See You At The House

Well, I just arrived home from a dear friend’s house.  His father passed away about 7:30pm yesterday.  Anyone who knows Albert Ray Senior has been blessed.  He was a veteran.  Thank you for your service Brother Ray!  He is a wonderful husband.  He is a wonderful Daddy.  He is a wonderful Christian.

I know that I will miss him deeply.  His family will miss him even more.  Every time I walked in the door he would have a gracious smile and a warm handshake.  When his health began to fail my family and I purchased an electric throw for him to use as he sat in his chair. He warmed our hearts for many years and we wanted to warm him in return.

Yes, the tears of sadness and pain stream down our cheeks; especially Albert’s family.  We all have the calm assurance that Albert Ray is home with Jesus this evening.  He longed to see his dear wife Helen and many others who have gone on before him.  He most importantly wanted to see Jesus who loved him and gave Himself for Albert.

As I sit here and weep for my loss of a dear, sweet friend I must say, “Praise God!  Praise God!  Praise God!”  If you knew Albert then you know how often he said that and meant it.

Thank you Brother Albert Ray for your love and your outstanding Christian testimony.  It will not be long and we will all have the reunion we are looking for .

 

See you at the House my Brother!

Passion Week

As we are again today thinking about and reminded of that Resurrection Sunday is just a few days away my thoughts are still on the life and sufferings of Jesus.  He suffered at the hands of sinful men just like me.  They crucified Him, spit on Him, scourged Him and more.

The pain that I am thinking of today is the pain of betrayal.  We all know that Judas betrayed the LORD for thirty pieces of silver.  He sold the Sinless Son of God so cheaply.  Yet, as I think about this I think about my own life.  How many times have I sold my Saviour cheeply?  How many times have I sold Him for thirty pieces of silver, or less.

As my thoughts are still on the men in Gethsemane.  They sold their LORD for sleep.  Ouch!  How many times have I sold Him for sleep?  God forgive me!  Look with me at Matthew 26:41, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”  The word here is the same word we looked at yesterday.  It means to stay awake.  We must stay vigilant in prayer and we must stay awake.  The word “pray” means to make supplication for someone.  Jesus had asked His closest men to go to the garden with Him in His darkest hour.  He asked them (commanded them) to watch and pray: but, they fell asleep.  They did this not once; but, three times only to be awakened by the soldiers coming to take Jesus away.  How they let the Saviour down.  I fear that we are no different.

So, how are you doing?

I Just Want To Die!

Life can sometimes creep in on a person.  Somethings life can come in like a flood.  No matter where you find yourself in life there has been someone else that has walked this path before you walked it.  Sometimes we feel alone and isolated then the devil comes and tries to whisper lies into our ears.  Why would he do this?  He hates you and I.  Most of all he hates our God and His Son Jesus.

Suicide is unfortunately too common.  It has; unfortunately, touched my extended family.  God has used it powerfully in their lives.  These precious saints of God are flourishing with the Lord’s help for sure.

I have heard similar statements as our title today coming from more than one Christian.  It is usually been spoken from their bed of sickness.  There usually has been some diagnosis that seems to the person to be incurable.  The problem is that this discounts the healing power of God.  He is a God of healing.

I have heard some solid Christians make this statement too.  They make this statement in the context of I Corinthians 15:31, “I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.”  Mature Christians know the truth and importance of the last three words of this verse, “I die daily”.

As we are exposed to sin and temptation we must realize that we are dead to sin.  We must not resurrect the flesh and yield to sin.  I know this is easy to sit and type it into a blog such as this; but, it is the truth.  If the Apostle Paul said that he needed to die daily, then what makes you think that you do not need to also?

So, how are you doing?

Preparation

The other evening as I was looking over social media I came across a beautiful picture from a cemetery taken by my friend Rad Drew (www.RadDrewPhotography.com).  The picture is of a grave from circa 1875 and it has this quote with it.

Remember reader as you pass by,
As you are now so once was I.
As I am now so you will be.
Prepare for death and follow me.

— Unknown author from a gravestone, circa 1875.

There is a lot of Biblical counsel in that little poem.  The truth remains that 1 out of 1 will die.  The only exception will be if Jesus returns and takes His children to Heaven.

I want to ask you a question.  Are you prepared to step out into eternity?  Have you made preparation?

If you have not made preparation you need to do that.  You must realize that you are a sinner.  Romans 3:23 tells us that we are all sinners.  Because we are sinners we are separated from God.  Romans 6:23 tells us, “the wages of sin is death;”  This death will be eternal separation from God.  That is the bad news.  The good news is in the second part of that verse in Romans 6:23, “…but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our LORD.”  All a person has to do is to acknowledge to God that they are a sinner and need a Saviour.  We must confess that to God calling upon Him in prayer.  We must be sorry for our sin and tell Him that.  Then when we acknowledge that and tell Him that and ask Him to save us, He will.

If you would like to know Jesus Christ as your Saviour, please contact me as I would love to show you how.

So, how are you doing?

Consider Him 9

There is a symbol that is central to the Christian faith.  That is the cross.  If it were not for the cross then there would be no salvation.  Jesus was crucified according to the Scriptures.  This fulfillment proves the truth of Scripture.  Too many people want to doubt the Bible.  You can doubt the Bible; but, rest assured that one day you will be judged by the Bible.

There is a central theme all through Scripture.  That theme is redemption.  Let’s take a look today at the thought of “Consider Him in His Cross”.  We have come to a place in our world where people don’t want to take responsibility for anything.  We have more excuses that there are stars in the heavens.

Jesus has exhorted us to “take up our cross” (Mark 10:21).  Nobody wants to bear their own cross.  Jesus bore His own cross.  He endured the pain, suffering and shame of the cross.  We do not want to bear our cross.  It is not pleasant.  The cross means certain death.  Nobody wants to die for sure.  Yet, if we will die to self then we can have life more abundant.

Jesus endured the cross so that you and I would not have to endure it.  Thank God for the cross!  Consider today how much Jesus loved you and I do go to the cross and endure it to the end.

So, how are you doing?

Matthew 27:32, “And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross.”

The Gospel

Christians are always going around talking about “The Gospel”.  So, what is it?  Look at what Paul says in I Corinthians 15:1, “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;”  The gospel is so important that the Apostle Paul does not want people he knows to be ignorant of it.  So he goes on to tell us what the gospel is.

First of all the gospel is the death of Jesus Christ.  Look at I Corinthians 15:3, “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;”  Sin demands payment.  Our sin demands a payment.  That payment must be perfect.  The only One who could die to pay that debt was Jesus Christ.  I love Paul’s words at the end of this verse where he says, “according to the scriptures;”.  He is telling us that we have God’s word on the truth of the gospel.  The world has seen religious leaders come and go; but, none were ever like Jesus Christ.  You can find the bones of those others; but, you will never find the remains of Jesus.  He died; but, that is only the first part of the gospel.  You must believe that Jesus died; and, that He died for you and your sin.

Secondly the gospel is the burial of Jesus Christ.  Look at I Corinthians 15:4, “And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”  Jesus literally died and was buried.  He was buried in a borrowed tomb.  All this was done according to the Word of God.  We could say that he only borrowed a tomb because He would only need it for three days.  Again, you must believe that Jesus was buried on your behalf.  He died as the Sinless Sacrifice for your and my sin.  Because He died, He was buried.

Thirdly the gospel is the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Again, look at I Corinthians 15:4, “And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”.  The phrase “rose again” means to awaken from death.  Again, He did not stay in the grave.  He got up (resurrected); thus, conquering death, hell and the grave.  It is the gospel of Jesus Christ.

That is the gospel of Jesus Christ according to the Word of God.  Here is the thing.  You have now been shown the gospel.  It is up to you what you do with it.  You can either put your faith and trust in Jesus for salvation or you can once again reject Him.  If you do not trust Christ as your Saviour then you sentence yourself to eternity in hell.  The choice is your’s to make.

So, how are you doing?

See You At The House

While watching one of the Gaither Gospel videos on Heaven one man spoke of his father.  I cannot at this writing recall either name.  He told of how his father would extend salutations to people by saying, “See you at the House.”  His meaning was that he would see that person in Heaven at the end of life.

Well, within the past few short days life has seen two sweet souls depart for Heaven.  One of those dear loved ones is the daughter of Dr. Michael Johnston.  Dr. Mike posted the following on his facebook page, “This note is for all my friends who are not aware, our precious 40 year old daughter Tara lost her 20 year struggle with diabetes and went to be with Jesus September 15, 2014. ”  Please pray for this family.

Then yesterday I received a phone call telling of the home going of Rev. Ed Phillips.  He formerly Pastored the Harmony Baptist Church in Avon, IN before my friend Dr. Jon Lillly took the Pastorate.  Please pray for the Phillips family.  Brother Phillips touched many lives that I call friends  and some I call family.  He will be deeply missed.

Here is a thought for today.  If you came to the end of your life today would you spend eternity in Heaven or hell?  Don’t be too quick to answer.  I suggest you consult with Jesus Christ and see if your name is written in His book.

So, how are you doing?

Three To Make Ready

As I look around it seems to me that service is a lost art today.  Most everyone wants to be waited upon and almost nobody wants to wait on anyone else.  This is sad; but, it has crept into the Church too.  I mean, Jesus Himself put on a towel and washed dirty feet.  Gross!  Why would the King of kings and LORD of lords do such a thing?  He was setting an example for those then, us now and those in the future.  This was the right thing to do.  When someone came to your house they probably walked and with sandals their feet would get extremely dirty.  It was a custom to have water and towels for these dirty feet to be cleaned before entry into the home.

This example of service was also seen in Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome.  They knew of Jesus death and they went to the tomb with burial spices and oil to anoint Jesus.  This was just the right thing to do.  However, Jesus’ death and burial were different.  He only intended to use the grave for a short time and then leave for another to use.

Out of love and respect for Jesus these three women came to prepare Jesus’ mortal body.  Look at Mark 16:1, “And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.”

What they found was something far different.  Jesus was gone.  He was alive and risen from the dead.  He had conquered death, hell and the grave.  Amen!  If you will trust Him today you can have eternal salvation and the fear of death can leave you forever.

So, how are you doing?

See You At The House

Yesterday I received the news that someone that has known me since I was born has passed away.  June Weed will always stand out in my mind.  She was a member of the Church where I grew up.  I remember going to school with her children.  I have many pleasant memories.  Today June entered Heaven and is no longer fighting the battle of this life against cancer.  Praise the LORD!  Pray for her dear family.

I also received an e-mail that Pastor Joe Dayhuff went home to be with his LORD.  I don’t know Pastor Dayhuff personally; but, close friends of mine tell what a man he is.  Because he is God’s man I want to honor he and his family.  Pray for this family and their Church family.  This will be bitter/sweet for all involved.

I am reminded of two passages of Scripture as I think on these saints gone to their reward.  Psalm 116:15, “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.”  I also think of is II Corinthians 5:8, “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”

See you both at the House!

So, how are you doing?

Safari Wisdom 2

As we watched Dr. Charles Stanley the other night I was in awe of his photography to say the least.  He is an amazing artist!  I was equally blessed by the wisdom he shared from his time in Africa.

Dr. Stanley shared what he saw one day on his trip.  He watched a mother cheetah was training a couple youngsters.  They had gotten a young gazelle separated from it’s mother.  They were running the young gazelle back and forth in sport wearing it down.  Suddenly the mother cheetah made some kind of noise and her youngsters ended the pursuit and the young gazelle became their next meal.  All the while the mother gazelle watched from a safe distance while this all played out in front of her.

Yes, I know this is life.  I am not bothered by it one bet.  I; like Dr. Stanley, want to take some wisdom from this real life event.  There is real truth to be found here.  For one thing we must be careful when we get separated because the enemy will have a greater chance of taking us.  Look at Psalm 7:2, “Lest he tear my soul like a lion, rending it in pieces, while there is none to deliver.”  Yes, this is the goal of the enemy of your soul.  He wants to separate you from the people that make up the Church because you are more vulnerable that way.  There are a vast amount of truths here that time will not permit.  Take some time and ponder this.

So, how are you doing?