Call to Me-
“Give thanks to the Lord of hosts, for the Lord is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!” (Jeremiah 33:11)
Yes, the love of our Lord endures forever and can always be trusted and depended on to be our rock, our fortress, our salvation for all who trust and obey the Lord of hosts. Oh, but how can I know this Lord, this Lord of hosts as my own that I too can receive his steadfast love forever?
“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)
God puts a longing for himself into each and every person at birth. A longing that calls all people to seek for more than they have, a longing that can only be satisfied with the acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and with the free gift of the the indwelling of God’s Holy Spirit.
But what does this mean, “the indwelling of God’s Holy Spirit?”
To indwell means, “to exist within as an activating spirit, force or principal,” to lead and to guide the indwelled.
Jesus called him the “Helper” that the Father would send to all who accepted him as Lord. For all who accept Jesus as Lord he is truly our helper, our guide through life, the one who answers our questions about life, the one who lifts our prayers up to the very throne of God that they will be heard.
It is of this same Spirit of truth that Jesus says to all who believe in him, “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.” (John 16:13)
The Holy Spirit will speak only the words that he receives from the Father and the Son that his word can be truly trusted above all-else.
“He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” (John 16:14-15)
The Holy Spirit gives us wisdom and knowledge that guards us against the wiles of the world as he leads us through the pages of God’s Word and through his teachings he gives all who believe the joy and peace that all seek from birth, the joy and peace of our Lord God.
“Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” (Jeremiah 33:3)
“The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” (Psalm 145:18)
Call to him today, call to him with a true heart asking him for salvation and you will be saved and will never again suffer condemnation.
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:1-2)
“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit if adoption as sons, by whom we cry, Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:14-15)
Come forth now, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior and receive the gift of eternal life in Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit of God as your guide and comforter through life. Come and know the true joy of living in Christ Jesus.
Love as Yourself-
The Great Commission and the Greatest Commandments:
“And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:15-16)
The Great Commission given to all who would follow him by our Lord Jesus Christ. And with this commission, this call to action, he also gave the commands that all are to obey in his service of the Great Commission.
“And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39)
Jesus then made the importance of love even more prominent when he said, “On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:40)
The Law and the Prophets being a reference to the books of the Old Testament which is all that the early day Christians had as the new Testament had not been written at the time when Jesus was speaking.
So to love our Lord God and our neighbor was the glue that held the entire gospel together, it is as true today as it was when Jesus spoke the words.
The Great Commission and the Great Commandments are the guiding principles of the gospel, made even clearer in the Gospel of Matthew. The account of his coming to the disciples in Galilee just before his ascension back to the Father in Heaven.
“And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
The plain and simple truth of the gospel of our Lord; love God with all our being and love our neighbor as ourself and go and teach the world these truths that all people might love one another and our Lord God above all else.
Jesus tells us of the power of love when he says, “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:7)
“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13)
There is no greater force than love for another, no greater act of love than the act by our Lord Jesus Christ as he laid down his life on earth for all mankind. Taking on the sin of all mankind, bearing its consequences, death on a cross, that all mankind might be saved from the penalties of their own sins which we are not able to pay for on our own. As Jesus loves us we are to love one another.
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.” (John 15:12-14)
It is God’s will that we make disciples of our neighbors, of all who are around us, that we teach the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to the world that all have the opportunity to accept him as Lord and Master, to know him and to have his joy and peace within themselves, even in the face of trials and tribulations which come to all on earth.
That through our daily lives we show others the love, grace and mercy that our Lord Jesus showed the world, even as they nailed him to the cross of Calvary.
Remember this Christian; for many people in todays fast-paced-world, you may be the only face of Jesus that they will ever see!
What face would you have them see, the face of love, grace and mercy, or the face of the world around us, one of hate and discord and unrest? The greatest responsibility for all who are known as Christian is to project the face of our Lord Jesus Christ every day, all day, to all people. Now, go forth and love one another as yourself…
Love One Another-
Let us look this morning at the cure for all that ails the world around us. Could it be that we could have a cure for the problems of the world, oh, but we do, and it is written out for us in God’s Holy Word just waiting for us to deliver it to the world…
So here is that long-sought-after-cure…
“For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.” (1 John 3:11)
So simple in word, so difficult in deed, to just love one another.
“We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brothers righteous. Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” (1 John 3:12-15)
Cain murdered Able not for anything that Able had done to him, but because Cain had failed to please God with his sacrifice while Able had done as God had required and received God’s blessing for his own sacrifice.
Cain became so angry with Able simply because of his own disobedience and Able’s obedience.
Cain’s solution to the problem cost his brother his life and himself a lifetime of rejection by God, both were therefore dead from that time forth.
The scripture says that if one does not love others that he abides in death, that if one simply hates his brother then he has murdered his brother. Showing that the works of the mind are as strong as the works of the body. One can murder with the mind as well as with the body.
So just who is my brother, who is it that I must love if I am to abide in God’s love and have God’s eternal life abiding in me?
Let me answer that by using an example of a neighbor. Who is my neighbor? One might say; “Whoever touches me is my neighbor.” If this is true then my neighbor is every person around the world, for the chain is unbroken from me, around the world and back to me. All people are my neighbors, as all people are my bothers.
This includes all nationalities, all colors, all creeds for God only made one race, the human race. He made many nationalities, many colors of people but only one race of people, we are all human beings, made in God’s image, in the image of God he made us. (see Genesis 1:27)
How can one say that he loves his brother if he looks with hatred on someone of another color than his own? How can one abide in God’s love if he does not love his brother? He can’t…
The opposite of love is hate and the world is full of hate today and only the true love of Jesus Christ can cure what ails this evil cruel world.
“By this we know his love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.” (1 John 3:16)
Jesus died not just for you and I but for all people, all nationalities, all colors, all creeds and if we are to follow him we must also love all others and serve all others with the gifts that God has given us.
“But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” (1 John 3:17)
It cannot, for it is with the mind as well as the body that we reject others. If we look on another that is in need and do nothing to help then we do not have God’s love abiding in us which means that we then abide in death. This cannot so be for a child of God!
“Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” (1 John 3:18)
“By this we shall know the we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.” (1 John 3:19-22)
Love God with all your being, love your brother as yourself and life eternal with our Lord will be yours.
One True God-
There is much said today about various gods across the world, many would say, “ Oh, but as long as one is sincere in his worship any god is good for worship.
This is just not true for there is but one true God, one heavenly Creator of all things, One who has made heaven and earth and all things therein.
This is the Lord God, the Almighty God, the Heavenly Father of all people.
“Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts:
“I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.” (Isaiah 44:6)
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that is made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:1-5)
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)
Who is this God being spoken of in these scriptures? It is God, the Father and God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, and God, our Helper, the Holy Spirit, the one true and awesome God of heaven.
It is as God said during the creation of the world that we know and live in.
“And God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:26-27)
Let there be no doubt in your mind about the deity of God nor in his identity for he is God and there is no other.
Let other gods answer these questions posed by the true living God for all.
“Who is like me? Let him proclaim it. Let him declare and set it before me, since I appointed an ancient people. Let them declare what is to come, and what will happen.
Fear not, nor be afraid; have I not told you from of old and declared it? And you are my witnesses! Is there a God besides me? There is no Rock; I know not any.” (Isaiah 44:7-8)
The LORD that Hannah the wife of Elkanah prayed to for a son to be given her, a son that she would dedicate to the LORD to be a priest to the LORD, a son named Samuel.
And Hannah prayed and said to the LORD, “There is none holy like the LORD; for there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God.” (2 Samuel 2:2)
Or, as the Psalmist says, “God is our refuge and strength. A very present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)
“The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.” (Psalm 18:2-3)
There is none other whom one can call upon and be saved from the world of sin and evil, none other but God Almighty. Wait upon him, for only he can do for you.
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (Psalm 46:10)
Trust only in Him for, in time, all will bow to him and he will be exalted to all the earth. Know him now before its too late and you too are lost in the darkness of the devil’s world.
The one true God, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, the one true God of all…
All souls are Mine-
“Behold, all souls are mine, the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins shall die.” (Ezekiel 18:4)
“If a man is righteous and does what is just and right-“ (Ezekiel 18:5) “Walks in my statutes, and keeps my rules by acting faithfully – he who is righteous; he surely will live, declares the Lord God.” (Ezekiel 18:9)
There we see the tale of two souls, the soul who sins and dies the death of the spirit, and the soul who does righteously, who repents of his sin, who obeys Gods commands and is faithful and lives forever.
This is a choice all people must make at some point in their lives, to follow Gods will and do righteously, or, to follow the world around us, turning one’s back on God for the pleasures of the world.
All souls belong to God for he gives life to all, but all must choose life with God or death with the devil. It is God’s wish that all would come to him and live, but the choice is that which sets the saved apart from the world.
God’s promise to all mankind is that; if one turns from his wickedness that one is born with, turns from that and to God asking for salvation from his sinful ways, he will be saved.
“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)
Each one must stand on his own for no one is held accountable for the sins of another, not the father for his son, nor the son for his father.
“The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.” (Ezekiel 18:20)
This is known as “Free Will” and is given us by our Father as a means of escaping from the sins of Adam and Eve as they polluted the earth and its inhabitants by their original sin. By ones own righteous, by his repentance, he is no longer held accountable for his past sins.
“But if a wicked person turns away from all his sins that he has committed and keeps all my statutes and does what is just and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of the transgressions that he has committed shall be remembered against him; for the righteousness that he has done he shall live. Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord God, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live.” (“Ezekiel 18:21-23)
“Not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” The Lord waits for all to come to him and repent that he can then wash away their sins with the blood of his Son Jesus Christ in salvation.
Jesus says to all who will come to him in repentance, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
And so I ask you today, will you lay aside your sinful ways of this world and come to Jesus in repentance? Will you accept him as your personal Lord and Master today?
Do so and you will finally know the joy and peace that can only come through the Lord Jesus Christ. Do so and be saved this day and forever…
In the books we know as the four gospels in the new testament Jesus often speaks in parables giving some difficulty in understanding his words, as is the parable of the sower.
Jesus spoke to a great crowd of this parable saying, “A Sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell along the path and was trampled under foot, and the birds of the air devoured it. And some fell on the rock, and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it. And some fell on good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold. As he said these things, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” (Luke 8:5-8)
Many did not understand what he had said, even many of his own disciples to whom it had been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God. These he took aside and gave the answer to the secret of the parable of the sower.
This parable is one which all need to understand for it is a look into the very lives of all people who live on earth. And to which the reaction to the seed, that we give, determines our future and our eternity. So let us see what Jesus says to his own of the parable of the sower.
“Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.” (Luke 8:11)
You see, the sower is the one who spreads the word of God to the world, Jesus was the first while millions have come after him doing the work he started on earth.
“The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes along and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.” (Luke 8:12)
These have heard the word but have not yet believed and accepted Christ and are so easily drawn away by the forces of the world today. These almost became children of God, but not quite and are lost to Satan and his fallen world.
“And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But those have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away.” (Luke 8:13)
These are so sad for they heard the word and believed but did nothing more to grow in their faith and as soon as trouble came to them they fell away from the word and back into the world. This is so commonplace today and so sad that so many get so close to the Lord and yet are lost to the devil, forever.
“And as for those who fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go one their way they are choked by the cares and the riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature.” (Luke 8:14)
This group is also sad for they have accepted Jesus as Lord and have been given salvation by God, but as they go their way, they do no more for the kingdom of God.
All are to bear fruit for the Lord. You see, all are to be sowers of the seed of the word of God.
These however, do not and only accept salvation while they do nothing to help promote it to others. While saved, their gifts are never used for the glory and benefit of God.
“As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.” (Luke 8:15)
It is these of which Timothy says, “They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasures for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.” (1 Timothy 6:18-19)
It is of this last group that the Master will one day say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:21), as he enters into the kingdom of God forevermore…
It is my prayer for us all that we too will be of this group of the good soil and because of our faithfulness, we too will hear those most blessed words from the Master one day…
Let us do all that we can for the Master each day, all the while, giving him all praise and glory for our salvation, for his saving grace…
Building on the Rock-
Are you building your heavenly, eternal home today? Are you walking with the Lord and doing his will in life?
Jesus had this to say about our service, or lack thereof, to him.
“Why do you call me Lord, Lord, and not do what I tell you?” (Luke 6:46)
Jesus asks a key question of all people here.
Do you call him Lord, Lord on Sunday but not appear to know him the rest of the week?
Look deep into yourself on this and answer truthfully for the answer should have a profound effect upon your relationship with the Lord and upon your eternal future.
We humans are very good at rationalizing our actions and words to ourselves, we cannot do that here or we may never understand the failure in our faith.
Next Jesus shows us how to build our faith in a way that insures our success in entering the kingdom of God. That is the goal is it not, to spend eternity with our Lord, at rest in his arms in heaven?
“Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.” (Luke 6:47-48)
What is Jesus telling us here that is to help us through this life on earth?
The house the man is building is his faith in God.
His work of setting the solid foundation is his worship and his study of God’s Word. Without the solid foundation to be found within the pages of the Bible we are doomed when the storms of life come upon us.
Without the teachings of the Bible we will be swept away by the floods of the devil into the cesspool that is the world around us.
Build your house of faith on the solid rock, the Bible, that it will withstand anything the world may send against it, that you will persevere and gain entry into the kingdom of God in heaven.
Be careful that you do not become like the next man that Jesus tells us about when he says, “But the one who hears and does not do them (His words) is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.” (Luke 6:49)
Jesus is telling us that without the wisdom and knowledge contained within the Bible we cannot withstand the onslaught to be brought against us by the forces of evil here on earth. Without obedience to him and his word we cannot survive the storm.
It is up to each of us to hear his words and do them for ourselves. This is not something that another can do for us, it is on each of us as individuals to command our own faith, or lack thereof, and follow and do as the words of our Lord tell us.
So I ask you, is your house of faith built on a solid foundation, the rock, the word of God, or is it sitting flat upon the ground waiting to be washed away by the storms of life brought against us by the Evil One.
Please, my friends, be truthful with yourselves as you answer this question for your future depends upon it.
Turn from the world, turn to the Lord, hear his words and do them that you too may enjoy an eternity of peace and joy in his arms in heaven.
May you be richly blessed each and every day and may you be a blessing in the name of the Lord to others as well.