Wednesday, January 25, 2012
When I was a young woman around the age of 22 I was engaged to a Morman man. I remember going to my ward (in Mormon speak a ward is a church congregation) to go to a farewell service for a young woman going off on a Mormon mission. Now, this young woman wasn't very nice to me. I really don't know why, but I do remember feeling uncomfortable around her. Nevertheless, I was required to attend this farewell service. There were a number of people who went up to the podium to speak about her and how many things she has done for the Mormon Church and the ward. As I listened to the guests speak about her I remember I started to feel tired and weary. At that moment it dawned on me how "works" oriented the Mormons are and for the first time since I had joined that church, 8 months before, I felt like I was in bondage. I remember thinking that when I was in a born-again Christian Church I never felt like I was in bondage. Sitting there in that Mormon ward I felt like I could never measure up and that no matter how much I did or tried to do it wasn't enough. Oh, I just felt so weighed down like I had a million bricks tied to me. I said to myself that in my born-again Christian upbringing there was so much freedom! I never felt this exhaustion or frustration in the born-again Christian church. I saw such a contrast between the two. There is freedom in the born-again Christian church because Jesus shed his blood for us all on the cross and paid for our sins. By grace we are saved! A few months after this farewell service I broke my engagement and left the Mormon Church.
John 3:16-18, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son."
2 Corinthians 3:17, "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom."
Deuteronomy 13:1-4, "If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder, and if the sign or wonder of which he has spoken takes place, and he says, "Let us follow other gods" (gods you have not known) "and let us worship them," you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him."
The reason I felt such bondage while I was sitting in that Mormon ward is because they do not worship the same Jesus that a born-again Christian worships. I worship the Jesus found only in the Bible and the Mormons worship a made up Jesus. There is no freedom, no life, in a made up Jesus. Look at it this way. There are many people in the world with the name Karen. My name is Karen and I am nothing like all those other Karens in the world. There is only one me. Well, there are many religions who claim to know Jesus, but it is only his name that they know. So if you want true freedom, and life everlasting then you need to know the Jesus found only in the Bible. Jesus is waiting for you to open up a Bible and start reading it. He wants you to know Him. He wants you to know how much He loves you. What are you waiting for?
Let's pray: Dear Lord Jesus, I lift up everyone reading this devotional. I pray that You will touch their hearts and heal their hurts. I say these things in Jesus' name. Amen.
Monday, January 23, 2012
Hi everyone! Almost a year ago I wrote a blog on the Bible verse Matthew 7: 13-14. It was about which road will you go down the wide gate that leads to destruction (hell) or the narrow gate that leads to eternal life (heaven). Yesterday, (January 22, 2012) I went to church and Pastor John spoke about "One Second After You Die". Wow, something to think about. If you go to www.northcreek.org and then click on to the link for the sermons you can hear Pastor John for yourself.
The Bible passage he used was Luke 16:19-31, "There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury everyday. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried. In hell where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire. But Abraham replied, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us. He answered, 'Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father's house. For I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.' Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the Prophets: let them listen to them.' No, father Abraham,' he said, 'but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.' He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'"
The rich man has lots of wealth and lots of stuff. He ate expensive food and enjoyed it all. The rich man was cold hearted and never used his wealth to help anyone. The poor man, Lazarus, was suffering with illness that covered his body with sores. Lazarus couldn't take care of himself. Even through this suffering Lazarus obviously loved the Lord and had faith in Jesus. God kept quiet about the rich man's name, but God knew the poor man's name. The rich man had a fancy earthly funeral. The poor man, Lazarus did not have a fancy funeral, but the angels came and carried him to heaven.
After the rich man died he went into hell. What does the Bible teach us about hell?
A. It is a place of torment
B. Spiritual torment, no escape EVER
C. Emotional torment, knowing your family is headed there too (like the rich man stated)
D. Torment is continuous
E. No second chances once you get to hell
F. Your plea for mercy will not be answered
G. In hell you retain your identity and awarness
Does God know your name? Which road will you choose? You can prevent choosing to go to hell by trusting in God's Word (Bible). The only book that shows us how to know who God is, how to know God and how He came to save us is the Bible, (John 3:16). You cannot trust any other book. You cannot trust your feelings for feelings can deceive us. So, if you have not yet asked the Lord Jesus Christ into your heart to forgive you for your sins and be Lord and Savior of your life, then please do not delay. One second after you die, YOU will have determined your forever home.
Let's pray: Dear Lord Jesus, I pray for the unsaved. I pray that they will open their hearts to love You and ask You, Jesus to save them. I ask that Your favor and wisdom will be upon us and please protect us, comfort us and thank You for Your saving grace. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
"Therefore, since through God's mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways: we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus sake. For God, who said "Let light shine out of darkness." made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed: perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
It is written: "I believed; therefore I have spoken." With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Corinthians Chapter 4
"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." Romans 3:23-24
Let's pray: Dear Lord Jesus, first I would like to pray for those who are unbelievers and whose minds have been blinded so that they cannot see the gospel of the glory of Christ. I pray for their salvation and I ask You Father to remove the blinders so that they may see. I pray that You will touch their hearts so that they will be free in You, Jesus and not live in frustration or despair. With thanksgiving I ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.
Thursday, January 5, 2012
When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. He told them, "The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that,
"they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven."
Then Jesus said to them, "Don't you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? The farmer sows the word. Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop--thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown." Mark 4:1-20 NIV
Let's pray: Dear Lord Jesus, I pray that we will have the kind of faith that is rooted in good soil. I pray that we will produce a good crop and that weeds will not grow in our crop. Please protect those who read this devotional and I pray for Your wisdom and favor on us. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Monday, January 2, 2012
"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:4-7 NIV
Let's pray: Dear Lord Jesus, as we enter a new year I pray for your wisdom and favor on us. Please protect us from evil and give us your calming peace when we feel anxious. I say these things in Jesus' name. Amen.