Who Can Receive the Message of Salvation?

The Hook

To be born again, you must first die. The missionary can try to fix that up with whip cream and cherries and chocolate chips, but it will always be a bitter truth to those not fed up with their current life. If you love this current world, you will be offended by the cross. To be clear, you will be offended by anyone telling you that you have to sacrifice your life on the cross. Most people will say Christ sacrificing His life on the cross was a beautiful act of love, but when they are asked to take up their own cross to follow Him, they are offended. They know that taking up their own cross means they will have to stop fornicating and living lustfully, stop getting drunk, stop cheating and lying, stop hating their brothers and sisters. In other words, stop living in sin. I know some people will be offended at even reading this. They are offended because their stony hearts have not yet been broken by the love demonstrated from GOD through Christ. The scripture says in 1st John 2:15-16,

15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”

The refusal to surrender your life testifies to the fact that you do not yet love and trust GOD. That is verse 15 of the scripture cited above. You are still doing life your way, instead of putting your life in His hands. This is the reality that I had to face when I was resisting the cross. I had to come to terms with the reality that I was unwilling to surrender the things which were giving me pleasure and making me feel secure, for a chance at receiving the promise of something better in obedience to GOD. To even seriously ponder this proposition, you must know the feeling of a soul starting to buckle from weightiness of life in this world. To make that swap, you have to be convinced of two things; that Yeshua is GOD, and that He really does love you. If you are missing either of these elements in your belief toward GOD, its guaranteed that you have not taken up the cross and totally surrendered your life to GOD.  Hebrews 11: 6 states,

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

Those who do not believe the Almighty Creator of all things, in the face of Yeshua the Christ, think they have more options than what are truly available. No greater love has ever been shown greater than the testimony of GOD’s love through the witness of Christ, and until you truly know that, you will always hold on to your self-life. I or know other person, can convince someone to surrender their life to GOD. That point in a person’s existence is orchestrated by GOD, where they will know who it is that is posing the question, “Will you trust me with your life?” Those that have accepted the offer from GOD and want so badly for others to have the same benefits, can only share His love as best they can, and testify to the benefits and terms of the amazing opportunity.

The message of GOD’s Salvation can’t be shared like a bad car salesman trying to get a contract signed by concealing all the cost. Christ new His target market,

28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. (Matthew 11:28-29)

When the rescue beacon of GOD’s voice finally reached my stony heart, it was shattered at the awareness of how I had dishonored and disrespected Him, and how I had rejected His love in counting Him unworthy of my trust, and at the depth of my injustice at refusing to suffer, in the face of the enormous cost that this salvation was being made offered. All of that, and He continued to pursue me, understanding that He alone had what my heart truly longed for and needed. In light of this, my self-life was wrecked into splinters, like a shipped washed into a mountain side by humungous waves. From that day forward, I have been compelled to surrender all.

The Gospel of Christ doesn’t need augmenting for the 21st century, or for any period in time. The cost of Salvation will always be same, His life in exchange for your death. The proselyte can be of good cheer, because resurrection life is real, and it is far more satisfying!

Love Supreme

What do you think of when you think of your first love? Do you think of your first serious crush or perhaps the first person you gave yourself to. Now think…does that love still inspire you, fulfill you, strengthen you, protect you, give you peace, give you joy, give you life. Jesus says, if you drink of the water He offers you will thirst no more, as a matter of fact He says His love will be as living waters springing up inside of you. This is the message He gave to a woman who met Him while she was trying to draw water from a well. She had several husbands and obviously was still searching, still thirsting, for true love. We all have a thirst for love, a deep desire to be truly known yet still accepted, appreciated, and valued. If you have never been totally open and honest in a relationship then you have never been truly open to receive love in its fullness. The fact that Jesus gave His life for you while knowing all that you are capable of, the good as well the bad, is a testimony of His enduring love. Truth is, until you have experienced the love of Jesus you are yet to have your first love. I pray that you will open your heart to Jesus, that you might receive peace that surpasses understanding, joy unspeakable, and love that gives life abundantly. A Love supreme!

The Crossing

Time races like a raging river, moving from east to west, from sunrise to sunset, dragging everything in its grasp along its course,

However in this mighty river there are monuments as great stones that stand immovable,

Stones that stand as memorials in time of momentous events that were life changing,

When we learn from those life changing events, we are able to build structures on these monuments that transcend time,

Through wise counsel we can connect these structures across this mighty river from its southern side to its northern banks,

This structure can serve as a transport that carries us and generations after us to our higher purposes for living,

So that we are not just lost drifts in the river, drug to our sunsets without fulfilling the purposes for our day in life,

Let us learn from the past and be open to wise counsel, endeavoring always to move toward our higher purposes for living,

Then time will no longer dominate us but instead serve as a reminder to stay on our own God given course.

The Seeds of Joy

The harvest is always so much more abundant than the seeds sown. It takes one peach seed to grow a peach tree but after the tree comes forth think about how many sweet peaches will be enjoyed.  This relationship is not coincidental or happenstance but the whole process of sowing and reaping is a law created by God ordained to teach us about life. The implications of this law extend beyond growing vegetation. I have been considering a lot lately the verse of scripture that says, “Sow in tears, reap in joy.”  Consider far a minute the implications of tears being the seeds for joy. In order to have an abundance of joy in your life you have to be willing to sow a few tears. We often avoid getting involved in to situations to a level that opens us to the possibility of experiencing sadness, hurt, and pain but in doing that we also avoid our greatest opportunities at real joy. We have to live courageously and engage life with our whole heart or we will experience life anesthetized by fear. Christ teaches us that in this world we will have tribulation however be of good cheer because He has overcome the world. In this world there will be tears but be of good cheer Christ has secured our harvest of joy. The scripture says that Christ endured the cross for the joy that was set before Him. The focus of the Savior was the joy, not the tears, because the joy is so much greater and more abundant, it is worth the sacrifice. So do as the scriptures instruct, “whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.” Be brave and live life with your whole heart engaged, knowing that you will have to sow some tears, but let the PROMISE of “abundant life” and “joy unspeakable” be your motivation. When tears fall in light of the gospel a rainbow appears in our hearts, a promise from God that it will not rain for ever. Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning!

Rainy Days

I wait for you at the well of my love but you will not come and drink.
I call for you to come and you seem bothered by the invitation.
I think maybe the drawing of the bucket is too much, so I make the well to run over.
Yet you still will not come.
So I go to my vast oceans and cause my water to rise, defying gravity, forming clouds of rain, to seek you out over dry land.
I keep my love high above the rudiments of the earth so that when I find you I can rain upon you with pure refreshing love.
I find you and pour my love down upon you, drenching you with the abundance of my desire to satisfy you, yet you complain.
You complain that the rain of my love restricts your activities and spoils your plans but in all of this you never stopped to drink.
You have become accustomed to your thirst, and to die of dehydration has become an expected end.
You don’t understand that I formed you in my love as a baby in the womb, you were made to live on the waters of my love, and even your body is composed mostly of water.
Now you carry your umbrella whenever you see the clouds coming to block the rain, and repel my love.
But I am patient, I am steadfast, I am faithful. It is the time of refreshing you should drink and be filled.
Soon there will be drought and extreme heat and those who did not drink and fill with my water will perish.
The forecast TODAY is rain…will you drink?

Picture from the movie, “The Shawshank redemption.”