Nov 132017
 

“Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two.” Matthew 5:41.

When Jesus spoke about going the extra mile-

He wasn’t referring to customer service,

but to a Roman law imposed on the people.

The law stated that Roman soldiers could order any citizen-

– to carry their weapons or equipment for a distance of up to one mile.

No matter what you were doing, the law required that you drop everything and obey.

You can guess how the people felt about that!

So when Jesus said, “Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two,” the people weren’t exactly thrilled.

In today’s context-

– it would be comparable to having a very demanding boss who expects so much from you that at times it seems unreasonable.

Yet still you do even more than he or she expects even if it goes unacknowledged.

What Jesus was saying to Christians is this:

“Even if your boss is incredibly difficult, don’t just do the bare minimum.

Go above and beyond, even exceeding their expectations.

But be careful to watch your motives.
Don’t act in this way expecting a raise or hoping to be promoted; do it because you want to be a positive witness for Christ.”

Do it for the glory of God!

If you want to communicate a character and a lifestyle that is beyond the norm-

– if you want to be a positive witness for Christ,
– are you willing to go the extra mile?

The world is always surprised when people live that way!

(PA)

Oct 282017
 

Bible 2

“Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth” (Job 40:4).

This is a special message!

And it’s one that I didn’t particularly enjoy writing.

However-

– it needs to be said again and again.

This message is to all church-going pretenders out there-

– the ones who look heavenly on Sunday,

– but live like hell Monday through Saturday.

You look good on the outside but when God looks at your inside your heart- it’s a dirty mess!

I’ve got bad news for you!

Jesus hates religious pretense.

But I’ve also got good news also.

He loves the pretenders!

He gave His life for hypocrites like you and me.

The end of being a religious pretenders is-

– to admit our sin that separates us from God;

– then ask Christ’s forgiveness;

– and then believe to be right with God

– is your only hope for change.

And here’s the irony:

When we begin to be more real with God and with others-

– we begin to be more like Jesus!

He’s the only person who has ever lived without any trace of pretense.

(PA)

Oct 232017
 

cross 7

” For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power” (1 Corinthians 1:17).

There is explosive power in the message of the gospel-
– because Paul says, “It it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16).

The word “power” that Paul used in this verse originates from the Greek word, dunamis.

It is the same word Jesus used in Acts 1:8:
” ‘ But you will receive power (dunamis) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses ‘” (Act 1:8).

The English words “dynamic,” “dynamo,” and “dynamite” also have been translated from this word, dunamis.

Paul was saying that the very message of the gospel is the dynamite of God.
It is the dynamic of God.
It is explosive evangel!

We often underestimate-
– the raw power of the gospel in reaching even the most hardened heart.

We think we need to add to it, gloss it over, or even complicate it.

But there is distinct power in the simple message of the life, words, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Don’t underestimate its appeal.
Don’t be ashamed of its simplicity.
Don’t add to it or take away from it.

Just proclaim it.
And then stand back and watch what God will do.

As Paul said, “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18).

The gospel is a simple message, one that we in the church have heard time and time again.

But we should never underestimate its power.

(PA)

Jul 282017
 

Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to everyone, everywhere.” Mark 16:15.

According to an article in Turning Point Daily Devotional, “Fritz Kreisler (1875-1962), the world-famous violinist, earned a fortune with his concerts and compositions, but he generously gave most of it away.

So, when he discovered an exquisite violin on one of his trips, he wasn’t able to buy it.

Later, having raised enough money to meet the asking price, he returned to the seller, hoping to purchase that beautiful instrument.

But to his great dismay, it had been sold to a collector.

“Kreisler made his way to the new owner’s home and offered to buy the violin.

The collector said it had become his prized possession, and he would not sell it.

Keenly disappointed, Kreisler was about to leave when he had an idea.

‘Could I play the instrument once more before it is consigned to silence?’ he asked.

Permission was granted, and the great virtuoso filled the room with such heart-moving music that the collector’s emotions were deeply stirred.

‘I have no right to keep that to myself,’ he exclaimed. ‘It’s yours, Mr. Kreisler. Take it into the world, and let people hear it.

God has given you and me the greatest news and most powerful “music” in the world—the message that Jesus died on the cross to save mankind from the dreadful consequences of sin, so that all who come to him can receive God’s forgiveness and His gift of eternal life.

This is the message Jesus commissioned us to take to the world so everyone, everywhere will hear it and have the opportunity to have their sins forgiven and receive God’s gift of eternal life.

“Dear God, please make and use me ‘as an instrument’ of your love and peace to communicate your great salvation in some way to every life I touch—through being “as Jesus” to all and as opportunity arises share your gospel message of salvation. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

(PA)

Feb 072017
 
“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, certain that God is appealing through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf, ‘Be reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:20.

Recently Southern Baptist missionaries found themselves in grave danger-

-when the government of an African country was overthrown.
Anarchy prevailed as security evaporated.
Foreigners were targets of bandits and rampaging mobs.

The missionaries were rescued and evacuated-

– when the American ambassador negotiated a truce between the warring factions.

Because he represented the authority and resources of the United States-

– he was able to leverage the international reputation and influence of our country,
– not by personal power but by whom he represented.

God yearns for the whole world to be rescued from the bondage of sin and has provided for their salvation.

But when Jesus returned to heaven, having shed His blood in redemption for a lost world-
He appointed us as His ambassadors!
We are to be His representatives to bring people out of the chaos and hopelessness of sin into the kingdom of God.

Our personal power doesn’t intervene and reconcile people to God-

– but because we represent His authority and power to save, redemption is possible.

“Father, may I faithfully represent You in this lost world. Amen.”

(PA)