Welcome To The Christian Journeyman!

Welcome To The Christian Journeyman!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Is Jesus Your Savior?

"And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” 
(Acts 4:12) Following the healing of the lame man, Peter and John went through a grueling experience with the religious authorities. They demanded to know this: "By what power or by what name have you done this?" (Acts 4:7) Peter tells them clearly and confidently that it is in the name of Jesus Christ that they ministered to this lame man, and preach the resurrection of the dead through Jesus Christ. Peter took the opportunity to declare Jesus as Savior to the people that day.
The message we preach today is the same. "There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12b) The message has been given, but now the responsibility lies upon the person who received the message, to respond to it. To accept Jesus Christ as Savior. My question to you is: Have you done so? Have you claimed Jesus Christ as your Savior? The Son of God is a gift from God, given to all men and women in order to be saved, and to have the wonderful eternal blessings that God wants them to have. What is required is faith. What is needed is for one to reach out and accept that gift. If you haven't, will you do so today? Jesus is your gift, for all eternity! GP

Friday, September 22, 2017

Who Is Running Your Life?

"I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me." 

(Galatians 2:20) 

What would you say to someone who wanted to run your life? There may be some who would summit to someone taking control of their life. But I would say, that most people would resent someone trying to take control.

There are those exceptions when someone gets old, and is not able to take care of themselves, Then it falls on a family member, or even a close friend, to provide the care necessary.

In our text, the Apostle Paul states clearly that Jesus Christ is in control of His life. The life that he lives in the flesh is not in his control, but in the control of Jesus Christ. He is in the driver's seat now; and Paul is very glad of that. We as Christians should be glad of that as well.

If there is one thing I can say about me directing my life. I have no idea what I am doing. The decisions I have made, have been a disaster.
What I should have done, is allowed the Lord to direct me, through His Word, and His providence. In so doing, things would have gone a whole lot better.

As Christians, the Lord should come first, and His will for our lives should come first. When they don't, we are headed to certain disaster. The Lord knows what is best for us. We need to let Him run our lives, so we can experience the best that He has to offer! GP

Photo: Pixabay.com

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Carry Me!

"You saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a man carries his son." (Deuteronomy 1:31) 

Kelsey’s daddy was reading to her, just as he did nearly every night before she went to sleep. She had picked the zoo book, and to her active imagination it was as if she and Daddy were there. She looked happily at the pages with the giraffes, zebras, and elephants. But when they got to the page with the grizzly bears, she said, “You would have to carry me.” She said the same thing when she saw the gorillas on the next page. Curious, her dad asked her why he would have to carry her. “Because I’d be scared,” came her straightforward reply. (Our Daily Bread 2/24/2000) 

There are times when life scares me. So much so, that I feel like crying out to the Lord, "Lord Jesus, please carry me!" If there is one thing that I have learned in the times of trouble in my life, is that I can never take life on by myself. There are times when I need to be carried.

There is a poem that I have read at the end of one of my sermons entitled: "Footprints In The Sand" And that line where the Lord answers this troubled one concerning His presence during the trial: "When you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you."

If you are troubled today, know this! You are loved by the Lord Jesus Christ. He wants to be your Savior, your deliverer, your shepherd, and the one who will carry you, when life gets to be more than what you can handle! GP

 Photo: 5712495 / 41 images - CCO Creative Commoms - Free for commercial use - No attribution required - www.pixabay.com

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Challenge Of Change

"So the Lord said to him, "Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul Of Tarsus, for behold he is praying." 
(Acts 9:11)

 Can someone who is so steeped in worldliness and sin, ever change?
If so, what will bring about this change?

 Saul of Tarsus is a prime example of someone who was so engaged in worldly pursuits, that you would think that nothing was going to change his lifestyle. He was very educated, and one who was zealous to please his peers in the work he was called to do. He was a very treacherous man, to the Christian community.
The stoning of Stephen in (Acts 7) is a good example.

Luke describes Saul's zeal in putting an end to the Christian movement: "Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord. went to the high priest." (Acts 9:1) You could say that it was a dynamic change as the Lord met Saul on the road to Damascus, and in essence, knocked him upside the head. You can read of Saul's conversion in (Acts 9:1-19).

The question that I have is: What does it take to bring change to people who are gripped by selfishness and sin? I believe that the Lord Jesus Christ will bring about change, if there is an open heart. And yes, it may take a severe situation, to pry open a tight heart to change.

There are always changes that we need to make in our lives. No one is perfect. We are all buildings under construction. But the best decision a person can ever make, is to allow Jesus Christ to be Savior, and king of their lives. When that happens, you can count on the fact, that there will be change, and it will be for good! GP

 Maialisa / 533 images - CCO Public Domain - Free for commercial use - No attribution required - www.pixabay.com

Friday, September 15, 2017

A Message We Need To Share!

"For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." (1 Corinthians 1:17-18) 

If there was ever a person who knew what his calling was, it was the Apostle Paul. God had called him to bring the message of the Gospel to the Gentiles. (Acts 9:15)

Here in our text Paul prioritizes his work for the Lord. Christ did not send him to baptize, but to preach the Gospel.
Paul is not minimizing the importance of baptism, but is saying that his main role in Christian service, was to preach. And not with wise persuasive words, but with straight talk about the cross of Jesus Christ.

It was at the cross of Calvary where Jesus died, shedding His blood to pay for our sin debt. And if we place ourselves under the covering of the blood of Christ, God's forgiveness, and cleansing for sin, is ours.
But to those who were perishing, this message of the Gospel was a joke.
To the Jews it was a stumbling block, because they looked for miraculous signs. The Greeks emphasized wisdom, and the cross made no sense to them from a human standpoint.

But to Paul, and all those who believed in what Jesus accomplished on the cross, it was the power of God to change lives, and give people eternal hope. It is at the cross where salvation is available.
No other place.

It is urgent that we speak about one placing their heart and soul, under the covering of the blood of Jesus. We must repent of sin, and be baptized for the remission of our sins, and to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38)

While there is still time, we need to share this message.
Too many lives have been eternally ruined, because they did not really hear it. GP

Photo: Freedigitial photos.net

Thursday, September 14, 2017

A Message We Need To Hear!

"So Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation." (Hebrews 9:28) 

*"The blood that purchased your eternal redemption came not from unwilling animals, but from the Son of God who willingly laid down His life for you. (John 10:14-18) The spotless lamb of God had to die only once; the sacrifice need not be repeated. Have you trusted that blood to save you?"

That is a good question. What is your response to it? "What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus!" You don't hear this preached from a lot of pulpits anymore.

*"We are living in a day when the message of the church is changing. Churches, and even whole denominations, are moving away from the old message of salvation through the blood of Jesus, and are moving toward a message of salvation through social activism and good works. The old bloody message of the cross is quickly being replaced by a bloodless message that lacks power and that lacks hope. Instead of hearing the devastating, but life changing news that men are sinners, people hear a message that tells them, "I'm OK and you're OK!"

According to the Bible, apart from the saving provision and power of the blood of Jesus Christ, shed on the cross for us, we are far from being OK! Apart from the sacrifice that Jesus made for us, we are in the serious position of paying for our sins, and being placed in the fires of hell forever. Jesus is our sacrifice, given to us by a loving God, who by no means wants us to perish.

So again the question is asked: Have you trusted the blood of Jesus to save you? If you haven't, you need to place yourself under it today. (Acts 2:38) GP

* Warren Wiersbe
* Alan Carr

Photo: Free Digital Photos . net

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Salvation Belongs To The Lord

"Salvation belongs to the Lord. Your blessing is upon Your people." (Psalm 3:8)

 I am inspired by the work of God's creative hands. How magnificent is His creation. Even with the mighty hurricanes that have leashed such dynamic blows, I respect an awesome power that reflects God omnipotence.

But an even greater wonder to me, is the salvation that God brought to man-kind. God's creative hand is wonderful, but His gracious heart is even more amazing. How He could love us who stand in rebellion and disobedience to His will for our lives, is beyond comprehension.

Yes as the old hymn says: It was "Amazing Grace"" that saved a wretch like me!" As John 3:16 says: "God wants the world to be saved. So much so, that "He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him, should not perish  but have everlasting life."

It is bold to say, that this is who God is. This is what He is all about.
He wants the world to be saved (that includes you and I) If you have never accepted God's gift of salvation to you, it is here, right now, to be received, and lived out to eternity.

In Jesus we walk in newness of life, and and we walk in joy, peace, and hope. I wonder, do you have these things today? Are you walking in a dark uncertainty? Are you walking in sorrow and despair?

It is true that we don't know about tomorrow. But Jesus does.
Wouldn't it be better to have Him leading the way, than for us to be our own blind guides?

Salvation belongs to the Lord, and it is for us! Not just for now, but forever! Why not receive it today! GP

 Photo: Marselmajid / 46 images - CCO Creative Commons - Free for commercial use - No attribution required - www.pixabay.com

Monday, September 11, 2017

When Jesus Is First

"Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love." 
(Revelation 2:4)

"There is so much good in this church (of Ephesus) that we are surprised to discover they had left (not lost) their first love. 
The honeymoon was over (Jeremiah 2:2)! 
No amount of separation, sacrifice, or service can make up for your lack of love toward the Lord." 
(Warren W. Wiersbe With The Word A Devotional) Commentary P. 847)

Everything that is successful in the Christian life, stems from our love for the Lord. It begins there. And if we love the Lord with all of our heart, no matter what the circumstances are, or the people that we are dealing with, we will obey the Lord in all things.

In the Christian life, there is too much focus on self. We can get really busy on programs and activities, that we forsake our time to fellowship with the Lord, and give Him the worship He deserves.

Or we can constantly complain about our circumstances, and what the Lord has called us to do, that we drag our feet, and become ineffective in our ministry for Him. Putting attention on ourselves instead of loving the Lord, and putting Him first, can have devastating results.

In the Christian life, it does not begin with the work, it begins with a relationship with Jesus Christ. From that mutual loving relationship there will come a most dynamic and effective ministry.

Let's love the Lord First and foremost, and let Him lead the way, to a successful ministry for Him! GP
Photo: Dreamstime.com

Friday, September 8, 2017

Abounding In The Work

"Therefore my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord." 
(1 Corinthians 15:58) 

While visiting my family in Wisconsin, my brother-in-law, shared something with me, that I have not forgotten. He said: "When a pastor, and the people, are out there visiting, and sharing the Gospel, involved in the work of ministry, the church is going to do well. The Lord will bless the church. The spiritual health of the church will be good, finances will be good, things will be very productive."

 I truly believe that what he said is true. And this agrees with what the Apostle Paul said in out text. No matter what the trying circumstances are; if we are steadfast, immovable in our faith and commitment, always abounding in the work of the Lord, it is going to bring about God's richest blessings, for the church, and for the Kingdom of God.

Whatever we do, it will not be in vain, because the Lord will bless us for our faithfulness. When things get tough, one feels like putting their head in the sand, and just going along for the ride. We should never do that. We serve an awesome God, who has the power to do great things through us.

We need to always abound in the work of the Lord, and in so doing see the work abound for the Kingdom of God! GP

 Photo: geralt / 15413 images - CCO Creative Commons - Free for commercial use - No attribution required - www.pixabay.com

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Don't Worry, Trust God

Our daughter was born when we were serving a small church in Lucerne, Missouri. She was born during a snow storm and we were in a truck following a snow plow. A snow plow was coming from the other direction as well. One of the plows got stuck and we were wondering if we would make it to the hospital in time! We did and Tracy arrived safely.

All of our worrying was in vain because God was watching over us. Matthew 6:27 says that no one can add even a single hour to his life by worrying.

God is in control. All we have to do is trust Him. LP

 Photo: skeeze /11321 images - CCO Creative Commons - Free for commercial use - No attribution required - www.pixabay.com

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Our Part

"Or ministry, let us use it in our ministering..." (Romans 12:7a)

 If we could sum up in one phrase what the purpose of the Church is; I would say that the purpose of Christ's church is to "meet needs." The greatest need of all is for the world to accept God's Son as Savior and Lord. And we as members of Christ's church are to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, every opportunity that comes our way.

But along with meeting this need, there are many needs (that people around us have) both in the church, and in the world. We are to do our part, in using our gift of ministry, to help to meet those needs on behalf of Jesus Christ.

It's more than just coming to church on Sunday, and putting money in the offering plate. Those are important actions, but there is more to it than that. When there are people in need, due to the hurricane storms that have hit lately, we hear of churches, and Christian relief organizations going to the rescue. One would think, if I could, I would go and join the relief effort. wherever the need is.

But if we look around, right where we are, we would find people who are going through difficult times, and are in need of help. God can use us, right where we are. If we all did our part in ministering to people's needs, what a difference we would make in our community, and especially for the Kingdom of God. If we have the gift of ministry, let's not sit on it, let use it, for God's Kingdom, and His glory! GP

 Photo: lalesh aldarwish / 21 photos - CCO License - Free for personal and commercial use - No attribution required - www.pexels.com

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The Garment Of Love

"But above all these things, put on love, which is the bond of perfection." (Colossians 3:14) 

Lately, before I go out in the mornings, I check the thermometer, to see how cool it is out. Right now, it is consistently becoming jacket weather. And it won't be long, and it will be winter coat weather.

 In my Christian walk, I have been convicted by the Holy Spirit to put on the most important spiritual garment there is. And that is the "garment of love." I am guilty, and many are, for wearing garments of selfishness, and severe criticism.

Instead of having the mind of Christ, and thinking about how I should love others, I constantly thought about how my needs were never getting met, and how badly people were treating me.

If we have the mind of Christ, we are to meet the negative attitudes and actions that people display, by wearing the "garment of love". We are to meet hostility and criticism with patience, forgiveness, and love.

The cold weather during the winter months can be brutal to endure. But we endure it, by wearing the right clothing. The warm "garment of love" will help us to endure the cold negative environment we walk in.

Love can be compared to the heat a wood stove gives off, on a very cold day. Love has such a productive and permeating effect, that it can powerfully change cold negative attitudes and actions.

Read v.12, and take love and tie all of those attributes together. You will be surprised at what this spiritual wardrobe will be able to accomplish! GP

 Photo: Brigitte Tohm / 137 photos - CCO License - Free for personal and commercial use - No attribution required - www.pexels.com