Proclaiming a Message of Good News and Hope to our generation!

Month: July 2014

Who do You Think……You Are?

Never has there been such a time when more people are experiencing what is called an “identity crisis.” Girls think they might be boys, boys wonder if they are really girls, and some think they are both boys and girls. The traditional roles individuals play in life are being constantly challenged, even in the church.

Everything is not as cloudy and murky as it may seem. Some things about ourselves can be clearly known and understood. The One Who created us all has a purpose in mind for each one, and He is eager for us to know that purpose.

The Bible states in the first chapter of the first book, Genesis, that human beings were created in the image of God, and were given dominion over all the earth. That was God’s original intention. Adam and Eve inadvertently gave up that dominion when they were tricked by the Serpent into disobeying God. This event is known in theology as “The Fall.” In it the innocent and pure relationship humanity had with the Father and Creator of all was broken. But God from the beginning set in motion a plan to heal that relationship.

Even though all people who were born after that were imperfect and sinners from the nature that was passed down to them from their parents, the imprint of God’s image and character has not been entirely erased. James tells us that when we curse men, we are cursing those who still in some way bear the image of God.( James 3:9).Sometimes, in our effort to understand how all of us, even the best of us, need forgiveness and salvation form sin, we tend to forget who we all really are in God’s original view of us.

Because of the fall, we have become dead in our sins, alienated from the life of God. In our alienation, we seek for relief in many different pleasures of the flesh. Some are not even wrong in themselves, unless they are meant to be a substitute for the relationship with God that we so desperately need. For thousands of years, many people lived in the hope of a promise that our Savior Jesus would come and cure the sin problem. Those who embraced that promise were granted access into the presence and peace of God. After Jesus came, announcing the Good News that righteousness, peace and joy had come, He fulfilled all the promises made and brought reconciliation for all through His death on the Cross. By His resurrection He vindicated God’s original purpose for man to rule in His stead and after the Day of Pentecost, that very resurrection life was shared with thousands who trusted in His Word.

So who are you? Are you the person God intended for you to be from the beginning of time? Or have you been tricked as well into rejecting His idea of you? Have you embraced Christ, the solution to all of humanities problems? You see, He is the image of the invisible God. He reveals to us how we are destined to live under our Creator and Father God. Not as failures, but as victors. We are more than conquerors through Him who loves us!

The deception of sin is very deep. Billions of us truly believe we can live without God in Christ. Our pride prevents us from confessing our need for Him. Even many who confess their need for Him continue to live as slaves of sin. Why is that? This is truly a mystery, but there is power in the Word of God to awaken us to who God intends us to be and who we already are in Him!

If all this seems foolish to you, then you are free to go on in your own way, rejecting the help the Lord has provided. But if it rings true, then I encourage you to place your trust in the One Who gave His life for you, to clear you of all guilt and sin. Believe in His power to break the deception that keeps you from your full freedom in Him. As soon as you consent to His dealings and receive Him as your Lord and Savior you can know for certainty that you are a child of God! (Romans 8:16). This is not who you will be but who you are!

In fact you always were His, but like the prodigal son in the parable, you were away from the Father’s house, and on your own. When he came to himself, he remembered his home, his father, and who he really was! (Luke 15:17) This is not to say that the effects of the fall are not real. We face them everyday. Murderers, thieves, terrorists, child molesters are all proof that something has gone very wrong in humanity. In order to turn things around in any way, we must first establish our own personal identity in Christ.

See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. (1 John 3:1-3 NASU)

Do not believe the lie that there is no hope for you, that you are worthless. Christ paid the ultimate price to redeem you. If you believe in Him and continue in that belief, He will reveal how much victory you already have in Him. You will not have to identify yourself as a sinner any longer. If you later fail you must continue to reject the voice which is telling you to give up. When you belong to Christ, He will empower you and daily you will grow in grace. Only be honest before Him, and receive the help and correction he brings from His Word and from the fellowship of other children of God.

This is not about lifting ourselves up. It is about humbling ourselves before Him so he can lift us up.

No child of God wants to see another child of God live a defeated life. When some of us struggle with old habits and thought patterns, we all are affected as well. We need to pray for one another and encourage one another to believe in the victory that Christ has won for us all. I cannot say for certain why some have a more difficult time than others. I can only say that Jesus Christ has provided all the power that we need for any struggle we might face. Persistence in seeking Him will yield the answers we need. The strong can hold up the weak until all of us live in His victory.

The reality is that what we think and believe about God and ourselves does affect how we live. If we believe that God is all-powerful and also greatly in love with us our mental and emotional state will be lifted upward. If we have a limited view of Him and His plan for us our level of hope and confidence will also be limited. The Word of God is the key to changing our point of view about God and our place in His universe. He has a wonderful plan for each one of us! Believe and trust in Him. Surrender your plans and discover His plan for your life. It is more wonderful than you could ever imagine!

No Longer Church As Usual

This past weekend my wife Brenda and I were very blessed to meet and worship with Tim and Carolyn Kurtz and their church family in Albion, Michigan. This trip came about after I read his book entitled, “No Longer Church As Usual, Restoring First Century Values and Structure to the 21st Century Church.”

The book was so interesting and encouraging, that I wanted to discuss it with the author, and if possible, meet face to face. Upon contacting him I discovered that he was as enthused about meeting me as I was him! So we both arranged our schedules so that we could talk about the book and Brenda and I could attend two of their meetings.

Without exaggeration I can honestly say that it was like getting together with old friends rather than making new ones. The Saturday night meeting in their home was exciting, with plenty of discussion and participation. What I did not expect when coming to Michigan took place on Sunday morning. Instead of listening to preaching, I was invited to participate in a panel discussion with Tim, with his brother Joseph moderating. Again, even though we were in a new environment, we felt right at home. The response was encouraging, and actually I was able to freely share some things the Lord had placed on my heart for some time.

We are definitely looking forward to what the Lord Jesus has in mind regarding our family and the saints at New Life Ministries International!

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