5 Important Truths we Forget


As a Christian in America, I can easily become distracted from the important things. I’ve been realizing how easily I can forget important principles and truths from Scripture. So, I’ve compiled a quick list of 5 things we Christians often lose sight of and forget: 

  1. “My hope is built on nothing less, Than Jesus blood and righteousness, I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly trust in Jesus name” ~ Cornerstone, Hillsong Worship
    1. All too often we put our hope in something other than Christ. I often put my hope in the political outlook or in a candidate. Many people put their hope in finances or in having a good job. Others put their hope in relationships. Let’s remember to put our hope in Christ first. “Israel, put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption.” ~ Psalm 130:7
  2. “The devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” ~ 1Peter 5:8
    1. As human beings, we have a disadvantage of not being able to see the spiritual realm. Because of this, we often forget that there is a spiritual war being fought all around us. God’s angels are valiantly fighting the Devil’s minions in an epic war. Our disadvantage is that we are a part of the war. But, being unable to see it makes it very difficult to participate. We need to be aware that the Devil is trying to destroy us and is constantly out to oppress us with his demons, and to tempt us with sin. We need to take of the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, and use it daily in our fight against evil (Ephesians 6).
  3. “This world is not my home, I’m here for a moment…I’m bound for glory.” ~ Bound for Glory, Vertical Church Band
    1. Those of us who live in the Western world, and in a first world country, probably struggle with this concept more than those who don’t. Jesus said it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven (Matthew 19:27). It is very easy to let the comforts of our lives, and the good gifts God has given us, to become too comfortable for us and for us to trust them for our salvation. We need to remember that we are only here for a short time, and the comforts and joys in heaven will far outweigh what is good here! Let’s fix our eyes on things above (Colossians 3:2)!
  4. Persecution is a Privilege, Suffering is a Given
    1. We are guaranteed to suffer in this life (1Peter 4:12-19). God tells us throughout Scripture that difficult trials that we face are given to us in order to refine us and mold us to be more like Christ. We need to redefine how we think of “good”. Rather than it being what we deem as enjoyable and comfortable, we need to realize “good” means whatever draws us closer to God. We also need to realize that not all of us will be given a chance to experience hardcore persecution. Scripture teaches it is a privilege. Some of us will sigh in relief… But we need to remember that “a good follower of Yesu (Jesus) is like the ox – ready either for the plow or the alter, for service or for sacrifice.” ~ Safely Home, Randy Alcorn pp.347
  5. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood,but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” ~ Ephesians 6:12
    1. The political authorities in this world who are doing evil, the mean kid at school, the bad cop who is racist, all of these people are really just puppets for the Devil. They have souls, and Jesus died for them. Our fight is not with them; it is with the Devil. So let’s pick up our Sword, and our quiver of Prayer, and not spend our time fighting them, but fighting the enemy.

 

John 10:1-10


John 10:1-10

 

In verse one, Jesus warns his disciples of false theologies, salvations, and leaders. They are the ones who bypass the gate and climb in some other way. These men, women and ideas are thieves and robbers.

Then Jesus goes on (verse 3) to describe how his disciples will know him. “He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out [of the sheep pen].” But, he goes on to say that the sheep follow him, “because they know his voice”. This is very important, because it reminds us that we need to passionately pursue Christ’s voice. We need to learn to listen and recognize his voice.

In verse five, Jesus says that his sheep “will never follow a stranger”. This is because they will “not recognize a stranger’s voice”. Rather than being confident that you will never follow a stranger, we should focus on following Jesus. For if we can recognize his voice, we will recognize the fallacy in the stranger’s voice. Therefore we should test every teaching and “hold on to what is good, [and] reject every kind of evil” (1 Thes. 5:21-22).

In verse seven, Jesus essentially states that He is the only way to heaven. There can be no multiple ways to get to heaven because everyone must “[enter] through me” and he who does this “will be saved”. This is a very important point and one that we all should strive to focus on, for “the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Matt. 7:14). Though this path is difficult, Jesus promises us that we “may have life, and have it to the full” (Jn. 10:10) if we follow him and enter through The Gate.

Snow, A Poem


Snow

­A Poem By Hudson Farrell on 11/27/2013

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Silently comes through the night,

Gracefully falling from heaven to earth,

White, so right, and bright as light,

Opposed to that which warms the hearth.

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Beginning as water, life’s source,

Slowly transfigured, during its fall,

Finally visible, new to all,

Blanketed across the earth, without force.

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Wonder at first the people do,

Considering from where this thing has come,

Transfixed are they by the new,

Filled with awe by its splendor.

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Wet and moist is it that is white,

Saturating those it touches completely through,

Those warmed by the hearth are filled with fright,

At that which permeates through and through.

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Children running, laughing, playing

Their eyes are opened,

Seeing the wonders anew,

Not caring whether it soaks unsparing.

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The snow so white, so right, so bright,

Becomes dirtied after the thirtieth sight,

Taken for granted is that which is extraordinary,

Assumed and predicted to come repeatedly.

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Yet come again it will one day,

White and splendid like a horse,

Fierce and loving will it fall,

And that time it will stay.

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Snow represents Jesus and righteousness too,

God became man in a beautiful way,

Saturated and filled with Christ are they,

Who know Jesus in a childlike way.

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Taken for granted is that which is good,

Hidden because of the sin in our hearts,

But to him who becomes wet from snow,

He is cleansed from the fire within,

So that he may be like Christ and glow.

The Great Commission


Matthew 28:18-20

18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

I feel like we take this passage for granted many times. Its the Great Commission, a John 3:16, a widely known passage. But I feel like we don’t quite get it (we being Christians in America). So I want to break it down a little:

  • “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” is a bold declaration that Jesus is God! I don’t know about you, but I always skim right past this part. This is loaded! Jesus is LORD over heaven and earth. No human could ever hope to attain that (unless you believe in Mormonism where each of us supposedly will become gods and rule over our own planet). Jesus is basically saying that HE IS GOD! He is the Christ, the ruler of the universe, the Son of God.
  • The next part “Therefore…Holy Spirit” is the best known part. Most Christians would say that this is the Great Commission right here in four words “go and make disciples”. Yet, we take this part for granted every day. I would say that at least 75% (probably more) of Christians don’t even share their faith every week (myself included). And this is supposed to be “what Christians are supposed to do”.*
  • The third part “and teaching…you.” is what I consider part of the Gospel. This is a part that I think is skipped over too much. I believe that the Gospel message needs to be preached to non-believers AND believers. That is the Great Commission. We generally focus on the lost, but we need to just as much if not more focus on the saved so that they may share the good news with the lost. This part is often lost in the message.
  • And finally Jesus gives a promise to us. He knows many of us will be persecuted for following His instructions. This last line is a wonderful promise that He will help us say the right words to the lost and will give us the right words to teach the saved. PRAISE GOD!!

*Keep in mind I’m referring to American Christians, not necessarily global Christians (although if you feel convicted then you probably count too!)

Heaven


Have you ever thought about what heaven will be like? I do all the time. Someone once told me that we are like glass cups. Jesus gives us the free will to choose what shape and size we will be made in. As we choose what we want to look like He slowly molds us with fire to that shape (see Mark 9:49). Some of us will choose to be large glasses, others only want to be small glasses. Before we choose, however, Jesus lays out the conditions: none. He tells us he will make us as small as we want or as large as we want. But He also gives us a promise. He promises to fill us up entirely when we get to heaven. When we enter heaven we will be full!

This is a great analogy. It shows how Jesus promises us that He will satisfy all of our needs in heaven. He will fill us up completely. It also goes to show that our choices can limit or increase the amount He will fill up. Each of us will be perfectly content in heaven, but some of us will be filled up more (more intimately close to Jesus). Amazing isn’t it! The power we hold. Ironic isn’t it that we will gain more by ‘seemingly’ giving it up?

Is the Bible True?


If the Bible is true and without error, then Jesus Christ was the Son of God, fully divine and fully human, because the Bible claims He was (Mark 1:1). But, how do we verify that the Bible is true? Well, Jesus himself recited the Bible as authority of his work and verification of his person (Matthew 28:18). So if the Bible is true then Jesus is the Son of God, or if Jesus is the Son of God (meaning he cannot lie or be mistaken), then the Bible is true. So now we know how to verify all this. In order to find if the Bible is true, then, Jesus must be God, so, now we need to verify if he is who he claims to be (Mark 14:61-63). But before we do that I would like to touch on something.

If he is not, God and human, then not only is everything he said up in the air, then, the Bible is not true. The Bible is not true because it claims he is God come to earth in man’s form. And if the Bible is not true, then there is no way into heaven. Not even good works will get us there, because the only list of perfect behavior (ten commandments) is given by God in the Old Testament. But, if the Old Testament is not true anymore, then, that list of perfect behavior is not necessarily what will make the cut into heaven. Suddenly perfect is not perfect, and either Moses got the list wrong, or God is really not good (because in order to get into heaven we have to be like God in our actions, and if the list is fallible then God is not who he says he is), and God is really this flip god with temper and anger, and really gave us the wrong list on purpose for his enjoyment. And for all we know God just decides who goes to heaven and who doesn’t, but with this kind of God (temper, changes his mind, etc.) who really would want to go to heaven and endure the wrath of this god.

Ok, now to verify if Christ is who he claims to be. If Christ is who he claims to be then these claims have to be true,

a). He forgives us of our sins (read Matthew 9)

b). Jesus said he would die and come back to life (Matthew 12:40)

c). Our sins would have been forgiven if Jesus died on the cross and rose again. (Luke 5:24; Matthew 26:27-29)

No where in the Bible does it even hint to suggest that a mere man has the authority to forgive sins and take them out of our life. This immediately eliminates any chance of Jesus not being God and only being man appointed by God. Second if Jesus did not die and come back to life, he would be lying as he said he would. Third our sins have not been forgiven if Jesus is not God and he has not died on the cross and he has not risen from the dead. This explains why those who do not believe Jesus is God, find other ways or books to find a new way into heaven. But, as I’ve said, those ways do not work as the Bible is not reliable, and they expound from the Bible with their other beliefs.

One of the main, things that has to occur then, is for Christ to have died and began living again.  I will begin this discussion next post….