Monday, May 24, 2010

Weak In Him

2 C0r 13:4 - "For though He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward You".

To be weak is to be void of strength. In the world, the strength of man is celebrated and even worshipped. From the gladiators during Roman rule to the football teams of the modern era, men have always been praised and glorified due to their strength and human accomplishments.
Jesus Christ was crucified in weakness. What does this statement mean? Jesus stripped or emptied Himself of his strength, wisdom and will. Then He submitted Himself totally to the strength, wisdom and will of God which was the Crucifixion or the death of the cross. This is how He became weak in the Crucifixion. In the garden, He asked the Father to take this cup from me. He prayed earnestly as He was approaching the day of His betrayal and ultimately his death. He resolved in His prayer for God's will to be done in His life no matter the cost. And after the prayer He submitted and obeyed the will of God for His life.

Yet He lives by the power of God. Jesus is not dead He is currently alive. The Crucifixion brought the death of Jesus but the Spirit gave Him life and resurrected Him from the dead. The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives in the life of the person that is weak in Him. We are weak in Him when we strip ourselves of our human strength, wisdom and will and submit to Jesus' strength, wisdom and will for our lives. This is the live of faith and not fear. Fear comes as a result of living in our own strength, wisdom and will. The power of God comes through the person who is weak in Him and is living by the faith of the Son of God. This is the crucified life. Jesus said unless you take up your cross daily and follow me you cannot be my disciple. Disciples of Christ have become weak in Him. Paul said I am crucified with Christ and its no longer I that live but Christ lives in me. Disciples of Christ live by Christ living through them. Christ can only live through us when we are weak in Him. He is our source of strength. The Holy Spirit is Christ living in and through us. The Holy Spirit is the power of God!!!! That same Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead. Jesus was God with us (Emanuel), the Holy Spirit is God in us. Christianity is not a powerless religion where we are weak against sin. Christianity is full of power to defeat sin, self and the devil. We must be weak in Him. We cannot be strong in our on strength. This is pride and sin. He must be our source. God demands total dependency on Him and nothing else will do. By the way Christ also has a body, the Body of Christ. We must be weak in Him through depending on our brothers and sisters in Christ. Submit to one another in the fear of the Lord is what the scripture teaches. We will see the power of God as we lay down our lives for one another in true sacrificial love. Praise His Holy Name!!!!

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Judgement To Come

Acts 24:15-16 - I have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust. This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men.

Acts 24:25 - Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self control, and the judgement to come, Felix was afraid and answered, "go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you".

Theses are some of the statements Paul answered to the religious Jews who were accusing him creating dissension among the people. He proclaimed the resurrection to come and the judgement that would follow. Because there would be a resurrection and judgement of all men, both the just and the unjust, Paul lived his life accordingly. Here is some more verses from Paul along those same lines. What life did he strive to live? A life that did not offend God and man. In the study of the word strive (exercise in the KJV), I found that it meant living a life in such a way that others looking at or following your life would not have an opportunity to stumble or sin.

2 Cor 5: 9-11 - Therefore we make it our aim, whether absent or present, to be well pleasing to Him, For we must all appear before the judgement 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 know in your conscience.

Lets look at another preacher in the new testament, John The Baptist.

Mt 3:7-12 - John the Baptist in his preaching to the religious leaders of his day - But when he saw many of the Pharisees and the Sadducee's coming to his baptism, he said to them, Brood of vipers who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? And do not say to yourselves, we have Abraham as our father. For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from theses stones. And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier that I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. We will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in His hand and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

Proper biblical preaching prepares us for the resurrection from the dead and the judgement to come. It challenges us to prepare for the after life by living in such away as to not offend God and men. Have you ever asked yourself the question - Is my life offending God? See that God that alot of people believe in today is a God that has been made up by man. The God man has made up is a God that won't judge. How many times have you heard the statement "you can't judge me". Well many live their lives as if to be saying this to God. You can't judge me. Well folks the God of the bible will judge us for how we lived on the earth. We will Judge us according to the fruit we produce. His judgement will not be based on our idea of what is right and wrong or good or bad. It won't be based on what we think is good fruit or bad fruit. It will based on His word and on the example of His son Jesus Christ. Why do you think Felix was afraid after Paul talked to him about righteousness, self control and the judgement to come. Why would Paul describe the coming Judgement as the terror of the Lord. These are not descriptions we hear today of the God that has been made up by man. These men didn't proclaim how much God loved them and how much He wanted them to have better lives. But this is what you hear predominantly from the pulpits of America. The prevailing thought today is that everybody is going to heaven because God is a God of love. If you will be honest you know I'm right.

We all need to judge ourselves and the way we are living by the word of God. Please may we all wake up and began to live lives that are pleasing to God. We must all appear before God to give an account of how we have lived on this earth. Don't run to the excuse of "I'm not perfect". This is not how Paul thought or lived. Religion won't save you from the wrath to come. If so the Sadducee's and Pharisees had it made. Only a life that is pleasing to God by living and following His Son Jesus Christ and the leading and power of His Holy Spirit transforming and changing our lives to bear fruit worthy of repentance.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Good Morning

Mrk 1:35 "Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place and there He prayed".

Reading about Jesus and His life gives me so much understanding as to how I can live my life. Jesus started His day seeking and praying to God. Wow!! Many people have a routine every morning and in that routine usually there's something that you have to have to get your day going. A kick start if you will. For many it's a cup of coffee or breakfast. Some have to get in the shower right away to awaken them. Jesus rose up before daylight and prayed. Jesus had to be with His Father before He was with any one else. We cannot imagine the time issues and pressures that Jesus faced on a daily basis. Jesus found His strength to go through His day by spending the first part of the day in prayer. Prayer is more than a one way conversation. Prayer is the time when we pray to God and He speaks to us. It's a time of reflection and meditation on the word of God. It's a time of direction and empowerment. It's a time where we seek and and declare our total dependency on God and His leading, Time is a precious thing to most people. Most people never have enough time in their day. We never have enough time to do the things that are important in life so they never get done. The bible tells us to redeem the time. Redeeming the time is to buy back the time that is wasted or spent on frivolous things. I see early morning prayer as the starting point of redeeming the time. A lot of our time during the day is spent on our will, doing our thing. Jesus showed us in His prayer in the garden how to pray when He prayed "Father not my will but yours be done". In Jn 15:5 Jesus said "I am the vine you are the branches. He who abides in me and I in Him, bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing". To abide is to remain or not to depart. We must not depart from our starting point or from our foundation. Everything that is built that lasts has a starting point or a solid foundation. Everyday has a staring point and everyday starts with someting or starts somewhere. Jesus' day started with His Father in prayer. Jesus is saying I am the starting point or I am the foundation of your life. With me you can do anything but without me you can do nothing. May we see our need to begin our day with Jesus.