Friday, April 19, 2013

Who Will Follow Jesus!

Who Will Follow Jesus?

Who will follow Jesus,
Who will make reply,
I am on the Lord’s side;
Master, here am I?
I will follow Jesus,
I will make reply,
I am on the Lord’s side!
Master, here am I!

* Preview. Some of our preachers proudly say: "I am not a Campbellite." Well, I am not either. I am just a Christian. Campbell lived in a different world, stressed by the French & Indian War, the War of 1812, and under frontier conditions. But I respect his memory and the things he did and taught. As he did, I strive to read the Bible to learn what it really says, not to prove what I already believe. I work for unity among those who believe in Jesus. And I believe that God really does forgive sins in and through Jesus! Whosoever will may come and drink of the water of life freely. Rev. 22:17.

"Then Peter began to say to Him, 'See, we have left all and followed You.' So Jesus answered and said, 'Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children and lands, for My sake and the gospel's, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time - houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions - and in the age to come, eternal life.'" Mark 10:28-30

We all gain new brothers, sisters, fathers, and mothers through our new relationship in Christ! God will bless us in this present world, as well as in eternity! [Jesus also gives the warning not to make the reward the goal. Those who try to make themselves first, will finish last! Christ’s church is just the opposite from the world. Compare Luke 22:24-27.]

"Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God." Eph. 2:19-22

1. Standing for the right. "But he (Stephen), being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and said, 'Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!'" Acts 7:55-56

a) Jesus has been raised to glory on the cross. He has won the victory of the resurrection. When Jesus comes at the End of the World, He will judge all the nations.

b) We honor Jesus by standing up for Him in all that we do and say. We allow the light of truth to shine in us!

2. Holding up His banner.

a) David spoke to Israel: "We will rejoice in your salvation, And in the name of our God we will set up our banners! May the LORD fulfill all your petitions. Now I know that the LORD saves His anointed; He will answer him from His holy heaven With the saving strength of His right hand." Psalm 20:5-6

b) We announce to all that Jesus Saves! We make Him the Lord of our lives and we do all we can to carry out His mission of salvation. He has put into the hands of each one of us the work of "fighting the good fight, running the full distance of the race of life, and keeping the faith by being true to our promises to Him."

3. Listening to His orders.

"Then Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said, 'Men of Israel, and you who fear God, listen...' 'Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins...'" Acts 13:16,38

a) Matt. 28:19-20 "And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen."

Make disciples to Jesus the Christ.

Baptizing them into Christ.

> forgiveness of sins

> gift of the Holy Spirit

Teaching them to obey His commandments.

4. Serving Him today.

"...but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free." Eph 6:6-8

For each one of us, Christian living is service to Christ. As we do good to all, we are doing it to Him by proxy.

Five Ways to Prove God's Love

5 Ways To Prove That God Is Not Mad At Us

Satan is a liar who works to destroy us, spreading hoaxes and falsehoods. Satan says that God hates us.

"Many people - Christians included - see God as an angry God just waiting to crush us. It is time to show the truth about the loving Father who is eager to bless us." Schatzline

The Old Testament constantly tells us the importance of remembering who we are, where we're from, and how God has helped us. This can help us trust God more today and tomorrow.

"Say to them: 'As I live,' says the Lord God, 'I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?'" Ezekiel 33:11

"For this is like the waters of Noah to Me; For as I have sworn
That the waters of Noah would no longer cover the earth, So have I sworn That I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you. For the mountains shall depart And the hills be removed, But My kindness shall not depart from you, Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed," Says the Lord, who has mercy on you." Isaiah 54:9-10

"When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, "Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life." Acts 11:18

1. When disaster strikes, God wants us to run TO Him, not away from Him.

"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matt 11:28

"Then his wife said to him, "Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!" But he said to her, "You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?" In all this Job did not sin with his lips." Job 2:9-10

"Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him. Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him. He also shall be my salvation, For a hypocrite could not come before Him." Job 13:15-16

2. God never stops loving us.

"For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39

3. God created each one of us for a purpose.

"And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, 'For we are also His offspring.'" Acts 17:26-28

4. God gave His Son as a sacrifice to cover our sins.

"For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit." Romans 8:3-4

5. God has prepared a mansion for us.

"Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also." John 14:1-3

"God isn’t mad at you. He wants to spend eternity with you. Would you want to live forever with someone you were mad at? God doesn’t either." Schatzline

God gives us His grace. He gave us this grace so we could understand the power of being redeemed. He gave us His grace so we can spend the rest of eternity - starting today - living with Him and enjoying Him.

"For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works." Titus 2:11-14