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Soldier4Christ
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« Reply #60 on: January 29, 2006, 12:49:17 PM »

Living In Anticipation

By: Adam R. Rinehart

”Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:1-2)

When I look forward to my first glance of what Heaven will be like, I have to go back and remember the many times that I saw a full rainbow with billowing clouds spreading over the sky. The thunderstorm rolled in that morning, and I remember seeing the dark clouds as they rolled over the earth. I enjoy sitting out on my front porch watching them roll in, then darting inside to not get wet, hear the tornado warning, taking cover, and then with the finish of the storm going back on the front porch seeing the sun peer though the clouds. With much anticipation, I peer to the east to see a rainbow as bright as any color I have ever seen in my life!

When I anticipate what I will feel like when I get to Heaven, you know that I love to get excited about small things. But, when the BIG things come I get ecstatic! I kind of would liken it to the day that my daughter was born. The anticipation was so strong the night before she came that I barely could sleep. I was thinking about so many things about getting ready to be a Dad, it was probably good that I did not sleep. I will never forget the moment she was born. They did all of the normal tests on her, and the next thing I know, they have her wrapped up like a little papoose. The nurses handed her to me in which at the very moment I held her above my wife’s face so that she could see her. The nurse said, “Come on!” I then got to take her to the nursery right in my arms.

Jesus did not say that there was a place for us in Heaven. He said that there are many mansions in Heaven and that He is going to prepare a place for us. Which means that it is being prepared for us, and He is going to come and get us for a wonderful homecoming. He will be there! Our friends and family will be there! There will be no more pain and no more tears. It will be the most beautiful place that you will have ever seen. Words will never be able to describe it.

There is one problem. Not everyone will be able to be there. You say, “Not everyone?” Nope. You must have a ticket? Do you have yours? If not, I want you to know that it already has been paid for, all that you have to do is believe and accept it. You see, later on in the chapter, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man comes to the Father except through me.” You see, He has already paid the price for you and I with His death, burial, and resurrection. All that we have to do is believe and accept our ticket for eternal life. If you have not accepted, I would encourage you to pick up your ticket today! You too could be a part of that great family reunion, and you too can experience the sights and feelings that won’t last for a little while, but that will last for eternity! May God’s Grace Abound In You

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« Reply #61 on: January 30, 2006, 10:11:55 AM »

Every Moment

By: Tiffani Johnstone

Be Wise in the way you act with people who are not believers, making the most of every opportunity. When you talk, you should always be kind and pleasant so you will be able to answer everyone in the way you should. Col 4:5 (NCV) 

Exiting the store, Leslie hears her name. As she looks up, she realizes that it’s one of her good friends that she has not seen in a while. They meet up with each other and ask how each is doing, but then her friend asks her why she is looking so sad. Catching Leslie off guard, she responds that she didn’t realize she was looking sad. Leslie knew that this would hinder her trying to share Christ with this friend because her friend had always talked about why would she want to be a Christian when it seems Christians are not any happier than she was. As they went their separate ways, Leslie had some thinking and changing to do.

Ever had a similar experience? As I look around me, I constantly see people who are looking down, have a frown on their face and just do not look happy. As Christians, we are to be different. When you go through a line at the grocery store and the cashier doesn’t say hi to you, do you say hi first? You never know what kind of day they might be having and just a little bit of kindness can go along way. We are told to make the most of every opportunity. This does not mean when we just feel like it but also when we do not feel like it. Sometimes it is just a smile or a simple hello. Sometimes it is going out of our way to make someone feel cared about and accepted. Whatever it is, we need to do it.

A challenge for all of us is to become conscience about how our demeanor appears to others. Do we look down? Do we look up and smile at others? Sometimes we have to be the one to take the initiative. As I used to walk in the mornings, the people I would pass usually looked down. I made it a priority of mine to say good morning to them. This was at 6 o’clock in the morning and therefore maybe, just maybe, it could get their day started off in a cheerful manner. How are you affecting someone’s day? Affect it for the good of Christ!

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« Reply #62 on: January 31, 2006, 11:11:49 AM »

Where's Your Seed

By: Ben Lippens

Matthew 13:20-21,23 - The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. (v.23) But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil, is the man who hears the word and understands it.

All Christians have been given a seed which was received with salvation. From that point, we choose to either grow up in our faith, or become dead and useless. We position ourselves and our seeds, so begin to think of where your seed is right now.
Is your seed sown in good soil, or are you one who has fallen onto rocky places and has no root?

So many times I see people around me get a "spiritual high" off of a service or some sort of bible study, but when the sun rises again, they allow sin to engulf their lives. Why? Because their positioning is away from the source of Life. How do we get our spiritual food if we never show up at the dinner table? Therefore, Position yourselves before God in prayer and study. Allow God to develop your seed as He pleases, and consider yourselves useless so that God will use you in a way like He may have never done before.

Christ has come so that you can have life, and have it more abundantly, and the word of God is alive, so why are Christians living like it's dead? Where are you at when you read this? When a hardship hits your life are you brought away from the word? Or even more so, when your life is going well, do you forget God exists? When the winds blow, don't get knocked over. Grow out your seed, and root yourselves.

Stop living as a baby Christian. God is not a game. It's time to mature and stop warming up a church seat. Your not in Church merely to receive a word. Your in Church to receive the Word, and to apply it to your life. Don't let the application part get you lost. Take your word and be bold. Stand Firm in your faith. Stay encouraged.

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« Reply #63 on: January 31, 2006, 11:12:49 AM »

Reactions

By: Tiffani Johnstone

"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’
Mat 25:37-40

Do you remember where you were when 9-11 happened? Do you remember how you felt? What about the most recent, hurricane Katrina? What was your first reaction when you found out the destruction that it caused to not only one state but three? It is amazing to me how we can remember the little details when a tragedy occurs. When 9-11 happened, I was about to head to class. It did not really affect my emotions all that much other than in my head thinking ‘oh my goodness’. Hurricane Katrina, on the other hand, still has my emotions in high gear every time I hear anything about it.

Living here in the south, in the Bible belt, I am constantly hearing ‘Well New Orleans deserved it. It was just a city of sin anyway.’ Or another one that I hear is ‘Well God finally decided to judge New Orleans.” Yes I agree that it was a city of sin and that it was our modern day Sodom and Gomorrah but at a time like this, we are not the ones who need to be throwing the judgment at the residents of that city. Rather, we need to be showing love and helping them in any way we can. It was not only New Orleans that was demolished but it was other cities as well so I’m not quite sure how one can pass judgment and say that it was God’s wrath when it was not localized strictly to New Orleans.

These residents are homeless, jobless, some familyless, and others hopeless. It is our job as Christians to instill hope into the hopeless. How else are we to do that than simply help them out where they need help? When people are in crisis, you have to meet them where they are. I realize that there are some of us that live so far away from the affected area that it is hard to see how we can help. Others do not have the financial means to help. That is okay. If the most you can do is pray, then pray. Pray and seek the face of God for these people. They need to have someone interceding on their behalf. Pray for their souls. Do whatever it takes to do whatever you can.

What is your next step of faith? Are you going to continue sitting there saying that these residents deserved it or are you going to reach out and help those in need?

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« Reply #64 on: February 01, 2006, 08:27:26 AM »

Gone Before You Know It

By: Matt Crawford

"See then that ye walk circumspectly [diligently], not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil." Ephesians 5:15-16 KJV

When I moved into my apartment in February of 03, one of the things I was most excited about was the pool. I'd never had my own pool that I could use any time I wanted. My swimming was always done at friends' or family's or at public pools. So of course, I couldn't wait for summer to arrive.
I had big dreams of going for a swim every day after work, inviting friends and family over for swimming and food, and just being able to lounge around in the water whenever I wanted. As soon as the pool was open, I was out there. I remember the first day. The water was still freezing, and I kept going out every day after that waiting for the temperature to be tolerable. When it finally was, I was in paradise!

At first I swam every day, invited people over like I had planned, and enjoyed it to the full. But soon I found myself taking it for granted, knowing I had the whole summer to swim whenever I wanted. Before I knew it, it was the end of August, and very suddenly, rain came and the temperature dropped way down. The last day the pool was open in the beginning of September, I decided to go for one last swim. Again, the water was freezing! On that day, I missed the heat of summer, and wished I had enjoyed it more while I could. But now it was over. The next day, the apartment manager came and locked up the pool until next year.

The moral of this story, and the warning Paul gives in Ephesians 5:15-16, is that we have time now, every day, to live for God and produce fruit for His kingdom. Before we know it, though, that time will be up. Our "manager" will come and call us in and lock the doors behind us, and any work we will have done will be final, all we get. The word "redeem" in the above verse means to ransom, buy up, or take opportunity. The word "evil" can also mean calamitous, or ill. That says to me that while I am able now, the days may come when I don't have my full health, or the freedom I once did. Stress, responsibilities, illness, or even (according to the bible) persecution may hinder my abilities.

We need to stop spending our time as if we have it in unlimited quantity. The time will come when our opportunity to work for God is finished. We will either be raptured, called home to be with God, or even become weighed down by the illness and calamity this life can cause. Let us buy up, and ransom our time, and use every opportunity and all our health to serve God. Let us put in our work while we still can, so when "summer" is over, we don't look back and realize that we didn't use the time to it's full potential.

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« Reply #65 on: February 01, 2006, 08:28:17 AM »

Gone Before You Know It Part 2

By: Matt Crawford

"See then that you walk circumspectly [diligently], not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil." Ephesians 5: 15-16 KJV

Ever treated a friend as if you knew they'd always be around no matter what? Ever taken a possession for granted under the assumption that you'd never lose it? How many of us have come to the point where we see something going away from us, and we realize how much we want it now that it's gone.

Today's devotional is fitting at this time because Labor Day weekend is over and many of you are back to school. Alot of you just this weekend experienced your last boat ride, your last swim, your last trip of the summer, your last family barbecue, and maybe you're even regretting all those days you spent inside playing video games or watching TV instead of enjoying mother nature. Although you hated that summer job that kept you from playing every day of vacation, you now relish the memory of having that to do instead of school.

Some of you spent your summer vacation with family out of town, and now that it's back to your own place, you're regretting the small stuff like the couple of hours you spent not talking to your cousin because of an argument. Now that you won't be seeing them for a long time, you wish you'd have taken advantage of every second.

The point of this devotional is just to make use of these little examples while they are fresh in your mind, so you will remember how it feels when something is no longer available to you. The bible says the days are evil, which means they don't always promise fun and fortune. For the Christian, goodness and mercy shall follow us all the days of our lives, but things do change. Jobs change, residences change, people pass away, friends move on to other towns, you change schools, and these are just a few examples of the uncertainties of life. For the greatest example, look to New Orleans. Hurricane Katrina has changed life there forever, and while people must move on, I doubt there is one person who doesn't wish they enjoyed their home more, that family member they lost, or even the small things like running water and refrigeration. Today, remember to love those around you, enjoy your friendships, and appreciate to the full the things you have.

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« Reply #66 on: February 02, 2006, 10:11:09 AM »

Are You Livin’?

By: Tiffani Johnstone

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.” (Titus 2:11)

Grace? What is this mysterious word? Webster’s defines it as, “unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification”. Unmerited divine assistance…hmmm. That evidently means that no matter what, as a Christian, we have access to this grace. It is by grace that we are able to say “no” to worldly things, not by our own strength. Ever tried to be good enough on your own only to realize it does not work? Maybe it is time you give God’s strength a try and allow Him to be the one that gives you the strength to carry out the life He wants for us.

Titus refers to what a godly life looks like. It is self-controlled and upright. Our society these days definitely does not know what the word ‘self- controlled’ means or even looks like. Are we Christians being different? Are we showing them what it looks like? How about when your friends want to go sneak into a movie? What do you tell them? Do you risk being made fun of or do you go ahead and go along with them? What would it look like to be self-controlled in this situation? Possibly telling them “No, I would rather not.”

The biggest part of this verse that hits home with me is that Titus isn’t saying that the grace was just for them back in the Bible days, but it is real for us today, this present age.

1 Thessalonians 4:7 states “For God did not call us to be impure, but to live holy lives.” Ever wonder what kind of calling God had on your life? This is it. Beyond our school work, beyond whatever careers we might be looking into, beyond relationships, our call is to live a holy life, a godly life. Are you livin’ it?

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« Reply #67 on: February 02, 2006, 10:12:17 AM »

Arguing with God

By: Beth Hays

"Do you still want to argue with the Almighty? You are God's critic, but do you have the answers?" (Job 40:1-2) NLT

Shamefully, I must admit, I am the queen of arguing with God. When my mom first became ill I got angry...I told Him that He needed to heal her now. Well, he didn't and that infuriated me even more. When he called my nanny home to Him in heaven...I screamed at Him for hours. When he took away my best friend, I turned away from Him.

He lovingly accepted me back when I was willing. But, I didn't stop. He called me into ministry...I said no. I would not speak in front of people. I wanted a quiet, stable job. I didn't want to be a youth minister! Eventually, He got me to agree. Now, he's changing my heart so that not only am I doing it for Him...but I WANT to do it.

Today I was talking with my best friend Lauren. She is moving to France for a year to further her education there. I became so angry with God. Why would He put such an amazing person in my life and then let her walk away? I sobbed as I told her I was happy for her (which I was...but oh so sad for me). Then I sat down and opened my Bible.

Then the LORD said to Job, "Do you still want to argue with the Almighty? You are God's critic, but do you have the answers?" (Job 40:1-2) NLT

OK...you win AGAIN God. Why do I ask such questions? Why do I doubt the judgment of the creator of this beautiful world? I will never understand why... But, I gave it to God. I handed Him my broken, lonely heart. I know His plan is so much bigger...and who am I to argue? If you are wrestling with God about a situation in your life...let this verse stop you in your tracks...just as it did for me. God knows what he is doing. Trust Him...and don't argue!

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« Reply #68 on: February 03, 2006, 10:39:14 AM »

  My Friend

By: Janet Adams


John 14:17 from The Message
This Friend is the Spirit of Truth. The godless world can't take him in because it doesn't have eyes to see him, doesn't know what to look for. But you know him already because he has been staying with you, and will even be in you!

“I am lonely, I have no friends.  No one likes me.  I have no one to talk to.”  Have you ever felt this way?  Some of us at one time or another will feel alone.  Sometimes we just don't feel we have a friend in the world. 

The Bible says that we believers in Jesus do have a friend, one who is always with us and in us.  The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth is our friend.  It is with us and lives in us.  The world without Jesus can't see it or feel it; it is hard to explain to an unbeliever what a friend we have in Jesus, you have to experience it for yourself to know.  When Jesus comes into your life, you are never alone; you have a friend for life and beyond. 

I urge you that are believers to introduce someone to a Friend who will always be with them and will live in them.  What a gift to give someone who feels alone, to introduce them to a loving God who will live in them.  What comfort for those who feel like they are not loved, what companionship for those who feel they have no one to talk to.  Everyone will feel that way sometime in their life but not everyone will have a personal Spirit to dwell in them unless they meet the source, the Savior, Jesus Christ.  Introduce your Friend to someone today.   

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« Reply #69 on: February 03, 2006, 10:40:07 AM »

  He's Got The Power

By: Adam R. Rinehart


Jeremiah 32:17-18 “17 "Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you. 18 You show love to thousands but bring the punishment for the fathers' sins into the laps of their children after them. O great and powerful God, whose name is the LORD Almighty,”

When my wife and I lived in Chicago, we had the unfortunate joy of living with roaches.  We would spray and spray, but to no avail, there was no success getting rid of them.  The maintenance man would spray, we would bomb the apartment, and still a week or two later, the roaches would come back.   It was not us it was the people that lived around us! 

My usual routine is to get up at least one time a night for a drink of water, and no sooner would I open the refrigerator door would one of those “mean looking” roaches be right there on the counter, and they were unlike any roaches you have ever seen.  You see, most of the time a roach will run at the site of light, but these guys were fierce.   Generally, they would just stand there, and look up at me as if to say, “This is my apartment!”  They would never run!  Needless to say, I put the “smack down” on those roaches, and they ended up in File 13!

You know, we do the same thing with God.  We think that we are someone and get full of pride, thinking that we can control the universe.  We forget that it is impossible to take on God because God is the ultimate power!  All that it takes Him is one word and something can come to be. All that God has to say is,“Universe be!” and  BOOM!  There it is!  See the power of God!  If God wanted to, He could squash us, and especially could throw the “smack down” on any attitude that we may take up.

You know, roaches are not hard to deal with we have the power in the sole of our shoe to take care of them.  What about your life?  Is there something in your life that is too big for you to deal with? We think that we are “big” enough to deal with it, but in reality we are not.  We have to be willing to give it over to God to deal with.  Nothing is too hard for Him!  Won’t you take that problem and let Him handle it today?  You know, God can and will put the “smack down” on them if you only let Him.  May God’s Grace Abound In You.

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« Reply #70 on: February 04, 2006, 03:54:26 PM »

Facts or Truth?

By: Courtney Huff


“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides.  You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors.  So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely.  Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.” (James 1:2-4, Message)

Have you ever had to walk through a time and a place where your faith is tested to the point that you can hardly believe you still believe?  God has had me in that place for the past several months as I’ve dealt with a situation that is so unjust and so hurtful that it often seems beyond words.  I have prayed and pleaded with God more times than I can count to step in and change things, to stand up for the defenseless, to bind up the brokenhearted and save the afflicted.  I mean, that’s what He’s supposed to excel in doing, right?  Well, so far, for some reason beyond me (I guess that’s why He’s God and I’m not!), He’s chosen not to do that – at least, not yet.

But what’s so amazing is that God has increased my faith in Him even though the circumstances haven’t changed.  Something my pastor said once has stuck with me through this whole experience.  In every situation, our faith is affected by whether we look at the facts or at the truth.  All of us have facts that surround us.  For me, my fact is I am being treated unjustly and have a weighty sorrow I can’t escape.  Maybe your fact is that you’re stuck in an abusive family, or your best friend is hurting himself and you can’t stop him, or every person you thought you could trust has turned on you, or something else equally as difficult.  So often, we only base how we feel and our faith on these facts of our lives.

But listen – there’s more to life than just the facts!  There’s also the truth – God’s truth.  Listen to what He says…
The Lord is your strength and your shield. (Ps. 28:6)
You are more than a conqueror.  (Rom. 8:37)
You are an overcomer by the blood of the Lamb and the word of your
testimony. (Rev. 12:11)
You are God’s workmanship and handiwork. (Eph. 2:10)
You are God’s chosen, holy and beloved (1 Thes. 1:4)

And of course, the list goes on.  All of this remains truth, regardless of our circumstances.  What happens around us does not negate what God has said!  For me, because God has said He is my defender and refuge in time of trouble (Psalm 46:1-3), I can rest confidently in that truth, regardless of what the facts of my life are right now.

So today I pray that your faith would be “forced out into the open” in the midst of the circumstances you’re facing as you look to God’s word for the truth that never fails.

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« Reply #71 on: February 04, 2006, 03:55:39 PM »

Salvation Earth

By: Amber Alonso


“We are confident that you are meant for better things, things that come with salvation.”  (Hebrews 6:9)

There are so many wonderful things in life that God has created for us to enjoy.  There are relationships, adventures, food, fun, love, laughter, peace, children, pets, nature, churches, etc. But have you noticed that although these things surround you and you have accepted Jesus into your heart, you still feel down or incomplete at times?  You would think, that well I’ve accepted Jesus into my heart, so I’m all set.  I have my ticket in the door so I’m good. 

Well, there is more to the life the God wants you to live than just standing in line with a ticket in your hand.  God has a purpose for all of us, but if we do not look past the gates of salvation, we do not see what He really has in store for us.  I’m not necessarily talking about the eternal heaven that we all will see one day, but I’m referring to the salvation that He grants us on this earth. 

Have you ever been completely selfless and helped someone out in his or her most earnest time of need?  Do you remember how that felt?  Do you remember the feeling of complete satisfaction and appreciation for being blessed for doing such a thing?  Have ever stood in awe of a rumbling thunderstorm in the distance or the beauty found in the soul of your closest friend?  What kinds of deeper meaning did you find in all of this? Have you ever felt what it feels like to really do the right thing when faced with all opposition? 

This is the salvation that I’m talking about.  There is a joy that God wants to share with us here on earth.  In Hebrews the Jewish-Christians were encouraged to see go beyond the fact that they had repented of their sins and asked Jesus into their heart to receive their ticket into heaven.  “Our great desire is that you will keep right on loving others as long as life lasts, to ensure that what you desire will come true.”

We all have the ticket, but are we missing the grander show and the joy of the ride? I encourage all of you today to take your ticket and run with it.  Don’t just stand around waiting in line for your time to be up.  Grow in the Lord.  Read the Bible, seek His counsel at every turn, and praise Him for every blessing and joyous feeling He gives you along the way!  Don’t miss out on the salvation that He has here for you on Earth.  May God bless you and keep you!   

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« Reply #72 on: February 05, 2006, 12:59:13 PM »

  He Is Risen

By: Adam R. Rinehart


TDDM is looking for new writers to join the team. If you have the talent and the commitment to write a devotional each week, please write an E-mail to Adam@tddm.org for an application.

The hush whips across the mountainside as the crowd leaves the place called Golgotha.  Not very much conversation will be happening on the road home today.  Tears are being shed, feelings have been hurt, Jesus was just crucified on the cross this morning.

Lifeless, the corpse of Christ lay in the tomb.  Broken and crushed were the twelve, who deserted Him.  Not to mention the number of different lives that He touched.  Will He rise from the dead as He promised?  Would this be the end?  Friday night came and went.  Saturday too.  Sunday morning came and the earth began to rumble.

Two women came to the tomb with the intent of bringing spices to the body of the one that called Himself the Messiah.  To their surprise, the stone was rolled away, and they could not find His body.  The angels proclaimed, "He is Risen! He is alive! He is truly the Messiah!  He is Alive!"

Jesus died and rose so that you and I may have eternal life!  The same is true for us today!  Jesus is risen, and He is alive and wants a relationship with you and I! He wants to fulfill His promises and touch your life.  Won't you accept Him today?  May God Be With You


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« Reply #73 on: February 05, 2006, 01:00:16 PM »

Preach Christ Crucified

By: Rev. Adam R. Rinehart


"And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again." (Luke 18: 33)

"…but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks”
(I Cor. 1:23)

This afternoon, I was sitting in my office doing what I do best, using my imagination.  While I was using my imagination, images of the cross came to my mind and I felt the Holy Spirit leading me to think deeper than I have ever thought.  Imagine with if you will as you read along that I am a missionary and am proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ to you.  I am going to tell you that a 33 year old man was electrocuted in the electric chair for your sins. 

There are many hymns that have been written about it. When I Survey The Wondrous Electric Chair and The Electricity Will Never Lose It's Power or The Old Rugged Electric Chair—remember we are imagining.

Now imagine that if people caught onto the religion, and wore electric chairs around their neck, on their t-shirts, and as decals on their car windows.  Imagine if you had an electric chair hanging in the church or on your wall at home. You drive down the road and come to the next church and what do you see but three electric chairs on a hill representing the one who died for you and me.

What would your response be?  "Well that is the dumbest religion anyone would have ever invented!"   Would you be offended?  The imagery would be totally different than what people see in the cross. Or would it?

The problem with that is that the electric chair is so much better of a punishment than what our Jesus took upon that tree.  Yet, when we look at what people are saying nowadays, I wonder if they really realize that.  "Don't preach the cross any more, it doesn't work."  "A crucified Messiah is stupid, preach prosperity, give them emotional experiences, provide them with self-esteem then you will fill the pews." The proof: look at your church, does the pastor preach the cross?  When was the last time that you heard a message on the cross?   If not, I wonder how many people are going to Heaven?

Friends, we are called and mandated to preach Christ crucified, buried, and risen again on the third day.  Are you doing that?  Are you sharing that with your friends?  I pray that you are.  May God's Grace Abound In You!

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« Reply #74 on: February 06, 2006, 10:40:26 AM »

Pretty High and Tempting

By: Tony B. Rhoda


"Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Turn and flee from sin." (James 4:7) NKJV

Everyday we come in contact with some pretty tough situations. Times when there isn't anyone to turn to and nobody to stand by your side. Sin stares you right in the face and haunts your every move. It stalks you around every turn and is determined to pin you to a corner so you can't escape. Many of you know exactly what I'm talking about. The other day I came in contact with one of those situations.

My dad came up from Miami to spend the week at Disney which is only about an hour from my house. Sunday was the only day I had off, so I packed my swimming trunks and drove to Mickey's house. I arrived there just in time to stuff myself with some breakfast and jump on a bus to Disney's Blizzard Beach. But, little did I know what lurked behind those snowy gates.

The day went by pretty fast and so did my skin as it turned 4 different shades of red before turning to its purple state that it's in now. Life was great, kids where laughing, parents relaxing, and my dad just staring in awe towards the main attraction. I walked over to where he was standing to gaze with wonder. Off in the distanced gleamed the tall, shadowy, silhouette of the largest, fastest, steepest, water slide in the world. My dad smiled, took me by the arm, and the march to my death began.

The closer we edged to the slide, the more fearful I became. Sweat started rolling down my face as I was gripped with the agony of my fate. As we stepped through the entrance to this suicidal slide, I felt my life come to an end. Then it hit me, the only chance I had was to make a mad dash through the line. There was an opening where I could slip through to the kiddy pool, It just might work. I took a deep breath, said a short prayer and made my last effort to dive through the line to safety. After nearly tripping over every chain and bumping into a really tall hairy man who was having a bad hair day, I was able to make it out.....alive.

Even though the fear of a slide could never compare to some of the things we face every day in our lives, it symbolizes what we as Christians need to do. As Paul tells us, we need to literally turn and run from sin. When we are tempted, or when sin comes to grab our arm, we need to turn the other direction. In God's word it shows us that we will never be tempted more than we can handle. He also tells us that there will never be a situation that we cannot escape. Even though the slide probably wouldn't have killed me, sin can. Not only can it kill you now, it can keep you from eternal life. If you haven't already, ask Jesus into your heart. If you have, realize that there is nothing that you can't do through Jesus Christ, who we all know strengthens us. The next time you get tempted or threatened with sin, remember Jesus died on the cross so we can stare at even the biggest sins in the world and simply....walk away. God Bless and Keep the Faith!

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