Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Talk Tuesday-Do You Have Life?

When I was a young university student, I experienced three consecutive deaths in my family in my 3rd year. I remember thinking, 'What is the purpose of life?' I seemed to have everything I needed-family, friends, money, opportunity, an eduction-yet there was an inexplicable void that remained. Although I was raised in a Christian family and attended church, I did not have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. I kept looking to the world to fill me, and it didn' couldn't. Then when death came knocking on our door, I felt that void grow deeper. I stood back in the distance as I witnessed my mother, father, brother and sister each come into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The change was immediate, evident and profound. It seemed as though everything they did centred around Jesus. They had this incredible passion, zeal, joy and purpose that was otherworldly. I wanted what they had. I wanted life.

The Bible tells us that, “Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life,” 1 John 5:12. What does it mean to 'have life'? Romans 6:23 teaches us that, “...the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Jesus' death on the cross means that our sins are washed away by His blood, atonement is made on our behalf, we are justified before God the Father, our relationship with Him is restored and we have been redeemed. In other words, we have been set free to live a life of purpose to bring honour and glory to God, and to love our neighbours as we love ourselves. Jesus' death on the cross is the ultimate act of love which demands that we reject sin, and live surrendered, holy lives for the One who gave us this gift of life. Today, we implore you to, “Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near,” Isaiah 55:6. Turn away from the world, “...the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life,” 1 John 2:16, give up your worldly life for a life in Christ, then you will truly live. Accept by faith Jesus' finished work on the cross, and invite Him to be Lord of your entire life. In June 1996, I did just that and the void was filled. I finally had life.

“34 When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them,'Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 35 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?'” Mark 8:34-36

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Talk Tuesday-Are You Ready?

"Jesus is coming soon!" We have heard these words echoed throughout the ages, as men and women waited in fearful anticipation for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us to,“Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming," Matthew 25:13. The Prophet Joel warns, "Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision," Joel 3:14. The disciples themselves questioned Jesus about His return, "Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” Matthew 24:3.

4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. 9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. Matthew 24:4-14

The real question is not 'WHEN is Jesus coming?', but 'AM I READY?' We have all heard the expression, 'Life is short.' The truth is that, “All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. 7 The grass withers, the flower fades, because the breath of the Lord blows upon it; surely the people are grass. 8 The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever,” Isaiah 40:6-8. The transitory nature of our earthly lives means that our opportunity to accept the gift of eternal life is limited. Choose wisely. I leave you with THREE TRUTHS to ponder:

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:15

"...that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." Romans 10:9  

"8 But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up." 2 Peter 3:8-10