Posted in Accepted, Accountability, Adam and Eve, Change, Death, Faith, Fear, Free Will, freedom, Garden of Eden, God, Guarantor, Happiness, Jesus Christ, judgment, Justice, Love, Opinions, repentance, Resurrection, society, The Family, Truth

The Truth about death

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Death gets a really bad rap I suppose because it can be so sneaky. Death doesn’t always come timely and it sucks if it happens too soon.

There are much older folks wondering why they are still here and some young folks wasting their life away and it seems that there could be a better use for that life.

From the very beginning we were introduced to death in the negative for God told our first parents that death was the result of disobedience. Since then, mankind has been running from the death sentence. As if death was the sheriff carrying bounties for us all, we attempt to cheat death.

There is another way of looking at our friend — yes I said friend.

Without death, how can we measure life? What actually makes life precious is the fact that it doesn’t last. Further, death was not just given to us as a result of disobedience, but a reminder that this world is temporary and that we should make good use of our time while we’re here.

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Moreover, our God will transport us to himself in a vehicle called death. You cannot get to God without it. With that said, death can be a beautiful thing, like a flower with a prickly stem. The prickly stem does not take away from the beauty of the flower. Likewise, untimeliness cannot lessen the true effect of death.

For some of us, death will have a sting. For those that are in Christ, there is no sting. The worst part of death is the sting, but if you have been born of the water and the spirit into the family of God, the sting is gone. And death only hurts on the time-side of life, not the eternal side. Therefore, as a great songstress once said, “…living in Christ we know that death is our friend. It will take us home.”

Make death your friend today. Believe that Jesus died according to the scriptures and he was buried and rose again the third day according to the scriptures. You don’t need a degree in biblical studies to understand the facts of the gospel and the fact that the savior himself said he that believes and is baptized shall be saved.

Death is coming. Will it be your friend or foe?

Questions or comments welcomed!

Posted in Change, Death, Discipleship, Faith, Forgiveness, Free Will, Giving, God, guilt, Happiness, Jesus Christ, Life, Light, Love, Obey, Relationships, repentance, Resurrection, Trust, Truth

It’s time for a Crusade for Christ

resurrection-website-imageFor more than 2000 years the gospel of Jesus Christ has been preached to this dying world.

Unfortunately we have preached more of the facts of the gospel, than the application of that gospel. I mean, Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection is very important to know but if it is given without context, where is the power?

We are saved by grace through faith and the bible calls this a gift that no man can take credit. (Eph. 2:8). Moreover, the fact that it is Jesus’ blood that reconciles me to the father and his life that actually saves me (Rom. 5:10) is just the beginning. How this all works together is the crux of the matter and ultimately redefines who I am and my purpose.

To make his gospel come alive, you must believe that it was an act of love on your behalf. Does it matter that Jesus died for you? Does it matter enough for you to die (crucify the old me) for him?

Further, if I say I know and believe in Jesus, does the life I live say the same thing? This is why we need a crusade. We need to be reminded of the facts of his gospel. We need a call back to the original commission to share the gospel with the rest of the world. It’s time to reveal the hope of our calling and surrender God’s truth without apology.

If you are anywhere near San Antonio, TX over the next 6 days, stop by the Hyatt Regency Hotel downtown and experience God’s love toward us. Come and hear the story of Jesus presented in a bold and loving way. Come and hear that in the midst of our struggle is when Christ died for us! Come and sing praise to his name because he made it easy for souls in danger. All these souls have to do is look above because Jesus completely saves!

Posted in Change, Faith, Forgiveness, Giving, guilt, Happiness, Jesus Christ, Relationships, repentance, Resurrection, society, Success

Letter to God

To my Father in heaven,

It is with love and gratitude that I write this blog in dedication of your devotion to me. You have gone far above the call of duty in being my God. I am in awe of you.

I make horrible decisions at times. Some of my infractions are purposed and I still struggle with negotiating right and wrong. There are people who I have such an issue with that they consume my thoughts. There are people I need to forgive.

And in spite of my stupidity you do amazing things in my life. You make me want to be a better person. You make me want to seek after the higher parts of me. I want to do the right thing, Father, but I am weak.

What I really want to say to you Father is thank you. Thank you for loving me when I didn’t want to love myself. Thank you for showing me the way to the light when I was lost in darkness. Thank you for forgiving me when I am weak. Father, thank you for your grace and mercy. Thank you for saving my soul and for being long suffering with me.

Thank you for another day to praise your name. Thank you that I’m healthy and in my right mind. Thank you most of all for Jesus who made me a partaker of his cleansing power.

I actually don’t want to ask you for anything. I just wanted to express my love for you and say thanks.

Sincerely your servant,

Clyde

Posted in Accountability, Achievement, Bigotry, Change, Children, Confidence, Determination, Discipleship, Faith, Forgiveness, freedom, Giving, God, Happiness, helping, Honor, Jesus Christ, Justice, kindness, Life, Love, Perseverance, Prayer, Progress, Relationships, Resurrection, Sharing, society, Taking Responsibility, The Family, Time, Trust, Worship

Some day at Christmas

Some day at Christmas we won’t be farmerry-christmas

from making friends no matter what color they are.

We will be color blind and our hearts will see

that God made you and me.

 

Some day at Christmas we won’t be rude

and pass out to everyone who has a need for food.

We will not covet all the things that we see

because we live for him who died on that tree.

 

3142505786_793baeb9a7Some day at Christmas all wars will cease.

Our heart’s desire will be to seek peace.

We’ll take responsibility for all that we do

and make this world better for me and you.

 

Some day at Christmas the deed will be done.

Our lives will be judged by God’s only son.

We lived our lives for Christ and stood in his Grace

and spread love thoughout the human race.

Posted in Accountability, Change, Confidence, Discipleship, Free Will, God, guilt, Jesus Christ, Relationships, Resurrection, society, Taking Responsibility, Truth

Our response to the resurrection

Speaking of the resurrection, Jesus said, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever lives and believes in me shall never die.” And then he said, “Do you believe this?”

This is the time of the year where there is somewhat of a unified effort among most Christians to talk about, remember, celebrate and observe Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. It’s like the other time in the year where everyone wants to remember the “reason for the season” and celebrate peace on earth.

I don’t have a problem with these times as much as I have a problem with how we interpret the meanings. Our beliefs should be the center of what we shape our way of life from. If we believe something then our lives should be consistent in that which we believe.

For example, if things like compassion, integrity and excellence are things that I truly believe in, then the people that interact with me should experience these characteristics in me. I should not look down on anyone if I have compassion. I should not make it a habit to lie and cheat if I’m a man of integrity and my employer should not have to speak with me regarding my commitment if I seek excellence.

I’m afraid that too many people celebrate Jesus as a seasonal holiday and have not made the commitment to him for life.

Jesus ends the 26th verse of the 11th chapter in the Gospel according to John by asking the question concerning belief. He simply uses these four words that deserve a response. “Do you believe this?” If he were saying this today it would sound more like “If you believe this, then why …?”

If we truly have been crucified with Christ and now as a result we are living by faith, our works should show what we believe. Faith without works is still dead.

Posted in Faith, God, Jesus Christ, Life, Pain, Progress, Relationships, Resurrection, Trust, Truth

The resurrection and the life

Easter Sunday is a day that we enjoy hearing about the resurrection. We enjoy the story of Jesus’ resurrection as well as others whom he saved from death. This power is always an attention grabber because it goes far beyond our human abilities.

Jesus made this statement to Martha in the Gospel of St. John: “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live”. I know, at face value the statement doesn’t make sense. Give Martha a break because we know the rest of the story, but she lived it. She saw her brother wake up from the “death sleep” and walk among them as if nothing happened. We don’t read where Lazarus laments about being dead or that the experience was even horrible. He just takes his place among the living. I’m sure he was thankful for what happened. The question I have is that if you die once like Lazarus and you get a second chance, are you afraid of the death the second time?Image

I mean the fear of death has to not bother you as much. For those who survived Hurricane Katrina a few years back, would they be as worried about the next big hurricane? If you have been shot before should the sound of gunfire bother you as much? If you were about to walk away from a deadly car crash, should you be afraid to drive a car or ride in a car again?

I want to attempt to crack open this scripture for everyone to have a better taste of its fruit. If Jesus is the resurrection and the life (and he is), then this ability would work on everything, not just death. This understanding was given to us under the death category, but I contend that this verse is more like the master key — it fits every lock!

So, If I lose my job, I am dead to the job that I lost and I can surrender this dead to the resurrection and the life (A.K.A Jesus Christ) and he will raise up (resurrect) a new job for me that I may dwell (live) in. If I lose my marriage, home, money, self respect, or mind, the Jesus who resurrects will replace the old with something new for me. You see, it was difficult for Mary, Martha and the others to fully understand the power of the resurrection. We struggle with it today as well.

Let’s not limit the resurrection and life to just a wonderful biblical story. Let’s not limit God’s power to only the measure we understand. Let’s surrender everything in our lives that is dead and allow him to breathe life into it again because he truly is the resurrection and the life. 

Posted in Discipleship, Faith, Forgiveness, Free Will, God, Jesus Christ, Life, Light, Relationships, Resurrection

How we are saved

20130614-230636.jpgHave you ever wondered exactly how the gospel saves? I mean we say it all the time and it is a staple in Christian circles. However, is the “how” ever addressed? We definitely get the “who” the “what” and the “where”, but it seems the “how” is the black sheep of this family.

Well, please allow me to share the “how” and open your heart to the rightly-divided word. The facts of the gospel are contained in 1 Cor. 15:1-4. Paul writes that Jesus died according to the scriptures and he was buried and he rose on the third day according to the scriptures. So the death, burial and resurrection are the simple facts.

In Romans 5:10, Paul says that in His death we were reconciled back to God. With Jesus’ death we have a new relationship with God. The bible says that we are but filthy rags before him. The blood of Jesus reconnects us. This is the soul purpose of his death — that those who die with Him get the benefit of being united with God.

The resurrection is this new life that we, who believe, live in. Rom. 5:10 says that we are “saved” by His life. How? You see, for those who are in Christ, it is His life that we walk in, not our own. His life is the light. And that life is the light of men (John 1:4). And if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another and the blood of Jesus Christ His son cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:7). So there is only light and darkness. We walk in the light by faith. We have been called to walk by faith, not live perfect lives. As a child of God who has been reconciled to God and saved by His life, I have eternal security as long as I “walk by faith” (a.k.a. Stay in the light).

The death and resurrection are tied together by the burial just like our reconciliation and life in Christ are tied together by baptism. Rom. 6:4 says, “we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”

This makes baptism as essential to salvation as the burial is to the gospel. No wonder Jesus said, “He that believes and is baptized shall be saved …”(Mark 16:16).

I hope that I have brought clarity to this topic and please don’t hesitate to comment on this blog with questions.

In Christian love,

Clyde