Posts Tagged ‘commitment’

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But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts of the Apostles‬ ‭1‬:‭8‬ NLT)

From the last Monday of August to the first Monday of September, a phenomenon occurs in the Black Rock Desert outside Reno, NV, known as Burning Man. A Woodstock Festival for a newer generation, tens of thousands of people will descend upon the dry lake bed for a wild week of whatever-go’s in the name of artistic self-expression, culminating in the burning of a huge wooden man.

John Wesley is reported to have once said, “Catch on fire with enthusiasm and people will come for miles to see you burn.” But the burning Wesley is speaking of isn’t a gesture of self-expression, but to be consumed with a passion for God! In a culture absorbed with self and selfies, it’s a refreshing sight to see a stance for something greater than narcissism, and even more unique when it’s genuinely about God.

If your journey is on the Christ Life path, become “The Burning Man” for those around you. By allowing the Holy Spirit to saturate your life, you will burn with God’s vision for reaching the lost. May God help us to be on fire for Him and allow others to be drawn to His flame! You are loved today!

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Then his disciples said, ‘From this we believe…Jesus asked, ‘Do you finally believe?'” (John‬ ‭16‬:‭29-31‬ NLT)

Some years ago, I heard a man affiliated with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Ministry speak of the millions who came to God through their incredible crusades over the decades and around the world. But with remorse, he made a confession: By their own estimates, only less than 2% of those who made decisions for Christ actually committed themselves to living the Christ Life.

In my own mind, I recalled several televised crusades from my childhood where teary-eyed souls would stream to the platform to pray a prayer, never giving another thought to the fact that the “experience” of the moment would be abandoned due to never plugging into a local church and a discipleship process.

God is so much more than an experience! In this text, the disciples have lived the previous three years in a very emotional place with a mighty Savior. But while they claimed to believe, it was a belief born without testing, without pain or sacrifice. His response: You don’t believe enough because you are about to leave Me (v. 32).

Your belief in the Lord, His abilities, and His power cannot stem from good feelings or academic knowledge, but from a tested and true relationship with Him. Any thought of belief apart from this is wishful thinking on our part. When you arise from the testing grounds, you will stand knowing that God is real because you endured and remain! Never settle for anything less! You are genuinely loved today!

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Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.” (James‬ ‭1‬:‭8‬ NLT)

John was raised in a Christian home, felt called to the ministry, and had even earned a Master’s Degree in Ministry. But lacking a true faith, he walked away, chasing money and spiraling into a loose lifestyle and an addiction to alcohol. Ridden with guilt, he remained away from God.

But God had different plans for John! Having been invited to a church service, he heard a man speak of God’s incredible love and forgiveness, and His power to miraculously deliver from addiction. With nothing left to lose, John gave in and asked Jesus for a new chance at life. At that moment, John found what he had never truly know, even while attending seminary: a vibrant, real relationship with the Creator of his soul!

God’s desire for you is not religious action and thinking, but a deeply moving, daily growing relationship with Him. Come to Church today and find yourself in that place with Him. This Christmas could be your best one yet! You are truly loved today!

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Jesus replied, ‘I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.'” (John‬ ‭3‬:‭3‬ NLT)

In 1985, art professor Howard Storm collapsed during a visit to Europe. As he lay in the hospital, he found himself slipping away from his body and into pure horror as he arrived in Hell. The tale ends with Storm realizing he was being lied to and making peace with God. But nothing can remove the memory of living in a world where no good can exist and only eternal torment awaits.

To be “born again” means something has to die first. As in the professor’s life, only when he found death and damnation did he realize his need for God’s salvation and life. He was fortunate. To live for God means to die to selfish living and desires; that my life belongs to God from this moment on, until I enter my own eternity.

Do not fear what you have to give up to gain the Christ Life. For every sacrifice, God replaces it with what we truly need, which is even better! Is there any reason you cannot receive a better eternity today? If not, then contact me and let me have the privilege of making it permanent! Or call on the Lord himself, who stands by ready to lead you to true life! You are loved today!

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My Lord and my God!’ Thomas exclaimed.” (John‬ ‭20‬:‭28‬ NLT)

When Thomas placed his hand upon the wounds of the newly-risen Jesus, he truly became convinced of the might and deity of his friend. While he was convinced that Jesus could work miracles, having seen them with his own eyes, he was now convinced in the true identity of Jesus, using the same measure of testing. Thomas’ proclamation sealed his allegiance forever having witnessed this latest sign.

We all have varying degrees of belief in how mighty Jesus is, some more than others. But just how many rabbits does Jesus have to pull out of a hat before you’ll be so convinced of His reality and purpose that you commit yourself to His way fully and without compromise? What will it take before you’ll walk the Christ Life forever with complete trust?

Take a moment to do a deep assessment. If Jesus has to keep performing miracles to only get a half-hearted response from you, then you’ve got a problem. Become sensitive to your own need for commitment or no amount of miracles will help! You really are loved! Know it!

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Live as children of light…and find out what pleases the Lord.” (Ephesians‬ ‭5‬:‭8, 10‬ NIV)

Linda Clements vividly recalls the moment her divorce from her husband of 25 years was finalized: “I looked at that decree, and after all the fighting and haggling, I was suddenly overcome with grief. Our marriage was actually over,” she says. “But more than that, I had a nagging feeling that our divorce was a huge mistake.” Such a mistake, in fact, that in July of last year – and seven years after they got divorced – Linda, now 53, and her husband Billy, 58, a businessman, remarried.

Often divorces take place because we forget who each other are, busy becoming a new, selfish person to mask our pain. Even with God, we forget how to please Him or why that’s an important virtue, becoming instead more concerned about what makes us happy on Earth instead of what will get us to Heaven. We forget to keep learning those we love.

This is why Bible study is so important, to keep learning what pleases God. Take time today and learn more about the Lord, and while you’re at it, keep learning about those you love! If they are important, then it must become important! You are loved today!

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When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow.” (Ecclesiastes 5:4 NIV)

According to the Center for Disease Control, divorces surpassed the 50% mark of marriages last year. As I performed a wedding last week for a family member, I’m reminded of how sacred our vows are to God, more so than they are to ourselves. While I’m pretty confident in their marital future, there are plenty I’m not so sure of.

Consider for a moment your REAL track record for keeping your promises. How many times to we make pledges and promises? Are we faithful to fulfill them? Do people know you as a person of your word, even if it hurts? Does God see you that way? It’s hard to judge ourselves, but if we don’t keep our word, the only person we fool is ourselves.

Be a person of your word. When you make a vow to God or before Him to others, always live up to it. The remainder of blessing for your life hinges upon your faithfulness. Live up to your end of the bargain with everyone! You are loved today!