Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’

1.  Has been born again.

This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. (Ephesians 4:17-19)

2.  Is developing a relationship with Jesus.

But you have not so learned Christ; If so be that you have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: (Ephesians 4:20-21)

3.  Recognizes the old nature and crucifies it.

That you put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; (Ephesians 4:22)

4.  Learns to ask the question: “What am I thinking?”

And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; (Ephesians 4:23)

5.  Seeks to change into a righteous and holy person.

And that you put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. (Ephesians 4:24)

6.  Stops lying and tells the truth.

Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another. (Ephesians 4:25)

7.  Controls his angry emotion.

Be angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: (Ephesians 4:26)

8.  Doesn’t harbor bitterness.

Be angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: (Ephesians 4:26)

9.  Denies the devil opportunities to make a fool of him.

Neither agive place to the devil. (Ephesians 4:27)

10.  Stops stealing and works hard.

Let him that stole, steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needs. (Ephesians 4:28)

11.  Shares what God has given him.

Let him that stole, steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needs. (Ephesians 4:28)

12. Uses his tongue to help and heal, not to hurt.

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. (Ephesians 4:29)

13. Protects the Holy Spirit from pain.

And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby you are sealed unto the day of redemption. (Ephesians 4:30)

14. Protects people from pain and hurt.

Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: (Ephesians 4:31)

15. Forgives because he has been forgiven.

And be you kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:32)

16. Loves his Father for adopting him.

Be, therefore, followers of God, as dear children; (Ephesians 5:1)

17. Has a lifestyle of service motivated in love.

And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us, and has given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor. (Ephesians 5:2)

18. Guards against sexual sin and is pure.

But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becomes saints; (Ephesians 5:3)

19. Avoids base humor and dirty jokes.

Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. (Ephesians 5:4)

20. Takes God’s warnings seriously.

For this you know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things comes rthe wrath of God upon sthe children of disobedience. Be not  therefore partakers with them. (Ephesians 5:5-7)

21. Wakes up, smells the coffee and lives in the Light.

For you were sometimes darkness, but now are you light in the Lord: walk as children of light: For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth; Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever does make manifest is light. Wherefore he says, Awake you that sleeps, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light. See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. (Ephesians 5:8-17)

22. Doesn’t drink or get drunk, do drugs, or live wild.

And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; (Ephesians 5:18)

23. Follows the Holy Spirit and pursues a spiritual life.

Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; (Ephesians 5:19)

24. Considers others first, especially his wife.

Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loves his wife loves himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband. (Ephesians 5:21-33)

Over the weekend, a small group of guys and a staff member had gone to Guymon, OK to do a couple of storefronts for fund raising purposes. While they were there they met up with a gentleman that had come through the Teen Challenge center that I work at. Jack (not his real name) didn’t graduate as he decided to leave early.

Jack invited them to go out to dinner. While there, he told them some of the things that had happened to him after he left the program. Jack told them that he had to go jail for 30 days for not completing the program. While he was there, he had the opportunity to witness to a gentleman. This gentleman that he was witnessing to had come to the Lord. They both read the Bible everyday.

Jack was also able to go to his mother’s grave and forgive her for what she had done to him. Jack was also for the first time in a long time, able to call her MOM. That is the power of God in Jack’s life.

I don’t often hear stories like this. It is good to hear that while a student leaves early it doesn’t mean that they didn’t get anything. Sometimes, God puts a person only for short time and not for the full time that they agreed with when they enter the program. The successes are less if they don’t go through the whole program. But every once in a while stories like this do happen.

When I was at Cape Girardeau, MO a similar thing happened. During the apple picking season the police showed up to pick up one of the other guys. Before I go on let me relate to you how this came about.

The students that come into Teen Challenge are usually here for one of three things. Bear in mind that it is not a program for just teenagers. Men and Women also need help. Anyway, the students come in for one of three different reasons. They are family ordered, court ordered (which is not our program), or they are wife ordered.

This guy had come in due to court related issues. So to make sure that his PO knew where he was at, he wrote him a letter saying that he was in the Misssouri Teen Challenge. Which, then meant that his PO sent the police for violation of his parole by leaving the state he was supposed to be in.

Anyway, Dave (not real name) was picked up by the police while he was out picking apples. The whole time he had a peace about having to go to jail. While he was there, Dave witnessed to every person that they put in the cell with him.

He had a “revolving door” for the cell that he was in. Every day he had a cell mate. Every day that person was gotten and another person was brought in. The last guy that was brought to that cell, came to the saving knowledge of Christ.  Dave had to go to jail in order to witness to this guy. God had tested him to make sure that he would do so with others that came in before the “main event”.

Dave was brought back after that. He said that the whole time he was feeling peaceful about where he was at. He also knew when he was going to return to the center. He knew that he had to go jail for a week for just that one moment.

What is the moral of both of these incidents. It doesn’t matter what happens. If you are in God’s will, He will cause good things to happen when it seems that things are going south.

Both of these men followed this command of Jesus:

Mark 16:15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

He is regarded as the most famous atheist in the world but last night Professor Richard Dawkins admitted he could not be sure that God does not exist.

To read the story click here.

Could he be getting closer to becoming a Christian?

One of the hardest things I have ever encountered is when someone turns their back on God. Hard because I have done what I could to make sure that they are learning about having a relationship with Christ. Hard because I know that it has nothing to do with me. They are turning their back on God.

I then have to believe that what I have been able to teach them is going to bear fruit. Isaiah 55:11 says:

So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth:
It shall not return unto me void,
But it shall accomplish that which I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

This means that what I have taught them or they have gotten from church or chapel will remain with them. And the word that they have received will eventually bear fruit.

I can only hope and pray that it will be sooner than later. Unfortunately some need to learn things the hard way. It is still tough to see someone walk away from God. Especially when we want to take it as they are pushing us away. It can be hard to remember that their problem is not with us, but with God.

Come to the cross that still stands

And look at the gift given to you

He died with a back covered in bands

Through heaven’s gate he will allow you

Come all to the standing cross

A symbol of sin that is broken

He gave us all a bridge to cross

All this in the past was spoken

Now come to an empty grave

To see His power even over death

He gave to all who are depraved

And gave freedom to the oppressed

Come look at this empty grave

Death could not keep Him down

That death we all can brave

And soon He will wear a crown

Come and look at the standing cross

For He was a gift given to us

That when we die we’ll cross

The chasm to our eternal bliss

Come and look in His empty grave

Only then will you truly believe

Only then your life He’ll save

Then one day your grave you’ll leave

It is amazing how some things work, especially in the ministry that I work for. So many times we try to do things because we know that no one will find out. We tend to put one of these up in our minds and believe that this will be enough to keep what we do private.

Sorry, this is for me and me alone

 But God has some things to say about things done in secret. He says that He will blast out the news of the hidden things when we do them in secret. He will bring them to light. (Mark 4:22 “For everthing that is hidden will eventually be brought into the open, and every secret will be brought to light.”

All too often we think that we can do things in secret when we are alone and it is okay.  At least to a degree. I say to a degree because technically, we are never alone. We have someone looking over our shoulder all the time. It doesn’t matter if we feel like we are doing anything wrong. But, if we are in ministry, that ministry after a time will suffer. If we help out in church, eventually we won’t want to do that. Why? When we do something that we know that God does not want us to do, He will step in if we continue on with it.

I have seen this before. I have said that I work for a ministry called Teen Challenge. I saw the effects of what one staff member was doing when he was by himself. Though no one knew what he was doing, it was still affecting the shifts that we worked. Things were becoming chaotic. When he admitted to what he was doing and was released from his part in the ministry, things seemed to calm down almost immediately.

Strange as this might sound, what is done in the physical world affects the spiritual and vice versa. When you work in ministry it can be felt and seen in a way that is hard to ignore. What we do will affect us in all areas of our lives no matter how good we hide what we are doing. Be careful what you do when you think you are alone. The Holy Spirit is looking over your shoulder. God will not let things go for too long before he steps in to deal with it.

We all have those areas that we want to hold on to and God will let us. But He will also bring these things to light if we don’t deal with them. Trust me when I say, it is easier to deal with them ourselves. It is much harder when God has to step in and deal with it Himself. It may be difficult either way, but why would we want to carry around baggage when we don’t have to.

First off, let me just say sorry about the last post that was sent out. It was done by mistake. This is the post that was supposed to be sent out.

Yes, yesterdays post was more of a fun thing. I received this in an email and thought “why not”. So I posted it. But then today, I started to think about what God’s Valentine to us really was.

You see, many of us have a valentine from God. We have it hid away, in a drawer or on a shelf. We don’t read, but we know that when we need to see it, it is close by. But for many of us we claim that we don’t need it. If we do have it out it just sits somewhere collecting dust.

Would we treat a letter from our loved ones this way? Would we keep an email unopened from our spouse or girl/boy friend? Or another family member? Of course not we would read it with joy. Knowing that while we read their words they have us on their minds. This letter or email makes us feel special.

We all like knowing that there is someone thinking about us all the time. Shoot, many of us are thinking about someone else all the time. Someone that has captured our hearts or whose heart we would like to capture. Yet we disregard a love letter to us of one who has us on His mind and heart all the time. He looks at the palms of His hand and sees a picture of you and me there. So what is this letter? The Bible.

God's love letter to the world

God's love letter

The Bible shows us the love that God has for us. The Bible shows us His devotion to us. God told us in His letter the depths He would go to “win” our love and devotion. He fights for us. He woos us to himself. He is our strong tower. He is our strength. He is our wisdom. He records all this in the Bible. He gave it to us, so that we can know what we need to about Him in order to love Him.

Instead, those He loves choose to ignore it and Him. Maybe we should take time now to read the greatest valentine that the world has ever seen or been given. Then we can get to know the One who would do whatever it takes or took to get our attention.