Friday, February 6, 2009

Who do you serve?

"If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of
lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!" (John 8:42-45 NIV)

Pretty strong words from our Savior Jesus. Did He just call the religious leaders on His time Satan's children?

Yep, He did. Why?

Because they were blinded by religious tradition so much that they couldn't even see their long awaited Messiah standing right in front of them. These men were leading the flock and they missed their own opportunity for salvation. Sad, but what's even sadder is the fact that they blindly led their followers down to the pit as well.

Do you fall in to this category at all? Are you blinded by tradition so much that you can't see what plain as day before your eyes.

"For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools." (Romans 1:21-22 NIV)

You see, the religious leaders knew the scriptures, they knew the law. They clearly knew what and how things were supposed to happen. But when it came to pass, they were so jaded by tradition, they missed the signs and miracles for what they were: a roadmap to the Messiah.

There are numerous accounts in the four Gospels of where Jesus performed miracles: healing the sick, blind, deaf and even demon possessed. Many times these leaders were in His presence when He did them. And even then, they were so caught up in themselves that they refused to believe. Even going so far as to chastise Jesus for doing it on the Sabbath, never acknowledging the fact that He just healed someone that they didn't! What nerve?!

So again, I ask you: Are you bound up in tradition?

You might say "But I believe in Jesus. I know who He is."

So does the devil himself! Satan was an angel in God's high court before he fell. (Isaiah 14) He knows exactly who Jesus is. The devil has read the Book and knows the ending, he just refused to acknowledge it.

"They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an evil spirit came from the tombs to meet him. This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him any more, not even with a chain. For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and
cut himself with stones. When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. He shouted at the top of his voice, 'What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won't torture me!' For Jesus had said to him, 'Come out of this man, you evil spirit!' Then Jesus asked him, 'What is your name?'
'My name is Legion,' he replied, 'for we are many.'" (Mark 5:1-9 NIV)

Even the demons recognized Jesus for Who He Was!

Here's another example from Acts of the Apostles:
"God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, 'In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.' Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. (One day) the evil spirit answered them, 'Jesus I know, and I know
about Paul, but who are you?' Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding." (Acts of the Apostles 19:11-16 NIV)

You see here that the demon knew Jesus and even knew Paul. But the people trying to cast out the demons didn't really believe in the Name of Jesus. That's why they weren't recognized by the evil spirit and overtaken by him.

I'll tell you the truth, there is great power behind the Name of Jesus.

"Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:9-11 NIV)

What's the point I'm trying to get across to you? It's not enough to just go say to someone that you know of Jesus. The demon in the above passage has the same confession.

What's really the crux of this is that you need to let the power of Christ inside you. Take it in, like food. Chew on it, swallow it. The let your spirit digest it. The let its nourishment radiate out in all aspects of your life. Share your faith with people, don't worry about what people will think. Worry about what God, the judge, jury and executioner thinks.

Bottom line: God loves you and send His Son to die on the cross for YOUR sins. Accept the Perfect Sacrifice and live for Him today.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16 NIV)

Monday, February 2, 2009

This is my creed!

By Petra
from Beyond Belief (1990 DaySpring Records)

I believe in God the Father - maker of heaven and earth
And in Jesus Christ His only Son
I believe in the virgin birth
I believe in the Man of Sorrows bruised for iniquities
I believe in the Lamb who was crucified and hung between two thieves

I believe in the resurrection on the third and glorious day
And I believe in the empty tomb and the stone that the angel rolled away
He descended and set the captives free
And now He sits at God's right hand and prepares a place for me

This is my creed - the witness I have heard
The faith that has endured
This truth is assured
Through the darkest ages past
Though persecuted, it will last
And I will hold steadfast to this creed
I believe He sent His Spirit to comfort and to reveal
To lead us into the truth and light, to baptize and to seal
I believe that He will come back the way He went away
And receive us all unto Himself, but no man knows the day

This is my creed - the witness I have heard
The faith that has endured
This truth is assured
Through the darkest ages past
Though persecuted, it will last
And I will hold steadfast to this creed

I believe He is the Judge of all men, small and great
The resurrected souls of men receive from Him their fate
Some to death and some to life, some to their reward
Some to sing eternal praise forever to our Lord