Be Ready!

Be Ready!

Why does the Lord want us to be ready to tell people about salvation at a moment’s notice?  One reason is that the Lord is not willing that any should perish; He wants everyone to be saved.  (2 Pet 3:9)

Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.  (2 Tim 4:2)  He wants us to be ready whether it’s convenient and whether it’s inconvenient—when the world mentality (at any given time) is “pro-Christian” or “anti-Christian.”  Our heart attitude should be eager to share the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ.

No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.  (2 Tim 2:3-4)  The warfare in which we’re engaged is to share the gospel with as many people as possible, regardless of their response or reaction.  Leave that part in God’s hands.  When we accepted Christ as our Savior, we were automatically enlisted as a soldier in the army of the Living God. 

You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men . . .  (2 Cor 3:2) Not only do we share the gospel with our words, but we share it by the lives that we live.  People will read us as easily as they read a book or a letter. 

What are you sharing through your day-to-day life?  Is your readiness joyous and filled with hope and courage?  If so, then it will be good and edifying to read!

Being a Witness Where You Are

Being a Witness Where You Are

And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”  (Mk 16:15)

Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples.  (Ps 96:3)

And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.  (Mt 24:14)

The Bible tells us in 2 Peter 3:9 that the Lord is not willing that any should perish.  Jesus obediently fulfilled His assignment to the fullest, and has purchased our salvation.  We are instructed by the Scriptures to share our Good News with others! 

We don’t need to embark on a mission field in some far-flung country to do this.  We’re called to be witnesses of God’s goodness right where we are!  We may do that in a variety of ways:  by serving our neighbors through acts of kindness and mercy; by being helpful and considerate; by sending a card, making a meal, or visiting someone who is not feeling well.  God has made us to be creative, and every individual can think of creative ways to be a light in this world—thereby bringing glory to God.

Sharing the Good News isn’t about preaching at someone or beating them over the head with verses from the Bible.  It’s not about condemnation, but love.  It’s about lovingly reaching out to those we know, and interacting with them in ways that are meaningful to them.  And while we’re doing that, we take opportunities to share our own life experiences with them.  We may quote a succinct Scripture to support a comment, or share a brief testimony of answered prayer.

Being an effective witness for the Kingdom of God means connecting with our friends and neighbors during good and bad times. (Eccl 3:4)  As a witness, we should also strive to be a good citizen and neighbor—a good example.  (2 Cor 5:20)  We need to speak from our hearts, and show respect and sympathy towards others.

Witnessing means being genuine with our friends and neighbors, and even admitting when we may be struggling with something.  (2 Tim 1:8)  As we are open with others and allow them to see God resolve our circumstances for us, our life becomes a window into how the Kingdom of God operates.  This style of candid testimony affirms our authenticity.  Other people can sense how deeply we honor Christ and value our relationship with Him as they see us trust Him to work out the difficulties that we encounter in life.  (1 Pet 3:15)

As we live this way, the Lord will faithfully open the ears, minds, and hearts of those with whom we interact.  He will allow others to hear the voice of the Good Shepherd, and His Spirit will then be able to move upon them to minister to them. 

All we need to understand is that the Lord will draw the unsaved to Himself through us—if we’ll cooperate with Him.  Praise God!

Long Life

Long Life

Our God has promised to give His people long life as the verses shown below demonstrate.

  1. You shall walk in all the way that the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it may go well with you, and that you may live long in the land that you shall possess. (Deut 5:33 ESV)
  2. With long life will I satisfy him, and show him My salvation. (Ps 91:16)
  3. My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commands; for length of days and long life and peace they will add to you. (Pro 3:1-2)
  4. The fear of the Lord prolongs life, but the years of the wicked will be short. (Pro 10:27)
  5. Who have been upheld by Me from birth, Who have been carried from the womb: even to your old age, I am He, and even to gray hairs I will carry you!  I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.  (Isa 46:3b, 4)

God enjoys blessing and protecting us for we are His people.  He has given us a calling and a mission to spread the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to make disciples.  (See Mat 28:18-20 & Mk 16:15)  This is HOW we are to use the long lives that He has given to us!

We’re called to be witnesses to the ends of the earth, telling others about Jesus’ atoning work on behalf of all mankind.  (See Acts 1:8)  Not only that, but the Lord wants us to share our own testimonies of what He has done for each one of us.  We all have testimonies to share of answered prayers and miracles that God has done on our behalf.

Making disciples is all about continuing the chain of redemption by passing on the faith that was passed to you.  (See Rom 10:14-15)  We are all called to use our long lives wisely on behalf of the Lord Jesus Christ.

How to Grieve After the Death of a Loved One

How to Grieve After the Death of a Loved One

These are some of the Bible characters who experienced loss and sorrow:  Job, Naomi, Hannah, and David.  We can see that grieving (mourning) is a normal human experience that comes to all people at some point in their lives.  There is nothing wrong with grief or mourning.

Grief can serve a purpose in that it can revitalize our assessment of life.   There is a boundary to grieving—after a season, it comes to an end.  Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.  (Ps 30:5)

One very important truth to remember is that God is always faithful, even in times of mourning. 

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.  (Ps 23:4)

You number my wanderings; put my tears into Your bottle; are they not in Your book?  (Ps 56:8)

The Lord not only sees our tears, but He accumulates them!  He sees our tears and our grief, and does not disdain them.  Rather, He accompanies us in our grief.  He supports us with the knowledge that He is with us; He’s in control; He is praiseworthy; and that He will carry us through into a good place.

Be still, and know that I am God . . . (Ps 46:10a)

It is good to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; to declare Your lovingkindness in the morning, and Your faithfulness every night . . . (Ps 91:1-2) 

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.  (Rom 8:28)

Thankfully, the Lord is strong and He desires to carry our burdens, including this very heavy one.  (Mat 11:30) 

In the grieving process, it’s vital to communicate our grief to the Lord.  Feel free to pour out your heart to Him.  We can see this happening in various Psalms.  (Psalm 13; 23:4; 30:11-12; 56)  Note that the psalmist frequently ends in a different emotional state than when he began—often by praising God.  God hears us, and He understands what we’re going through.

You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off.  (Ps 139:2)

As we share ourselves with the Lord, we’re able to open our minds to His truths.  We come to sense His love, His faithfulness, and His comfort.  As we turn to the Lord and communicate with Him, His peace settles within us.

Another way in which we can help ourselves as we mourn, is to speak with trusted friends, church members, and relatives about our pain and loss.  Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.  (Gal 6:2)  We, as members of the body of Christ, know that we’re called to “weep with those who weep.”  (Rom 12:15b)  As we share our stories with the Lord and with loved ones, we can actually lessen our grief.

The Lord is the One who is the anchor of our souls (Heb 6:19), and He cares for us.  (1 Pet 5:7)  He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  (Heb 13:8)  So we KNOW that because the Lord never leaves us, He will forever be our anchor, our beloved, and our security—into eternity.  God bless you.

Abide in the Word

Abide in the Word

Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.”  (John 8:31 NKJV)

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.  (John 15:7 NKJV)

According to Jesus, if we abide in His word, then we are His disciples.  What does “abiding in the Word” mean? 

ABIDE means:  accept or act in accordance with; to conform to; bear, take.

My understanding of this is that Jesus wants us to live our lives conformed to His Word, and to base our opinions and actions upon His Word.  He would like us to share His Word with those whom we meet, and those with whom we have influence.

As we carry (bear, take) the Good News of Jesus Christ everywhere with us, and share it generously with all, we will be fulfilling the commission that He has given to every believer.  And according to John 15:7, as we live in this fashion, the Lord will give us the desires of our hearts.  Praise God!