gospel

Where Did You Meet…

We all have a story of how we met our closest friend, our significant other, a distant relative, or maybe even a favorite pet. Do you remember the details? Can you still picture it as though it happened just yesterday?

Did you see them several times before you actually met? Did you hear someone else say their name? Or maybe you read their name on an office door, maybe even on a name tag or badge. Thinking back on that day, do you remember their clothing, their cologne or perfume? Did you meet them by chance or did you purposely start a conversation?

These are just a few of the details and questions that come to my own mind. Whether you remember the smallest details or not, you usually remember the place or setting in which you met. In an office, on the street, in the market, at work, or at church? These are common places to many meetings.

My question for you is this: Do you remember where in scripture you met Jesus? Do you remember the sermon, the message, the song, or the teaching? Where in His Word did you meet Him? Now, let us go back to the second paragraph and ask some very similar questions with Christ as the subject. Did you see Him in others a few times before you met Him yourself? Did you hear others speak His name? Did you read His name and wonder? Did you purposely meet Him? Maybe you just meant to get some information on Him and ended up meeting Him unexpectedly.

I met Jesus in the twenty fourth chapter of Matthew. I had heard about Him and learned about Him from the time I was a small child. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I met Him for myself. When I met Him in His word, He was at the Mount of Olives telling His disciples what would happen at the time of the end. He gave a detailed, passionate prophecy. It sounded so much like the world I live in. I then thought “how wonderful that Jesus was seeing a place and time where He would meet me, and probably many others, in His word”. Since then I have realized the place, time, setting, details, or circumstance did not hold as much value as the simple fact that we met and I accepted Him as my Savior.

It does not matter which sermon led you to the Savior, Jesus Christ, as long as you accept Him. The songs that were sang are now of little consequence, a minor detail in a major event. I am not trying to downplay sermons or songs or words or prayers, they all play a very important, vital part. Yet, nothing compares to the moment of salvation, the perfect work of Christ being made manifest in the life of a believer. It is of little importance where each of us met Jesus, me in the book of Matthew, another in the book of John, one in the book of second Peter, and another in the book of the Revelation, as long as we met Him and accepted Him as Savior. The one common ground we have is this, we all meet Him at the cross.

Ga:2:20: I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

There was a time, as a sinner, we drove those spikes into His flesh. The sin of man put Christ on the cross. His work defeated sin once and for all, for everyone that will accept Him as Savior. Once you come to the cross by His blood, our old man is crucified to the cross with Him. No longer are we guilty, for it is not we who live from the moment we are saved, it is He that lives within us! There at the cross, it was He who loved me, it was He that loved you. He gave himself for us. If you have not yet met Jesus, He can be found anytime, anyplace. You can arrange that meeting at once, just simply reach out to Him in prayer, in faith believing, confess your sin and ask Him into your heart, accept His atoning blood to cover your sin, and you too can have a time and place, where you met the Savior. Glory to His name!

Down at the cross where my Savior died,
Down where for cleansing from sin I cried,
There to my heart was the blood applied;
Glory to His Name!

Glory to His Name,
Glory to His Name:
There to my heart was the blood applied;
Glory to His Name!

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Mortality and Time

As a child it seemed the days passed so slowly, especially during school. The days of summer would come and erase the memories of tests, studying, and what appeared to be endless assignments. Those warm nights, though, would again give way to cooler weather and a return to school. Upon finishing formal education, those days gave way to employment. Time passes, swiftly. The older I become, the quicker the days seem to pass.

Looking back, the days spent in school don’t seem so far away. As a child it appeared that time was an abundant, inexhaustible source. Now, time is priceless and something that must be managed wisely. Seeing the sands slipping through the hourglass of life you begin to realize that no one knows how much sand their hourglass starts with nor how much remains. With age comes the realization and reality of our mortality.

This life, no matter how long we have, is short. Whether forty years, sixty years, eighty years or more, it passes quickly. Life consists of doing, working, going, and countless other things. We get busy, we become occupied, and time passes. Much of it passes and we are blissfully unaware.

Job:14:1: Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.

In the process of living it is normal to ponder life, God, religion, eternity. I suspect that many, if not all, have pursued the answer to these subjects. I spend every day offering my life, my being, as a witness for Jesus and the Bible. Some days I succeed, other days are not quite as successful. With the time I have been given, I made a decision to accept Jesus as my Savior. Far too many days slipped by, too many times I said “maybe tomorrow”.

James:4:14: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

There is no guarantee of tomorrow. Today is the day of salvation. Once you die, your works here are finished. There is no second chance to come back and make anything right. This life is all we are given, whether your days are few or many, our days are numbered. A decision must be made with the time you are given. No excuse will be accepted. Lies will be transparent. There will be no reason “good enough” for refusing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Isaiah:55:6: Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:

This day is an opportunity, a moment in time where you too can accept the gift of eternal life. It is a gift. It cannot be bought, it cannot be traded for, it cannot be sold. The giver of eternal life is God, and it is given to all who will confess their sin to God and accept His Son, Jesus as their Savior. If you do not have a relationship with Jesus, let me encourage you to accept Him today, for your tomorrow may not come. Accepting salvation is a simple act, simply pray the following prayer (or something close to it), believe in your heart, and accept the grace of God through Jesus Christ:

Heavenly Father, I have sinned, I have lived a life of sin, I have done wrong and confess my sin to You. God, my sin is against you and I am sorry. Please forgive me. Jesus I ask you now to come into my heart, cleanse me and make me worthy of You. I accept You, Jesus, as my Savior and I thank You for the salvation You have given me now and the gift of eternal life.

If you prayed that prayer I would love to hear from you. I thank God for you, and all that read and share these messages. I continue to pray for you all and simply ask that you do the same for me. May God continue to bless you and all that you do!

You can contact me here:
prophetic.steps@yahoo.com
https://www.facebook.com/propheticsteps

A Lesson to Learn

Once you became a Christian, once you obtained salvation through Jesus Christ, did your effort end? If not, does your new life in Christ end in the faithfulness of going to church? Do you venture into spiritual warfare from the comfort of your house by praying? Are you heading up an outreach ministry by smiling and nodding to strangers in hopes they will understand that your actions are really Christ living in you?

I have asked these questions, mostly in jest, but to also stir a desire. We all must start somewhere, and we must also realize there is always more we can do. Salvation is only the beginning of our journey. We should also have a desire to gather among the brethren. An active prayer life is also a great beginning. All these things are a good start, but it is not all that we are called to do.

The work of Jesus is called the good news (gospel) for a reason. When you receive good news, what is it you do with it? You want to share it! Today we use the term “evangelist” as a person who travels and preaches. We are all called to evangelize, which in its simplest terms means to share the good news of salvation with those around you. You can reach others no one else can.

Nothing surprises God, for He is all knowing. He knows you. He knows your attitude, your strengths, your weaknesses, your victories and your failures, and chose you (and me) anyway. We all have different personalities, assets, traits, and abilities. He uses all these things for His glory and to accomplish His purpose. He made us to be different, put us in different places, and called us at different times. His calling on our lives is only the beginning.

This bring us to the main point I hope to make. We all have different callings, in scope, in scale, in ability, and style, and almost any other description or adjective you may wish to use. We, being unique in who we are, are able to accomplish, in such a way, as only we can. In being unique, our calling and ministry should also reflect that.

I am not called to be the same minister as you, as your preacher, or maybe anyone else you know. Neither should you be a copy of anyone you or I know. Similarities are bound to exist, but our pursuit should not lead us to be a copy of anyone else. The lesson we must learn is this: If you aren’t like a televangelist, the preacher with the largest congregation, an accomplished, motivating up-and-coming minister, singer, author, or whatever your ministry may be, be what God is leading you to be. Do not worry about “keeping up with the Jones'”. Don’t worry about your “style”, worry about pleasing God and being faithful to Him. Let Him be glorified in using you for who you are, in reaching those He has called you to reach.

Joh:21:21: Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do?
Joh:21:22: Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.

We all have our own walk with the Lord. Though we may be treading the same straight and narrow path, we each have our own unique relationship with Jesus. Let each of us continue to pursue our callings, not someone else’s calling. Let us continue to learn from others, grow in ministry, and allow Jesus to cultivate and nurture each of us into what He has planned for us, not what He has planned for someone else. He chose you and me knowing exactly what He was getting. Look forward in expectation and anticipation because His plans for us are better than our own.

Where Do You Stand?

There are so many issues within the church today. I am referring to the church in a general sense. As the times change, so do the people within the church. The most important thing is this: The message must remain the same. The Word of God cannot be infringed upon, it is perfect and perfection does not change.

The people in the church change, they grow older, new people come, some people go, others pass from this life to the next. As the church experiences a generational change, which has been occurring for quite some time now, one should expect to see some differences. For example, the implementation of technology, a change in music, a change in the way a physical church building looks on the inside and the outside. Even the order of the services change, the times of service change, but again, the message must remain the same; the message must be the gospel of Christ Jesus.

Mark:16:15: And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

We see the church changing in many ways, but do we see or sense the change within the church? I will not suggest this applies to every church, but I will infer that it applies to many. Maybe one of the most important questions that can be asked is “why do YOU go to church”? Do you go because it is expected from you? Do you go to make someone else happy? Do you go to keep up your appearance? Has the church become your social club? Do you attend so you can sing, so you can feel better, to be seen, so you can lead? What is your true motive?

You see, many people go to church, but not everyone goes for the same reason. This question came to me several days ago, and initially I was shocked that I would ask myself “why are you going to church”. My answer, and I hope many of you who read this can agree, was “to worship my Lord, Jesus”. As much as I go to learn, first and foremost is to worship and praise the One who has offered salvation, to worship Him in spirit and in truth. Secondly, I go to learn of Him, to receive instruction in righteousness, to receive His word.

You see, there is a definite divide within the church. There are those who have a relationship with Jesus, who hunger and thirst after Him. This is where I hope to always be until the day I am with Him. This is what the church should be, in my very humble opinion. A place of worship, instruction, prayer, and praise.

On the other side of this divide are those who have religion. They are there for the ritual. They are there in body, performing tasks as though it is a menial job. Though the body is found in the pew, the heart is off doing other things. Often their joy is found outside the doors of the church, and their pained grimace on the inside. There is a spirit of religion that says “I am here, I am doing my job, I never miss a service which makes me better than most of the others here”.

Religion, by appearance, resembles a relationship with Jesus. Religion is a dangerous game. We must be honest about our intents and reasons.

Proverbs:21:2: Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.

If you have read this and asked yourself the same questions, please take the time to prayerfully think on these things and seek the truth. Find where you stand, then let the Lord order your steps. It can be easy to slide into a rut, but staying there becomes a decision. There is nothing more important than our relationship with Jesus. We must pursue this relationship, truthfully, sincerely, and prayerfully.

A moment

Things happen, often quickly. The term “moment” comes to mind in defining the instant things come to pass. For example, the moment my son was born I became a father. While it is true that pregnancy lasts about 40 weeks, there comes that span of time which changes everything.

Our lives change in moments, yet, the moments move by swiftly and never return. Moments become memories, a small amount of time that stands out. A moment is a snapshot, a picture, a detail, a happening, a culmination. It’s easy to think of moments as being precious, tender, and innocent. For example, graduations, marriages, births, and achievements turn into moments.

Just as there are good moments, there are also bad moments. Vehicles wreck, causing various tragedies, in a moment. Heart attacks happen in a moment. Lives are saved and lost in a moment. On September 11th, 2001, our country was changed in a moment. The gravity of this small span of time we know as a moment should not be taken lightly. Our lives are made up of moments, we are remembered in moments, and ultimately all the time we are given, is but a moment.

As we go forward in our lives, there are moments yet to come. There is one specific moment I live in hope of:

1st Corinthians:15:51: Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
1st Corinthians:15:52: In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

I hope to not sleep, but to be changed, in that moment, that twinkling of an eye. Every day I have, I live expecting, hoping, longing, looking for that moment. For those who are ready, whether they sleep (euphemism for being dead) or live, this moment is one of promise, glory, expectation, and eternal joy.

For those who are not ready, this is the moment, an exact and coming point in time, where everything (and I do mean everything) will change. Families will be torn apart. Worldliness and wickedness will dramatically increase. Hope will be hard to find. Uncertainty will remain and all that was, will never be again.

Just as we live, there is a coming moment, where we will either be changed or we will die. Can you imagine standing before Almighty God, the Righteous Judge, and being shown every moment, every opportunity you were given to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and refusing? Seeing those moments in your life when you could have said “yes” to the Master, but believing you had time? Deciding, you were too embarrassed, you were too prideful, you just “weren’t ready” or you’re “too busy” living your life? Thinking, you didn’t want to change your life, you were afraid what someone else would think, you may lose out on something you wanted or had?

We don’t know when our last moment will be, nor what our last moments hold for us. We have no promise of time. Things happen, often quickly. Take a moment, this moment, and call upon God, ask Jesus to forgive your sins, come into your heart so that He can present you faultless to God the Father. It only takes a moment, and it will be, in eternity, a priceless moment, the greatest moment of your life. The moment of salvation.

Love without rejection

If you have spent any amount of time reading and understanding the Bible, is there any doubt the most important theme is love? Not our love, but His love. Too often we think carnally, we think worldly, we think about ourselves first. We consider our love.

Our love is secondary. His love is first, His love is greatest. It is His love that surpasses our understanding, exceeds our expectations, and gives more abundantly than we can reason. His love stretches the span of time, generation after generation, reaching from the beginning of time throughout eternity.

The love we have to offer is measured by our time, which is not infinite. Our love reaches, but within bounds. When we offer love, it is sometimes with measure or restriction. Often, we love with condition. Unfortunately, we also fail to offer love out of fear or rejection. It is here where the love of God shines brightest. His love knows no fear. His love was given, poured out from the cross at Calvary.

Today His love is still calling out to “whosoever will”, any who will accept it. His love still beckons to show its strength, breaking the strongholds of sin, mending the broken-hearted, cleansing away all unrighteousness. There is no love like God’s love. No other love can do, and no other love will do, what God’s love can.

Why do I love God? I love Him because He first loved me.

1st John:4:19: We love him, because he first loved us.

He loved me when I was not worthy of His love. He loved me when there was no reason to love me. He loved me despite who I was, and all that I had done. Here is a small nugget of truth: Because He loved me first, there was no fear of being rejected by Him, because He died for me there was no doubt of how much He loves me. He has shown His love for me through Jesus, because He loved me first, all that was needed on my part was to accept His love.

It is because of His love that I submit myself to Him, His Word, and His Spirit. All that I am or will be, all that I do or will accomplish is only because of His love.

He has not only done this for me, He has done this for all who came before me and after me. The best news is this: He has also done this for you! If you don’t know Jesus as your Savior, His love is there and all it takes is your acceptance. The greater your sin, the greater His grace, and the greater His love is. It is my sincere hope and prayer, if you have not accepted Jesus as your Savior, that you will not let this day pass without considering and accepting His love for you. Today is the day of salvation, there is no promise of tomorrow. Let the love of God give you life, eternally. He is calling, will you answer?

Numbered days

We have no promise of tomorrow. For some, tomorrow will not find them among the living. So often we take our days for granted. There will come a tomorrow that, we too, will not be found. This is a certainty.

Our life here will end one day, maybe soon. My grandfather had a saying: “Short time here, long time gone”. The older I get, the more I understand, the more I see that to be true.

We live in expectation of tomorrow, in preparation for tomorrow, as though tomorrow is owed to us. Yet, not one of us know what tomorrow holds. Those who have come to the knowledge of Jesus as Lord and Savior, however, understands that He does indeed hold tomorrow. James says this:

James:4:14: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

We are here for a little while, then we vanish away. What is eighty, ninety, or even a hundred years in the context of six thousand years? Of eternity? It is nothing more than a moment. Some days seem long and full of labor, yet those days are here and gone quickly, never to return. We race through time toward an appointment and a promise that will be kept:

Hebrews:9:27: And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

Every day is another step closer to our appointment with death. After death, there is judgment. Some are racing toward their reward, others are racing toward damnation. For those who have been saved by the blood of Jesus, judgment is for their reward. Those who have declined a relationship with the Messiah have no hope, they will be appointed to wrath, a lake of fire, an eternity of suffering.

Once you leave this life, there is no second chance. We all have loved ones, family members, friends who do not yet have a right relationship with Jesus. Time is short. Let every day we have on this side of eternity be that second chance to reach out, to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ, to touch the hearts of those around us. Let today be the day of salvation. Tomorrow may be too late.