As I sit here thinking what had happened these past few days, I keep stewing over the same undeniable fact. God is in complete control, and I derive my peace from Him and that. The verse that comes to mind is from the book of John.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” - John 14:27
This peace as stated here “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” - Philippians 4:7, will keep us on that solid rock that is Christ Jesus our Lord.
For those of you who don’t know, a storm that hasn’t been seen in a long time, and was ill prepared for, hit Texas. Many people including us were without power for more than 30 hours. It caused freezing conditions in homes causing an immense amount of damage to many properties.
Not to mention the deaths that have happened from the cold, the conditions that have happened from COVID, and the inability of the trucks to deliver food to the grocery stores due to road conditions. I’ve seen first hand the chaos at the stores from the mass of people who are doing emergency buying and taking more than they need. All of this has caused a frenzy all over.
People are fearing for their lives and for the lives of their families. Seeing how the world reacts to this kind of catastrophe, I sit back and see those who have this peace live and react. Either prepared or not, we move with peace and eternity in mind. This is how we should live. This is how we should live.
No matter if it’s a financial storm, a rain storm, an ice storm, a power outage, a death and yes even a war, God had given us this peace as a gift. He has made His children to be Holy (set apart) from the world and to lead as an example -to lead the people of this world to Jesus. He is the Lord of peace. The King above all kings.
In times of sorrow, and in times of struggle. In times of sorrow and pain, He gives us this peace that confounds the wise and the people of this world. Let us not forget that this peace we have, that was given us, can shine like a light to those around us as a beacon of hope to a lost and dying world. Let your light shine and let it shine bright for the Glory or God and the furtherance of the Gospel!
I have been reluctant to write on this subject because it is a difficult one to approach. The continual sin in a Christian seems odd and a highly contested issue. There are even people who claim to never have sinned after they became Christian. So, instead of listening to what people say, we should look at what Scripture says about this issue, or any issue for that matter. If we don’t get our answers from there, we are starting from the wrong point.
When we stop and think about what sin is, an offense to God, we often wonder, why would I or anyone else after being saved do such a thing? Well, it has to do with your 2 different natures you have. Your flesh, or natural part of you, cries out for darkness and sin. You also have the spiritual side, that is made new, when you are born again that seeks out the righteous God honoring things. Being a Christian though is a process. It’s not perfection but direction.
Going off of that idea of the “process”, there are 3 different “fied’s” when it comes to the salvation of a Christian. When you get saved you are (1) justified, where you have been made right in the sight of God, cleansed of penalty you owe God for your sin. Then as you live your life, you are (2) sanctified, a gradual growing in holiness. When you die and stand in front of God you will be (3) Glorified. This final one is when you will finally be free of this vile side of you. Where you can finally be cleansed of that sin nature that we have lived with all of our life.
We look at what scripture says and we see that, 1 John 1:8 says ...
“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
This is describing the fact that, we have this sin nature still in us while we are still here on this earth. It’s a battle that takes actual fighting of the spiritual nature. Prayer, renewing your mind, and taking up the shield of faith are all involved. A speaker once said “Two natures beat within my breast. The one is foul, the one is blessed. The one I love, the one I hate. The one I feed will dominate.“. It’s so true if you think about it. What are you feeding? Your flesh? If so, you and many others will notice. The exact opposite is true as well if you are focusing your energy on your spiritual life.
Brothers and sisters, let our focus not be on, making ourselves presentable to man but rather to God. May we love Him with that same love that He loved us with first. Christ is and should be the focus of our life. Remember, if we love Him, we will obey His commandments. Not perfectly but with the heart of submission towards the one we love, and our thankfulness in recognition of the sacrifice He paid to save us.
Patience is a virtue as they say. The definition for virtue is “behavior showing high moral standards” and some synonyms for virtue are goodness, righteousness, and uprightness. Even those non Christians recognize the goodness and importance of patience. You see, good things are attractive to those of this world even if the giver of those things (i.e., God) isn’t.
No matter how enticing and good it seems, and no matter how hard you try to obtain it, admittedly it is difficult to attain. From issues at work, with family, or even other drivers on the road, we show the level of patience we have when and how we react. This is a tough one for a lot of people including me at times. However when I read part of this next verse, it hit me like a ton of bricks.
“Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel....” Philippians 1:27a
Living a life honoring to Jesus, isn’t an easy thing especially when the kids are yelling, problems with your employment arise, spousal disagreements are going, and friends or strangers start arguments over things that don’t matter. However, let me pose this question, what is your focus? What is your life devoted to? Is it Christ? If you’re a Christian it should be.
Living a life worthy of the Gospel involves patience with everyone and in every situation. Just stop for a moment and think about how much patience or long suffering the Lord has had with you. Think about how much sin you have been forgiven and remember that this new life that you now live is due to the mercy, grace and love that God has shown you through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. That’s why Paul wrote what he did in Galatians 2:20.
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Also, remember that you aren’t earning anything when you “work out your own salvation” (Philippians 2:12) but doing out of loving devotion to the Lord and showing others the same patience He has shown you because He has saved you. I have had the chance to witness out of my patience I have shown to someone that didn’t deserve it. You never know who is watching you from the side. Live that life and pray your way through it. Remember no one is perfect in this but our God.
“You have been weighed in the balances and found wanting;” Daniel 5:27
When I became a Christian I knew my life wasn’t guaranteed to be easy. I knew that, Jesus said to pick up my cross and follow him (Matthew 16:24). Not to long after I became a follower of Christ, the real estate bubble popped and down went the market.
Shortly after that, the company I worked for had to shut down (real estate title insurance) because the business just wasn’t there. I couldn’t find a job making what I had made, so I started a cleaning career. I worked as hard and long as I could but, we still lost everything. House, cars, credit cards, and savings.
This seemed like the hardest time of my life but, truly it wasn’t. There have been tougher times, but God has always been there. I know that, I could have wavered in my faith through these times but I didn’t because my hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus blood and righteousness. I remember being so down that I could almost hear a whisper “curse God and die”.
The worse it got though, the tighter I clung to Him. We aren’t promised an easy ride. In fact we are warned that we will have troubles. We are told to count the cost, and not to take it lightly. Many say, you are who you are when no one is around. What about when your kids or wife see you in those times? They see how your faith in Christ leads you in times of trouble and need.
How do you act in the rough times? Are you lashing out in anger or depression? Both are easy to fall into but Christ is our strength. Let me encourage to draw near to Him in your times of need and in your times of plenty. If you can’t rely on Him for everything, your statement of faith is nothing more than that, a mere statement, not a real faith.
The fear we think of as Christians should be this kind of fear. We should always remember who it is we call Father, the God of all creation who spoke everything into existence. The one to whom the mountains bow down, is the one we call Lord.
Before I was saved I imagined Him as this angry old guy in the sky and I did have a healthy fear that he would crush me if I sinned (not like I wasn’t a specialist in it) and cast me out. I had a completely unbiblical view of Him and didn’t know God or Jesus as I should. No one ever showed me in Scripture His attributes.
As a Christian though, I have learned to study and see that, the one who I was afraid of, wasn’t even real. True, God could squash us like bugs, and honestly that’s what we deserve for sinning against Him, but He has grace and mercy for us. The fear I now have, is a Biblical one. I hate my sin, I hate my pride. Really, the beginning of wisdom and knowledge, is hating what He hates, and loving what He loves.
When we stop and think about it, doesn’t this just make you want to praise Him more?! How much different is the God of the Bible than what you where taught as a kid? The true God of the Bible is amazing and loving, the just judge for sure but truly more than I could have ever imagined. I can’t wait to open His Word and get to know Him better. I hope you feel the same.
It has been our objective to write a Biblically sound evangelism book. While many fantastic books exist that teach Biblical evangelism, presuppositional apologetics, and creation apologetics separately, there aren’t any that put everything together into one easy-to apply book. In this book, you will learn how to evangelize properly, using the Law and the Gospel, and to handle the most common objections using presuppositional and creation apologetics.
The book will also address one of the biggest lies today – we will demonstrate why evolution is wrong and why the Christian evolutionist must attempt to serve “two masters” – man and God. In the end, he is only serving man.
Dr. Anthony R. Silvestro, Jr. & Jonathan Eckel, Ev.
“Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?” 1 Corinthians 1:20b. Think about the wisdom of the world, this modern world. Is anything really any better than say, any time period in the past? We have the same old problems. We are more comfortable and supposedly so great. Ever noticed man’s wisdom, how it’s nice to sit around and talk. Think of all the talk shows, from daytime talk shows to politics to sports. What can they do? Nothing. Have they ever really solved man’s biggest problem? Sin. We need the forgiveness of sin and man’s wisdom could never do that. With man’s wisdom we have no change, just more sophistication of man’s philosophy.
How does a church grow Biblically? As we take a look at this “popular” subject, we have to remember that, as Christians, we must start and stand on God's Word (The Bible) for all of our views. This is no different, although you might get confused while walking around a "Christian" bookstore. You will see all kinds of strategies and different “ways” to manipulate people into coming through your doors. One of the things that you have to remember is that it is not your doors. The doors (as well as the rest of the church) belong to Christ. He gave you the lamp stand. If He chooses to grow the body of believers in your church, that's His prerogative to do so.
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
A good friend of mine asked me a “simple” question: what do I like best about street preaching and evangelism. I have to admit I had a really hard time answering this question because there is a lot I like about the topic. If it wasn’t for me meeting a street preacher witnessing in NYC I might be still stuck in a heretical church. It was through this preacher and his friendship thereafter that God used and is using to make and help me grow in my Christian walk.
After months of procrastination, I finally committed to go downtown (Cleveland, OH) to witness with Jonathan Eckel and some of his regulars one night. Upon arriving, I was given a stack of tracts and was asked to simply hand them out and try to engage people. Hey, I thought, I've listened to enough of Wretched Radio's Witness Wednesdays. I could do this.