I’m not sure if it’s a sign of old age, maturity or just an attempt to show up the younger generation, but I’ve noticed that a lot of my conversations include those three favorite words of seniors…”I remember when.”What’s worse is when I am talking to myself and say it!Like today, I was sitting on the back porch enjoying the sunshine and I said to myself…
I remember when...I was in high school we would load my car with kids after church and drive to the old International Airport in Houston.It was a favorite routine to ask one of the guys working near the back exit doors of the terminal if we could take a quick tour of an airplane parked on the tarmac.Usually without hesitation he would open the door and show us which one we could go see and just turn us loose on our own.Then we would run up the ramp and walk through first class, into the coach area, touch everything we could and dream of one day flying away to someplace exotic.
Try doing that now in any of our airports.Today airport visitors are restricted unless they have a valid ticket.One word explains these changes from the “good old days,” security.We stress security more than we once did to protect the innocent people from the bad guys.I never object about these stricter measures because I want my loved ones to be safe when they travel.
God has provided extreme security for His loved ones, too.When we truly accept Jesus as our Lord, it is forever.We are blessed with the everlasting love of God who will not hesitate to discipline His children to keep them from committing an unpardonable sin.We are blessed with the eternal security of the believer!
Eternal life by definition cannot be temporary.Jesus said,“Whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.” (John 5:24)One day as Jesus was walking through the temple area the Jews badgered Him to say whether He was really the Messiah or not.Jesus explained:“I havetold you but you wouldn’t listen.You won’t listen because you are not my sheep!”The next thing He said to them is really remarkable:
MY sheep LISTEN to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.I GIVE THEM ETERNAL LIFE, AND THEY NEVER PERISH; NO ONE CAN SNATCH THEM OUT OF MY HAND... NO ONE CAN SNATCH THEM OUT OF MY FATHER’S HAND!”(John 10:27-29)
It’s just like that, lights out. . . signed, sealed and delivered forever!If you are a true Christian the battle for your soul is over and the victor is Jesus Christ who has set you free.How may you be sure that you have received the eternal security of the believer?That’s simple.Jesus explained it like this:“If you HOLD to my teachings you are REALLY my disciples.Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”(John 8:31, 32)Since 911 we now have stricter security at almost every border crossing and every airport in our world.But there is no tighter security than that which God has provided in His Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior forever and ever!!
GospeLines Prayer:Hallelujah, Father!Grant that I will persevere in my faith.Thank you for reminding me that I possess a valid ticket and my eternity is secure; I shall fear no evil for You will comfort and protect me forever.Amen and amen.
In most religions these days, people provide penance and sacrifice to a “god” that does not pay much heed to them.Their god will not respond to their cry of need, yet still expects pious lifestyles from its devotees.Why does this god essentially ignore those that worship it?Because it is too busy trying to do this and that, it has no time for its devoted followers.
However, in Christ, we do not have religion, but relationship!Christ wishes to come in and dine with us, and we with Him! (Rev. 3:20)When we pray to Him, we know that He listens with love and care, and that He will respond to us in each situation. Not only this, but we know that He is always there, watching over us and placing His righteous hands of protection over us.
Even in a world of billions, we are able to maintain a one-on-one relationship with Him!We are able to feel His love and peace as we go to Him in worship, prayer and devotion.And not only these, but we know that we have been secured with the only passage to Heaven through the shedding of His blood, because He so loved us that He laid down His life to pay for our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness!
GospeLines Prayer:Father, we humbly thank You that You loved us so much that You sent Your Son, who willingly gave His life for our wrongdoing.We thank You that, during the process of running the world, You still find time for us.We pray for Your comfort and embrace as we live to glorify You in all that we do.Amen and Amen!
≈ Devotional for Wednesday, March 16, 2011
"Why Are Some Christians So Boring?"
“I’m bored!” announced my thirteen year old son loudly.We were only 7 hours into our 14 hour trip to Disney World.It was time for Dad to do something that would make things more entertaining.
So we played all the car games I had played when I was a kid in less than an hour, and Danny didn’t care about reading a book.With all the wisdom I could muster, I said “Project yourself into the future.Think about how much fun you will have tomorrow at Disney World.All the rides, the Disney characters you will see... Epcot Center!”
That didn’t work.So we were miserable for the next six hours.
Why is it so difficult to project into the future and be satisfied NOW because we anticipate the rewards that will come later?Many Christians have the same problem today.Why are so many Christians bored?Why are they behaving in such a boring manner?Why are churches so dull, behaving as though we have little to celebrate?
We aren’t satisfied with the here-and-now because we haven’t fully appreciated the reward that is going to be ours in the future!
Our world has spoiled us to thinking we have to be entertained and we’ve lost a lot of our ability to find fulfillment without some spectacular external stimulus.That unfulfilled need carries over to the church as well.In some places, worship has become a “production” in order to entice our entertainment addicted society to attend the services.And just when we think we’ve got it right, another church finds a new wrinkle that is just a little more glamorous than what we are doing so we rush to produce something else that is more exciting than our competitor.
Beloved, star-studded worship services aren’t going to solve the problem.Lloyd Ogilvie said in his book, Ask Him Anything, “The cutting edge of the gospel has been dulled with impersonal preaching and teaching.People’s deepest needs are unmet and what’s said and done is often irrelevant to the real issues of living in the real world.The great wonder is that we put up with it.”
In a message preached at Times Square Church, New York City, David
Wilkerson said, “In thousands of churches there is never any mention of sin, the Cross, sacrifice, judgment or hell.Godly watchmen aren’t allowed to speak, and there is no stirring of hearts.Instead, the whole focus is on success, with every sermon designed to make people feel good…
Think about all the prosperity preaching in the church today… This self-serving, get-rich gospel and the competitive church system that promotes it are now under the Ichabod anathema.It’s all cursed and dead, and soon we’ll see God do what He said He would do to Israel: 'I will make this house like Shiloh.'He’s going to cut down the money tree, and a great spoiling will follow.
All the hireling shepherds are going to face bankruptcy, and overnight their massive church programs will be gone.”
To the godly Christians seeking an authentic word from the Bible, church has become boring!There is something we can do about that.When a thirteen year old is bored while on a 14 hour car trip, I want to shout, “Grow up!”That same advice could be a part of the menu today!Think about this:
The reason for our boredom is that we bypass our real needs.Faith becomes dull when we do not allow Christ to indwell every fiber of our existence.
We have lost our excitement about spiritual things because we have forgotten to listen to what God is telling us.The mind that is alive to new Truth from God’s Word everyday won’t need any more excitement than that.
A bored Christian is usually not involved in deep fellowship with other believers.Ogilvie said, “Dullness is a sure sign that we are trying to go it alone.”
Faith becomes boring when we stop communicating to others about the love of the Lord.
Ask God to abide in you! Invite Him to take an inventory of every aspect of your life and give Him first place.Then you will become the exciting Christian God has called you to be!Amen and amen.
As creations of the Father, we all know that He loves us, but sometimes we forget just how much.When we fall, when we give into temptation, and when we feel like no one could love us, that’s when the Father loves us the most.
But even these lyrics need a little further explanation.All of these things that God created that fill us with wonder and awe, He loves us more than these.All of these creations that do nothing but praise Him and His majesty; He loves us more than these.The creations that do not have the ability to fall, to sin, to curse His name, to turn their back against Him, He loves us more than these.What more can be said of this undeserved favor?
GospeLines Prayer: “Father, thank you so much for loving us. Thank You for the gift of Your Son that we often forget and neglect. Thank You for the favor You show us above creation that cannot turn against You or sin. Thank You Father!!”Amen and amen.
≈ Devotional for Friday, March 18, 2011
"Walking On Water"
“Let me walk on the water, too!” Simon Peter yelled out to the Master as Jesus walked across the lake toward the frightened and bewildered disciples.
I have wondered why the Lord didn’t tell Simon to stay in the boat where it was safe. Instead, He invited him over the side of the boat, right into the stormy seas. What do you think the disciples were doing while Simon stuck his impetuous neck out and tried the impossible? Like many Christians today, they were probably standing at the side of the boat “encouraging” him - “Simon, get back in this boat before you drown!”
GospeLines Prayer:Dear God, I may not ever have enough faith to try the impossible. If not, at least help me to be a TRUE encourager to those with Simon-like faith. Amen and amen.