Friday, March 29, 2013

A Beautiful Savior

He came because I needed Him

All God, all man

He gave up His throne to redeem me

Lion of Judah, sacrificial lamb

He knew I could never atone for my own sin

Wonderful Counselor, betrayed

He took my place on that old rugged cross

Prince of Peace, beaten

He hung there, took my sin upon Himself

Redeemer, mocked

He covered me with His blood before God

Mediator, rejected

He defeated death on that glorious Easter morning

Mighty God, doubted

Born to die, but did it anyway – just for me

Pretty little baby, but a BEAUTIFUL SAVIOR!

-J Womack Jones 3/29/13-

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Important Message - Even More Important Jesus

Matthew 28:1-9 (NLT)
Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb.

Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it. His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint.
Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying. And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember what I have told you.”

The women ran quickly from the tomb. They were very frightened but also filled with great joy, and they rushed to give the disciples the angel’s message. And as they went, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they ran to him, grasped his feet, and worshiped him.

The women were given an important task by an angel of the Lord – go quickly and tell his disciples that Jesus had risen from the dead.  Certainly everyone needed to know as soon as possible that Jesus fulfilled the prophecy concerning the Messiah.  Nothing could be more important than delivering that message, right?  Notice the phrase I underlined.

They took time to fall at His feet and worship Him.  In all of our hurry to do the work of the Lord, we must not fail to recognize, acknowledge, and worship the Lord.  These women could have had tunnel vision for the task at hand and completely missed the Savior.  How many times have we, by our actions, said to Jesus “Not right now, I have to go to church”?  Take some time out of this busy holy week to run to him, grasp his feet, and worship him.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Feed the Sheep

I think the modern church is in trouble, and I don’t think you’ll find a whole lot of people to disagree with me. We are seeing a generation of adults now that have no point of reference to the church at all. Old traditions, hierarchical structures, backbiting and hypocrisy don’t exactly make anyone feel connected when they do happen to come.
Of course, every church is different, and this by no means is intended for all of them. The “church” to which I’m referring in this blog post is a particular community of faith in one particular place (e.g. Greater Mount St. Helen Church or Sweet Sarah Bapticostal Tabernacle). How much of what we do in church is about tradition versus the Gospel message? All traditions are not bad, but that doesn’t make them necessary either. There are things that Jesus Christ expressly commanded us to do, but much of what we do is steeped in personal preference and routine.
I just want you to think. Everything isn’t wrong, but is it necessarily right? Where do the people in high positions sit in your church: among the congregation or up front on a pedestal? Now, compare that to how Jesus Christ interacted with the people. What would happen if the pastor decided to move the scripture reading from the beginning of service to the end? How many noses would be bent out of shape over the change in the order of service? How many “this is how we’ve always done it” statements would you hear?
We have to be more progressive if we expect to capture the lost generation and those after it. I say progressive, but it really is a return to the basics. We often ask ‘What Would Jesus Do?’, but we can pick up the Bible and read about what He actually did. What DID Jesus do? How can we bring more of that into our churches? Even if we want to keep certain traditions, how can we morph those traditions into something people right off the street can understand as it relates to the Gospel message?
At the end of the day, if we have not delivered the Word of God and introduced our guests to Jesus Christ, we have failed.  If the lost stay lost and are comfortable being lost, we have wasted precious time.  It doesn’t matter how exciting and eventful church was that day; we missed the point of why we were there.
John 21:17 (KJV) He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

I Want My Abundant Life NOW!

John 10:10 (NASB) The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

We don’t have to wait until we get to heaven to live abundantly. We can live our best human lives right here on earth. The problem is that we allow the thief to steal our joy, kill our dreams, and destroy our peace of mind. The answer is to live a life hidden in Christ. Nothing the enemy uses should have dominion over us.

There is an old hymn called “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” by Helen Lemmel that I would like to share with you. Pay special attention to the refrain, and even if you don’t know the tune, recite it to yourself whenever you feel you are living any less than abundantly.

1. O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

2. Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
O’er us sin no more hath dominion—
For more than conqu’rors we are!

3. His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Thank God for Grace!

Romans 5:20-21 (NASB)  The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,  so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Law proved that sinful man could not make himself righteous. All the rules and regulations of our modern-day churches cannot make us holy. Only by grace through faith in Jesus Christ can we be made blameless before God. We need to be more intentional about thanking God for grace.

Grace can be defined as favor or goodwill. God’s grace can be better defined as LOVE. He loves us so much that we cannot fathom the depths of His grace. He continually lavishes us with blessings we don’t deserve. Yet we complain about the things we don’t have.

God’s grace is not about naming it and claiming it. God’s grace is about being forgiven. When we truly understand how grace is consistently working in our lives, then we will stop being so materialistic about it. God’s favor is not about getting good stuff; that’s a by-product. God’s favor is about salvation and reconciliation through Jesus Christ for our eternal lives with Him.