Saturday, December 29, 2007

Listening to a Present Day Giant of the Faith

It's good to listen to people who have made a huge difference for Christ. Moishe Rosen is one of those people. He founded Jews for Jesus, a ministry that exists to make the Messiahship of Jesus an unavoidable issue to our Jewish people worldwide. I've been receiving the Jews for Jesus newsletter for years and enjoy it very much. A lot of times the newsletter includes what they call "Moishe's Musings." This month the title caught my interest right away. After I read it I felt led to share it with you. It's titled, "A Capsule Lesson On Witnessing."

I Peter 3:15 provides an ideal pattern for witnessing: " . . . sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear."

1. Sanctify or hallow God within your heart. This reminds us that a good witness come from a right heart relationship with God.

2. Be ready. The opportunities to bear witness are according to God's schedule, not ours. They can come at any time, anywhere, in any situation.

3. Give an answer. You can't answer something that has not been asked. Ideally, witnessing comes as a response to a question or problem that God wants to answer.

4. The hope that is in us: we witness based on a reasonable hope, "the evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1b). That hope cannot be our wishful thinking, but must be based on the promises of God in Scripture. It is an inside hope, not an outside chance.

5. The attitude of the witness must be with meekness and fear. This refers to a dual approach--humility toward the person to whom we tell the Good News, and reverence toward the God of whom we tell.

I hope you enjoyed hearing Moishe's lesson from God's word. HAPPY WITNESSING AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Listen for His Thunder

At this my heart pounds
and leaps from its place.
Listen! Listen to the roar of his voice,
to the rumbling that comes from his mouth.
He unleashes his lightning beneath the whole heaven
and sends it to the ends of the earth.
After that comes the sound of his roar;
he thunders with his majestic voice.
When his voice resounds,
he holds nothing back.
God's voice thunders in marvelous ways;
he does great things beyond our understanding.
JOB 37:1-5
Listening to the roar of his voice thrills my heart. He continually does great things beyond my understanding. The biggest is that salvation belongs to him. With his blood he purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. God has made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on earth (Revelation 5:9-10).
As 2007 comes to a close, it's exciting to think about the future we have in God. Let's watch his marvelous ways together in 2008 and keep our minds on things above. While remaining heavenly minded, let's be of earthly good at the same time, serving our God honorably.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room

"While they were there, the days were completed
for her to give birth to her firstborn son;
and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger,
because there was no room for them in the inn" (Luke 2:6-7).
The unnamed innkeeper must have been a can do kind of person. He figured out a way to put up a couple in desperate need of shelter, even though his business had a "no vacancy" sign outside the door. His simple act of kindness set the stage for the most wonderful reality of Christmas--that the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world would be born in a manger. A mysterious foreshadow of his purpose for coming to earth. In 33 short years he would again be laid in a box made of rock and wrapped in strips of cloth.
How can we follow the innkeepers lead and make room in our hearts for the king of the universe? While reading 1 Timothy 1 I found two simple ways to help us open our hearts and allow God to work through us in verse 19:
1. Cling tightly to your faith in Christ. When we cling to faith in Christ we cling to truth. We can refute Satan's lies. These are just a few of the lies our enemy tells us:
  • If you obey God, you'll be miserable.
  • The abundant life is trouble-free.
  • Unbelievers don't want to hear the gospel.
  • You couldn't help yourself . . . the temptation was too great.
  • If you fail, you're a failure.
  • You are what others think of you.
  • God can't use you.
  • You can't obey God.
  • If you do certain things, God will be pleased with you, and you will earn his affection.*

Faith in Christ will release you from the lies Satan constantly spews out to bind us. The sad reality is that these untruths are often delivered through those most important to us. When the lies are cleared away, we leave room for Jesus to teach us how to live in freedom. For Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:31-32).

2. Always keep your conscience clear. Too many times, a regular time of confession is forgotten. I know because it happens to me. When I feel an uneasiness in my spirit, I then realize I had not taken the time to pray and ask God to cleanse me of my mistakes and fill me with his Holy Spirit.
Two of the most effective cleansing Scriptures I know of are found in Psalm 139:23-24 and 1 John 1:9-10
"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting" (Psalm 139:23-24).
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives" (1 John 1:9-10).
Let us make room in our hearts for Jesus every day by clinging to him and keeping our consciences clean. Have a very Merry Christmas!!
*list taken from The Search for Significance: Seeing Your True Worth Through God's Eyes, by Robert S. McGee.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

What is my purpose for living?

I read about Paul's purpose this morning. He wrote the following to the church in Colosse:

"My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart
and united in love, so that they may have the full riches
of complete understanding, in order that they may know the
mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the
treasures of wisdom and knowledge."
Colossians 2:2-3
Could my purpose be the same as Paul's? If so, who is my "they?" Is it my fellow church members? My family? Orphans in Peru? Muslims in W. Africa? Do I have enough "complete understanding" to share Jesus?
Because I know how much I need encouragement and love, I figure most everyone I meet needs a hefty dose. I can start serving it up right at home. As soon as I wake up, I have a husband, a son, and two daughters to love on and tell how special they are to God--so special Jesus died for them.
How can "they" know Jesus unless I share what little I know about him? I doubt there is time for me to gain the knowledge I think I need before starting to share, either. The mystery was revealed over 2000 years ago when Jesus died on the cross. Time is running out!
So for now, I will continue to dig for the hidden treasures of wisdom and knowledge during my time spent alone with Jesus studying his word. I will ask Jesus to fill my heart with his indescribable love and take the encouragement his promises deliver and give all that I gather to "them," that is whoever crosses my path. This is my purpose for living.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Keep Your Sword Sharp.

To stay focused on the fundamentals requires keeping our swords sharp. At salvation we are issued a two edged sword, we are granted ears that can hear his word, for it is written:

For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power-
making it active, operative, energizing and effective;
it is sharper that any two-edged sword, penetrating to
the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal]
spirit, and of joints and marrow [that is, the deepest parts of our nature]
exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very
thoughts and purposes of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12AMP
God's living word will activate and energize our lives when we spend time with him listening. Listening keeps our swords sharp. While there we can praise him for equipping us with his two-edged sword. Daily Meditation on his word combined with praise of our almighty God makes for powerfully effective days. We can ward off our enemies successfully.
And while spending time alone with him, his word exposes where we are in error, sifting, analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of our hearts. We can then confess and asked to be filled with his Holy Spirit. Cleansed and filled children of God change the world in miraculous ways. The ripple effect spans the globe. Let's remain accountable to each other to keep our swords sharp, shiny and by our side. The world needs to hear the magnificent word that God speaks.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


I once read a memorable story about Vince Lombardi, the legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers. He was a fanatic about fundamentals. One time when his championship team lost to an inferior squad, he called a practice early the next morning. The team had no idea what to expect from the man they feared the most. With gritted teeth, staring holes into each athlete, Lombardi began the meeting with: “Ok, we go back to the basics this morning . . . .” Holding a football high enough for every one to see, he continued to yell: “. . . gentlemen, this is a football!”

In our Christian life, we lose to an inferior squad every now and then. Satan and his team can get the best of us at times. During those losing days, we may need to get back to the basics: Keeping our eye on Jesus, our Master Coach and keeping our hands on the ball. Our football is the Holy Bible. I’m not a yelling football coach, but if you could see me now, I’d hold my Bible high and say, “Christians, let’s stay focused on the basics of our game—the Holy Bible at all times.”

May God grant us Victory in Jesus more and more each day.