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Monthly Archives: January 2010

Paul’s Major Motives

Paul had three major motives and they were

(1) The love of God and of Christ, “shed abroad in his heart by the Holy Spirit.”

 

Romans 5.5 says… Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

2 Corinthians 5.14 says… For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus; that if one died for all, then all died.

(2) The terror of the Lord, even for Christians

2 Corinthians 5:10 & 11 says… For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.

Hebrews 10:31 says… It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of an angry God.

Hebrews 12:28 & 29 says… Therefore since we are receiving a Kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us have grace by which we may serve God acceptably with reverance and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.

(3) The goal of reigning with Christ in His glorious kingdom

2 Timothy 2:12 says… If we endure, We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He will also deny us.

2 Timothy 4:6-8 & 18 says… For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also all who have loved his appearing. 18 – And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for his Heavenly Kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!

If Christians today had even one of these powerful motives, in the same degree of intensity that Paul had all three, they might be able to face every circustance of life victoriously! I believe the very goal of his life was to reign with Christ! He was so filled with such passionate love for his Savior and his heart was so fearful of displeasing the Lord Jesus, that he could have no other goal. He, as he penned it, was a slave of the Lord Jesus.

Where is the fear of the Lord these days? Something to consider is the absence of this teaching in so many churches. As you can see from the verses above that the New Testament is very clear about the coming day of judgment for the believer. We say we love Jesus… yeah right. If we really loved him we would live his love language… we would keep his commandments. Striving to live holy and blameless in this world.

Grasping the fact that, as good a Christian as Paul was, he still thought himself to be the worst sinner of them all, should cause us to stop and think a minute. How good am I? Really? How much time am I going to waste before I finally wake up and smell the coffee?

We stand and sing “When we all get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be!” Really? What does the scripture really say about eternity? I know one thing… sometime in the beginning (I think, during the Tribulation) The Body of Christ will be judged at the Bema. Sobering isn’t it? If your concept of eternity is angel wings and harps and dancing on streets of gold you may be badly mistaken… I’m just saying.

Listen to the words of our Lord in these several verses… “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven…Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness…Well done, thou good and faithful servant (Greek, “slave”): thou has been faithful over few things, I will make thee ruler over many things… To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne.” (Matt. 6:19,20 & 33; 25:21; Rev. 3:21)

Hmmm… kind of makes me think that the way I live down here matters. I heard a great preacher say one time, “Performance down here, determines position up there”. Where is your treasure?

I wish I had realized this sooner… like a year ago.

.

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Posted by on January 23, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

I Can Handle It!

1 John 1:1 says, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;

What an awesome verse… John here alludes to his eyewitness statut. That of which he speaks, he has witnessed personally. His witness pertains to the Word of life. 1 John, and awesome little book, and, one of the most misunderstood books in the Bible in my opinion, deals with fellowship with our Creator. Notice I did not say “relationship” but “fellowship”… there is a huge difference!

John, right off the bat, sets the tone by telling his readers that he has seen with his eyes and he has handled the Word of life. He has beautiful fellowship first hand with Jesus Christ. In the following verses (I would like to challenge you to read 1 John 1) the beloved disciple sends a message to his readers that they too can have intimate fellowship with Jesus. In the coming days, as I walk through 1 John on my own, I will post some of my thoughts on this book. For today, know that you can have wonderful fellowship with Jesus! We will discuss what to do when fellowship is broken and what it means to walk “in the light”.

Do you have a Bible? Do you read and study God’s Word? This, I believe, is where it all begins… As a matter of fact did not John say under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in his gospel chapter one verse one, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word WAS God”? Every time I read those words I stand in awe that God allows me to open the sacred pages of His Word… I “handle the Word”. So… you can handle it! Start today by making it a regular routine in your life!

Blessings,

Jay

 
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Posted by on January 10, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

This is from my good friend Pastor Jason Stephens.  Jason is the Pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Windsor, Connecticut.

Dear friends,

Well, the day has finally arrived! Today, many people are trying to get their plans in place for the New Year. How much weight to lose, how many books to read, how much money to make, how to get out of debt or how to regain a lost love. For some, the adventure begins tomorrow and sadly may end by the end of next month. In sticking with tradition, I too believe that it’s time for many of us to leave things behind (in the past). The question is: what will you leave behind?

I was encouraged recently when I read one Pastor’s perspective on leaving things in the past. He used the letter that Paul wrote to Timothy shortly before his death. No doubt that letter was bittersweet to both men. Paul had mentioned that he was torn between staying on earth to continue in the work of the ministry and going on to Heaven to see Jesus. I’m sure Timothy would have loved to have Paul stay a few years longer to mentor him and answer his many questions. The fact is, the time for Paul to leave was here. As he prepared to leave this life, he gives us great counsel in being ready to meet God or a new year.

The pastor I was encouraged by said…

Paul said he was leaving behind those things that he once treasured. Paul was going to leave behind the good ole days. He had once been proud of his religion, but then he found something better in Jesus. We could sit around and talk about the way it used to be, and the things we used to do, but until we release the past, we can never embrace the future. There is nothing sadder than to meet a minister, or a lay leader, whose entire story is about what they used to do, who they used to know, where they used to go. I’m not going to dwell on where I’ve been, I’m looking forward to where God is taking me. I believe God is going to anoint me with fresh oil!

Paul said he was going to leave behind tradition. He had been brought up in the Jewish religion and tradition. As an adult he sought to elevate himself from among his fellows by pursuing a devoutly religious life. But what Paul tells us is that he never found life and until he died. He said, I am crucified with Christ….and He lives in me. If we’re not careful we simply fall into a rut and run in religious circles that lead us back to where we started. Paul was willing to leave behind everything he thought he knew about being religious so that he could enter into relationship. Leaving behind tradition means that we are willing to honor our past without forsaking our future. We are willing to be grateful for where our fore parents in the faith have brought us, but also being willing to grab the baton and continue the race, and being willing to pass it one to the next generation as well. If we fail in this we’ll die in one generation.

Paul was willing to leave behind his mistakes. Paul testifies in a couple places that he had been guilty of persecuting the Church. I believe Paul would confess that he had been mistaken in this. Paul lists this as one of those things that he is willing leave behind. If we allow him, Satan will keep us tied to our mistakes, to our guilt and condemnation. But when you believe that Calvary covers it all, then you are prepared to move forward. If I didn’t believe in the healing balm of Gilead, if I did not believe that His grace is sufficient, if I didn’t believe in the blood of Christ that cleanses white as snow, then I would never be able to move forward. But thank God, now I sing, I am free, free, free, I am free. Jesus broke the bands that held me I am free. Life has meaning now for me, I’ve been given liberty, by the blood of Calvary, I am living, I am free. I’ve knelt at an altar where the blood was applied. I received forgiveness and I now I can move forward.

Finally, Paul was willing to leave behind hatred against any who had wronged him. Paul said, concerning the law, I was blameless. Contrary to those challenging Paul’s credentials to preach the Gospel of Grace, Paul declares that he had upheld the highest standards of the law and still decided that God was doing something in Christ that was even better. He could have held anger and malice in his heart toward those who tried to elevate themselves by putting Paul down. But Paul said, I’m leaving those things behind.

Chances are that if you’ve been serving God for any length of time, someone has wronged you. I’ve been lied to, and lied on. I’ve been talked about and stabbed in the back by people that I thought I could trust. I’ve had people in the highest levels of church government lie to me. There have been people here who have stood in the parking lot and attacked my leadership and my vision. I could hold bitterness in my heart. I could return evil for evil, but I’ve decided to simply leave it in the past and move on.

Not everything, or everyone in life is fair. That’s life. I challenge anyone to show where the Bible tells us that everyone and everything will be fair. It doesn’t say that. But what it does say is that God will balance the books someday. The Bible says, Vengeance is not mine, it’s His- saith the Lord, I will repay. He cant repay what you are trying to settle up.

I choose to leave all the hurts and wounds in the past and move on. People who want to attack and talk about others will be stuck in the past with red face and green eyes of jealousy while I walk on with Jesus.

Can you leave the hurts in the past? If you believe that Calvary covers it all, then it covers even the sins of those who have wronged you, hurt you, deserted, or wounded you. Place them in Jesus’ hands and keep on keeping on. You have a God given destiny that awaits you. You have a future filled with God’s favor in front of you, but you cannot obtain the prize, until you are willing to release the past and run with patience that race that is before you. I will not allow my yesterdays to rob me of my tomorrows. The prize is too precious to forfeit simply because I would not leave behind those things that have kept me from moving forward.

Is there anything in your life that is keeping you from the prize? The writer of Hebrews reminds us that we should lay down the weights, and the sin that trips us up and run with patience the race that He has placed before you. Do not sabotage your own future simply because you refuse to let go and move forward in faith. I challenge you not to drag your failure into your future. Leave in the past and let it die. Bury it at the cross and move on with Jesus.

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2010 in Uncategorized