Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Talk Tuesday-I Am Not Ashamed of the Gospel

The Apostle Paul says, "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile" Romans 1:16.

Jesus commands us to go and be bearers of the Good News throughout all the earth.

"Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!" John 4:35 

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:19-20 

We live in an age where it is becoming increasingly unpopular to share the gospel message, unless it is tailored to fit the permissiveness of our ever evolving postmodern society. It has become unpopular to talk about sin-sexual sin, homosexual sin, heterosexual sin, adultery and the like. Jesus came to set the captive free from sin, and to restore us to right relationship with God the Father. To the woman caught in adultery Jesus says, "...neither do I condemn you...Go now and leave your life of sin," John 8:11. Judgment is tempered with mercy, yet its foundation is righteousness and truth.

"Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; mercy and truth go before Your face." Psalm 89:14

When I became a Christian, Jesus put a burning desire in my heart to share His gospel message with all who I encounter-young, old, rich or poor. My motive is, and always has been LOVE. Many times I have been ridiculed, ostracized, rejected and hated. I have cried many tears, felt great loneliness and fought the desire to leave people as they are. Then I remember my own state before Christ and what He did on the cross for me. I think of all those He sent in my life to sow the seeds of the gospel, water and eventually reap its harvest. So I encourage you today, as I encourage myself, to press on in faithfulness, unashamedly sharing the gospel's call to salvation. And remember, if we don't speak, they will not hear! 

"When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, 'The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore to send out workers into his harvest field.'"Matthew 9:36-38

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Talk Tuesday-Trust HIM

Trusting in the LORD is hard. We live in an age of instant gratification, materialism and wealth that constantly seduces us into thinking that immediacy is the fruit of fulfillment. Our Enemy, the Devil, knows that. The Bible calls him, 'the god of this age' 2 Corinthians 4:4, 'the ruler of this world' John 14:30, 'the prince of the power of the air' Ephesians 2:2, and 'the accuser of our brethren' Revelation 12:10. When Jesus had fasted for 40 days and 40 nights, he met with Him in the wilderness to tempt Him to exchange the promise of faithfulness for the emptiness of immediate self-gratification. In Matthew 4:1-11, he appealed to the imagination of the mind and the hunger of the flesh by telling Jesus to prove Himself by changing stones into bread. Then he took Him to the highest point of the temple, challenged Him to throw Himself off, and command the angels to come and lift him up, in order to display His magnificent power in an act of self-glorification. Lastly, he took Him to a very high mountain, showed Him the wealth of the world and promised Him that if He would worship him (Satan), then all would be given to Him. Each time, Jesus responded with the Word of GOD. Jesus' obedience resulted in the salvation of mankind: "For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God" Hebrews 12:2.

"Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died-more than that, who was raised to life-is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us" Romans 8:34. "He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world." 1 John 2:2

As we wait upon the LORD, we may feel tempted to stop praying, give up, walk away, rush forward on our own, fulfill the lusts of the flesh and abandon GOD. That is the voice of the Tempter our own wilderness experience. Let us encourage one another to hold on, trust Him and trust in His Word.

"For we walk by faith, not by sight." 2 Corinthians 5:7 

"God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?" Numbers 23:19 

"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful." Hebrews 10:23 

And remember, sometimes the fire of delayed answers is to bring forth repentance. "With the LORD a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like a day. The LORD is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:8-9