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Tag Archives: Christian witness

In the Name of Jesus

Colossians 3:17
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Think about it.  Do everything in the name of Jesus.  It doesn’t matter if it’s speaking, doing the dishes or driving the car.  We must do it all in His name.

Many believers don’t know what this means.  Doing things “in Jesus’ name” is part of a lifestyle of service to God.  We need to see it as more than just a last line for a prayer.  It means living our lives as if Jesus Himself were living through us.

We sometimes get the idea that Jesus only wants to be involved in the “religious” parts of our lives.  That kind of thinking couldn’t be more wrong.  We are, by nature, spiritual beings.  We carry the spiritual with us wherever we go, whatever we do.

The challenging part is learning to cultivate the spirit no matter what the activity.  That’s the goal of these posts.  I want us to see our daily activities in a new light.

No matter what you do throughout the day, you can use it to strengthen your relationship with Christ.  Take some time right now, and meditate on what it means, to you, to “do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus.”

 
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Posted by on July 23, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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No Turning Back – Part 2

Genesis 12:4-6
So Abram left, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him.  Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran.  He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.
Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem.  At that time the Canaanites were in the land.

The story of Abram’s life always amazes me.  The Word of God was not in written form yet, so he had no Bible.  He had nothing written, upon which to base his trust of God.  Yet, with open arms, he received the promise of God as the path for his life.

Not only was he convinced of the Lord’s faithfulness himself, but it spilled over.  A whole host of others were willing to put their future into the hands of his God based solely upon Abram’s word.  Two whole households moved to a new country in response to the call of God.

Is your faith that evident?  Are there people that have trusted God based upon your word and the testimony of your life?  We need to walk in the things we believe.  Our faith needs to be seen and felt by those around us.

We have the written Word of God.  We have thousands of years of history to view the faithfulness of God.  How can we ever doubt Him?

If you have never made a decision to set the Word of God as the path for your life, today is the day for you.  Spend time, today, placing your destiny firmly in the hands of the Lord.

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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Getting Help

2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

Most of us like to be helped.  When facing a difficult challenge, even a word of encouragement can go a long way.

If you are like most people, then you have relied upon help at one time or another.  Scripture teaches us that part of showing gratefulness is taking the blessing you received and passing it on to someone else.  It can be anything – a kind word, food, a ride, or a helping hand carrying things.  If it is done in obedience to God’s Word, it’s powerful and life changing.

What we need to start realizing is that even though all these good things came through the people around us, God originated them.  All the blessings that we receive come from the Lord’s hand.  It’s in thankfulness to Him that we are willing to pass a blessing on to someone else.

Look for an opportunity, today, to be a blessing to someone.  Do something unexpected.  Take the good things you have received from God and pass them on to someone around you.  The Lord will see to it that some day, in some way, you will be rewarded for your act of gratefulness to Him.

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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Independence Day – Thank God for Freedom

I love the Fourth of July.  It’s one of my favorite holidays.  Picnics with family, outdoor fun, not to mention fireworks at night.  Even more than that, I thank God for a nation where I’m granted the freedom to do all these things without fear.

Galatians 5:13
You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.

We are called to be free.  Freedom is something that God wants for all humanity.  Unfortunately, what most people consider freedom is not the real thing.  Society thinks that freedom is the ability to do what I want, whenever I want.  Their opinion is that freedom means that I can feel good all of the time.

That’s a very selfish definition.  Freedom is not all about me.  Our founding fathers gave selflessly in the cause for freedom.  It was definitely not about their personal good, but the betterment of all that drove them to resist the most powerful nation on earth at that time.  Many lost their lives to win this precious gift for us.

There are still those in the armed forces and public safety positions that lay their lives on the line each day, so that we can continue to live free.  Freedom is more of a responsibility than a pleasure.  I have to put as much into it as I receive from it.

That is what Paul was trying to tell us in the verse above.  Freedom is not all about indulging my every desire, but the ability to serve one another unhindered.  We need to listen to his exhortation.  As believers, we have not only been blessed with our spiritual freedom in Christ, but our physical freedom in the USA.

Let’s live out that freedom responsibly.  Not in the granting of our every desire, but in seeking the blessing of all through a life of service.  Live free.  Be a blessing to all  those around you.  And thank God for the freedom we share.

 
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Posted by on July 4, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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My Testimony – Battling Pride

1 Peter 5:5-6
Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”  Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.

I am so thankful to God that I was raised in a Christian home.  Because of that, I was able to accept the Gospel message at an early age.  (See my previous “Testimony” post)  That being said, there is a truth that all those in my condition need to learn.  Just because I grew up going to church doesn’t mean that I had no use for the life transforming power of God in me.

I need Christ to work on me the same as everybody else – maybe even more so, because my problems were below the surface.  Let me explain…

From my earliest memories, I was attending Sunday School at my church.  I was also at church whenever the doors were open.  That’s how my parents operated.  Speaking of my parents, they were the type that always made sure that I had learned my “memory verse” for the week – BEFORE Sunday.  There was only one other person in my class who had to do that.  The rest just waited for him or me to go first, and then they repeated what we said.

I loved learning the Bible and soaked it in like a sponge.  Ultimately, I became very knowledgeable in the Word of God.  And that’s where it started to go downhill.  When a question was asked by the teacher, I always knew the answer and raised my hand.  Sometimes the teacher would call on me and I would receive the satisfaction of being correct.

Of course, teachers didn’t want the same person answering all the questions.  So I was the one who jumped around with my hand up going, “Ou – ou – ou.  Call on me.  I know it.”  When I saw that didn’t work, I resorted to yelling out the answer without the teacher calling on me.  Needless to say, the teacher’s reaction didn’t boost my ego as I had intended.

Then it struck me.  I came up with a new strategy.  I never raised my hand again.  I let all the other students answer the questions UNTIL there was a question that no one could answer.  Only then would I raise my hand and invariably give the right answer.  I became the class expert.  The one they went to at the last resort.

Without me ever knowing, the sin of pride had taken root in me.  The same sin that caused Satan to fall had now taken over my life.  That’s where it started, but I have had to battle it ever since.  Thank God for the power of the Holy Spirit that gives me victory over it today.  It’s the sin that will always pop up when I least expect it.  I need the Savior’s power as a constant part of my life.  I cannot be who I am without Him.

Just because I grew up in church doesn’t make me invulnerable to sin.  I need the power of the Holy Spirit just like anyone else.  I can truly say that without His hand on me, I would never have made it to where I am today.  Thank You, Jesus, for your life-changing power!

 
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Posted by on June 20, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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Following at a Distance

Jesus was arrested, just before the crucifixion.  Then He was taken to the high priest for questioning.  At this point in the narrative Luke makes an interesting comment about Peter.

Luke 22:54
Then seizing him, they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance.

This is the same Peter who said he would die with Christ, if necessary.  The one who was always so outspoken about his faith in the Lord.  Yet, here he is seen shrinking back into the shadows.

This begs the question about our walk with Jesus.  We are always so quick to point out that we follow Christ.  What does that mean to you?  The real question is, “How closely are you following?”  Peter was following Him, but far enough away so that it wasn’t obvious that he was with the Lord.

So often we don’t want it to be seen that we are different from the world.  We want to blend in with society.  We don’t want to get too radical in our Christian walk.  Is that the way it’s supposed to be?

I believe that if we’re going to follow Christ, then we must live openly for Him.  Even the most casual observer should be able to recognize that there is a difference in how we go about our daily routines.

People aren’t shy at all about using foul language, or other ungodly activity.  Christians, on the other hand, are so worried about “offending” anyone.  We should not be afraid of praying or talking about Christ in public.  We need to stop following Him at a distance.

 
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Posted by on June 18, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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God of Our Fathers

Psalm 22:4-5
In you our fathers put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them.  They cried to you and were saved; in you they trusted and were not disappointed.

Today is the day set aside to honor our fathers.  We should especially look to the godly men who exemplified the Christian walk to us.  Those who went before us, leading the way.

Many of them had to walk through troubled times – be it economic, physical, or social.  Some had to go through the dangers of war, while others had to struggle for equality.  We must look to those whose strength came from the hand of God working in them.  They set for us an example of diligence and perseverance.  Let the legacy they left for us speak to our hearts and equip us for our race.

But even greater than their contribution to us, is the God that they served.  He is the ultimate Father that we look to.  When we look back and see what was accomplished by our God through the cooperation of our fathers, it gives us hope.  We need that same level of faith that they had.

God is still on the throne.  The same God who brought our fathers through their trials will safely lead us to victory.  His love for us was proven in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  We must never forget where our help comes from.

Look to the faith of our fathers.  Then, as we follow their example, put that faith in the God of our fathers.  He will work in us the same way He worked in them.

 
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Posted by on June 17, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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Deadly Peril

2 Corinthians 1:8-10
We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia.  We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life.  Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death.  But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.  He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us.  On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us.

It is my hope and prayer that you are never in a life-threatening situation.  I know, however, that weather, accidents, and natural disasters can come when least expected.  It seems like everyday there is something going on in the United States that could have tragic results.  If and when that occurs, you will be faced with a choice – do you despair and give up or do you continue to put your hope in God?

I have been in that kind of situation.  I know what it feels like to be trapped by an unforeseen incident with no way out and no help in sight.  It is truly in those times of need that God proves Himself faithful.  I can say, without hesitation, that God has never abandoned me to my problems.

The key to making it safely through a future problem is to make the choice now, that whatever happens, you will not abandon your trust in God.  You will find that He is always there with you to help you in your time of need.  In your prayer time today, reaffirm your trust in the Lord to take you through the hard times.  Place your life fully in His hands.

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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The Call to Fruitfulness

Isaiah 5:1-2
I will sing for the one I love a song about his vineyard: My loved one had a vineyard on a fertile hillside.  He dug it up and cleared it of stones and planted it with the choicest vines. He built a watchtower in it and cut out a winepress as well. Then he looked for a crop of good grapes, but it yielded only bad fruit.

God wants His people to produce fruit.  If we are to truly be fruitful, then we need to see the production of fruit from God’s perspective.  To make this clear to us, I want to take a little trip back in history.  So, ask yourself what God’s ultimate purpose was in choosing Israel.  According to this section of Scripture, God made a great investment in Israel.  He took a lot of care in it’s development.

Only the choicest vine stock was used.  Men of faith and courage who were not afraid to believe God and step out on His Word alone.  Men like Abraham, Moses, and David were used to plant the roots of faith deep in the soil of God’s promises.

The Lord cleared the field for them.  He brought them to the land of promise and caused their enemies to melt before them.  He gave them cities they didn’t build, crops they didn’t plant and wealth that was merely placed in their hands.  He did more then they could have ever asked or imagined.

It was the winepress, however, that spoke of Israel’s purpose.  All of the above blessings came with an expectation on God’s part.  The only reason for a winepress is the pressing of grapes.  God expected Israel to yield a crop of good fruit.  He wanted them not only to walk in His blessings but to show forth the ways of God.  The only logical reason for planting a vineyard is in the expectation of a harvest.

This is where both Israel and the church often miss it.  Many seem to be under the impression that bearing fruit is optional.  “I’d like to see some fruit in my life”, is their lament, but to God that’s the main reason of redemption.  We need to learn the lesson that Israel missed.

God wants the world to see the result of His work in our lives.  That is what the fruit of the Spirit is all about.  We need to let them shine forth from us.  That is what will attract people to God more than all of our fine sounding arguments.

Allow the Holy Spirit to produce in you, the evidence of a changed life.  Be fruitful for the Lord.

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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Reflecting God’s Glory

2 Corinthians 3:18
And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

In this verse, Paul is referring to Moses.  When he was leading the children of Israel through the desert, they stopped for a while at the foot of Mt. Sinai.  Moses went up to meet with God.  At one point, upon his return, the people couldn’t look at his face because it shone like the sun.

The glory of God was reflecting off his face.  Moses had to wear a veil until things were back to normal.  He had an incredible encounter with God, but it eventually faded back to the way it was.

Understand this, the Lord has greater plans for us.  The Holy Spirit is working in us to make us like Christ.  Each day we are becoming more and more like Him.  This is the glory of God in us.

This glory that God is clothing us with is different than that of Moses.  First of all, it doesn’t fade.  It is a glory that is always on the increase.  My prayer in the presence of the Lord is that throughout my life people will see more of Jesus and less of me.

Another aspect of this glory is that we reflect it with unveiled faces.  It is not a glory that frightens others and pushes them away.  It is the warmth of love and freedom that draws men and women to the cross.

Spend some time in the presence of this glory.  Let it continue to do its transforming work in you.  Make it your goal to reflect more of His beauty.

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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