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Archive for January, 2014

“Jesus asks for everything.” – Francis Chan, Crazy Love

How absurd does it sound to give up everything and give it over to Jesus?

Let me rephrase that.

How absurd does it sound to an atheist to give up everything and give it over to Jesus?

How absurd does it sound to someone who does not even know Jesus to give up everything and give it over to Jesus?

Should that also apply to Christians, though?

David did not think so.  In preparation for the building of the temple, David oversaw the collection of an abundance of resources.  In response, David acknowledged that all of it already belonged to God.

LORD our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a temple for your Holy Name comes from your hand, and all of it belongs to you. – 1 Chronicles 29:16 (NIV)

Jesus simply answered the question with simplicity.  One of His responses is captured in the Gospel of Matthew.  Look at His words, then look at how you handle the Lord’s resources.

19“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. – Matthew 6:19-21 (NIV)

 

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The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” . . . – Psalm 14:1 (NIV)

From what the Bible says, an atheist is considered a fool.

(Psalm 53:1 says the same thing as Psalm 14:1)

To avoid falling into foolishness, consider the evidence of God’s creative existence.

When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, The moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained – Psalm 8:3 (NASB)

Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. – John 1:3 (NIV)

… When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. – Genesis 5:1 (NIV)

The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world  and those who dwell therein, – Psalm 24:1 (ESV)

As we go further in our personal Bible study and devotional time, pray and meditate on God’s presence  and seek His confirmation of His own existence in your life as Lord and Master.

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18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” – Matthew 28:18-20 (ESV)

Many Christians have heard this passage referred to as the Great Commission.  It is filled with the work that Christians must do within this world to go out and make disciples.  It is oftentimes utilize to inspire us to get up and go out to spread the Word.  Yet, let us be careful to take heed of the actions that this passage requires of us.

  • Go. . . We need to see that the Lord calls us to “go” based on His authority that He speaks of in verse 18.  It is logical that we go based on His authority and lordship, but also based on His power, not our own.
  • Make. . . All of our going has an end result in mind.  All of our spreading and sharing should lead to a final objective.  Our objective is to “make disciples of all nations.”  In other words, we need to make disciples everywhere we go.
  • Baptizing. . . Baptism is a symbolic union of the believer with the Savior.  Our baptisms serve as an indication of the increase in unions that occur as we go out and do the work.  Baptizing is a sign of salvation having taken place.
  • Teaching. . . Introducing someone to Christ is only the starting point.  Once someone has accepted Christ as Savior, then he or she must be taught in the way of Christ to live for Christ and to live like Christ.

Remember, we are making disciples of the Lord.  We are not making converts to church but to Christ.  We are not making disciples of our denomination.  We are making disciples and that requires us to take action.

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Losing Grip of the Legacy

In Real Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Somewhere

Some place

Some men are gathered together

In some secret board room

Sipping soy lattes and other caffeinated drinks

Brewing over one of the most diabolical schemes

Of our very own age and time

And for the ages to come.

They plan on making a more marketable Martin.

They plan on making a more appealing Martin.

They plan on making a more consumer friendly Martin.

They want to do away with Martin

Who organized the Poor People’s March.

They want to do away with Martin

Who wrote Why We Can’t Wait.

They want to do away with Martin

Who spoke for nonviolence

But who spoke against injustice.

These men will take the March on Washington

And make more appealing to Madison Avenue.

These men will take “I Have a Dream”

And make commercials for the NRA, Tea Party

And whoever else can pay for pricey Super Bowl ads.

These men will take the Birmingham Bus Boycott

And use it for curriculum for peaceful demonstrations

To cut down on Occupy, PUSH and any other coalition for change.

These men will use Martin’s words.

These men will use Martin’s image.

These men will use Martin’s likeness.

These men will use Martin’s reputation.

These men will use Martin’s legacy.

These men will use Martin.

They will do it to make monuments.

They will do it to make statues.

They will do it to make commercial ads.

They will do it to make made for TV dramas.

They will do it to make independent films on multiculturalism.

They will do it to make money.

This will be a New Age Martin.

He will be a Martin of YouTube.

He will be a retweeted Martin.

He will be a pinned and posted Martin.

His airbrushed image will grace profile pics.

His editorialized words will become status updates on patriotic holidays.

He will be something new and improved.

He will be something worthy of every advertising dollar invested in him.

Yet, He will be nothing like

The minister who led direct action in the South.

He will be nothing like

The man who sacrificed family and congregation to make a difference.

He will be nothing like

The martyr who died by an assassin’s bullet.

He will be an entirely different Martin.

We will only know him as MLK.

Few will recognize what has become of Martin Luther King.

We will only do service projects in his memory.

We will only volunteer in his memory.

We will only plant trees in his memory.

But we won’t change a damn thing in his memory.

We will swallow it down as they shove it down our throats.

We will take it in as they squeeze segments of his life

Somewhere between reruns of “Amos and Andy”

Or right after footage of an unbiased jury finding another person

Judged by the color of their skin

And not the content of their character

With more film to come at eleven.

It sickens me.

It saddens me.

But I am only left with one question.

Who will be next?

 

 

to buy more poetry by Rev Bruce visit https://sellfy.com/p/KWJU/ 

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He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son

– Colossians 1:13 (ESV)

We have been saved.

Our deliverance has come through Divine intervention in the Son of man who suffered, bled and died for sake, only to rise again from the tomb and conquer death itself to reign and rule this kingdom forever.  He did it to save us and he asked for very little in return other than for us to accept Him as Lord and live under His Word as his servants.

However, He did share a caveat with His followers.

We will suffer for His sake.

Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. – John 15:20 (NKJV)

But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you,delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name’s sake. – Luke 21:12 (NKJV)

Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. – Matthew 5:11 (NKJV)

We may not see it, but many suffer for His sake.  They claim His name in places where they face firing squads and lifelong imprisonment for doing so.  They preach His Word in places where death stares them in the face for uttering a word of the sacred text that others find to be blasphemous.  They walk in His ways in places where they are persecuted, punished and put out due to their newly found joy and freedom.

These are modern day martyrs.  They are not the early church believers of the First Century of whom we read about in Acts.  These are not the famed Apostles of Jesus who endured persecution by the Sanhedrin for speaking in His name.  No, these are men, women and children who were once Hindu, Muslim (Moslem) and countless other faiths prior to coming out of the darkness that Paul speaks of and into the kingdom of the Son of God.  They face terror and treachery, not for fame or glory.  They do so for the sake of the Savior.

For those of us in the United States and other free countries in the West and elsewhere, we must look at all of the freedoms that we take for granted and all of the freedoms that He has granted to us in light of the realization that we do not suffer like these other Christians.  The threat of losing your nonprofit status due to taking a public stance on abortion, immigration or same-sex unions/ marriages is not  persecution.  After all, there was a church that did good works and accepted free will offerings long before there was an IRS that provided an added tax benefit of a write-off for yearly contributions.

Let us renew our vision of working for the Lord.  Let us recharge our spirit of joy and thanksgiving as we exercise our freedoms to spread the Good News with fervor and tenacity.  Let use every ounce of our being to take this charge and calling of Christianity to a higher level of manifestation with prayer and through His power.  Let us awaken American and all of the communities, barrios, ‘hoods and trailer parks within it by a force of faith that sweeps every street and attacks every avenue with the Word of Jesus Christ.  Let us use Bible tracts, billboards, newspaper and magazine ads, Twitter feeds and hashtags, and everything else that we have within our legal means to spark a new spirit for the sake of the Savior.

There are those who still suffer for His name.  We may not see them.  We may never hear of them and their stories.  Yet, we must do our part for the kingdom in His name and for His sake.

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