Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Equipped For Service

Chuckle:  "College: a four-year period when parents have access to the phone."
 
Quote: "O most merciful Redeemer, Friend and Brother, May we know Thee more clearly, Love Thee more dearly, Follow Thee more nearly: For ever and ever." --Sir Richard of Chichester
 
EQUIPPED FOR SERVICE
 
   Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." And with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit" (John 20:21-22 NIV).
 
No doubt you have felt inadequate for the tasks our Lord has given us, e.g., Matthew 28:19-20.  These feelings are directly from Satan who desperately wants you to see yourself as a failure in serving your Lord.  He wants you to "throw in the towel" and give up.  However, if we truly have the desire to be obedient to our Lord, we will search the Scriptures prayerfully, in the power of the Spirit, to find the strength to make obedience not only possible, but the source of unspeakable peace and joy.
 
Our passage records Jesus' appearance to His disciples after His resurrection.  Once again, Jesus identified Himself with the Father who provided the authority for everything He had done.  Then an amazing and powerful commissioning ceremony occurs.  With three simple, yet amazing, statements, Jesus equips the disciples/us with everything they/we would ever need to carry out the mission given them and us.
 
First, Jesus gave them His peace. "Peace be with you!"  Here, Jesus reiterated a promise He had made previously, just prior to His crucifixion.  "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you . . . do not be afraid" (John 14:27 NIV).  Paul describes this peace as a supernatural peace "which transcends all understanding and will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus"  (Philippians 4:7 NIV).  With this kind of peace all fear, doubt, and uncertainty are removed.
 
Second, Jesus gave them His purpose.  "As the Father has sent me, I am sending you."  Jesus affirms that their authority in carrying out the mission given them comes directly from Him.  Jesus demonstrated how they/we are to go about sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with a lost world.  He has told us what to do and showed us how to do it with love, mercy and compassion.
 
Third, Jesus gave them His power. . . he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit."  Here, Jesus gave His closest disciples an early gift of the same Holy Spirit that was made available to all Christians on the day of Pentecost. "And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly" (Acts 4:31 NIV).  The guidance and power of the Holy Spirit are necessities in everything we try to do for our Lord.  When we try to do God's work in our own strength, we will fail at every turn.  Jesus said, "If a man (person) remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me (my Spirit) you can do nothing" (John 15:5 NIV).
 
Do you have His peace?  Have you accepted His purpose as your own?  Have you accessed the power source (Holy Spirit) to make it all possible?  I pray you have answered each of these questions with an unequivocal "YES," for the glory of God.
 

Love, Jerry & Dotse 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Daily Devotionals

My Brother or Sister in Christ,

There will be no daily devotionals posted for  Monday through Friday, June 16 – 20, 2014.  They will resume on Monday, June 23d.  May God richly bless you and yours.  

Love, Jerry & Dotse

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Lordship of Christ

Chuckle:  “I see our neighbors have returned our grill,”  the wife commented.  “They’ve had it for eight months, and I was afraid that in their move, they’d take it with them by mistake.”  “That was our grill?”  shouted her husband.  “I just paid twenty dollars for it at their yard sale!”
 
Quote: "I say, the acknowledgement of God in Christ Accepted by thy reason, solves for thee All questions in the earth and out of it." --Robert Browning
 
LORDSHIP OF CHRIST
 
   "And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to live in obedience to him" (Colossians 2:6 NLT).
 
When you receive Jesus Christ into your heart and life as Savior, you have taken the first, but all important, step in a growing relationship with Him.  The next step is to make Him Lord of your life and give Him dominion over everything you are and everything you do.  To live in Him is to live with Him as Lord and the center of your life.  Total surrender to His will is the only response that truly makes Him Lord.
 
When we make Christ our Lord, we will follow His leadership and allow Him to grow us into mature spiritual followers.  He wants to be your daily companion to guide, direct, and teach you as you deal with the problems and challenges of life.  When we decide to live for Him, we will make a total submission of our wills to Him; we will concentrate on learning more and more about Him and how we can live in Him more fully; and depend upon the power of the Holy Spirit in all situations.
 
Calling Jesus Lord is one thing but to live under His Lordship daily is another matter entirely.  Jesus is keenly aware when what we profess and what we practice do not match.  Jesus addressed this question to His listeners, "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?" (Luke 6:46 NIV).  Making Christ Lord of your life means obeying His commands.  The term "Lord" is much more than a polite title of respect for Christ when speaking of our relationship with Him.  The term Lord means Master and calls us to sacrificial living and strict obedience.
 
There are three ways a skier can get to the top of the ski slope.  He can try to walk up on his own, or be pulled up as he holds on to a strap, or he can ride up in the chair lift.  This illustration vividly depicts the various ways Christians try to live the victorious Christian life.  Some try completely in their own strength; others try to combine their own effort with some degree of dependence on God.  But the only way to know true victory in every situation is total dependence on the Holy Spirit," and submission to the Lordship of Christ.
 
Would you join me in a new commitment to really make Christ our Lord and, in the power of the Spirit, endeavor each day to reflect that relationship.  If we do this, He will grant us an extra measure of peace, joy, and contentment.
 

Love, Jerry & Dotse