Thursday, June 7, 2018

Can Your Gospel Get You Killed?

“For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” 
(Romans 8:36)

Jesus' Gospel got Him killed. 

Same with most of His disciples, many even to this very day. 

However, most of today's so-called 'modern gospel' is anemic, sugar-coated, watered-down and seeks to be politically correct and non-offensive at all points.

But this won't save anyone's soul. 

So the $64,000 question is: 

Why?

Why did Jesus' Gospel get Him killed?

Jesus was the most loving, kind, grace-filled, good, merciful Person to ever walk this earth. He was after all, God in Human form. The Divine in the dirt.

He certainly wasn't arrogant, offensive, or a jerk about Himself. So why kill Him?

"Oh, He challenged and threatened the Jewish religious power structure of His day and they refused to let Him overthrow them" you may say. True, in part.

But you're missing the much Bigger Picture.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)

“And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” (John 3:19)

“There is none righteous, no, not one.” (Romans 3:10)

“Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” (Romans 3:19)

“And you shall call his name Jesus: for He shall save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21)

All have sinned. Men love darkness, our deeds are evil. Not one person is righteous. All the world is guilty before God. The entire human race needs a Savior to save us from our sins.

That Savior is Jesus Christ, and Him alone.

And that's why we humans killed Him.

Because we all are dead in our sins but we won't admit it and He told us so. We don't want this Man ruling over us. We're the captains of our own salvation. We think we're good people. We're arrogant, prideful, self-righteous hypocrites, but we'll be damned if we'll humble ourselves and confess that.

Exactly.

Jesus Christ the Lord of Glory didn't leave the splendor of Heaven and come down to save a world that doesn't need saving.

All will stand before a righteous and holy God on Judgment Day. We all need a Savior. Jesus Christ came in love to save us, to be judged in our place, paying the penalty for our sins against God. He took our sin debt upon Himself. He paid a debt He did not owe because we have a debt we can never pay. He died in our place on that Cross, was buried, and rose again on the third day. He ascended back to His place of Glory in Heaven. He will come again and judge a Christ-rejecting, sinful world. So, repent now, confess your sins, and believe on Jesus Christ as your Savior and your Lord, and you shall be saved.

That is the Gospel Jesus Christ was killed for. 

Much of the so-called "christian" message you hear today is: "We're just supposed to love people."

What they mean by "just" is: "Oh, never talk about sin and repentance, that will offend people. That's not politically correct!"

And in so doing, they will just love someone to Hell.

"Gospel" means Good News.  And good news is truly good news if you hear the really bad news first.

If a brain surgeon tells you, "Well Billy, I have some really bad news for you; you have terminal brain cancer and you have two months to live." You cry out to the physician, "But isn't there anything you can do to save me!"  Your physician says, "Yes Billy, there is hope for you today, because there is a miracle cure for this cancer, but you will need to follow my instructions exactly, if you want to be saved."  You exclaim, "Oh, yes, Doctor! Please tell me what it isI'll do anything to be saved!"

Terminal brain cancer is really bad news. But the good news of a miracle cure wouldn't mean much if the doctor didn't first give you the bad news that you actually have the terminal disease.

Sin is terminal soul cancer and we all have it. 

Jesus Christ is the Great Physician who is the cure. But you have to admit you have the terminal soul cancer and want Him to heal you.

It's really that simple.

But many people get so angry if you try to tell them they have the terminal soul cancer of sin, they may even kill you for it. Jesus Christ's disciples have been killed and martyred for the last two thousand years for simply showing people the cure for sin, and their need for the cure.

"Modern Christianity" doesn't want to be the bearer of bad news. So they just try be nice to people and may even say, "Jesus loves you and has a plan for your life!"

No one has ever been killed for just being nice.

Speaking to the intellectual 'post moderns' of his day, while in Athens the Apostle Paul preached:

“Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man (Jesus Christ) whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” (Acts 17:30-31)

God commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness... i.e. Judgment Day.

Repent means to change your mind, turn from your sin and go a new direction. To turn to Jesus Christ and be saved from your sin. This is not the message that the unbelieving world wants to hear. But they need to hear it.

The question is, do you love people enough to tell them the whole Truth, even if it may potentially cost you your life? 

Can your gospel get you killed?

“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 3:16)



God is Love and Love Never Fails.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Violence in America

“Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” (1 John 3:15)

America has a spiritual problem. 

So this post is not political. This is not for, or against, the 2nd Amendment. This is not about gun laws or politics at all. So don't make it about that.

This post is about why kids are killing kids in schools across America.

And that's what is not really being talked about in this nation, especially by kids. Why are kids killing other kids? They want to make it all about guns. And find someone to blame. The administration. The president. The NRA. Whoever.

Almost all these school shootings are being committed by kids. Adults are not sneaking into schools and killing our children. Children are committing the murders.

Why is this happening?

This week's mass killing in a Texas school was committed by a kid who reportedly was interested in a girl and she rejected him. So he later came to school and killed her, a teacher, and several other classmates. 

I was rejected by a few girls when I was in school. I certainly didn't go home and get my dad's guns and come back and shoot my classmates. Neither did any other kids in all the schools I went to. 

Ever.

So what has changed?

When I was a kid, I was taught respectfor my parents, for my teachers and principals. For all adults. 

I was also taught respect for the laws and for the police. We were a family of hunters and as kids we were required to complete a local hunters safety course. Safety, awareness and respect for people were number one at all times.

We also didn't have video games back then. The movies and television shows we did watch were not ultra violent and graphic like they are today. We didn't have violent lyrics, scenes and images programmed into our impressionable little minds from earliest childhood like today's kids are subjected to. 

More importantly, my parents closely monitored the shows we did watch or the music we listened to. They taught us right from wrong. And we learned that there were tough consequences to breaking the rules. If we did wrong, there was real punishment attached to it. We learned many painful lessons. My dad had a belt that he spanked us with when we deserved it. The principal's office at school had a big wooden paddle hanging on the wall with holes drilled in it for higher velocity. We learned there were very real consequences for our actions at home, and at school. 

This kind of discipline is virtually non existent today.

Also different in my youth was there were very few people in my school that grew up in a broken home. I think I knew one kid whose parents were divorced. He lived with his mom and he could stay out late and basically do whatever the heck he wanted to. Back then we thought he was super cool. But now I feel sorry for him. He was always getting into fights and into trouble. He never mentioned even knowing his father.

My parents also spent plenty of quality time with us. They took an interest in us as young people, and as individuals. They paid attention to who we hung out with. When my grades suffered, my dad and mom helped me with my school work. Dad grounded me from the things I liked, like fishing, if I was blowing off my homework and getting bad grades. 

My dad and mom loved us. They didn't give us lots of stuff to occupy ourselves with just so we wouldn't distract them from their own interests. My parents love for us was sacrificial. They could tell when something was not right with me and they would talk to me about it and find out why I was sad, or angry. 

I can only recall one or two kids who were bullies in school. But they were typically dealt with severely by the assistant principal with his big wooden paddle. Their parents were called and they were usually suspended when they acted poorly. Again, there were consequences.

My mom was a Christian all of her life. My dad had no interest in Christianity until much later in his life. But my mom's godly influence and love for Jesus was the glue that held our family together. I never had any doubt of my parents love for me. And I think that is what's missing in many people's lives today. I meet so many single parents. Broken homes are the norm. The traditional 'family' is out of style. Spiritually, the culture in America is circling the drain. Christianity is a joke to many, especially young people. So many parents are spiritually lost, many addicted to drugs and other things, and their kids are only following their lead. Mental and spiritual illness is epidemic in America.

So back to the kid in Texas who killed the girl who rejected him... Although he was certainly spiritually ill, and probably mentally ill as well; at the heart of it all he simply wanted to be loved. To be wanted. To be accepted.

And isn't that what we all want?

Jesus Christ said:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed.” (Luke 4:18)

To heal the broken hearted.

Much of the world today is dying from a broken heart.

And only Jesus Christ can heal our broken hearts. Our empty lives. Our aching souls. Our oppressed minds.

Jesus said:

“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 3:16)

The loving Savior Jesus was the only hope for humanity 2,000 years ago. And He is still the only hope for humanity today. The only solution to violence in America. 

The only hope for our children.



—God is Love and Love Never Fails.





Thursday, May 10, 2018

Created Equal

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” (U. S. Declaration of Independence 1776)


Having watched hundreds of 'Cowboys and Indians' movies throughout my life, what I have seen in many instances are the native American Indians vilified as "bloodthirsty savages" and the white settlers and U. S. Calvary were the "good guys" who were the ones being attacked by the "savage" Indians.

But in reality, the native American Indians—who were here first by the way—vastly outnumbered, over time, had their lands stolen, property confiscated, were killed off, and those who remained were herded like cattle and contained onto Reservations.

This is how the West was won.

How is your conscience with that?

From the beginning of the European colonization of the Americas, Europeans often removed native peoples from the lands they wished to occupy. The means varied, including treaties made under considerable duress, forceful ejection, and violence. 

The first effective Indian reservation was established for the Powhatan tribes in 1658.

It has been said that for much of North America, the American Revolution was more of a battle against the Indians than a war against the British. So when the war was brought to an end with the 1783 Treaty of Paris, the treaty was generally understood by American officials to strip the Indians of all property rights east of the Mississippi River. The treaty was seen by Americans as a confirmation of their conquest of Indian land.

The passage of the Indian Removal Act of 1830 marked the systematization of a U.S. federal government policy of forcibly moving Native populations away from European-populated areas.

One example was the Five Civilized Tribes, who were removed from their native lands in the southern United States and moved to modern-day Oklahoma, in a mass migration that came to be known as the Trail of Tears. Some of the lands these tribes were given to inhabit following the removals eventually became Indian reservations.

In 1851, the United States Congress passed the Indian Appropriations Act which authorized the creation of Indian reservations in modern-day Oklahoma. Relations between settlers and natives had grown increasingly worse as the settlers encroached on territory and natural resources in the West.

Reservations were generally established by executive order. In many cases, white settlers objected to the size of land parcels, which were subsequently reduced. A report submitted to Congress in 1868 found widespread corruption among the federal Native American agencies and generally poor conditions among the relocated tribes.

Many tribes ignored the relocation orders at first and were forced onto their limited land parcels. Enforcement required the United States Army to restrict the movements of various tribes. The pursuit of tribes in order to force them back onto reservations led to a number of wars with Native Americans which included some massacres. The most well-known conflict was the Sioux War on the northern Great Plains, between 1876 and 1881, which included the Battle of Little Bighorn. Other famous wars in this regard included the Nez Perce War.

To this day there are approximately 326 Indian Reservations in America.

And yet our own Declaration of Independence proclaims; “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

"All men are created equal."

But our nations history seems to prove otherwise.

Now imagine a completely different history.

Imagine that you were here first. And a much larger population of foreigners started immigrating here from a distant land. And they kept coming, and coming, by the tens of millions. Taking your land. Seizing your property. Killing off you "savage natives" who were only protecting your land and homes and families. Herding you into reservations meant to contain you so they could enjoy what was once yours.

Two thousand years ago Jesus said:

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)

And,

“But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 5:44-45)

The history and actions of America are hotly defended today as that of a "godly Christian nation."

How is it then that our forefathers left an oppressive nation and came here to live as free men and freely practice their religion apart from tyranny, and yet they themselves became the oppressors?

There will be accountability for this someday.

“Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5:9-10)






—God is Love and Love Never Fails.


Monday, April 9, 2018

The Great Divide

“But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.” 
(1 John 2:11)

I watched a program on PBS recently and they were showing pictures of African American men and women who had been lynched in the early south. I had seen programs before reporting how small groups of menmostly in white hoodshad performed lynchings in the past in this country. But this program had photos of practically an entire town of 9,000 people who turned out in the public square, in their Sunday best, to witness the lynching and burning of a black man. White men, women, and children were in attendance. And they were celebrating it.

I had no words.

How can people be this evil, this twisted, this heartless, this hateful, this cruel?

The author of the story said that in order to end racism in the country we first have to talk about these atrocities. He said there also has to be repentance.

And he was mostly right. There does need to be repentance.

But the answer is not simply man repenting to man of his wicked deeds, or the wicked deeds of his ancestors.

All men must first turn to God and repent of their sins against Him.

And then admit that we cannot fix ourselves. We cannot create global peace. We cannot attain enlightenment. We cannot end racism. We cannot end wars.

We cannot save ourselves.

Look at the broken condition of the entire planet. Look at how our global society has devolved over the millennia. Hatred, division, murder, genocide, addictions, immorality, corruption, etc, are worse now than ever.

Can anyone really claim that our society has evolved into being more peaceful, loving and kind?

No, mankind has proven time and again that true repentance, forgiveness and reconciliation are not attainable through ourselves.

The solution is first realizing that our problem is a spiritual problem—an issue of the heart.

I've learned and experienced, that what comes out of a man is only what was already inside him. Hatred, vengeance, even murder—are in the heart of all human beings. 

Jesus said murder begins in the heart.

"For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies." (Matthew 15:19)

Maybe you’ve never physically killed someone. But to Christ, hating someone is the same as murdering him. Lusting after someone who is not your wife or husband is just the same as actually committing the physical act of adultery.

Man looks at what is on the outside of a personbut God sees the heart.

So what is the answer?

Jesus said,

“A man must be born again.” (See John 3:7)

The nature or ‘spirit’ of mankind is sinful and fallen. We need a spiritual re-birth—a new heart. And only God through Jesus Christ can give that.

The last six thousand years of world history is proof enough that man on his own does not possess the power or goodness within himself to solve the world’s problems of hatred, racism, division, and war.

If you really are open, and are searching for truth, for the solution, for the spiritual re-birth that only Christ can give, then you will find it through Him.

And you start by crying out to God. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you.

If you genuinely want to know Jesus He will open Himself up to you. Through Him you will know true peace, forgiveness and reconciliation.

Jesus is the only solution to the world’s heart problem.





God is Love and Love Never Fails

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Has Your Love Grown Cold?

“And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.”—Jesus
(Matthew 24:12)


Us against them.

That's what we've become.

Liberal against Conservative. Republican against Democrat. Red state against Blue state. American against foreigner. Young against old. Brother against brother. Our way or the highway.

We're pretty much against everyone who disagrees with us on anything.

I was looking at some particularly ugly online comments last night on a popular social media site. And the amount of hate and vicious ridicule people were saying to anyone who was on the opposing side from them was unbelievable. And sadly, neither "side" was right. But they were practically killing one another electronically by their posts.

Is this really how far we've fallen?

This blog today is not written to the general public, or secularists, or atheists. This is only for those who specifically profess to be born again followers and lovers of Jesus Christ.

To put this in the right perspectiveeach one of us, when we die, will stand at the Judgment seat of Christ for believers. There, we will give an account to Jesus of all our deeds. It says we will "receive" the things done in the body, according to what we have done, both good and bad. So we will be accountable to Christ, and there will be consequences.

“Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences.” (2 Corinthians 5:9-11)

Paul starts that passage off by saying, "Therefore we make it our aim to be well pleasing to Him." That is, to Jesus.

And I don't believe it is well pleasing to our Lord to bite and devour one another with our words, anger, divisions, and actions. It seems most of us have forgotten that our life is no longer our own. We are no longer our own. Our very life was bought at a pricethe price of the precious, sinless blood of our Savior; the Lord Jesus Christ.

Does that still mean something to you?

I'm writing this entry on Palm Sundaythe same day Jesus rode triumphantly and humbly into Jerusalem on the back of a small donkey, fulfilling the Zechariah 9:9 prophecy of Him which said:

“Tell the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your King is coming to you, Lowly, and sitting on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.” 

Jesuseternal Savior and King: the God of Lovecame to usher in a new Kingdom, not of this world, to a world that is hopelessly lost and broken on its own.

And Jesus came to save His people from their sins.

“Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?” But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” (Luke 9:51-56)

What is the purpose and highest calling of your life?  To help save people from their sins?

Or is it something else?

It's painfully obvious today that a lot of people who profess to be "Christian" would virtually destroy the lives of people who oppose them or their views.

The very lives that Jesus came to save.

Let that resonate for a few minutes.

There's no question that lawlessness abounds in this messed up world.

But the question God is posing to each of us from His timeless Word is:

Has your love grown cold?

The Word says that we as followers of Jesus are in this world, but we are not of the world.

God's people are supposed to be different from the world. A bright and shining light, bringing His message of love, hope, and salvation by Grace.

So, are we being different?

We're not supposed to be 'Us against them' people... We're supposed to 'Us for them' people.



God is Love and Love Never Fails.






Sunday, March 18, 2018

Bought At A Price

“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, 
whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; 
therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 
(1 Corinthians 6:19-20)  

The other day a "christian" friend of mine hypothetically said to me; "If anyone tried to take his bible away from him, he would put a .44 slug in their stomach."

Let that sink in for a few minutes...

I responded, "Well, by making that statement you demonstrate that you have completely missed the entire message of the bible and the heart and purpose of Jesus."

He strongly defended his position and said; "I stand by what I said 100%!"

I'm not making this up.

I only wish I were.

Before you get too excited, this isn't a blog about politics, gun control, or the Second Amendment. So don't make it about that.

No, this is about the condition of our hearts.

Let's be honest, anyone who would make an absurd statement like my friend did the other day, has an obvious heart problem. And although he does claim to be saved and to believe in God, I'm having my doubts as to if he truly knows Jesus at all. I mean really intimately knows HimHis heart, His love for people, and His purpose for dying on the Cross because "God so loved the world." (See John 3:16)

Go back to the passage quoted above from 1 Corinthians chapter 6.  The Word says, "You are not your own. For you were bought at a price." (Verses 19-20).

The precious blood of Jesus was the price paid for our eternal souls. And as a popular song rightly says, "I'll never know how much it cost, to see my sin upon that Cross."

Jesus purchased us by giving up His life on the Cross. And by putting our faith in Him, we belong to Him now.

What you need to understand—you who claim to be a follower of Jesus Christ—is that your whole life; your will, your emotions, your thoughts, your actions, your desires, your sexual integrity, your time, your resources, your rights, everything: belong to God. You're part of a different Kingdom now and you serve a different King than yourself.

And trust me, the King is not okay with you shooting someone who tries to take away your bible. 

What is the heart of the Lord of lords and the King of kings?

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” (John 13:34)

The love of Jesus would never want to shoot someone who tries to take your precious bible away from you. Who knows? They might end up reading it and come to know the God who willingly died on the Cross for your sins. More importantly, what does that say about your heart?

What else did Jesus say about how to treat people you might consider to be your enemy?

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 5:43-45)

Verse 20 goes on to say:

"Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s."

We glorify God by obeying His Wordbecause we love Him. In "body and in spirit" mean in our actions, and in our intentions. In our will, our thoughts and practically, in how we treat people.

Jesus said:

“My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.” (John 18:36)

Many of us are so quick to be ready to defend to the death all of our 'rights.' But Jesus teaches us here that this way of thinking is not part of His kingdom. He could have called down legions of angels and they would have delivered Him from His persecutors. (See Matthew 26:53). But that was not His mission. 

What was His mission?

“Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?”

But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” (Luke 9:51-56)

What manner of spirit are you?



God is Love and Love Never Fails.





Sunday, February 25, 2018

Deny Yourself

“Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” —Jesus 
(Luke 9:23)

This verse is among the many 'hard sayings' of Jesus.

A lot of people try to explain away a hard saying, claiming it was merely symbolic, or the ridiculous notion that Jesus didn't really mean what He said.

And so, here we find ourselves, in the midst of the foretold great apostasythe Falling Away, or defection from the truth of God's Word, very prevalent among today's post modern Christianity.

I find it extremely noteworthy to point out that the first words in this passage are, "And He said to them all..."

This directive from Jesus wasn't made to just His inner circle of Peter, James and John, who  accompanied Him to the Mount of Transfiguration. These words from Jesus were spoken to any of His disciples and followers standing by who desired to come after Him, or follow Him.

He said it plainly then, and today as well; "If anyone desires to come after Me."

Jesus, being the Lord of Glory, possessing all wisdom and knowledge, able to read the thoughts and intents of men's hearts, knows that all men will not desire to follow after Him. And the Gospels show that to be so. There were the multitudes who came only for the healing, the food, and the miracles. 

But the true disciples of Jesus were there because they knew He was the One who offers Himself as the rivers of living water that will quench a man's soul forever. And they wanted more of Him. They left all and followed Him.

Isn't that what your heart truly longs for? More of Jesus. To be closer to him? To know Him more?

A lifetime of pursuing more stuff only left me thirsty and starving for more of Jesus. More stuff does not and cannot ever satisfy. This land of prosperity is a parched, dry and thirsty land. A spiritually barren wilderness of empty riches.

Jesus, knowing all, is giving us a precious gift and the ultimate freedom by calling us to deny ourselves, leave it all behind, and follow Him. All the stuff we work so hard to obtain is a trap and a chain around our soul. 

He also invites us to "take up your cross daily."

Why daily?  

Because we need to die to 'self' every single day. Our selfish desires and the lust of the human flesh needs to be nailed to the cross daily, if not every single minute. The old sinful nature is a hungry beast who can never be filleda blood thirsty, ravenous wolf, always looking for his next kill. Always hunting, never satisfied, never at rest.

God is certainly not calling every person to leave their family, job, and everything else and go wandering around the globe as itinerant evangelists.

What He is calling us all to do, is to deny ourselves. Stop being selfish with our time, our resources and our hearts. If we are living only to please ourselves and acquire more stuff, more titles, riches and prominence, we will ultimately lose that life, one way or another.

Jesus said:

“For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?” (Luke 9:24-25)

The late Jim Elliot, who was one of five missionaries killed in 1956, while participating in Operation Auca, an attempt to evangelize the Huaorani people of Ecuador, was quoted with this now famous saying:

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

Jim literally lived out the calling to lose his life for Jesus' sake, and he would find it. 

As I stand at the threshold of sixty years of age, I am painfully aware that I am not long on this earth. Much of my life as a believer I wasted on selfish pursuits. And I can never get those wasted years back.

But what I can do is make the most of the short time I have left by denying myself in every situation, and take up my cross dailywhich simply means dying to selfishnessand follow Jesus and His example and calling to share the Gospel with all those to whom He sends me. Help those in need with what is truly needed. Love as Jesus loved.

One of my favorite sayings of Jesus is:

“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” (John 15:13)


That, is what this message is all about.



God is Love and Love Never Fails.