Sunday, February 14, 2016

A Friend or Stranger

If Jesus Christ visited me in Chapala would I recognize Him today as my Lord and Savior? Would He appear ordinary?  Would I recognize His voice?  Would I avert my eyes as I passed Him by if He had unkempt hair and dirty shoes while sitting on the sidewalk? Would I expect Jesus to look like the paintings of Him, or would He blend in with everyone in Chapala today? ----  Would Jesus be in touch by using new technology if He were walking around town today?  Would He keep His cell phone on during lunch? His ways are recorded in the Bible for our benefit.  Jesus asked to be called friend, NOT Master, King, or Rabbi.  His friends and family simply called Him "Jesus".  He did not request or expect to be called by the title of the King of Kings, or to be recognized by a scholarly degree. His story is found in the bible. Before Jesus was born, the Old Testament has news of His coming birth in the books of Isaiah and in the Psalms.  
After His birth, at the age of about 30 is when Jesus began His ministry on planet earth. The Truth is that He reveals Who He is in His Word.  Once you hear the good news of His returning, by accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, His risen Spirit known as the Holy Spirit will give you personal revelation as you submit to Him.  “Who believes what we’ve heard and seen?  Who would have thought God’s saving power would look like this?  The servant grew up before God—a scrawny seedling, a scrubby plant in a parched field.  There was nothing attractive about him,  nothing to cause us to take a second look.  He was looked down on and passed over, a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand.  One look at him and people often turned away.   Many looked down on him and thought he was scum."    Isaiah 53:1-3  Who does Jesus say He is?  He is the Bread of life, the Truth, the Way, the Light, the living Water, the Salt of the earth. Just as our human physical body needs water to continue living --- so does our spirit.  Jesus is the bread of life, in other words His Word sustains us.   Humans need water or they will rapidly die.  The living water, the Holy Spirit will quench the thirst of our souls for the Truth.  Without accepting Jesus as our Sustainer, our Provider, our King --- our souls will be dry and become as thirsty as a man lost in the desert. Man's soul is thirsty for truth, for purpose, and we try to quench that thirst with many things
that can only satisfy us for a short time. After we reach our human goals, after we obtain success, we eventually get soul thirsty again. The only thing that can truly quench the thirst of the spirit is the living water, Jesus Christ. John 7:38 (KJV) “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.”  WOW what a promise from God!  All we need to do is to believe in Jesus and on His Word, as the Bible says. When we accept that we are born again, and that by God's power we
were created anew "in Him", we receive a deposit of the Holy Spirit and out of our bellies shall flow streams of living water.  “Paul and Silas were sent to Berea, where they again met with the Jewish community. They were treated a lot better there than in Thessalonica. The Jews received Paul’s message with enthusiasm and met with him daily, examining the Scriptures to see if they supported what he said. A lot of them became believers, including many Greeks who were prominent in the community, women and men of influence.” Acts 17:11  --- If Jesus physically walked into the room would He find you examining His word against what you hear from prominent men or women of influence in your community today? “Well, I haven’t changed My mind. Stay right there on top of things so that the teaching stays on track. Apparently some people have been introducing fantasy stories and fanciful family trees that digress into silliness instead of pulling the people back into the center, deepening faith and obedience.  The whole point of what we’re urging is simply love—love uncontaminated by self-interest and counterfeit faith, live a life open to God. Those who fail to keep to this point soon wander off into cul-de-sacs of gossip. They set themselves up as experts on religious issues, but haven’t the remotest idea of what they’re holding forth with such imposing eloquence.   It’s true that moral guidance and counsel need to be given, but the tone we speak in, and the way we say stuff matters!
Timing is as important as what we say. First we must listen, then ask the Holy Spirit for what to say, before we say it.   Laws are given NOT so much for those who live responsibly, but for the irresponsible, who defy all authority. " 1 Tim 1:3 Those who choose to ride wildly over God, and through life while seeking more pleasure than truth, those people will not enjoy eternal life with Jesus, but eternal life seperate and desperatly apart from God and all that He has in store for those who believe in His Son Jesus.  Those who despise the truth and the great Message of Salvation only available through Jesus Christ shall perish in the flames of hell.   “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the
trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.  “This is the crisis we’re in: God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God. Everyone who makes a
practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusion, hates God-light and won’t come near it, fearing a painful exposure. But anyone working and living in truth and reality welcomes God-light so the work can be seen for the God-work it is.”  John 3:16-21 “Walking down the street, Jesus saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked, “Rabbi, who sinned: this man or his parents, causing him to be born blind?”  Jesus said, “You’re asking the wrong question. You’re looking for someone to blame. There is no
such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do. We need to be energetically at work for the One who sent me here, working while the sun shines. When night falls, the workday is over. For as long as I am in the world, there is plenty of light. I am the world’s Light.”  John 9:1 “These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock.
Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit—but nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock. “But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don’t work them into your life, you are like a stupid carpenter who built his house on the sandy beach. When a storm rolled in and the waves came up, it collapsed like a house of cards.”  Matthew 7:24-27 Jesus said, “I am the Road, also the Truth, also the Life. No one gets to the Father apart from me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him. You’ve even seen him!” Philip said, “Master, show us the Father; then we’ll be content.”  “You’ve been with
Me all this time, Philip, and you still don’t understand? To see me is to see the Father. So how can you ask, ‘Where is the Father?’ Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I speak to you aren’t mere words. I don’t just make them up on my own. The Father who resides in me crafts each word into a divine act.”  John 14:6-10  “Who are you?” The Who - There’s a place where I know You walked.  The love falls from the trees.  My heart is like a broken cup, I fall right on my knees.  I spill out like a sewer hole, yet still receive Your kiss.  How can I measure up to anyone new, after such a Love as this?  Who are You?  Who, Who, Who, Who?  I really want to know! Who are you? Who does Jesus say we are? “Let me tell you why you are
here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness,  how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage. “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” The Message translation used in all scriptures quoted within this post.

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