Archive for the 'Pictures of Christ and Christ Followers' Category
What are some things God wants us to always be doing?
To answer, here’s one of many thanksgiving quotes from the Bible:
First Thessalonians 5:18 - “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
First Thessalonians 5:17 says, “Pray without ceasing.” As you allow the Holy Spirit to fill you, His fruit shows by an attitude and practice of prayer, enabling you to give thanks in everything! This great task of perpetual thanksgiving would never be possible if we’re not men and women of prayer. To be one of answered prayer, you must be a follower of Jesus Christ, the only Way, Truth, and Life! (John 14:6)
So, thankfulness leads us to pray, which, when answered, leads us to thankfulness, both commanded of us by God.
Thankfulness and prayer can also lead to an exciting life! It will help you look on the bright side of life, and we all know that being optimistic makes you more fun to be around.
One of the most optimistic people I’ve heard of was Zig Ziglar (November 6, 1926 – November 28, 2012). A well-loved quote of his is, “Confidence is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you.” Now that’s a happy attitude! Zig helped many people with his positive attitude, which he shared in his conferences and books. He was fun to be around! His life was based on walking by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. He showed and taught how to live successfully as a result. That kind of attitude was possible, because he knew how to be a thankful person. I recommend his book, Better Than Good: Creating a Life You Can’t Wait to Live!
If you want to experience a complete life of Promised Land living in Christ as a man or woman following Jesus, get to know Jesus, our Promised Land! In OT Exodus, most of the Israelites, as they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years, were not thankful people. In fact, their constant grumbling and complaining disobedience, despite numerous warnings from God, is what kept them from finally entering the Promised Land of Canaan. Their children, not they, were the ones to enter into Canaan! The complaining bunch of Israelites who had previously been delivered from slavery in Egypt, and who crossed the Red Sea on dry ground, all thanks to the LORD’s doing, eventually forgot to pray and give thanks to the LORD. As a result, they grew to despise their leader, Moses, and grumbled against God.
Knowing God starts when you accept Jesus into your life to be your Lord and Savior, trusting His sacrifice on the cross as payment for your sins. If you don’t know how, just sincerely pray a prayer something like this:
“Dear God, I confess or admit that I am a sinner. I know that You can’t allow any sin in your presence. Without you, I would suffer in hell-fire for all eternity. I trust your death on the cross, Jesus, as full payment for my sins, and I receive you into my life to be my God, Lord (Master), and Savior. Thank you for dying for my sins and for rising again from the dead! Please come into my heart and life by your Holy Spirit to save me. I give myself over to You, Lord Jesus. You are the Boss in my life now. Thank You for saving me, Lord Jesus! Now be my life and enable me to walk in obedience to you. I thank You and praise You! I pray in Your name, Jesus. Amen”
If you see your need to be saved, and you just prayed that prayer from your heart, WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF GOD! Hallelujah!
All of you who just trusted in Jesus as your Lord and Savior really have the greatest thing to be thankful for now! I’m sure I don’t have to tell you
that, if you have just given your life over to Jesus! This is your spiritual birthday, for you’ve been born again! Jesus said in John 3:7, “…You must be born again.“ This means that everyone who has trusted and believed in the Lord Jesus has passed from death to life. Their spirits have been regenerated to be alive unto God again! “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life (John 5:24).”
The Apostle Paul said in Titus 3:4-7: 4“But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that having been justified by His grace, we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
For a new Christian, as well as for those older in the Christian walk, a life of thanksgiving and prayer is the key to personal joy and victory in Jesus. Prayer and thankfulness keeps you on track with Jesus, helping you to live a life of obedience to the Master! I pray that you choose that kind of life starting today, Dearly Beloved! That’s the way to blessing for you and the way to let your light shine in Jesus. You cannot be a picture of Christ to the world, if your life is not filled with prayer and thanksgiving as a Christ follower.
Please let me know if you’ve just trusted in the Lord God Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord! I’d be so glad to hear from you. I’ll read comments as time allows, due to the vast amount of them I’ve received. Your next steps are to tell someone what you’ve done, be baptized as a testimony of your new life in Christ, and get into a Bible-preaching church.
Hosea spoke to the northern and southern kingdoms of Israel (Ephraim) and Judah, but also speaks a vital message to each of us today! Emphasizing the first three verses, here’s Hosea 6:1-4:
1 “Come, let us return to the LORD, for He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us.
2 He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day, that we may live before Him.
3 So let us know, let us press on to know the LORD. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; and He will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain watering the earth.
4 What shall I do with you, O Ephraim? What shall I do with you, O Judah? For your loyalty is like a morning cloud and like the dew which goes away early.”
Before seeing what Jesus has done for us, a brief background of the book of Hosea is helpful:
“Hosea” was prophesied mostly to the northern kingdom of Israel in the middle of the eighth century B.C. Hosea lived in the final days of the northern kingdom, around when they fell to Assyria in 722-721 B.C. God “tore and wounded” his beloved, chosen people, Israel, because of their overwhelming, adulterous worship of false gods, the Canaanite deities of the land they lived in!
The LORD told Hosea to marry Gomer, an adulterous wife, to symbolize God’s unfailing love for His covenant people, Israel. Hosea had to take back Gomer, even though he knew she was being an unfaithful harlot with other men! This was a picture of unfaithful Israel, whom the LORD continued to love, even though they worshiped Baal and sacrificed at the pagan high places. They even had “sacred” prostitutes at the sanctuaries and worshiped the calf -idol at Samaria. Horrifically, “they sacrificed their sons and daughters in the fire. They practiced divination and sorcery and sold themselves to do evil in the eyes of the LORD, provoking Him to anger (2 Kings 17:17).”
God judged them, sending Assyria to destroy their northern kingdom and take them captive. Israel, whom He had previously rescued from slavery in Egypt, had forgotten Him; now they were taken back to Egypt. As always, if they would only repent, God would restore them!
Pictures of Christ, our Resurrection and Spring Rain
Hosea 6:2,3 tie this book into the love the Lord Jesus Christ has for His Church. If adulterous Israel would return to the LORD and forsake their worship of false gods and idols, hope would indeed be restored to them! Though God had torn them and wounded them in judgment, He would heal them and bandage them up. He would revive them after two days. He would raise them up on the third day, that they might live before Him.
Every born-again Christian has been torn and wounded in the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ! He took our sins into His own body, so that He could be judged by His Father for all our sin-guilt. The nails tore and deeply wounded His flesh! We were crucified with Christ, as He bore our sins and took our punishment.
Isaiah 53:4-11 (NASB) reveals Christ’s suffering:
4 “Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.
6 All of us like sheep have gone astray; each of us has turned to his own way; but the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.
7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, so He did not open His mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment He was taken away; and as for His generation, who considered that He was cut off out of the land of the living for the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due?
9 His grave was assigned with wicked men, yet He was with a rich man at His death, because He had done no violence, nor was there any deceit in His mouth.
10 But the Lord was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief; if He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, and the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand.
11 As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; by His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, as He will bear their iniquities.”
Such great love extended to us by our only true God deserves to be enthusiastically received by everyone! Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection for each of us occurred to give us life in Him, if we will trust in Him as Lord and Savior! As He comes into your life, you will be restored to fellowship with God!
Picture of a Christ-follower:
Your heart, your “parched ground,” will drink in Christ, your “Spring Rain”.
Once you have “Jesus in you”, unlike Israel in Hosea, your loyalty won’t have to be “like a morning cloud and like the dew which goes away early (Hosea 6:4).” If you’ve never asked Jesus to save you, are you ready to experience the love and forgiveness from the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit today? God is offering you the way to be saved from an eternal fiery hell! Please don’t reject His call to you or His grace (“God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense”). Receive Him by God-given faith, and begin living a new life in Christ as He lives in you!
Please receive Jesus and be saved today. Don’t delay! This may be your last opportunity!
Enoch is an Old Testament picture of what a Christ-follower today should look like, what your walk and my walk with Christ should look like. Even though many things were different during his time, he obviously knew the meaning of life, that of worshiping God as King, out of a deep faith in Him.
Genesis 5:21-24 reveals: 21 “Enoch lived sixty-five years, and became the father of Methuselah. 22 Then Enoch walked with God three hundred years after he became the father of Methuselah, and he had other sons and daughters. 23. So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. 24 Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.”
Do you and I want to truly walk with God in holiness? If so, we need a ~WAKE-UP CALL~ !
What does walking with God look like? The Bible doesn’t tell us too much about Enoch, only that he lived 65 years, had Methuselah, walked with God 300 years after becoming a father, had other sons and daughters, and lived 365 years altogether. The most important part of his life, though, was that he walked with God, so closely that God took him! How would you like to be taken up into heaven without going through death? That’s what happened to Enoch!
That can happen to you too! It’s called the Rapture for us during this day and age in the church. Jesus is coming one of these days to get His bride, the Church! His desire is that every Christian walk with Him as closely as Enoch did. He will take all of His Church – people who are blood-washed, forgiven saints of God. It would be your best choice to be an on-fire-by-the-Holy-Spirit Christian! This again, is God’s whole desire for each of us, to be filled up with God, controlled by Him. Anything less is missing all God and life have for us!
Walking with God may mean saying “No!” to worldly things and worldly entertainment. Do we want to be busy watching ungodly TV shows or movies that we are calling “not so bad” when Jesus comes to get us? Or do we want to be abiding (living) in Christ, studying God’s word, praying, and going out to tell the world about Jesus with our words and also with our loving actions, at any available moment before Christ returns to get us. Time is a-wastin’! Let’s get off of our couches and computer chairs and go share Jesus! I’m telling myself this too!
God does want us to care for the orphans and widows and all those in need, but He also wants us to “go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit… (Matthew 28:19).” As we share the love of God by caring for the needy, we must also be telling them about Jesus the Savior! This cannot easily occur if we are too busy with our own little lives of entertainment, i.e., video games, TV, internet, and other pursuits that can turn into something selfish.
Let’s get back to living as the Church, united in fellowship with other believers and especially with Christ! We must be the Church that is seeking Christ, examining the Scriptures (Acts 17:11) daily as those in Berea did: 11 “Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”
God’s ~WAKE-UP CALL~ to us in Ephesians 5:14-17 is: 14 “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead and Christ will shine on you. 15 Be very careful, then how you live – not as unwise, but wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”
So we are to make the most of every opportunity, redeeming the time!
Live as if Jesus might come today, for He very well could! Are you doing His will right now? Are you walking with God the way Enoch did? Are you saying “No!” to earthly things and living to please God and to tell all those you can about Jesus?
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Each of us normally has 10 fingers. Have you ever wondered why God has given us this specific number? I believe it is because 10 is the number of completeness. We can use these 10 fingers to complete our work with, as we go about our business.
We can also lift these hands of 10 fingers in complete worship to God. We must present them to Jesus so that He can work through us. Let’s raise our hands to God in complete praise, offering ourselves and all that we do, to Him. We can offer them for His use, as He moves through us. Only in Christ can any of our work truly be complete! He originally made us complete, but mankind became flawed and incomplete when Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden. Now, if we have been washed in the blood of the Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ, we are complete in Him again! If that has happened to you, He longs to and will work through you completely as you let Him!
God has also given us 10 toes. Everywhere we go should be completely at His bidding. Romans 10:15 (NASB) says, “HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!” The KJV says, “How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”
Isaiah 52:7 says, “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’” The feet mentioned here are even willing to climb mountains to spread the Gospel! So we see that not only are our works with our hands to be completely done in Christ, but our feet, with their 10 toes, are made to completely be doing His work also, going where He wants us to go to share the Gospel (Good News) about Jesus with those who need Him as their Salvation! As we actually go do this, we will be walking in His footsteps; men and women following Jesus! Does this sound like an exciting lifestyle to you?
This puts a whole new spin on what the meaning of life is, something we may have forgotten, as we live out our very busy schedules. We have been made to be used by Him to praise Him, to work with His power, and to go and spread the word about Jesus!
So, let us individually, and as the Church, ask the Lord Jesus to help us serve Him with our hands and feet as He empowers us with His strength and His Holy Spirit! Do you want to lift your hands in worship and dedication to God? Do you want to have “beautiful feet” that go to share the gospel, wherever Jesus may lead you?
Please comment, so I can know where you are in this. You’re also welcome to share insight you may have about working and walking with Christ! :)