Our Ministry of Reconciliation

I sometimes wonder what it’s like to be God. He is omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient, and His love never ends. It’s amazing that in all His magnificence, He would still choose to use us as vessels to show the world who He is.

Once we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, we have the privilege to be witnesses and help others come to know Him too. Through the power of The Holy Spirit who lives in us, God has given us the ministry of reconciliation.

2 Corinthians 5:18 NIV, “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:”

When God gave us His Son, He gave us His very best. We can’t see past the current moment, but He can see all of our days from beginning to end. The life we are living here on Earth, should be preparing us for our eternal life in heaven.

As we prepare, we can help others prepare too, by sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with them. The message of the Cross and the power of the blood that was shed there, bring life to this dying world.

Where Will You Look?

Proverbs 11:4 (ESV), “Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.”

Yesterday at church, my pastor taught on the parable of the rich fool, found in Luke chapter 12. During the sermon, he also showed a short clip of several famous, wealthy celebrities expressing what brings them happiness. As they spoke, they were all very adamant about the fact that money and fame did not bring them happiness.

One of the celebrities really stuck with me (she is a very famous singer), because she said she felt happiest when she was able to be herself, and express her creativity. She said being made to do things just for the sake of earning more money, made her sad.

Most of us don’t possess wealth and fame, but the world we live in encourages us to look everywhere for satisfaction except God. There are many so called “solutions” to the problems we face, but only One True Answer. Jesus Christ is that Answer. He has told us that He is the Way, the truth and the life. No one can get to the Father except through Him (John 14:6). That means wealth can not save us. Popularity can not save us. Even the good works we do can not save us. Our good works only point people to the One who can save them.

I love it when God speaks…

Luke 12:20-21 NLT, “20 But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for? 21 Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.”

Our relationship with God through Jesus Christ is what is most important. Wealth is good when used wisely, but it will one day pass away. We must avoid the temptation to let earthly things that will pass away, replace the solid foundation that we have in Christ.

My pastor summed up His message with this point, “when we have an abundance, we are to be generous and give to others.” Instead of giving, the rich fool decided to build bigger barns to store more stuff. It’s easy to look to money and “stuff” in search of happiness and security, but these things are not reliable.

We must look to Christ to fill our voids. He will satisfy our desires.

Psalm 145:16 NIV, “You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.”

Look to Jesus.

God’s Love Speaks Through Every Language

Psalm 67:5(NLT),”May the nations praise you, O God. Yes, may all the nations praise you.”

God’s love can speak to us through any language and yesterday was one of those times. During the worship service at church, there was a song that the worship team started singing in Spanish. Being that we live in South Florida, it’s not unusual for them to start singing a verse of a song in Spanish. But usually when they do, they will then sing the same verse in English. So as they were singing in Spanish, I was waiting for the moment when they would switch back over to English. As the soloist continued in Spanish, I glanced to my right and then my left. I was curious to see how many other people looked as if they didn’t understand, like me.

As I examined the parts of the congregation that I could see, I saw some singing along word for word as they worshipped. I also saw others like myself just standing there listening. My daughter speaks Spanish pretty well, and I remember thinking I wish she was there to help me. Once it was clear to me that, “that moment” when they switch to English may never come, I decided to look at the screen that had the words on display. That wasn’t much help. I did understand a word here and there, but my Spanish skills are minimal. I could tell by the tune that it was a familiar song, so I thought I would just try and sing along in English. That didn’t work. What I was hearing from the stage in Spanish, seemed to take precedence over the English I was trying to hear in my own head.

Finally, I decided to just hum along and watch the soloist. As I watched her, her worship seemed pure and heartfelt. I could sense God’s love, not through her words, since I could not understand, but through her body language and her expressions. I could imagine that giving God praise in her native tongue was what felt most comfortable for her.

The hands and hearts that were raised to the Lord were evidence of His presence. As we all stood across the sanctuary, language did not matter. We were all there united by one thing, the love of God. When the Spirit of God is present, He is always ready and willing to do the work He came to do. He did do that work, because at the end of the service, He caused twelve souls to repent and give their lives to Jesus Christ.

I felt the joy of the Lord and saw His goodness as I watched those twelve people walk into the newness of life. They were now new creations in Christ Jesus. I wondered if that song the worship team sung completely in Spanish, could have been the reason at least one of those twelve souls came to Christ. I may never know, but this I do know, God’s love never fails.

Psalm 136:6(CEV),”Praise the God of all gods. God’s love never fails.”

I’m so thankful the love of God can speak to us through any language, even when we don’t understand the words.

Dios te amo=God loves you

A Look at Psalm 37 (verses 32-36)

Psalm 37:32-36 (NIV),” 32 The wicked lie in wait for the righteous, intent on putting them to death; 33 but the Lord will not leave them in the power of the wicked or let them be condemned when brought to trial. 34 hope in the Lord and keep his way. He will exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked are destroyed, you will see it. 35 I have seen a wicked and ruthless man flourishing like a luxuriant native tree, 36 but he soon passed away and was no more; though I looked for him, he could not be found.”

Do you see the wicked continue to prosper and then sometimes feel as if your walk with the Lord is in vain? Well guess what? You’re not alone. Many Christians, including myself, have at times been bombarded with doubtful questions. It helps to remember that God’s system is completely different from the one in the world. He operates with spiritual eternal things in mind, whereas the world focuses on natural temporal things.

Satan, the god of this world, wants us to become so infatuated with worldly things that we forget about the things of God. As a matter of fact, He wants people to doubt the very existence of God. That way, people will live a life of self indulgence, which ultimately leads to emptiness and self destruction. What a tragedy!

People of the world work to build an earthly empire. However God calls us Christians not to store up treasures on Earth, but to instead store up treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:19-21). Our lives here on Earth are very short compared to our lives in eternity with Jesus. God is asking us to focus on what matters most, and that is storing up treasures in heaven, our eternal home.

Psalm 27:13 (NIV),”I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.”

God wants us to enjoy our lives and see His goodness here on Earth, called the land of the living. He wants us to be successful in our endeavors. His idea of success may sometimes differ from the worlds. Therefore we should pray for God’s guidance as we make decisions pertaining to our earthly lives. He created each of us with a specific purpose in mind. Following our God given purpose will ensure that we will make a difference now on Earth, while also contributing to His eternal plan in heaven. He wants to be involved in every detail of our lives. Nothing about us or our lives is insignificant to the Lord.

God continuously tells us the wicked will be destroyed but the righteous will be exalted. So let us confidently put our hope in the Lord, as we diligently follow His plan for our lives.

A Look at Psalm 37 (verses 10-11)

Psalm 37:10-11 (NIV),”10 A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found. 11 But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity.”

Have you ever thought about your inheritance?

I know that from a natural standpoint to inherit something usually means that someone has passed away and left behind money, property, businesses, or some other type of asset. On the flip side they could have also left behind a debt or obligation that someone else now has to take care of. We can also inherit traits that have been passed down from previous generations.

My grandparents had a very strong faith in God. That is a trait that has been passed down throughout the generations within my family. Most of us in my family have definitely heard about their faith in God. We’ve heard about how He provided for them and how they were people who believed in the power of prayer.

Have you ever thought about your spiritual inheritance in Christ Jesus?

Verse 11 specifically mentions peace and prosperity. Inheriting peace in a world full of chaos and confusion is golden. The Bible tells us that in Christ, we lack no good thing (Psalm 34:10). He wants to prosper us in ways we have not even thought about, because His ways and thoughts are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9). We have also inherited the fruit of The Holy Spirit who lives within us when we accept Jesus as our Savior (Galatians 5:22-23). Most of all, I’m super excited about our eternal inheritance that we have in heaven.

Jesus said in John 14:2-3(NLT)…

“2 There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? 3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.”

These verses make my heart leap for joy when I think about how much it cost to own a home here in America!!! There is an eternal home being prepared for me, and it’s free!! Jesus already paid the price!! I honestly don’t have a lot in terms of material wealth, but the best things in life often don’t have much to do with money anyway. I do want to try and enjoy my life here on Earth as much as I can. However, it’s most important to me to leave behind an inheritance of God’s love and testimonies of the saving grace and never ending faithfulness of Jesus Christ. Why? So that I know I will see as many people as possible spending eternity in the presence of our Savior. It’s where we will spend eternity that matters most.

Please take some time to consider the inheritance you are leaving behind, both natural and spiritual, but especially spiritual. Remember heaven is real, but so is hell. Both are eternal homes. Time is short. Choose this day whom you will serve (Joshua 24:14-15).

My prayers are with you that God will continue to bring His love into your life, even in the little ways. I also pray His Spirit will guide you into all truth and overthrow the plans of the evil one in your life, so that you can enjoy the inheritance that Jesus Christ died to give you both now and in eternity.

Our Greatest Example of Trusting God

The greatest example we have of trusting God to do what’s best for us is this…

Luke 22:42 (NIV), “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”

We see love, humility, strength and resolve in King Jesus as He trusted the Father, even as He was facing death. He requested that God remove the “cup” He had to bear, if it was His will to do so, but above all else He wanted to do the will of God. Doing God’s will meant suffering and dying for us. He rose again and now intercedes for us continuously before the Father.

Hebrews 7:25 (NIV),”Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.”

“Not my will Lord, but Your will be done.” I pray that will be the cry of our hearts everyday. Jesus carried the shame and guilt of our sins, and paid the ultimate price as He endured the agony of the cross for us.

Jesus said yes to participating in God’s redemption plan for you, me and all of mankind. He said yes to God. He gave His life. Have you accepted His free gift of salvation? Have you said yes to the divine purpose God has for you, to help Him bring love, hope, and meaning to the world?

Father,

Help us to say yes to You everyday. Jesus set the greatest example of saying yes and trusting You that we will ever see. You want to do great things in us and through us, but we must first say yes to You. We give ourselves to You, to include our hopes, desires, strengths, weaknesses, hurts, pains, joys, successes and failures. Not our will Lord, but Your will be done. Come into our hearts and make us new. Teach us by Your Holy Spirit to live for You.

In the name of Jesus. Amen.

Life is so short. Say yes to Jesus Christ.

But the Gift of God is Eternal Life (part 1)

Romans 6:23(NLT), “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.”

When we’re in Christ sin no longer has dominion over us. We may struggle with certain sins, but that struggle does not define who we are because through the blood of Christ we are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). He overcame all sin when He died on the cross. However He didn’t just die, He also rose again showing us even further that He has conquered sin once and for all. We have our flesh that wants to enjoy the pleasures of sin and we also have God’s Spirit who convicts us of sin, because He knows the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life (Roman 6:23). No matter how good sin may feel to us at the time, we are told that sin when full-grown leads to death (James 1:15). It starts off small and keeps growing. If we choose to persist in sin, some type of death is impending rather it be spiritual, emotional, mental, or even physical. When we turn on the TV and see chaos and tragedy on the news,  much of what we are seeing is a result of sin that has become full-grown and lead to some type of death.

plant flower rose blossom

Not one of us is without sin, for all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). It’s just a matter of how we choose to handle it. I’ve struggled with certain sins like anyone else, but I can remember God telling me, “This is not who you are.” The enemy of our souls (and the society we live in), will work overtime to try to convince us that sin is acceptable or even worse, that it’s just who we are. It’s not acceptable and it’s definitely not who we are. When we have accepted Jesus as Lord of our lives, we have a way out. He will give us strength to resist sin. If we fall into sin, we can repent in the name of Jesus and move on. He has promised us that He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Unconfessed sin leads to death, but accepting Jesus Christ leads to life (John 14:6).

Choose Life!

Continuing Reading: But the Gift of God is Eternal Life (Part 2)

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