Friday, June 5, 2020

Responsible?

"When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!” All the people answered, “Let his blood be on us and on our children!”" -- Matthew 27:24-25
Not too long ago a decision was handed down concerning a rape case in New York City. After a woman was raped repeatedly in the view of two NYC transit employees, the judge ruled that they had no obligation to do anything to help her other than to signal their superiors that police were needed at the station. The case is reminiscent of the Kitty Genovese murder in 1964, when a number of neighbors watched the stabbing without responding with help. When is someone expected to be responsible?
Social responsibility may be open to discussion, but spiritual responsibility is another matter entirely. When each person stands before God after they breathe their last, one question will be asked. "What have you done, in response to my Son?" Pilate wanted to be innocent of the blood of Jesus, but was that possible? Since "all have sinned" (Romans 3:23) and only "the blood of Jesus... purifies us from all sin." (1 John 1:7) "...how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation?" (Hebrews 2:3) Eventually, every individual person will be held responsible.
Have you found ways to "pass the buck"? Is the concept of personal responsibility archaic and irrelevant to you? Are you aware that you have already made a decision about Jesus Christ, and you are responsible? John said it in 1 John 5:12, "He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life." What have you done, in response to the Son? The truth is; no one is innocent and everyone is responsible.


Thursday, June 4, 2020

Make the right call...

"Then when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself."" -- Matthew 27:3-4
During the 2010 season, Major League Baseball umpire Jim Joyce made an errant call that cost Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga the victory of a "perfect" game. While MLB Commissioner Bud Selig clearly acknowledged the call to be in error, he refused to overturn the call. With great emotion, Jim Joyce apologized to Galarraga at the beginning of the next game, but while the apology was kindly accepted, nothing could change the call that cost a "perfect" game.
In a far more significant set of circumstances, another call was made that couldn't be reversed. Judas was disturbed at the outcome of his betrayal and changed his mind, but it was too late. He had walked with Jesus for three years and never fully trusted the Lord as his Savior. When he realized his error, he acknowledged having "... sinned by betraying innocent blood". No amount of remorse could change the call that led to Calvary for Jesus and eternal condemnation for Judas.
Making a wrong call can be quite life changing. The most significant call in life is how you respond to the Lord Jesus Christ. This call can never be reversed in eternity. You may apologize all that you want, but nothing will change the lost condition of your soul. Be wise my friend and make the right call about Jesus... your "perfect" eternity depends on it.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Our ballistic vest...

"My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one." -- John 17:15
The causes that lead to military engagement are many. As a result our young men and women serve in parts of the world that place them in harm's way. They are given ballistic vests, Type III and above, having added steel, titanium, ceramic or polyethylene plates which can withstand high-powered rounds such as those from rifles. While we may desperately desire that they be safely at home, we provide them with gear that will protect.
As members of the Lord's army, we are placed on the battle field of life in the face of great evil. Knowing that we are here for a great purpose, the Lord doesn't seek for our removal. We have been sent into the battle to spread the good news of Jesus and show the world his love. Although we may be in harm's way as we serve, we have the Lord's intercession for protection.
When you are discouraged in the face of spiritual warfare, be strengthened my friend. As the evil presses in upon you with unending attacks, be assured of victory. Remember that you have the greatest "ballistic vest" in the Lord's intercession for your protection.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Our Companion...

“A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me." -- John 16:32
I remember the first Christmas I spent away from home. I was at college, working full time and unable to return home for the holidays. The dorm was empty and I was alone. The feeling was haunting and one I will never forget. When circumstances leave us alone, we need a companion.
Jesus was soon leaving the disciples and he knew his path would be hard. He had planned to meet their need for comfort by promising them the coming of the Holy Spirit. But he knew that he would be left alone in his suffering for sin. Thankfully, though he would be alone, he had a companion.
When you feel all alone and overwhelmed by the situation where do you turn? Will you simply sit in a cloud of discouragement or will you consider the fact that you are never really alone? As Jesus consoled himself in the face of lost support from friends, so should we remember, our Lord is with us always... to the very end of the age.(Matthew 28:20)

Monday, June 1, 2020

Patience to wait...

“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now." -- John 16:12
Patience is a virtue. And so our walk with God must be a patient one. First of all, we too are not always ready for the deeper things of the Lord. There is often a need for growth and maturity before we can be entrusted with greater truth. Then there are things that we have no need to know until the time.
As the Holy Spirit was bestowed upon the Disciples to guide them into all truth, so He settles into our lives as believers. When we grow impatient and yearn for greater knowledge, sooner than we should, He gives us peace and the patience to wait. And, at just the right time He will gives us understanding and truth.
Don't be in such a hurry my friend. Wait on the Lord as the watchmen wait for the morning. (Psalm 130:6) The light will dawn in your heart when you are ready, just as the sun rises in the morning hours. Remember... "But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day." (Proverbs 4:18)


Sunday, May 31, 2020

Abide in HIS Love...

"If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full." -- John 15:10-11
As my boys grew up they did abide in my love. How was that you ask? Because I loved them I provided them with nutritious food to eat, not just candy and cookies that they might have preferred. Because I loved them I insisted that they attend school and complete their school work. To this end they both have master degrees and possess sharpened skills to succeed in life. As a result they are joyful servants of the King of Kings.
In the same way, the Lord has given commandments to express His love and fill our lives with blessings and joy. With this thought in mind John wrote in 1 John 5:3, "For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome."
I never pressed my sons with meaningless rules and expectations and the Lord doesn't do this either. His commandments are intended to bring spiritual growth, blessing and joy into our lives. Step back and consider the love of God my friend and give thanks for the way in which he guides your steps... that your joy might be full.

Not that we are the masters over YOUR faith, but we are fellow ...

Saturday, May 30, 2020

We can only remember...

"But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you." - John 14:26
I remember many prayers being said during my college days. Needs varied from money for school to wisdom for the days following graduation. But the most interesting supplications were for help in taking exams. I always wondered what we expected of the Lord; to help us to be calm and remember what we studied or did we hope he would infuse unstudied knowledge into our heads. We can only remember what we have learned.
As this is true of academics so it is of spiritual growth. While we should depend fully on the Holy Spirit to teach us spiritual truths, his ministry also includes reminding us of the words and teaching of our Lord. But, how can he possibly remind us of truth if we have not entrusted it to memory. Reading and memorizing the Word of the Lord is a clear prerequisite for spiritual knowledge and growth. We can only remember what we have learned.
Do you expect the Holy Spirit to provide you with wisdom and guidance at just the right time? What will he have to bring to your mind when needed? Is there a vault of God's Word hidden in your heart? Have you read, reread and memorized the Scriptures so the Lord can "remind" you? Think about it my friend; we can only remember what we have learned.

Psalm 119:11 - YouTube