinthians 13:4 (KJV)
[4] Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

Signpost #3

1 Peter 3:15 [15] But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

I remember the true story of a Christian cancer patient visiting her agnostic Jewish doctor for her final prognosis. She had just weeks to settle her affairs. She, clearly shaken by the news, broke down. Yet within moments she calmed and the doctor was taken aback. He had given many the terrible news yet none had remained so poised. Upon questioning her about her calm demeanor, she shared her confidence in Christ. Soon after her physician came to be saved. Like the first two markers of the church Sign post #3 exemplifies true believers of Christ. Its focus reveals the calming presence of Jesus in our lives. He is our hope. This signpost, too, becomes visible to others more readily than to ourselves. When facing adversity we can face it without utter despair and hopelessness. Why is this so? The ressurection creates a special kind of steadfast hope. Jesus who saves and keeps us has overcome our greatest enemy. Death no longer can defeat us. No trial in this life can defeat our savior thus we should not live in fear but our faith should abound in hope. I don’t know what you are facing today. But I do know there is nothing you face today that is greater than He who has saved you. So walk and flourish in hope today. Be ready to give the reason when people ask.

Sign post#2

Sign post #2
Just as sign post #1 validates to the World that Jesus is the Christ the second sign post does the same for us his followers. The world knows we are Christians by our love one for another. This love like unity is far more than mere human love. Unity with each other in the body of Christ brings together people from all walks of life, backgrounds, ethnicities, talents, gifts, experiences and aquired skills. As in no other group can there be found such unity, likewise our love should strive to be unconditional. We are to love as we have been loved. We ought to look beyond the faults of others and see their need, potential and their status as made in His image. Jesus challenges us to love him with all our being. Further we are to love others as ourself. This love for God and man should be manifested at its heighth in the church family.
John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another
Now John brings this issue starkly contrasted against the love normally given by humanity.
I John 3:14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. 3:15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 3:17 But whoso hath this world ‘s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? 3:18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

Only such selfless love can validate to the world we are true disciples. Only then will they trust us to tell them of our hope. Only then will He entrust us with the greater things of his work.
Luke 16:10 He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much 16:11 If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches

Sign Posts part 1

The Church must be sign posts along the broadway showing the escape route offered by Christ. U turn, Crossroad, Warning, and Yield signs all come to mind. There are 4 common signs every Church must have in order to be able to claim New Testament identification and to reach the lost and to properly disciple believers. Sign post #1 identifies Jesus as Savior and Lord sent from God.
The sign is the sign of Unity with God and each other.
John 17:20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;  17:21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me   17:23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me   17:22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:  
When the world looks at you and your Church family do they see Unity? Work to promote Unity in your personal walk with God and your fellowship with your Church family.
Amos 3:3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?