Save Yourself

As Jesus hung on the cross, His tormentors shouted, “come down from the cross and save yourself!” Mark 15:30 Of course He could have come down  but in doing so, He would have thwarted the Father’s plan to redeem fallen mankind. The world’s motivation is to save ourselves at all costs. Look out for # 1. But I think this outlook has caused much havoc in churches, families, and many relationships.

When we ask Jesus Christ to become our Savior, we also join Him in His crucifixion. “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me….”  Galatians 2:20 Those who  belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” Being ‘crucified with Christ’ means you die to yourself, having your own way, and being right all the time.

As Christ-followers, we face the same temptation Jesus did, coming down from our cross [spiritually] in an attempt to save self. The only place you can be victorious over sin and the devil is the cross. The cross is the devil’s ultimate defeat. As long as you are on your cross, Satan cannot reach you.

  • Many divorces are caused by one (or both) spouses demanding their own way; that is coming down from their cross
  • Many church splits occur because someone came down from their cross and refused to surrender their “rights.”
  • When a man watches porn on the internet late at night – he has come down from his cross.
  • When you exaggerate your performance to your boss – you have come down from your cross

Again, let me remind you; the moment you choose to come down from your cross to save yourself in any way; you become vulnerable to the devil’s attack. Jesus said,  “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”  Luke 9:23

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Coming To Your Town [Soon]

We are not surprised about Christians being persecuted in Third World countries. It has been happening for centuries. True Christianity has always been opposed. In America, that opposition has more in the private sector but that is rapidly changing. Here but are a few examples:

  • A Florida teacher suspended for Anti-Gay Marriage Posts on Personal Facebook Page. Fox News
  • High school graduate prohibited from mentioning God, Jesus, etc. from his graduation speech. Fox news 
  • American war veteran told he cannot fly American on his own house. Right Scoop  

The hostility toward morality and decency is increasing at a alarming rate.  Unless you live in the wilderness, this is not a surprise. But this blog is not to inform you but prepare you. If you want to please Jesus Christ you will face persecution. “Indeed,  all who desire to live a go dly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”  2 Timothy 3:12  “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.”  1 Peter 4:12

Before you write me off as a ‘prophet of doom and gloom’ remember the Apostle Paul repeatedly warned the church of approaching persecution. The church has lived in complacency for so long, it is hard to get them to see what is coming to the church.

In closing, I do not want to discourage any believer. The Church will prevail. Mt. 6:18  Church history reminds us that the Church always thrives during persecution. (i.e. China) Stay true to Christ and the Gospel. Eph. 6:13

The Day the Devil Told the Truth

The Bible is very clear that the devil is a liar: “…for he is a liar and the father of lies…”   [John 8:44]  But there was a day he actually told the truth. Well, sort of. “ One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them.” Job 1:6  God then asked Satan is he had checked out Job. There was no one like him. Job 1:8

Satan’s reply was where he told the truth. {Kind of} “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. 10 “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land.” It was true that God had a hedge of protection around Job and his household. It was true that God had prospered Job.  But Satan implied that the only reason Job served God was because God protected and prospered him. In other words, Job’s motivation was materialistic. 

The remaining chapters of Job prove Satan’s error and Job’s innocence. Job 13:15 Unfortunately, there are a few misguided Christians that believe God’s main purpose is to meet their needs and make them happy. This kind of attitude is subtle. If we are not watchful, this mind set can creep into our lives.

Are You On Course?

After thirty-two years of ministry, I have found that the vast majority of sincere Christ-followers have a desire to do God’s will. Some are so petrified that if they take a step of faith, they may miss the will of God. Others see the will of God as something so difficult to discern they spend years in indecision.  Still some see it as the proverbial “carrot before the donkey.” The driver of the cart dangles a carrot from a stick in front of the donkey, close but not within reach. Every time the donkey takes a step toward the carrot, the cart moves. God’s will seems knowable but to achievable.

Allow me to share some insights on the will of God:

  1. God does not hide his will from us. While sometimes it is difficult to discern His will, He wants you to know His will more than you want to know it. Many times His will is revealed in Scripture: 1 Thess. 5:18 , 1 Peter 2:15, 1 Thess. 4:3
  2. We must be willing to do God’s will even before we know God’s will. We do not have the luxury of choosing that we wish to obey. “…Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Mt. 26:39 NLT
  3. God’s will is often progressive. A “guided missile” does not need guidance as long as it sets on the launching pad. An airplane that is on auto-pilot, continually makes course corrections. As you go through life, you will find God will make “course corrections” (His will).