Around the age of eleven I accepted Jesus Christ, the one and only Son of the one true God, as my Lord and Saviour. Some of you have known me since then and before, and some of you have only known me a short while. To some of you this may have come as a surprise due to the fact that you have never heard my profession, or seen the evidence in my actions.
Today, I want you all to know that I am seeking to walk in the spirit and not in the flesh. I am not telling you this because I want any kind of “points” with God, or seeking anyone’s approval. I say this because I want to give glory to Jesus my Saviour. The Bible says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2: 8-9).
I also want you to know that God loves each and every one of you, and would have it that all would be saved. If you have a personal relationship with Jesus as your Saviour, that is awesome. If you do not know Jesus, or have been struggling with the issue, I urge you to talk to someone or make the choice today. Time in this world is short and all of the things within are only temporal.
A Psalm Of David.
1 LORD, I cry unto thee: make haste unto me; give ear unto my voice, when I cry unto thee. 2 Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. 3 Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. 4 Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties. 5 Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head: for yet my prayer also shall be in their calamities. 9 Keep me from the snares which they have laid for me, and the gins of the workers of iniquity. 10 Let the wicked fall into their own nets, whilst that I withal escape.
John 3:16-18 ~ For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Luke 2:8-14 ~ And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
If you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior, today is the day. If you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior, share him.
If you were like I was as a youngster it was easy to believe in a great deal of things that were not true. I.E. the “tooth fairy”,” Easter bunny”, “Santa Clause”; all of which were stories told to us by loving parents or guardians. I was sure that there were monsters under the bed and in the closet at night. I’m not sure who planted those things in my head, but shame on them. The point is, we were told something, we believed it, and that was that.
Later in life we began to ask why and we were told “because”; that was good enough for a while. Now as an adult, I myself do not believe a whole lot that I am told especially if it comes out of the mouth of a politician. The only thing that I can be sure of is the salvation of Christ.
Lately everywhere I turn there has been a message about belief. My pastor has been preaching about belief. There have been a number of television preachers on the subject of belief. My bible study this morning turned toward the subject of belief.
Being in ministry, I have observed that children have a greater belief than adults. When you tell a child that Jesus is the son of God and is the savior, they believe it. Several months back we had our vacation bible school. The fourth night was the message of salvation and the alter call. Seventeen children came forward and gave their lives to Christ. My wife and I started bringing our three year old nephew to church and just after a week he heard Jesus mentioned on the radio and shouted out “Jesus is Lord!”
As Christians we are taught that every word in the bible is true. If that is the case, why do we say amen to some things but skirt around others? Is it because we have grown older and the situations of this world have hardened us? Mark 10:13-15 gives us clear instruction.
And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. (Mark 10:13-15)
As we get closer to the day that we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, I ask you to think about your belief. The greatest gift we can give is to share our testimony of the gift Christ gave to us. So, I will leave you with this piece of scripture.
Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen. (Mark 16:14-20)
Today, while studying the word I was given the message of personal peace. Peace is one of the greatest gifts a personal relationship with Christ can bring.
In our daily lives we are constantly besieged with bad news from the media, family issues, health issues and many other cares of this world that can distract us from peace. We must remember that we live in a fallen, broken and decaying world. However, there is good news. If we seek diligently the word of God daily, we can overcome the oppressive and constrictive chains the enemy tries to lay upon us.
The first step in seeking peace is to pray. Psalm 55:17 gives this promise.
“Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.” Then Psalm 55:22 says this, “cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.”
Next, we must be willing to receive teaching. Psalm 25:4-5 “Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.”
Third, is to believe in faith. Psalm 145:18-19 gives a clear answer to those who will fear the Lord. “ The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them.”
Finally, we can find rest if we allow Jesus to be the Lord of our lives. Christ gave us this offer in Matthew 11:28-30.
“ Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 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. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
I encourage you all to begin a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. If you already have made that commitment and you find yourself suffering, now is the time to renew your relationship with him.