On Easter morn, we are drawn back to the message of the Cross that all-encompassing will of God. We are catapulted beyond the simple historical message of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection to the infinite heights of God’s will for our life in Christ Jesus. If we only see the historical event steeped in tradition then we have missed the message. In the Apostle Paul’s farewell message to the Ephesian elders he declared, “For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). And the starting place in this wonderful journey in understanding the whole will of God is by following the admonition of Christ to pick up our cross and follow Him. The Bible says, “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23). To pick up the cross means death. It simply cannot mean anything else. It is a conscious decision to follow Christ in His death by dying to self. As we enter the dark night of our soul we discover that everything of the old sin nature must die. Every vestige of pride must be nailed to the cross. Every glimmer of self-will must die with Christ. Through faith in Christ our death to self becomes a reality. Step by step we are able to put off the old life. Continue reading The Immortal Message of Easter
This article continues an eight week series on the armor of God. A very important part of being prepared spiritually for the “End Times” is being dressed in and utilizing the whole armor of God for Satan will be extremely powerful and even more deceptive because he knows that his time is short. The breastplate of righteousness is the next piece of armor to be put on by the Christian soldier. Many Christians suffer defeat on a daily basis because they have some chink in their armor, which allows the enemy to drag them down to what feels like the pit of hell. Most Christians know that they have been saved by grace, and whatever righteousness they have has been given to them through their faith in Jesus Christ. There is no question that this righteousness has been imputed to them, which allows them to stand in the presence of God and His holy angels. However, it is God’s plan to continually grow us from one degree of glory to another to make us into the perfect image of His Son Jesus Christ. This goes well beyond behavior modification to a miraculous transformation making us into a new creation. It is clear from scripture that the “how to” manual for obtaining righteousness is having faith and being obedient to all of His commands. The Bible says, “This is love for God: To obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3). Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:29). It does not take long before the Holy Spirit writes these commands on our heart where we know what is right and what is wrong. This is all a sure defense against the devil who constantly accuses us before the Lord. Continue reading Breastplate of Righteousness
Letter Number Two: Start Influencing the World. When we elect a president of the United States of America that has said publicly that no one religion has a corner on the truth and has shown this by his inclusion of the teachings from other world religions in his speeches then we have stopped influencing the world. Or when we allow the Dalai Lama to give the opening prayer at the U.S. Senate then we have stopped influencing the world. Or when most churches have now integrated the teachings of psychology into their biblical counseling then we have stopped influencing the world. Or when we have allowed our children to attend public schools that no longer teach creationism, stripped their walls of the Ten Commandments, and has kept our children from praying or sharing Christ publicly then we have stopped influencing the world. Tragically the world is now influencing the church. Jesus Christ summed it up by saying, ‘You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men” (Matthew 5:13) Our influence, our testimony is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men! Why, because we have lost our saltiness.
Every Christian is called to be holy. We are called to be many different things for which many claim to do well. But how about your holiness, before you answer that question, let’s unpack the meaning and its practical application … Continue reading Called to Be Holy