Tuesday, June 19, 2018

TIGHT SECURITY


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Why has air travel become so frustrating? Why do we have to be
at the airport hours before departure time? Why do we have to
remove our shoes, hats and so forth when going through airport
security? And why can’t we take drinks or food through security?
Th e answer is simple. The government is trying to ensure that
no individual with evil intentions (terrorists) is allowed on an
airplane. In short, it is a way of securing our safety. I am sure the
bad guys have not given up yet; they are still trying, and hoping
that one of these days, they’d succeed.

A few years ago, at a White House Dinner Party, an uninvited couple
was able to get through security, and mingle with guests. When
questioned they made up stories like, they had forgotten to bring
their invitation, etc. They posed for pictures with dignitaries, and
had a good time. So apparently, tight security in places does not
guarantee that the uninvited would be kept out. It is still possible
for the uninvited to go through security without being stopped or
identified as uninvited guests, regardless of their intentions, until
it is too late.
There is one place though that a guest without the proper
credentials cannot bypass security, unnoticed. Look at this verse
with me, “If anyone’s name was not found in the book of life, he
was thrown into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15 NIV). No one can sneak into
heaven! There’s not going to be an issue of oversight, mix ups, or
excuses. Either your name is, or is not in the book of life. This is
a very crucial issue.

How does one get his or her name in the Book of life? No
name will get there by chance, or by being God’s favorite. God
is not in the business of playing favoritism. Jesus said to his
disciples, “For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my
brother, and sister and mother” (Matthew 12:50 NIV). Also, Jesus promised
to acknowledge before the Father, those who acknowledge Him
before men; likewise, to disown before the Father, those who
disown Him before men (see Matthew 10:32-33).

Names are placed in the Book of life intentionally, for
one reason only. “I tell you the truth; whoever hears my word
and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be
condemned; he has crossed over from death to life” (John 5:24 NIV). So as
you see, it is by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ that one
is saved. It is also important to note that the Book of life does not
have names of groups. Hence no one can be written in the Book
of life because they belong to a particular Church, family, school
or denomination. Each one is on his or her own. Each one has to
come to Christ as an individual. No one can wish himself/herself
into heaven; no one can do enough good deeds to qualify getting
into heaven.

This is the assurance the believer has that his/her name is in
the Book of life, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for
those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the
law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death”
Romans 8:1-2 NIV). “I write these things to you who believe in the name of
the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life”
(1 John 5:13).

Would you like to get into heaven? Did you say, “Yes”? How
do you plan to get there? Are you hoping to sneak by security
somehow? That will not work. The only thing that will work is
repentance and faith in Jesus. Accept Jesus as your personal Savior
today. Jesus Christ is the only Way! Guaranteed!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

IT IS HIS RIGHT


From beginning to end, Scripture repeatedly emphasizes God’s ownership of everything:




Heaven belongs to God.
He decides who goes there;
He also decides the terms.

You might disagree with his decisions,
But that will not change anything.
You could even make suggestions to sway him,
But that will not make any difference.

Heaven belongs to God!
He decided the only ones allowed there, are those whose sins are
forgiven.
He also decided the only way to forgiveness is through faith in
His Son Jesus.
You might disagree with His decisions;
You probably think, regardless of what people believe
He created all so all should be allowed in.
You probably also think, whoever you judge as good should be
allowed.

Heaven however, belongs to God and not to you,
He does not need your advice or suggestions.
He can do with heaven as He pleases.

Heaven belongs to God!
He is not going to excuse your unbelief because you disagree with
Him.
How often do you allow others to dictate to you what you should
do with your property?
Heaven belongs to God!
If you desire to go there, you have to follow his direction.
Confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus,
And believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead
And you will be saved.
There is no other way.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

BOW NOW, OR BOW LATER: YOUR CHOICE


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Bowing is the act of obeisance: paying homage to someone you love and respect, or an individual who by nature of their position is due that respect. The Bible declares that God has elevated Jesus to the place of highest honor and given Him the name that’s above every name (see Philippians 2:9). For that reason, the Bible says, “At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11). This means there’s coming a time when every single person will pay homage to Jesus, whether they like it or not!

Currently, bowing or not bowing is by choice. Those who bow do so because they have found salvation in Jesus Christ; they understand that Jesus left His throne above and became man, and died to save them. They adore, love, and appreciate Him. I am included in that number, and we believe bowing is the least we should do to show appreciation for paying the penalty for our sins.

The people who don’t bow now have either not been exposed to the gospel of Jesus Christ, have but don’t believe it, or think there’s some other way or deity through whom they could get to God. Some of these people actually hate Jesus and would not consider bowing to Him for any reason. For now, these people are free to not bow. Unfortunately, their refusal to respond to God’s love through Jesus means only one thing—when their time in this world is over, they’ll be spending eternity away from God in hell. In addition though, they will still bow and acknowledge that Jesus is Lord, the very posture they despise! Bowing under this circumstance, however, will not change where they spend eternity. They’ll bow in sorrow and remorse!

Which category do you belong to? Are you or are you not bowing willingly? If you don’t already bow willingly, I’ll like to encourage you to call on Jesus today and experience His love. After all, like everyone else, you’ll bow eventually. Bowing now will make the most sense, and bring you the most benefit.

Jesus is the only One who could appease the Father’s holy law, which is why He took your sins and mine upon Himself and died in our place. You need to accept His sacrifice on your behalf, and ask Him to forgive your sins and come live in your heart. God does not want you to perish; He wants you to repent and be saved through Jesus Christ (see 2 Peter 3:9). Jesus makes it clear in the book of John, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me” (John 14:6 NLT). Please come to the Father today, through Jesus, and bow to Him willingly, in adoration.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

YOU ARE A DEFENDANT IN A COURT CASE


Dear friend, you’ve been named in a lawsuit as the defendant. Your charges have been read, and without doubt, you’re guilty, and punishment is eminent! God is the plaintiff, but also the judge. The sooner you secure a lawyer to plead your case, the sooner you’ll be acquitted. By the way, there is only one lawyer, Jesus, (Advocate—see 1 John 2:1) who knows the judge, and also knows how to satisfy His demands regarding your guilt.

You’re probably wondering what the plaintiff could possibly have against you. Let me assure you; He has the same complaint against everyone-we’re all sinners! This is His complaint: “Everyone has sinned, we all fall short of God’s glorious standard” (Romans 3:23 NLT). You might ask, “How can that be?” The answer is quite simple: we all descended from the same sinful couple-Adam and Eve. The Bible says, “Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone” (Romans 5:18 NLT). We inherited their sin-nature, and therefore, we also sin! The only way we can escape the punishment for our sins is to secure the only qualified lawyer, Jesus, to defend us. Have you ever retained a lawyer for a legal matter? Then I’m sure you also know lawyer services are not cheap; they charge you an arm and a leg, and then some.

I personally know this lawyer, Jesus Christ. He takes care of my spirit-legal issues; He’s amazing. I don’t know what I’d do without Him. He’s kind and loving, dependable and wise. For all that, you’ll expect Him to charge as much as the other lawyers, or maybe more.

However, I can assure you, Jesus pays your debt Himself, instead of charging you. He pays the whole thing, and makes provision for future debts. He does that through His onetime sacrifice (death on a cross), to satisfy the Father’s wrath. I know what I’m talking about, because He’s taken care of mine already; now, I am free: as free as if I’d never sinned. In addition, He’s constantly pleading on my behalf for my present as well as future missteps. Would you like to meet Him?

You might be toiling with the idea, wondering what the punishment would be if you ignored my advice. There’s no need to wonder: I’ll go ahead and tell you. The Bible says, “The person who sins is the one who will die” (Ezekiel 18:20 NLT), and also, “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23 NLT). When the Bible talks about death, it means eternal separation from God, which also stands for hell. In short, if you choose not to be represented by Jesus, the advocate, you’ve chosen to go to hell when you die. It’s that simple, but sad!

To recap, here are the facts: you’re a sinner whether or not you agree, punishment can be forgiven only if the conditions for forgiveness are met, and finally, only one person qualifies to be your advocate—JESUS! So now would you consider my recommendation? He’s waiting to hear from you and says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me” (John 14:6 NLT).

Please call on Jesus in prayer today; believe in Him, ask Him to forgive your sins, and make you His child. He will: I can attest to that! He will also give you the assurance that your sins have been forgiven, “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has become a child of God” (1 John 5:1 NLT); “I am writing to you who are God’s children because your sins have been forgiven through Jesus” (1 John 2:12 NLT), and to assure you that He’ll never bring up your sins again, the Bible says, “ He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west” (Psalm 103:12 NLT). Do you have any idea what that means? He’ll never hold you accountable for them again; your sins will be gone for good!

Please wait no longer; time is running out. Make this decision now, and live with the assurance of eternal life with God in heaven. Although we might never meet here in this life, I look forward to meeting you there. What a wonder this will be!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

EVIDENCE OF INTIMACY WITH JESUS


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We all like others to know who our friends are; we sometimes
prove that friendship by how much we know about each other.
When people have been friends for a long time, they begin to think
and act like each other. Th ere is a saying I haven’t heard in a long
time that proves this point. It goes something like this, “Show me
your friend and I’ll show you your character.”

In a similar way, Peter and John, by their courage, proved to
the members of the Sanhedrin that they had been with Jesus. In
Acts chapter four, Luke gives the account of how Peter and John
responded when questioned by the Sanhedrin, “By what power
or what name did you do this?” V 7 (Referring to the healing of
a cripple). Peter wasted no time; he went straight to the point, proving
that Jesus was the Christ and that through Him, the cripple had
been healed.

Th e Scripture tells us, “When they saw the courage of Peter
and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men,
they were astonished and they took note that these men had
been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13). (That was the only explanation).

What are some of the ways in which we can demonstrate that
we have been with Jesus?

• Love—“But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for
those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44 NIV). “This is my command:
Love each other” (John 15:17 NIV). “Love must be sincere” (Romans 12:9 NIV).

• Belief/Trust—Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the Lord our God” (Psalm 20:7 NIV).

• Forgiveness—“. . . forgiving each other, just as in Christ
God forgave you” Ephesians 4:32 NIV). “Bear with each other and
forgive whatever grievances you may have against one
another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (Colossians 3:13 NIV).

• Humility—“All of you, clothe yourselves with humility
toward one another, because, God opposes the proud but
gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5 NIV).  “. . . in humility
consider others better than yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3 NIV).

• Wisdom—"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (Psalm 111:10 NIV).
“He who wins souls is wise” Proverbs 11:30 NIV).

• Boldness—“Th e righteous are as bold as a lion.” (Proverbs 28:1 NIV).

• Courage—“. . . without being frightened in any way by
those who oppose you” Philippians 1:28 NIV).
‘You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day . . .” (Psalm 91:5).

• Faith—“The righteous will live by faith” (Habakkuk 2:4 NIV).
“Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1 NIV).
 ‘We live by faith not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7 NIV).

• Prayerfullness/Thankfulness/Joyfulness—“From inside
the fish Jonah prayed” (Jonah 2:1 NIV). “Be joyful always; pray
continually; give thanks in all circumstances” (2 Thessalonians 5:16 NIV).

• Respect—“Show proper respect to everyone; Love the
brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king” (1 Peter 2:17 NIV).

• Living by the Word—“Do not merely listen to the word . . . Do what it says” (James 1:22 NIV).

MEMORIZE—“By this all men will know that you are my disciples,
if you love one another” (John 13: 35 NIV).

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

THE TIME FOR SALVATION IS NOW



Are you one of the many who think time is on their side? Such people postpone every decision they need to make pertaining to God and eternity. If you are, you probably say things like, “I am young,” “I am too busy,” “I am in good health” or “I’ll do it later.”

If you had full control of your circumstances, you could get away with procrastinating, and at just the right time of your choosing, you could decide to believe in Jesus and be saved, and everything would be fine. Unfortunately for you, you don’t have much control of your life, you don’t get to decide when and how you die; God does.

Maybe end of life issues don’t cross your mind often because life at present is going so well for you. That’s what happened in the days of Noah. The Bible says people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage until the flood came (an indication
that life was going on as usual when the flood came). See Matthew 24:37-38. Of course, by the time the flood came, it was too late (see Genesis 6-7).
Their end had come suddenly, when there wasn’t much time for them to call on God.

No matter how enjoyable you find this life, be reminded that it is only temporary. The end will come when you least expect it. All that the world has to offer cannot pay for your salvation. Only the blood of Jesus is acceptable as payment for your sins. The Bible says, “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26 NIV). Think about it.

Young people are being advised to start planning now for retirement; so they can live comfortably in their later years. By the same token, your soul will live forever; you need to make provision for that. Where would you like to spend eternity, in heaven or in hell? If you prefer heaven, you’ll need to take the steps now to guarantee it. When the jailer in the book of Acts asked Paul and Silas, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30 NIV). They replied, “Believe in the name of the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31 NIV).

The way to salvation has not changed, and never will. God decided the blood of Jesus was what it was going to take for Him to forgive sins. So Jesus came and shed His blood. Now it is up to you to believe in Him, confess your sins, ask for forgiveness and accept salvation through His blood. On the other hand if you’d rather spend eternity in hell, ignore the invitation to believe in Jesus, and you will be guaranteed to go to hell. But why would you choose that? Jesus loves you; that is why He died such a painful death. Choose life today!
“Now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2 NIV).
 

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

THE NEW YOU IN THE MAKING

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There are many cosmetic products on the market that claim to transform one in unbelievable ways. For example, some claim their use could make one look ten or more years younger. Product manufacturers claim that using their product as directed could be more beneficial to their users than other brands of the same product on the market. Most of these products do not hold up to their claim, and even if they did, the results are only temporary.

The Bible talks about an authentic transformation that is necessary in each individual’s life. It does not cost individuals anything to obtain (though it cost Christ His life), the result speaks for itself, and lasts forever. This transformation is guaranteed through faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Why do we need this transformation? This transformation is necessary to restore our relationship with God; the relationship that was interrupted by sin. Before you even think you have no sin, listen to what the Bible says, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His word has no place in our lives” (1 John 1:8-10 NIV).

When we confess our sins to God through Christ, He cleanses us, just as the above Scripture says and
gives us a new nature created to be like Him in true righteousness and holiness (see Ephesians 4:24). He explains the effect of the cleansing and forgiveness by saying, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV). He further explains our transformation this way, “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth” (Ephesians 5:8-9 NIV).

In order for the transformation to be evident and ongoing, we have a responsibility; to live as children of light by allowing Christ to live through us, by obeying His word. Our transformation has to be evident in our attitude towards God and our fellow man. The Scripture says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:5), and “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18 NIV).

God’s command in all of this is, “You are to be holy to me because I, the Lord, am holy” (Leviticus 20:26 NIV); “Put off your old self, . . . and put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24 NIV). We have to make a conscious effort,
each single day to maintain God’s required standard of holiness. A ‘New You’ in Christ will last for a lifetime and beyond; come to Jesus now!