Category Archives: Christ

Christians in Syria Testimony – What it means to be a Christian (Video)

Note: This video is available courtesy of The Endless Love of Jesus Ministries

 

Pray together and make your family meals great again

 

In these days of takeaway and drive by meals being available, the habit of praying as a family is being lost to many in the present generation. This is NOT a tradition I’m talking about. This is something that should be natural in spirit to a Christian. The Christian life among many good things is a life of thanksgiving. This again, is not a tradition. I mean it’s not about some dedicated holiday in which give thanks to God for your blessing once a year. But rather the main thing is about thanking Jesus for giving you new life each and every day of your life. And this is what matters when you pray as  a family; that each one present for meals is alive and alive in Christ.

Not everyone gets to meet up together for even a single meal as a family. Why so? Because some are stuck in debts and some family member has too keep working, while some are working overseas perhaps at oil rigs or places of armed conflicts abroad. While the sadder part is that some of their family members have passed away. And the saddest part is for those who passed without having faith in Jesus Christ, no heaven for them!

So, that is why when you are having your food and drink with your family, firstly give thanks to God that you are all together and safe, secondly thank Jesus for the salvation that he gives you and ask for his forgiveness and blessings, and finally confess that Jesus is Son of God who is your all in all. That’s the least you can say in your family prayers together, but you can thank the Lord more and more if you wish. Pray at your family meal times together as a family and make your family meals great again!

 

Here’s a suggested prayer that you can pray at your family meals:

Thanks be to the Lord God and the Lord Jesus Christ for bringing us together for a meal. We thank you O Lord for giving us life and life in abundance. Forgive us of all our sins and heal us in spirit, mind, soul and body. We believe that you O Lord Jesus are the Son of God and we praise God for sending you to us. By the Holy Spirit bless us now as we all share in our earthly meal and grant us that we eat and drink in the marriage supper of the Lamb of God which is to come. Amen and amen.

I believe in Jesus (Video)

 

Note: Credit for the video goes to Youtube user WorshipVideo

Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus and Jesus

Lets first read the following verses as we reflect on the Lord Jesus Christ and how he brought change in Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus by his death. Here we go:

31 The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

32 Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him.

33 But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs:

34 But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.

35 And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe.

36 For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.

37 And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.

38 And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.

39 And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.

40 Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.

41 Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid.

42 There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews’ preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand.

(John 19:31-42)

 

Joseph of Arimathaea is not heard of in most part of the Gospels except just after the crucifixion and death of Jesus. Who was this man and what did he have to with Jesus? Also what does Nicodemus have to do in all this?

From what we read in the Gospels (Matthew 27:57–60; Mark 15:42–46; Luke 23:50–53; and John 19:38–42) it’s known that he was a disciple of Jesus Christ. However he followed Jesus secretly as he feared the Jews. He was actually a part of the Sanhedrin which was the council of Jewish religious leaders who strived for Jesus’ crucifixion. However,  the Gospel says that Joseph of Arimathaea did not give his consent but rather opposed their decision. That makes him a good man doesn’t it. Besides he was rich. God made him wealthy for a purpose that only few can ever receive from the Lord God. He took a personal risk of life and of reputation when he went to Pilate to receive the dead body of the One True Savior of the World who is none other than Jesus Christ. And by his wealth he could arrange for Jesus to be laid in a tomb (sepulchre). When Jesus was born he was born in manger as there was no place available for him. But at his death this one man from Arimathaea did all he could so that the Savior could be given some dignity after his death.  Joseph of Arimathaea did not care for his life anymore as he knew he had to honor the Son of God the giver of eternal life more than anything.

Now to speak about Nicodemus. This man due to his short height had to first meet Jesus by climbing the sycamore tree. Though this man was a great sinner, Jesus came to dine in his house much to the dismay of the religious leaders. Yet Jesus led this man Nicodemus to repentance and salvation. In the due course of time, when Jesus died on the cross, Nicodemus did not flee nor abandon Jesus like most of the disciples of Jesus Christ. Very few men were brave enough to stand up for the Lord in public after the crucifixion. This man was one of them. He served the Lord well by bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes so that Jesus’ body could be wrapped in linen with these spices as per the Jewish burial custom. 

Jesus at his death caused Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus to manifest the courage and right action no matter what the circumstances for the sake of the Lord. If you were in place of these men at that would you have done the same for Jesus? It’s a hard question to be honest. But the simple answer would be your actual actions in such times. However there should be nothing keeping you from standing up for Jesus Christ no matter where and when, if you truly believe that he is the Son of God. Yet again, were only courage and good works what Jesus woke these to men to by his death? Not at all, because by his agonizing death on the cross and his glorious resurrection from the dead he made available not just for them but for everyone who believe complete justification and salvation. You don’t earn your salvation by your good works but yes once you accept your salvation by your faith in Jesus and his Gospel then by your good works you can indeed give glory to God. The power of the Lord Jesus in his death and resurrection goes beyond inspiring courage and good deeds. For it has healing for sick, forgiveness for the sinner, deliverance from the darkness, friendship with God and life everlasting. Blessed are those who have not seen Jesus and yet believe. Amen.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord

19 Open to me the gates of righteousness,
    that I may enter through them
    and give thanks to the Lord.
20 This is the gate of the Lord;
    the righteous shall enter through it.
21 I thank you that you have answered me
    and have become my salvation.
22 The stone that the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord‘s doing;
    it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 This is the day that the Lord has made;
    let us rejoice and be glad in it.

25 Save us, we pray, O Lord!
    O Lord, we pray, give us success!

26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
    We bless you from the house of the Lord. (Psalm 118:19-26)

The very person rejected by the scribes and the Pharisees has turned out to be the cornerstone which the builders rejected. Jesus of Nazareth is his name. He comes in the name of the Lord God of Hosts. He did not come into the world for his own glory but for the glory of the One who sent HIM. To those who believe this are the doors of salvation open in the land of the living.

 

28 And when he had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 When he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples, 30 saying, “Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘The Lord has need of it.’” 32 So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them. 33 And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34 And they said, “The Lord has need of it.” 35 And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. 36 And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road. 37 As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, 38 saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” 39 And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” 40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” (Luke 19:28-40)

 

 

It is truly wise to accept Jesus Christ as the king who comes in the name of the Lord. Not a king of earthly limitations but rather a king sent from God himself. Not everyone in the world accepts him as their king, the king of righteousness but for those who do, they will never be wrong. Therefore hold fast to your confession of faith which Jesus came to die for all sinners so that those who believe in him will not perish but have everlasting life.

37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! 38 See, your house is left to you desolate. 39 For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’” (Matthew 23: 37-39)

Jesus came for the Jews and also for the Gentiles but first for the Jews. Now remember that most of the disciples of Jesus when he walked on this earth were Jews. However not every Jew including the religious leaders had faith that he was sent by the Lord. This was because they didn’t understand the Scriptures in the light of the Holy Spirit but were legalistic. Yet the Savior of the world has given them this, that if they acknowledge him as sent by the Lord, then their house will not longer be desolate. But even as their times come again, let everyone who is capable of breathing even now say ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord’. Amen.

Revelation Song with lyrics (Video)

 

Lyrics:

Worthy is the Lamb who was slain.
Holy, Holy is He.
Sing a new song to him who sits on
heaven’s mercy seat.

Worthy is the Lamb who was slain.
Holy, Holy is He.
Sing a new song to him who sits on
heaven’s mercy seat.

Holy, holy, holy
is the Lord God Almighty,
who was, and is, and is to come.
With all creation I sing,
“Praise to the King of kings.
You are my everything,
and I will adore You.”

Clothed in rainbows of living color,
flashes of lightning, rolls of thunder,
blessing and honor,
strength and glory and power be
to You, the only wise King.

Holy, holy, holy
is the Lord God Almighty,
who was, and is, and is to come.
With all creation I sing,
“Praise to the King of kings.
You are my everything,
and I will adore You.”

Filled with wonder,
awestruck wonder
at the mention of Your name.
Jesus, Your name is power,
breath, and living water.
Such a marvelous mystery.

Holy, holy, holy
is the Lord God Almighty,
who was, and is, and is to come.
With all creation I sing,
“Praise to the King of kings.
You are my everything,
and I will adore You.”

Holy, holy, holy
is the Lord God Almighty,
who was, and is, and is to come.
Yeah, Yeah!
With all creation I sing,
“Praise to the King of kings.
You are my everything,
and I will adore You.”

 

 

Bible verses:

After this I looked, and lo, in heaven an open door! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, “Come up hither, and I will show you what must take place after this.” At once I was in the Spirit, and lo, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne! And he who sat there appeared like jasper and carnelian, and round the throne was a rainbow that looked like an emerald. Round the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clad in white garments, with golden crowns upon their heads. From the throne issue flashes of lightning, and voices and peals of thunder, and before the throne burn seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God; and before the throne there is as it were a sea of glass, like crystal.

And round the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind: the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with the face of a man, and the fourth living creature like a flying eagle. And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all round and within, and day and night they never cease to sing,

“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,
who was and is and is to come!”

And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives for ever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever; they cast their crowns before the throne, singing,

11 “Worthy art thou, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for thou didst create all things,
and by thy will they existed and were created.”

(Revelation 4:1-11)

 

True

I Will Exalt The One Who Lifted Me (Video)

 

Lyrics:

What can I say? What can I do?
What can I bring to offer You?
There is no gold, no precious pearl,
nothing on earth that compares to You.

Lord, here I stand with empty hands.

I will exalt the one who lifted me
out of the miry clay to heights of eagle’s wings.
Words cannot express. All I know is this:
You changed me. You changed me.

I will remember how I used to be.
I was so bound, but now I’m free.
I will exalt the one who lifted me.

I’ve never known a father like You,
a love that is strong, so gentle and true.
You hold me close, just like a child.
Safe in Your arms, there is no doubt.
This is my place. This is the way.

I will exalt the one who lifted me
out of the miry clay to heights of eagle’s wings.
Words cannot express. All I know is this:
You changed me. You changed me.

I can remember how I used to be.
I was so bound, but now I’m free.
I will exalt the one who lifted me.

 

 

True

The (Easy-to-Understand) Gospel of Jesus Christ, and Why Humanity Needs Him

by Hope Wingo

(Hope’s note:  Please feel free to copy and use all, or any portion, of the following message.)

FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD, THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, THAT WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH IN HIM SHOULD NOT PERISH, BUT HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE (John 3:16).

You may have heard that verse all of your life, but have you ever read the verses that immediately follow it? The next five verses (John 3:17-21) read, “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”

Do you see what this scripture is telling us? Although John 3:16 is a comforting verse in itself, the message doesn’t end there. It leads into a warning of condemnation to those who refuse to repent of their ungodly ways and it warns of the consequences of unbelief. On the other hand, it teaches that we gain access to everlasting life when we believe in Him and allow our sins to be exposed to the Light (or, made manifest to Him) so that He can forgive them. This Light is Jesus. “I am the Light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the Light of life” (John 8:12).

So, why do we need this “Light of the world”? Why Jesus? The following will explain humanity’s broken relationship to God and, according to His Word, what we need to do to make it right with Him…

First, the bad news (about us):

Our sins have separated us from a righteous and holy God,

Romans 3:23 – For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.

and (without repentance) our situation is hopeless; meaning, we are destined for eternal punishment.

Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Being a good person (or doing good works) can’t save us. We MUST be spiritually “born again”.

John 3:3 – and Jesus answered… Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Now, the good news (about Him):

Our holy, Creator God made a way for sin-cursed humanity to be reconciled back to Him by sending His Son to take our punishment for us. Since the consequence of sin is death, and we were all born into sin through our first father Adam, we were helpless to save ourselves from the pending death sentence of eternal punishment. That’s why God sent His Son to us. Jesus stepped out of eternity to die on our behalf; to pay the sin-debt that we owed. He came down from heaven, became one of us, took our sins upon His own sinless body, then paid the death sentence for us on the cross. (2 Corinthians 5:21 – For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.)

Then, three days after His crucifixion, Jesus victoriously arose from the dead…

Luke 24:46 – …it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day.

and ascended into Heaven to be an intercessor (or, an advocate) for us…

Romans 8:34 – It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

until He returns for those who are “in Christ”. (See verse below.) This much-anticipated, soon-coming event is called “The Rapture of the Church”. The reason for the Rapture is to keep God’s people “…from the hour of temptation (or testing) which shall come upon all the world…” (Revelation 3:10). We are told that Jesus’ return for us will be as a “thief in the night” (1 Thessalonians 5:2) so we don’t know what day it will occur, but He described many events that would mark the season (or era) of His Second Coming and told us to watch for those signs. He warned us to “…be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 24:44) and to “Watch… and pray always, that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass…” (Luke 21:36). Today, major prophetic events undeniably point to our generation as being that very generation of which He spoke; hence, the renewed urgency of our “don’t be left behind” plea. The following verse describes this “Rapture” of Christians, both deceased and living. (Also see: 1 Corinthians 15:49-54):

1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 – For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Now, to explain what Jesus’ death on the cross actually accomplished: Our human efforts, however sincere, cannot make us holy; but “without holiness, no man shall see God” (Hebrews 12:14). The moment that Adam willfully sinned against God, humanity began its descent into physical death and the entire (yet to be born) human race spiritually died. Since all of Adam’s descendants inherited his sin-nature, and one sinner cannot atone for another sinner, humanity’s reconciliation back to God could only have come from outside of Adam’s sin-cursed lineage. Jesus was born of a virgin (Matthew 1:23), so He did not come through Adam’s bloodline. He alone carried the holy, sinless blood of His Heavenly Father. Scripture tells us that the blood not only symbolizes life, but that it is life. “The life of the flesh is in the blood: …for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul” (Leviticus 17:11). Jesus paid the ultimate price for the souls of fallen humanity when He offered up His own life’s blood to redeem us from sin.“You are bought with a price…” (1 Corinthians 6:20). There is no greater love than God’s love for us! …and when we repent of our sins and accept Jesus as our Savior, we are redeemed by His blood and become “holy and unblameable in His sight” (Colossians 1:22). One man (Adam) brought sin upon us and one man (Jesus) took it away… “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous” (Romans 5:19). Although we are still condemned to die a physical death, the life-giving blood that Jesus shed for us eternally reconciled our souls back to our Heavenly Father. We cannot earn our way to heaven on our own merits (regardless of our good intentions, efforts or works) because we still carry the sin-nature that we inherited from Adam. It is ONLY through our faith in Jesus that we are saved. (Ephesians 2:8-9 – For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.) Everything in God’s plan of redemption has already been done for us, once and for all (Romans 6:10), through Jesus’ death and resurrection. We, however, must ACT on our faith in order to receive this gift. To do nothing is to reject Him because “faith without works is dead” (James 2:26). So… if you would like to accept Jesus as your Savior and trust Him for your eternal salvation, this is how to be born again:

  • Believe that Jesus is the Son of God. (John 14:6 – …I am the waythe truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.) and (John 8:42 – …for I proceeded forth and came from God; …He sent me.) and (John 10:30 – I and my Father are one.) and (1 John 5:12 – He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.)

  • Believe that He paid for your sins on the cross. (Ephesians 1:7 – In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace…) and (1 Peter 2:24 – Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree…) and (Revelation 5:9 – …for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation).

  • Acknowledge that you are a sinner, then ask Him to forgive your sins. (1 John 1:8-9 – If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness).

  • Finally, tell somebody that you believe in Him! (Romans 10:9-10 – …if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.)

So, how do we talk to God? What do we do now? Hebrews 4:16 tells us to “Come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy”, meaning God is approachable: He invites us into a relationship with Him. That being said, simply talk to Him as you would talk to a friend. Be honest and open. Ask Him to forgive you of your sins, and to start you all over with a new life in Him. You’ll be amazed at how everything changes when you allow Him to become your Lord and Savior! Also, start reading the Bible. The New Testament books of John and Romans are a good place to start. They’ll teach you the basics. To the believer, reading God’s Word develops a spiritual hunger to learn more and more; and the more we read, the more we grow in the Lord and understand His ways.

A final heartfelt plea… Today is the day of salvation. “Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts” (Hebrews 3:15). When we die, our souls go directly to heaven or hell (Matthew 25:46) based upon whether we have accepted Jesus as our Savior or whether we have rejected Him through unbelief. There is no middle ground. Sadly, Jesus told us that the majority will refuse His gift and will spend all of eternity paying their own sin-debt. He said, “…Narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.“ (Matthew 7:14), and “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it” (Matthew 16:25). The truth is: Jesus will either be our Lord now, or He will be our Judge in the future. He paid the price for our souls because He loves us, but the choice to accept or reject Him is ours to make. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8) and His steadfast message is, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (John 14:6). There is no other Way. There is no other God. There is no other Truth. There is no other Light. “Neither is there salvation in any other” (Acts 4:12). That’s the pure, biblical Gospel of Jesus Christ, and what we do with it determines our eternal destiny.

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