Monthly Archives: January 2011

Led Up The Narrow Road

John 11:27 “My sheep hear my voice,and I know them,and they follow me:”

Yes Jesus loves me; He is the good shepherd who laid down his life for the sheep.But the fact that he is the good shepherd, means there are some bad shepherds out there.The world has shepherds ,who have no love for the sheep. They don’t pray for them, they prey on them.They don’t feed them, they feed off them, they are the bad shepherd.God has given us a shepherd to protect and lead us,who has inspired and strengthened countless Christians throughout the years, to continue their journey up the narrow road.In a world full of flashy signs, misleading many to travel down the broad road of material pleasures and innumerable pains, it is easy to forget that we have a shepherd who calls us to follow him to “High Places.” Too many loud sounds and too many beckoning voices compete with His words that speak to both our hearts and minds.

What must we do?First, we must step back from our engagement with the world.(We must come from among the world and its joys and toys.)Then we must fall on our knees and listen only to our Lord. Finally, we must follow His lead.We cannot do this once a year, occasionally,or every once in a while,and hope to find ourselves someday at those High Places with Him.Saints the enemy is not going to stop because you decided to make Jesus your choice.Everyday we must deny ourself, take up our cross, and follow the good shepherd. It has to be more than just a daily routine, our following Him must be a committment, a constant and integral part of our lives. (Christianity is not a religion, it is a way of life, it’s what we’ve become, not what we do.) And when it becomes so, not only will it become a natural thing to do, but also we will recognize His voice more easily each time He speaks to us.

Our shepherd loves us and want to take us to High Places, but He won’t drag us there.And we can’t get there just because we wish to be there.(No matter what they thought,believed,or wanted, when the flood came, all outside the ark drowned.Are you on the outside of the Ark?)We must listen to Him, and we must obey His directions, He is “The Good Shepherd”.

Because he first loved me!

John 1:29 “The next day John seeth Jesus comming unto him,and saith,Behold the lamb of God,which taketh away the sin of the world.”

This is what God did to secure forgiveness for us once and for all,so we can stay in the right relationship with him.It starts with Jesus’ execution. He was lifted up in the same way that the snake was lifted up on a pole in Moses’ day so that the people could look upon it and be forgiven for their sins.He was disfigured and marred beyond recognition.(Jesus allowed his flesh to be crushed, ripped and torn.)And in spite of His God-given mission to bring redemption to the world, He was despised and rejected by men, he was one from whom men hide their faces.

Jesus mission was to remove the sins off the backs of men and put them on His own.He took upon himself the punishment we deserved for our sins,and he suffered on behalf of us,suffering that included being whipped all night long by a band of soilder, he was spitt on, slapped with an open hand, mocked and pierced in his side.He endured the excruciating pain of his execution knowing that his death would result in spiritual restoration, and in some cases physical healing, for those who put their trust in him.All of us are sinners,and all are in need of spiritual redemption.Jesus secured that redemption with the shedding of his blood,for without the shedding of blood ,there is no remission of sin.

Jesus didn’t open his mouth and complain about his treatment, although by many standards he was treated unfairly.Like a lamb being led to slaughter,he yeilded to his fate without resistance. He was the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Jesus was God’s sacrificial lamb, a lamb slaughtered on the altar as an atoning sacrifice. He was also the scapegoat, the one who separates sin from the sinner so God can look at us sinners and see us as sinless.Because Jesus took on the sins of all mankind and was sacrificed on our behalf, God’s demand for justice was satisfied.Now he sits at the right hand of God, where he intercedes on the behalf of all believers, when the enemy makes accusations against us.What was needed to purchase redemption for man was done through Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross, where he bore our iniquities,  and poured his life out unto death to secure forgiveness.”behold the love of God! 

Integrity:The Higher Standard

Proverbs 11:3 “The integrity of the upright shall guide them:but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.”

Integrity is a choice,in a society entertained and amused by deception, manipulation,seduction, and witchcraft, many people have convienced and even comforted themselves with the notion that they do not have a choice as to whether or not to engage in the same sins.(we are to lead the world, not follow it) When Elijah explained to God that he was the only God-worshiper who remained,God replied that “yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal,and every mouth which hath not kissed him.” Although many people are, not everyone is living a lie,a life of compromise.It is unwise to justify your sins by your presumption of everyone else’s sin.Our example must be Christ and him alone.

Christians are called to a higher standard of commitment and responsibility.Our bodies are God’s temple,we bear the name of his only begotten son,dedicated solely to his service.In everything we do ,we must glorify God.We are called to a lifestyle that is higher than the world’s.Using God’s word as our guide for life, we build relationships of commitment,responsibility and trust,with integrity and truth.  (Saints we are a walking recommendation for Christ,and must live accordingly.)

It is more important for us to know what is important to God, than to know how doing the right thing will benifits us directly.In a world where it seems it’s “every man for himself ” is there any benifit to living a righteous life? God says that living a life of integrity results in a fruitful life.Integrity in this sense means living a life of high moral principles, a life characterized by honesty,sincerity, and good judgment.Those who live a life of integrity do what’s right even when they can get away with doing something else.They choose to do right when it is more convient to do wrong.

Living a life based on ungodly principles and practices is destined for diffculty.Duplicitous people base their life on cunning and decption, they are driven by the pursuit of self gratification and material comfort. However, on the Day of Judgment their material wealth and gain will be of no value.Choosing a path of integrity is always beneficial in the long term,for those who walk in the integrity of God, walk in a clear path, for they walk in the light , Jesus the light of the world…………….

Slipping into darkness

James 1:14-15 “but every man is tempted,when he is drawn away of his own lust,and enticed.Then when lust hath concieved,it bringeth forth sin:and sin,when it is finished,bringeth forth death.”

God wants to live among His people,but sometimes we don’t want Him around.(let us be honest)See sometimes do to our fallen nature their are lust and desire we chose to surround ourselves in, that keeps God on the outside of our lives.Sin doesn’t rush in and over take us,it is first a simple suggestion,then it becomes a strong imagination,then a delight,then it is accepted.In other words, sin at first does not necessarily appear disgusting to us.In fact sin frequently fascinates us and appeals to our fallen nature. Unless we immediately flee from it, we can easily slip into the darkness of sin.(We must reconize it for what it is, a rebillion against God.)

Despite God’s faithfulness to His people,time and time again, we turn away from him and worship and serve the Idols we have built in our lives.We reject God and embrace the lust of the flesh and the worldly desires that appeal to our carnal nature.Though the Idols and the packaging of sin may appear different than it did to the Israelites,its basic nature is still the same.Sin can hide itself  so that it becomes so beautiful to look at, so wonderful to touch, and so sweet to taste, yet the end there of is still death.(Idols today are still made of wood,stone,and metal, but we call them houses, cars ,money, and the biggest Idol is the god we’ve made out of flesh, ourself.)As the writer of Hebrews said, its always tempting to “enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season”. In many forms and guises, sin still allures and entices us and charms us to do its bidding, by offering to satisfy desires that are pleasurable to us, but violate God’s truth and commandments.

Once sin has won one victory in our lives, it will be even more persistent in securing greater victories. Therefore, we give it power over our lives every time we surrender to it, until sin no longer has to hide its true hideous nature.But by then we are already firmly locked in its grip.Let us not dabble in sin and slip into darkness.But if we find yourself in the darkness of sin ,remember Jesus the light of the world, will save you from the grips of sin.Seek him and be saved……………….