Fully Committed

Matthew 4:19 And (Jesus) saith unto them, Follow me…

This morning our associate pastor, Bro. Adam Bowen, preached a message on Peter’s actions leading up to and following his betrayal of Christ. It has been on my mind all day and I wanted to share some of what I got from it with you.

Jesus told Peter after he was “converted” he was to “strengthen thy brethren” (Luke 23:32). The way this word is used in the text isn’t what we think of today as being converted: becoming a Christian. It meant fully given over to love and obey God, or fully committed. As we know, Peter certainly went on to be fully committed to God and He did great things through Peter.

Do you ever wonder why the church isn’t full? Why people are not being saved? Why prayers seem to go unheard? I think the answer is the same to us today as it was to Peter some 2000 years ago; our people aren’t fully committed to love and obey God.

Do you have areas in your life that aren’t fully committed and submitted to God? If we are honest with ourselves the answer has to be yes. We all get a little slack, a little weak or weary from time to time. It’s so important that we listen to the Spirit’s voice and admit it when this happens. The sooner we do, the quicker we can get that area back into God’s will by fully committing and submitting to Him. Just think of what the Church could accomplish if all of God’s children would fully commit!

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The Choice

A man shared the Gospel with two young ladies.  When he finished he asked the first girl if she would like to pray and receive Jesus as her Savior; she said yes. After they prayed, he then asked the second girl the same question; she replied that she wasn’t ready to make that choice.

That young lady may not have realized it but she had made her choice; to reject Jesus. There’s no middle ground, no gray area in this matter; it’s completely black and white, crystal clear. If your answer to Christ is anything other than yes, you are rejecting Him and saying no to His grace. It can’t be worded much simpler than that.

Luke 11:23 He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.

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Eyewitness Account

Eyewitness Account

We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty (2 Peter 1:16).

Scripture: 2 Peter 1:16-21

I witnessed it, watching in horror as a pick-up truck veered out of its lane and smashed into a friend’s car. Thankfully, no one was seriously injured. The truck’s driver tried to deny his responsibility, but the police were quite interested in my firsthand, eyewitness account.

The apostles were eyewitnesses too. How wonderful to walk with Jesus, to dine with Him, to hear Him teach. They witnessed His miracles; they heard the voice of the Father affirming Jesus as His Son. They even saw Jesus raised to life, and then ascending to Heaven.

We encounter difficult days when our faith may be tested. We may begin to doubt in the darkness what seemed so sure in the light. It’s then that we can return to the beginning point of faith-to the clear, firsthand accounts of those who were with Jesus. After all, you just can’t argue with an eyewitness. Let Christ shine in your heart, no matter how dark your days may seem.

Father, thank You for the faithful witness of those who were with Jesus. May their testimony be a constant source of strength and faith for me. In the name of Jesus, my Savior, I pray. Amen.

(Dan Nicksich is the senior minister of First Christian Church in Somerset, Pennsylvania.)

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Spurgeon Nugget

“And ye shall be witnesses unto Me.”-Acts 1:8

In order to learn how to discharge your duty as a witness for Christ, look at His example. He is always witnessing: by the well of Samaria, or in the Temple of Jerusalem: by the lake of Gennesaret, or on the mountain’s brow. He is witnessing night and day; His mighty prayers are as vocal to God as His daily services. He witnesses under all circumstances; Scribes and Pharisees cannot shut His mouth; even before Pilate He witnesses a good confession. He witnesses so clearly, and distinctly that there is no mistake in Him. Christian, make your life a clear testimony. Be you as the brook wherein you may see every stone at the bottom-not as the muddy creek, of which you only see the surface-but clear and transparent, so that your heart’s love to God and man may be visible to all. You need not say, “I am true:” be true. Boast not of integrity, but be upright. So shall your testimony be such that men cannot help seeing it. Never, for fear of feeble man, restrain your witness. Your lips have been warmed with a coal from off the altar; let them speak as like heaven-touched lips should do. “In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand.” Watch not the clouds, consult not the wind-in season and out of season witness for the Saviour, and if it shall come to pass that for Christ’s sake and the gospel’s you shall endure suffering in any shape, shrink not, but rejoice in the honour thus conferred upon you, that you are counted worthy to suffer with your Lord; and joy also in this-that your sufferings, your losses, and persecutions shall make you a platform, from which the more vigorously and with greater power you shall witness for Christ Jesus. Study your great Exemplar, and be filled with His Spirit. Remember that you need much teaching, much upholding, much grace, and much humility, if your witnessing is to be to your Master’s glory.

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A Sad Thought

This evening I called my great-uncle. He is about 84 now I think and is suffering from some of the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s. I have not know this man but a couple of years; it’s a long story but suffice it to say God brought us together in His time for the reason He saw fit.

He and his daughter have hinted at this diagnosis for a while but I hadn’t seen any evidence of it until this evening. I know for certain now that he is slipping some.  It is such a sad thing to see; only a year ago he seemed to me sharp as a tack.  But I suppose, not being around him that much I might not have picked up on it as much as his daughter did.

We have spoken about the things of God in the past; about a year ago his wife of 50-plus years died and I think that set him to thinking on Eternity.  He was, at that time, going to church again a little, when he could get a ride without putting anyone out of their way.  He told me during one of our talks that he was new to the religion thing and was taking it slowly.  I thought, “At your age I’d be running to catch up!”  But I didn’t say that to him.

Now I wonder, has he taken Jesus as his personal Savior?  Will he, if he hasn’t, make the commitment to Him while his mind still allows rational thinking?  Could I have done more to sow the seed to him?  Or would I have made it a worse situation by trying too hard?  So many questions and so many things to consider.  Guidance is what I am praying for in this situation.  It could well be that God brought us together so that I might plant the seed of faith in him and he be saved before it is too late.  I don’t know that for certain but it has a feel of it to me.

So if you think of it, remember me and my great-uncle in your prayers.  That I would have the right things to say, at the right time to him and that he will be open to them.  I reckon that the rest is between him and God.

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Hope and Change

Several months ago I wrote a piece called Change and Hope.  It references society’s desire and definition of these concepts.  I then explain what they mean to me and how Jesus is my Hope.  It was published today online and may be read here: http://relijournal.com/christianity/change-and-hope/.  I hope you enjoy it.

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The Reason for Singing

A classic from the Prince of Preachers:

The Reason for Singing

The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)

What a word is this! Jehovah God in the center of His people in all the majesty of His power! This presence alone suffices to inspire us with peace and hope. Treasures of boundless might are stored in our Jehovah, and He dwells in His church; therefore may His people shout for joy.

We not only have His presence, but He is engaged upon His choice work of salvation. “He will save.” He is always saving: He takes His name of Jesus from it. Let us not fear any danger, for He is mighty to save.

Nor is this all. He abides evermore the same, He saves, He finds rest in loving, He will not cease to love. His love gives Him joy. He even finds a theme for song in His beloved. This is exceedingly wonderful. When God wrought creation He did not sing but simply said, “It is very good”; but when He came to redemption, then the sacred Trinity felt a joy to be expressed in song. Think of it, and be astonished! Jehovah Jesus sings a marriage song over His chosen bride. She is to Him His love, His joy, His rest, His song. O Lord Jesus, by Thine immeasurable love to us teach us to love Thee, to rejoice in Thee, and to sing unto Thee our life-psalm. – C.H. Spurgeon

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