Counting the cost!
"For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Luke 14:28
What are the possible costs? I mean, really? Following Jesus is like just going to church every other week on Saturday or Sunday, having fun talking with friends, listening to music, and a few words from a person at the pulpit, right? That's easy who couldn't do that? Hello! This is not the following Jesus that the Bible talks about, the true cost and true following Jesus is this, "And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple." Luke 14:27 We have to bear our cross and how many know that this cross can be heavy? Let me give you an example, in Daniel chapter 6, Daniel and two others were in charge of 120 princes in the Kingdom where Darius ruled. One day, because of jealousy, these other two and the 120 princes came against Daniel because he was in charge over all of them. So they crafted a plan in order to remove Daniel from his position. After talking about it they were resolved to find that they would be unable to find anything against Daniel because he was faithful and had no fault, so they made a plan to change a law. The former law allowed for people to pray to God, but now the new law with it's new change forbid anyone to ask in prayer for 30 days to any God, accept to the King. If anyone was found praying or asking God anything on these days they would be cast into a lion's den. Hey! Sounds like a different kind of cost, right? That's right! Now the cost could be much more than chatting with friends or singing songs on the weekend. Now we see that it could cost your life! Daniel was thrown into the Lion's Den, but he knew this, that once the law was changed, he would continue to pray as before and if caught, he knew that it could cost him his life! Daniel lived despite this order that caused him to be placed in a lion's den for praying to God, he was with the Lion's, but God gave Daniel peace and rescued him.
Count the cost my friends, are you prepared to walk this walk with your cross if the laws change? Stand in the face of change and represent Jesus at any cost!
on May 14 2011
Super-size your life! The right way!
"And he took them, and sent them over the brook, and sent over that he had. And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day." Genesis 32:23,24
The old adage that cheaters never win is what this is all about. Jacob had by all appearances won by cheating his brother Esau out of his entitled birth-right blessing, but in doing so he had lost his brother. Years have gone by and now Jacob is repenting for his actions and hoping to win his brother back. Esau had previously hated Jacob and said in his heart, "I will slay my brother Jacob." Genesis 27:41 Esau's pain from losing to a cheat was another matter in consideration, because Jacob was soon to meet Esau again after many years and certainly Esau has remembered Jacob's treacherous dealings. It always comes back! What we do each day, either right or wrong always comes back to reward us or to challenge us to see if we have changed. In this case the question is, has Jacob changed? Will he fight to win without cheating. It seems that Jacob knew that he needed to be real with God and decided to get alone with God and deal with this matter, with God, one on one, face to face, before dealing with Esau. He sent everyone away and being all alone, he now had no way to cheat, no one to help, and he simply had to rely on God to help him. Soon he would meet with the man that wanted to kill him for the wrong that he committed unto him years ago, but before help from God would come, God needed to know from Jacob, "what have you learned?" "Will you pay the cost to win without cheating?" "Will you pay the price difference needed to Super-size your life?" "Are you ready to Rumble?" Now it's on, and Jacob refuses to cheat and refuses to let go! Things have changed in Jacob's way of doing business.Why did Jacob have to wrestle until the early morning? Genesis 32:22-32 shows us that God wants to know that you have changed before he restores.
Jacob was injured in this battle with God's holy angel, but his injury was nothing compared to the many years of lost relations with his brother Esau. And Jacob refused to lose. Jacob's cheating actions were no longer the way that he conducted business, he has changed! Now he refuses to lose and prevailes without cheating! Not letting go of the right way until he received the blessing. True winners never cheat, they will struglle to get there, they will be weakened on the way, but they always pay the extra cost to win the right way, without cheating!
on May 11 2011
No more condemnation!
12:03 pm ~ Salvation
"For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved." John 3:17
Religious condemnation. It seems like those two words shouldn't be found in the same sentence, especially when Romans 8:1,2 tells us, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." however, it would also seem that to sentence or censure others based upon personal or corporate judgment, belongs to God and not to the "religious churchy higher than thou art crowd." Jesus is love, he came to saved the world and not to bring a sentence. All have fallen short of the glory of God, as it is written, "For there is none righteous, no not one." Romans 3:10, so how difficult is it then to determine who shall be condemned? All should be condemned, yet Jesus offers salvation to all. Those who stand at the door and write names down with faults behind them are not rocket scientist so to speak, but rather a species of a lower understanding. They somehow have missed the whole point of what Jesus came for, and that is to save! David prayed to God about this type in Psalm 140:1 saying, "Deliver me, O Lord, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man;" It is not for nothing that we find the greatest advocates to the supposed demise of Jesus' ministry were religious leaders. Even though as we know, God used their wrong to accomplish his right. It was still those that we could never imagine to be against God that came against Jesus and crucified him. It was a time of religious condemnation and that time still exists today!
Salvation to all, condemnation to none. this attitude should fill our heart and life. This is what Jesus came into the world to do. Remember at the gateway into heaven, judgment is thrown into the ditch. Condemnation doesn't exist. Jesus is not willing that any should perish, but is longsuffering towards us all.
on May 2 2011
Then the Judgment!
10:03 am ~ Justice
"And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment." Hebrews 9:27
God will never forget your loss! So it's not quite over until He says it's over. There is still one step left after death! Judgment! For many that are now called Christian it is written, "So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many: and unto them that look for him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation." Hebrews 9:28, but for many who had and have the opportunity to accept Christ as their offering for sin and chose or choose to decline the offer, there is no salvation for your soul, but only judgment, and that judgment is clear and will not be passed over. Because death has come, God is not finished. Judgment comes next and Judgment is the sentence pronounced as punishment for sin, it is the final trial of human life and that trial will not be forgotten. Herein lies the finality of death and the vindication long awaited for! God will vindicate. God has said, "To me belongeth vengeance, and recompense; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them, make haste." Deuteronomy 32:35 God will never forget to repay. God will never forget to bring His Justice!
To those that remain in this way of terror, this shall be your reminder! Osama Bin Laden is dead! Judgment is next and the offering of salvation will not save those that choose to decline when offered Jesus Christ, God's Son, and God will get you! His Justice will chase you down and your foot shall soon slide right into His day of Judgment! There shall be no salvation for you who have declined Jesus and continue to bring terrorism to the world.
on Apr. 9 2011
12:51 pm ~ Suffering
"Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings;" 1Peter 4:12,13a
Your troubles are real and it may seem that no one understands, but it could be that even you don't really understand and are asking God "why me" or "what did I do to deserve this?" Think it not strange what you are going through as though this just doesn't happen to good Christian people, that's not true! Strange things happen all the time and often to very good people, they are meant to try us. Jesus suffered unto death, not that we might not suffer, but that our sufferings might be like his. How could we ever say that we understand even just a little of what Jesus went through if we never experience any suffering of our own? We first must be partakers of his sufferings so that we can understand our suffering and identify correctly with what we are suffering through. This will allow us to endure and to wait for God's deliverance.
It is important to note that until we understand why we are suffering, we may stay in this suffering. To understand this fiery trial is to accept that we are learning a little more about Jesus and about his sufferings.