Holiday Springboard

Matthew 3:17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Do you get irritated by people saying Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas? Does it make you really want to bring to their attention that the holiday is all about Christ, thus the name Christmas? It does me. And judging from the number of emails circulating and other movements to keep Christmas, well, Christmas I’d say it does you, too.

Here’s a “springboard” for you to do that very thing. Do you know the origin of the word holiday? Let me share it with you: “Middle English, from Old English hāligdæg, from hālig holy + dæg day”
So, holiday actually means holy day. Explaining this definition to the “holiday” greeter is the perfect way for us to bring Jesus and the true meaning of Christmas out. It’s not too often that folks give you such an open opportunity to share your faith, is it? Don’t let a single opportunity slip by you this Holy Day season!

Amp’d Up and Ready to Go!

In a little while I’ll be leaving out for a local event (Amp’d for Christ).  It is a two-day event with praise and worship music, preaching, and much more, all aimed at the 30-ish and under crowd.  I am blessed to be a small part of this event; I’ll be manning an outreach table, witnessing and giving away tracts.  I have some 1500 neat (not your “ordinary” tract-stuff) tracts and would be ecstatic if I were to give them all out.  This is the first year for this event, with the hopes of it being an annual one.

Please remember this event and the outreach table in your prayers.  I know God will use it, us, and the materials as He sees fit.  But the intercession of the saints can only help the increase He will see.

A Conversation

I would like to share a story with you. It’s a true story that I was blessed to find out about recently.

A man was talking with his friend. He had been saved when he was young but fallen away from his faith many yeas ago. Under heavy conviction, he had a conversation with his friend about the things of God. His friend explained to him how far short we fall of God’s goodness and how we must put our whole trust in Christ alone to save us. The man said he didn’t know how to go about getting saved again at that point. His friend then explained that you can’t be re-saved; naturally and spiritually we have one birth, not multiple ones. He then explained that he needed to truly repent and pray for forgiveness.

It was a few weeks later that the conversation happened that I initially referred to. The man thanked his friend from the bottom of his heart for explaining this truth to him. He said that he had been praying for years but for the wrong thing: He didn’t need to be saved but forgiven and once he asked for the right thing he instantly felt like “God wiped all the sin from my heart”.

Thank God He’s still in the saving and forgiving business!

Hebrews 7:27; 10:10

27 Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.

10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Gone Fishing

Mark 16:15 tells us “And (Jesus) said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature”. About a dozen of us at church have been taking a class on personal evangelism and tonight we went out on out first “fishing trip” to do just that: take the Gospel to whomever we were led to speak with.

Although we were all nervous to start, by following the Holy Spirit’s lead I think we came away feeling much bolder for Christ and more confident in our witness.

We met at a local park, separated into groups, armed with unique tracts, and went about our Father’s business. We spoke with many folks, collectively, during our hour. Personally I found it encouraging that many were Christians; a set of two teen-aged girls walking their dog told us about their church, something that warms my heart, when we gave them a Gospel tract.

The most interesting person I spoke with was a college aged girl who was a proclaimed agnostic. I went through the Gospel with her and explained that Jesus was the only Way to Heaven. I thanked her for her time and offered to provide her a Bible, since she didn’t own one, if she was interested. She was very polite and listened attentively. Remember this young lady in your prayers that God will grow that Seed, and the many others that were planted tonight.

All that said, how long has it been since you went out of your way to share your faith with someone? I encourage you to do it this weekend, even if it’s something you’ve never done before. What better service could we do for Jesus on this Easter weekend than to tell someone about him?

Matthew 4:19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

Motivation

In each of us in our different lives and interests we all have different things that motivate us. An athlete is usually motivated by compitition, a parent by love, and an employee by one of several things, the need to make a paycheck being one for sure.

As many of you know, I used to be in the car business; yup, I was a used car salesman, among many other “hats” I wore during my time in that business. We were paid twice a month and each half started a new; in other words if you had not produced, you made no commission, and therefore no paycheck. So I was comstantly motivated to make sales in order to pay bills, put food on the table, etc.

Today when we look around at the world, our own country, and even our communities we see things that we would have never imagained a mere few years ago. Unfortunately I’m speaking of bad, ungodly, unrighteous things that surround us and our families.

The Bible teaches that as the end draws near the world will become more depraved, false teachings more rampant, and a general moral decline will beset it. We know we are living in the last days now, the final age, the period of Grace, how ever one wishes to call it. These things and the very fact that the clock ticks away as I write this and you read it show we are coming closer and closer to the end.

For a Christian this is a twofold idea: On one hand we are closing in on our goal of finishing the race and being Home with the Lord. And yet we must be horrified by the thought of the vast numbers of people, family, friends, loved ones, and those we don’t even know, who are facing an eternity of torment. Should that single thought not be motivation for everyone one of us to tell at least one person each day of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

Luke 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

How Much is Too Much?

No fear of consequences should ever drive us to do a wrong thing.

It is better to suffer any loss, any cost, any sacrifice–than be eaten up by remorse!

Better be hurled down from a high place for doing right–than win worldly honor by doing wrong.

Better lose our right hand–than lose our purity of soul.

Better to rot in prison–than to sin against God!

It was the prayer of a young queen, which she wrote with a diamond point on her castle window, “Keep me pure; make others great.” That is the lesson of Joseph’s victory over temptation; dishonor, loss, dungeon, death–anything before sin!
-J. R. Miller