February 22, 2007

Could you be trusted?

A friend of mine had asked a question about Jim Bakker, who once led a popular television Christian program called, The PTL Club.

After he became familiar with Jim Bakker's story, he had asked if he could be trusted again and also asked what my opinion was of him. Written below is what I had shared with him.

Ask this question, has God trusted you after you have sinned? You and I can answer that question honestly to say, yes, He has.

Remember Ted Haggard, the pastor from Colorado, who was removed from his position as pastor because of his sexual immorality, he may one day become a pastor of a church again.

With any sin, we suffer the consequences of it, emotionally, physically and spiritually. If we truly come to God and repent of our sin before Him, God will restore us. Others would need to see the change that has occurred so that they could trust that person once again. It may take some time because that trust was broken, but it can be regained. Just like baptism is an outward expression of an inward change, our lives would have to show the inward change by the outward expression of our love and appreciation for God's grace and forgiveness. You and I know that it is His love that makes us want to change to become better at living the Christian life.

Look at the Apostle Peter. Did Jesus trust him after he denied knowing Christ? Jesus trusted Peter with the Gospel to fulfill the Great Commission even after he cursed a woman denying he even knew Jesus. Has Jesus trusted you with the Gospel, after you have sinned? I, myself am included in that question too.

If we are the same way with others who have broken our trust, as Billy Graham showed to Jim Bakker, we would be showing the world the same forgiveness and restoration of trust to someone, in a Christ-like manner, because Christ lives within them. What an awesome way to share the Gospel with someone too!

The Apostle Peter is probably the best example I can think of that would be similar to Jim Bakker and to you and I, generally speaking of course, but it does apply.

Psalm 51:10-13 says,

Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners shall be converted to You.

Have a blessed day.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

February 14, 2007

Valentine's Day

Can I be your Valentine? - God

That would be a pretty cool billboard to see somewhere along the road!

Today, is Valentine's Day. If you're single, you're not too thrilled about it and if you're married, men...I hope you did not forget to do something nice for your sweetheart.

To show one's appreciation and love should not be only on one single day of the year. Everyday can be Valentine's Day, with the exception of not having to buy roses and chocolates every single day. That would be very expensive and fattening too! I already feel like a jumbo M&M from all the food I've been eating. I need to get away from eating so much pasta. Suggestions anyone?

The Bible is filled with passages about love. The word love is mentioned 236 times in the New Testament.

The most commonly known verse about love, which Billy Graham, his son Franklin Graham and many others have evangelized to people around the world where Jesus said, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16, NKJV).

As I sit here thinking about that verse, I asked myself, why would God love the world so much to send His Son to die for people so that they may gain heaven? How could He love the world when it is filled with so much that is not good? Well, first we have to recognize and acknowledge that God did not create that which is not good.

The story of creation, in the book of Genesis, God had said "it was good" after everything He had created during those six days and when He had looked upon all that He had created He said "it was very good." (Genesis 1:1-31).

The thing that had corrupted what was good, was the disobedience of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, when they chose to listen to the serpent rather than obey God's command, to not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (Genesis 2:17).

Despite their disobedience and their fall into temptation, God did not unleash his displeasure upon them.

February 1, 2007

What was on the menu for Jesus at the Last Supper?

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29, NKJV.

The other day during lunch at work, some of my co-workers began questioning what Jesus ate at the last supper with His disciples? Since no one else knew the answer and guessed that it might have been fish, or chicken parmigiana, which it definitely wasn't, one person turned and said, "Ask Kurt, he should know!" Well, I didn't, but I searched the Scriptures to find out and shared with them the following.

In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus had instructed two of his disciples, Peter and John, to go into the city to prepare the Passover meal for them (Luke 22:7-8). The Passover meal originated in the Old Testament book of Exodus and is found in Chapter 12, so here is where we know what they were to prepare. This account is also found in the Gospels of Matthew and Mark.

In the book of Exodus, chapter 12, God had spoken to Moses and his brother Aaron, instructing them how to prepare the Passover meal. The main course was to be a lamb, without blemish or defect in any way, a male and one year old. The lamb was roasted by the fire, served with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. God had instructed that there was to be no leftovers whatsoever and if there were any, it was to be burned the next morning.

The Passover is named such because when the unblemished lamb was killed for the Passover, the Jews were to take the blood of the lamb and "paint it" on the doorposts of the house, so God's judgment (death) would pass-over that household and no one would die. God had said to Moses and Aaron that the firstborn male of the household, the firstborn male beast would die, if the blood of the lamb was not found on the doorpost (Exodus 12:12-13). God would not accept a lamb that was stained to protect the Jews from His judgment. He wanted a pure, spotless lamb and Moses and Aaron told the elders of Israel to do as the Lord had instructed them (Exodus 12:21-23). So when the tenth plague occurred and the firstborn of every household was killed, including all who were in Pharaoh’s house, he released the Jewish people who were in captivity, to Moses and Aaron and told them to leave Egypt.

During Jesus’ last supper, the disciples ate lamb, unleavened bread and bitter herbs, but Jesus did not eat the meal with them. He wanted to, but said that He would not eat the Passover, nor drink the wine that was offered during the meal, until it was fulfilled in the kingdom of God (Luke 22:15-16).

Why did Jesus not participate in this ceremonial meal? The Passover meal was an early ceremonial law that held a high priority that was to be followed by the Jewish people. Jesus had said that He came to fulfill the Law and what was spoken of Him by the Prophets and so, Jesus was/is the sacrificial lamb that through His blood is the forgiveness of sin and by His death we can live in Heaven with Him.

The unblemished lamb mentioned in the Old Testament is symbolic of Jesus Christ in the New Testament. He is called the Lamb of God by John the Baptist in John 1:29. Jesus is called the Passover in 1 Corinthians 5:7 and in the book of Revelation, Jesus is mentioned as the Lamb as well.

It is quite revealing to read in the book of Revelation, the lamb which the apostle John sees in heaven, is a lamb that was slain, who redeemed people to God by His blood (Revelation 5:9-10).

The blood of the lamb which saved the Jews from God’s judgment in the Old Testament is the same as the blood that was shed by Jesus Christ which redeems people back to God and forgives people of their sins, by God’s grace (Ephesians 1:7, 2:8-9). So the question to ask is, have you let the Lamb of God take away your sins?

Jesus Christ wants to come into the heart of every person and those who heed to His knocking on the door of their heart, He says, "I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me." (Revelation 3:20, NKJV). Is there anyone in the world with whom one could enjoy a lifetime meal with, other than Jesus Christ?

If you have not had a meal with Christ, I invite you to have a lifetime of good food, with Jesus Christ by clicking here.

There is a sermon by Bob Deffinbaugh regarding this topic and if anyone is interested to read it, the message can be found by clicking here.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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