Thursday, June 30, 2011

Rahab the Harlot...Saved!

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This morning I read the story of Rahab in the Bible, which was a most thought-provoking read. The Bible say’s Joshua sent out two men to spy out the land, especially Jericho. The two men came to the house of the harlot named Rahab and stayed there. The king wanted her to turn them over, but Rahab hid the two spies on the roof while informing them of the terror which was upon the land. When the time came, she helped them escape by lowering them down from the window with a rope . While everyone in the land was terrified, Rahab begged for kindness and mercy for her and her family. As a result, she received specific instructions to follow in order to be spared from death.

So the men answered her, “Our lives for yours, if none of you tell this business of ours. And it shall be, when the LORD has given us the land, that we will deal kindly and truly with you.” (Joshua 2:14)

17 So the men said to her: “We will be blameless of this oath of yours which you have made us swear, 18 unless, when we come into the land, you bind this line of scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and unless you bring your father, your mother, your brothers, and all your father’s household to your own home. 19 So it shall be that whoever goes outside the doors of your house into the street, his blood shall be on his own head, and we will be guiltless. And whoever is with you in the house, his blood shall be on our head if a hand is laid on him. 20 And if you tell this business of ours, then we will be free from your oath which you made us swear.” (Joshua 2:17-20)
In today’s society, we hear people call us narrow minded bigots for believing Jesus is the only way to be saved.
What do you suppose the outcome would be if she replied “you narrow minded bigot, I dare you to instruct me tie a scarlet cord to my window and order us to stay inside the house, and did you forget I was kind to you?”
We do not make the rules, we both believe and follow God’s plan of salvation or we do not. We must not make our own way to salvation. God has provided the only way which is through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

10 let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. 11 This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’[a] 12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:10-12)

By the way, not only was Rahab the harlot and her family delivered from Jericho (and her sin), but she is in the genealogy of our Lord and savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

4 Ram begot Amminadab, Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon. 5 Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, 6 and Jesse begot David the king… (Matthew 1:4-6a)

She also was written about in Hebrews and James:

By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace. (Hebrews 11:31)

 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?
26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. (James 2:24-26)

Do not feel like your sin is too deep for Jesus to save you?
“I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” (Luke 5:32)
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
“ Come now, and let us reason together,”
Says the LORD,

“ Though your sins are like scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They shall be as wool."  (Isaiah 1:18)

For more reading on Rahab the Harlot see Joshua chapters 2 and 6.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast… (Hebrews 6:19a)

To me, one thought I never want to entertain in my mind is the loss of hope. A person may keep plugging away as long as they have hope. When it is all gone, one may just give up. What if one is giving up on life? This is a very dark and scary place, a place I never want to be.

We must look at what we place our hope in. For example, many people place their hope in their careers, wealth, expensive toys and luxury living. This is their hope in life, living the “good life,” so to speak. I read here (The Economic Collapse Blog) where a survey stated that 48% of the people believe it is likely we will be in another great depression within a year. Will this happen or not? I do not know. For 48% percent of the people to think so, it must certainly be a possibility. If it does happen, will these people who lost their hope in wealth find something else to place their hope in? Of course, economic collapse is not the only threat to one’s hope in wealth; end of life brings it all tumbling down. Like the old saying goes, “you cannot take it with you.” As we can see here, this hope is only temporary.

For when God made a promise to Abraham,
because He could swear by no one greater,
He swore by Himself…
(Hebrews 6:13a)

Why hope in something which will end when we can have hope in Someone who is eternal and bigger than everything? Life will always have its storms, but none will be more powerful than Jesus. When we hope in Jesus, He anchors our soul. No matter how powerful the storm is, Jesus anchors our soul. He will always hold us secure. When the storms come crashing down we know it will pass and our future is secure. As a Christian, we may always have hope. Even if we are on our death bed, we may still have hope. Even in the last hours He may choose to heal us. If He does not, then we are moments away to a new beginning, an eternity with Him where there is no more suffering. We will be experiencing a joy so incredible, it would be impossible to come anywhere close to describing it with words.

When we hope in Jesus, we are hoping in God because Jesus and God are one. Jesus is God. I pray all of us hold onto Jesus at all times, during both the calm and stormy days for He is the One who anchors the soul.

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:1-5)

All scripture from the NKJV

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Witnessing after Church

A few weeks ago I did a post titled “Jehovah Witnesses at the Door.” I intended on showing them Jesus was the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, but I was not prepared, thus I searched in the wrong chapter of Revelation. Since that time, I memorized where they are and formed a game plan. Today it paid off during a witnessing encounter when two friends and I went knocking on doors after church.

We went to an apartment complex going door to door. Most people were not much interested but took the tracts we offered and were quick to shut the door. Then we knocked on this one door to find a young woman who would listen to what we said. My two friends were doing the talking at first while I listened. Then she made the remark “I was raised as a Jehovah Witness.” My eyes light up wanting to challenge her from Revelation. So I spoke up and asked “do you believe Jesus is God?” Her reply was, “no, He is not God.” I then opened up the Bible and had her read “ 'I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End', says the Lord, 'who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.' ” (Rev 1:10 NKJV) Then I asked “who is the Alpha and the Omega?” She and I agreed that it was God (Jehovah God). Then I had her read while asking herself this question, “when did Jehovah die.” (Rev 1:17b-18) “I am the First and the Last. 18 I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore.” She hit me with “see it only says the First and the Last.” I respond "now let’s go to the last chapter of Revelation and read:” 12 “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.” 14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. 15 But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. 16I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.” (Rev 22:12-16 NKJV) I pointed out to her it says “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last and Jesus is the one speaking here.” She did not know what to say to that except “I am going to have to look into it.” My friend added to the conversation something even more powerful to her when he asked “do you know that Emmanuel means God with us?” This was an eye opener for her. This young woman was not a practicing Jehovah Witness, but she still believed what they taught was the truth. She was going the way of the world. Most Jehovah Witnesses will not take the literature Christians offer, but she did.

Last night I found an article from Dr Ron Carlson who wrote a noticeably similar strategy for witnessing to Jehovah Witnesses. I think it would have been better using his example, except I did not have it down yet, so I used what I already planned.
You may read it here (christianministriesintl) if you like. It will not take much time.

I would like to encourage everyone to get out and share your faith with the lost. Every time I do, I am blessed beyond measure. My friend Sandra at Lions Share Majesty wrote a post the other day concerning witnessing to the lost. I encourage you to go on over and give it a read if you have not. She gave an uncomplicated way to reach out to the lost.
You may read it here if you like. Lions Share Majesty

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Perfect "A"

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It was one week into a new class and all the students were overwhelmed. It was as if they should have taken another class before this, like a prerequisite. Many students were thinking of dropping the course. Then the teacher dropped the bombshell; “one week from today is the first test and you are required to receive a ‘perfect A’ to pass. Not only this test, but every test the entire year you must answer every question correctly or you will fail.” The students could not believe what they just heard. “What? This is impossible” they said. The teacher replied “this is the way it is; score 100% every test all year or fail. But there is more, I will give everyone who will receive it a ‘perfect A’ right now and you will pass the class no matter how well you do.”

What would you do?

The teacher proceeds to with instructions as to what the students must do. He said “you have a choice to make. You may refuse the passing grade right now and either walk out of class or stay and do the work trying to pass on your own. Or else you may receive your passing grade right now. You will pass no matter how well you perform. Those who want the passing grade get up and come forward to receive your ‘perfect A.’ As for the rest, you may walk out and withdraw or stay seated if you want to attempt completing the course on your own.”

The first group of students thought “this is a joke and how stupid” so they got up and walked out.

The second group of students said “I will not receive a free passing grade I did not earn.” So they stayed in their seats determined to earn their score.

The third group of students believed the teacher would give out a free passing grade yet they stayed seated anyway thinking why bother with going forward to receiving the passing grade. They believed they had a free ride. They thought just because the teacher was good, they would pass.

The forth group of students went forward, received the passing grade thinking they also had just received a free ride and they could coast all year.

The fifth group of students went forward, received the passing grade but they were grateful. They were determined to do the work they were called to do, also learn and grow in knowledge. They worked hard without the pressure of passing the course, knowing they already received the “perfect A.” They benefited greatly from the class.

The forth group of students spent most of their time on what they felt was more important to them so they did not learn or benefit much from the course.

As the year proceeded some of the ones who rejected the passing score realized they would fail without receiving the free gift of a passing grade so they went forward and the teacher gave them the passing grade.

Others who rejected the free gift kept on working hard trying to earn a passing mark. They thought “surely I will pass because of my good work; after all I am outperforming those who are not giving any or little effort.” At the end of the school year they were shocked to learn they failed the class. But they failed to learn the lesson being taught: humility, mercy and grace. They also did not do the one thing required to pass, which is to go forward and receive the passing grade.

Still the ones who felt they had a free ride and never went forward failed also for they believed the teacher would just go ahead and give them a passing grade. After all the teacher did promise to give away passing grades. They did not realize intellectual knowledge of the teacher’s free gift was not enough.

Jesus offered you a free gift of salvation, the “perfect A” so to speak. Which group did you fall into?

Scripture references for each of the groups:

1st group:

21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, (Romans 1:21-22)

2nd group:

For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luke 14:11)

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. (Eph 2:8-9)

3rd group:

Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. (John 10:1)

4th group:

If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. (1 Corinthians 3:15)

5th group:

His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ (Matthew 25:21)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

In Jesus Name

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I remember back when I was a baby Christian I still played the lottery on a regular basis. I use to covet winning so we could pay off debts and retire. My thoughts were “if we could just win the lottery everything would be great.” One day my late wife said to me “I started praying that if He lets us win we would give Him half.” I thought that was a good idea except I was not too crazy about giving the half part of it. Anyway I started praying the same prayer and the Lord answered my prayer. No, I did not win the lottery. Instead He said “I want you to stop playing the lottery; you are not going to win. Not only that you are coveting what is not yours and I want you to trust Me.”

Many times we either pray a prayer or do something “In Jesus Name,” when in fact it is not. Matthew makes it quite clear just because we say “In Jesus Name” it not necessarily is.

22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Matthew 7:22-23 NKJV)

In my above example was I praying in Jesus Name or my name?

14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. (1 John 5:14-15 NKJV)

13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. (John 14:13-14 NKJV)

For our prayer to be in “Jesus Name” it must be according to His will or we are praying according to “our” will. When we devote our time to getting to know God through His Word we learn what His will is. As our relationship with Him grows we begin to develop the same will He has and we pray accordingly. Jesus gave us a wonderful example on how to pray:

5 “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 6 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. 7 And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.

8 “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. 9 In this manner, therefore, pray:

Our Father in heaven,

Hallowed be Your name.

10 Your kingdom come.

Your will be done

On earth as it is in heaven.

11 Give us this day our daily bread.

12 And forgive us our debts,

As we forgive our debtors.

13 And do not lead us into temptation,

But deliver us from the evil one.

For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

(Matthew 6:5-13)

In verse 10 it reads “Your will be done…” We can narrow it down to “His will be done in me.” Just as Jesus prayed in the garden “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done,” we ought to pray likewise. That is, His will be done.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Genuine Heart

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Below are 9 marks of a genuine heart for Christian living and ministry in Romans 1:8-15. As I read these verses I saw areas where I needed improvement. We all fall short of the Glory of God yet we should always have a desire to grow in our walks with the Lord. Salvation is not based upon how good we become or how many good works we do; it is based upon Jesus and what He has done. That being said, "For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s." (1 Corinthians 6:20)

A Thankful Heart

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. (Romans 1:8)

Am I thankful when I see others with strong faith and making a difference for Christ?

A Concerned Heart

For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers, (Romans 1:9)

Do I pray for the ministry of others that they stand strong in the faith and the Lord’s protection upon them from evil? Am I truly concerned for them?

A Willing and Submissive Heart

making request if, by some means, now at last I may find a way in the will of God to come to you. (Romans 1:10)

Am I willing to go where the Lord sends me and do as He instructs me? Remember Jonah?

A Loving Heart

For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established— (Romans 1:11)

Do I have a heart’s desire to be among other believers and help them grow in their walks with the Lord?

A Humble Heart

that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me. (Romans 1:12)

Am I encouraged by the mutual faith of other believers? A prideful heart wants to be first and to be seen.

A Fruitful Heart

Now I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that I often planned to come to you (but was hindered until now), that I might have some fruit among you also, just as among the other Gentiles. (Romans 1:13)

Do I have a heart to see people come to the Lord and be saved? Do I desire to see other believers bear much fruit? Do I myself want to bear much fruit?

An Obedient Heart

I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise. (Romans 1:14)

Do I obey the Lord and walk in the good works the He has laid before me?
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10)

An Eager Heart

So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also. (Romans 1:15)

Do I share the Gospel when opportunity arises? Am I ready and willing to go and serve the Lord? Or do I prefer to lie around on the couch watching TV or doing whatever my thing is?

A Confessing Heart

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Romans 1:16)

Do I confess the Lord when I am around people who think the cross is foolishness and those who believe are weird? Does words that glorify Him proceed out of my mouth?

All scripture is from the NKJV