To Whom Shall We Go?

“Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life” (John 6:68 NASB).

Sometimes when people hear truth and truth pricks their conscience, they would rather leave the person who spoke truth so they will not have to face themselves. This is the case with many of those who followed Jesus. When He spoke truth about His origins and His relationship with The Father, they could not handle it. They could not comprehend what He was said about a “spiritual” truth and misunderstood what He said based on their “literal” or “concrete” knowledge. “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life” (6:63 NASB).

I have noticed that when I write truth, many who would follow cease to do so. I can only imagine that the truths that I write, prick their consciences and they would rather live under the assumptions of lies than deal with truth. What truth? The truth about living right before God. The truth about not re-defining or refuting what God has said. The truth about understanding the all of the Bible and not selectively determining that only certain passages of the Bible matter. I could go, but enough has been said for now.

I can only imagine how Jesus must have felt, but then He said He knew from the beginning who would follow and who would betray Him. I have often wondered why some choose to follow me; especially since my stance about God’s Word has not been cloaked with innuendo and falsehood, but clearly revealed. I clearly understand what Peter meant when He said, “but where can we go and retain eternal life” (my paraphrase). The answer is quite simply–we can not have eternal life apart from a right relationship with Jesus Christ.

If we are afraid of hearing truth or seeing truth–it can only mean that we are not living according to God’s truth–but man’s. People get angry and incensed when truth strikes a nerve and they are forced to deal with their lies or behavior they know is not condoned by God. Sin–when exposed–tends to ignite hatred in those who are committing the sin and they attempt to make everyone else the villain, not willing to confess or admit their wrongdoing.

It really does not matter whether they confess their sin or admit it to others–God knows and it is He who determines their final outcome. God does not send anyone to hell–hell, like behavior, is a choice we make when we choose to disobey or deceive others about God’s Word.

I choose to follow Truth and I would hope that those who follow me or friend me are on the same page of Truth as I am. But if people decide to “unfollow” me, I’ll continue to pray that Truth will prick their consciences so badly that they’ll have no other place to go, than to follow Jesus!

Forgive–And Be Forgiven!

“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you” (Matthew 6:14 NKJV).

Right after Jesus taught His disciples “how” to pray (not what to pray), He reminded them of the things they should “do” in order to please God. The very first thing He said to them was, “forgive others so our Father will forgive us.”

There are so many people walking around with unforgiveness in their hearts that it changes their attitudes and even their facial expressions.  We have all seen these people. They are envious and jealous. They seldom smile because they think frowning and appearing to be mad makes them holier than others. They are far more likely to criticize others than to pray for them. They always “see” the shortcomings of others, but never acknowledge their own. They think because of where they live or whose religion they bought into makes them superior to other people. And then they think–they are pleasing God and the rest of us are–“simple Christians.”

When the “joy of the Lord” rises up in us, we should be able to smile and laugh as well as pray and forgive others for their shortcomings and be thankful that God does not hold our shortcomings against us.

When the “joy of the Lord” rises up in us, we should be able to speak a Word of Life, enjoining others to please God and to draw them into a knowledge of Christ with loving-kindness.

But then again–The Word tells us that God will use the foolish things to confound the wise (those that are wise in their own sight). We should be careful about the things we say with regards to others so that we will not stand in the position of being judged–more harshly–by God than the judgment we use against others.

We should make every effort to seek God first–in all things–before we open our mouths or allow our fingers to hit the keyboard of a computer (or typewriter) so that what we say or write, brings glory and honor to Him through us. We will never win people to Christ with an unforgiving heart, a harsh tongue, or unrelenting fingers that constantly accuse rather than praise or encourage.

Father, in the name of Jesus, help us to be more like You every day. Help us to open our spiritual ears and hear what You say. Guard our tongues and allow us to only speak what You would have us to say. Tangle our fingers until we are only to type what You would have us to type–with love in every letter–drawing others closer to You and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Change our attitudes so our hearts sing with praises and our faces shine with the acknowledgement that we know who You are and there is always a smile for others. These things we thank You for in Jesus’ name, Amen!

We are Forgiven when we forgive! Hallelujah!

Celebrating Resurrection!

After Jesus was laid in a borrowed tomb, history was made and a prophecy fulfilled.

(Luke 24: 1-53 for reference) On the third day, He was not found in the tomb and indeed, the disciples who had walked with Him for three years, did not recognize Him when He approached, talked to them, or taught all the scriptures that related to Him. It wasn’t until they invited Him to have dinner with them that they recognized Him for who He is, when He blessed the food. But then, He disappeared. They sat among themselves discussing what had just happened. One said, “Didn’t our hearts burn within when He talked with us along the way and when He opened up the scriptures to us?” Later, He told them that they were to preach repentance and the remission of sin to all nations. Soon after giving these instructions, the disciples saw Him carried into heaven. They were went their way, praising and blessing God!

He arose–just like He said He would; He is sitting at the right hand of the Father–just like He said He would. Now the questions are: have we risen from the depths of our sin, repented from them and received forgiveness? Are we preaching repentance and the remission of sin? Do we feel that the grace–the unmerited favor we received was only for us? Are our hearts burning within with the knowledge we have of Him and His love towards us?  Will we go our way, praising and blessing God?

Let us rise to the occasion and become the witnesses that He wanted us to be–let us preach the gospel of Jesus Christ (repentance, forgiveness and love) and stand on God’s Word so that He will celebrate our resurrection when He returns.

Have a joyous Resurrection Sunday Celebration! Hallelujah!