Posts Tagged ‘Lord and Savior’

Verse 3: “Paul wanted to have him go with him. And he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews in that region, for they all knew that his father was Greek.”

In the Saturday morning series Star Trek: The Animated Series, there was an episode entitled “Yesteryear”, in which we learn more about Mr. Spock’s childhood. As a child, he would soon have to undergo the maturity test known as the kahs-wan, in which he chooses his life’s path during a survival test. Because Spock’s father was Vulcan and his mother was a human Terran, Spock had a harder struggle with this than most Vulcan boys. Part of this episode had the grown Spock, playing the time-tossed role of a cousin named Selek, rescuing young Spock in the desert, as well as counseling him (young Spock undertook his own personal test before the kahs-wan, to see if he could succeed). Young Spock emerged from his personal test successfully; furthermore, he determined to choose the Vulcan way of life, which set him on the path his future self already knew of.

In today’s passage, Paul has met young Timothy and wishes to take the young man with him on his second missionary journey. Before they leave, Paul, who served as mentor to the young Timothy, had him circumcised in accordance with Jewish custom. Wait, you might say…didn’t Paul just lead a quest in the recent Jerusalem council to ensure that Gentile converts didn’t have to be circumcised like Jews? Yes, he did; but remember here, Timothy was raised a Jew. His mother was Jewish, although his father was Greek. To avoid giving any Jewish opposition any foothold against their mission, he advised Timothy to be circumcised. Paul was first and foremost a Christian, but he did follow Jewish tradition. You might see this parallel as when parents who go to a certain church, rear their children to attend the same church as well, instructing them in its customs and traditions. The children eventually will have to make their own choices, of course.

In today’s world, like that of the New Testament, people had a choice to make regarding their future. For those who have heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ, you have a choice. You can reject it and choose the world, or you can accept Jesus as Lord and Savior and live this life on Earth for Him…and spend eternity with Him in Heaven.

What choice will you make?

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Revelation 4:11 “You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.”

As we approach the end of the current year and prepare for the new year, take a moment and think about somewhere you visited in the past or some experience you had that left an indelible, permanent memory in your mind. For me, those memories include when I got married to my wife, the birth of both of my sons, and the passing of my long-lived grandmother. As far as places visited, they would include: my first Sugar Bowl game to the New Orleans Superdome, my first visit to Disneyworld, my only trip to New York City as a teenager, seeing the different cities of Europe on a band tour, and seeing the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

Now expand that list in your mind and see if you remember every sensory trace of one of those moments. I remember being in Jordan-Hare Stadium as a member of the Auburn University Marching Band and being on the field for pregame of my first college game: AU hosting Texas and seeing all those screaming fans (mind you, I went to a small high school and was from a small town…the combined populations of both filling a couple of sections). I remember yelling to my fellow band-mate not 3 feet in front of me at a night game versus Florida, with the decibel meter roaring through the roof (even 3 feet away on the field, he couldn’t hear me!). The smells of the ocean of beach trips as a child, and the feel of salt water. In each of those and many more memories, there is some sense of wonderment, some aspect of “is this really happening?”

I purposely left off one memory just to emphasize it here: the day I accepted Jesus in my heart as Lord and Savior. Truly, this was a life-changing moment for me. In the verse above John is writing down all the things shown to him in the vision. Backing up to verse 10 (NIV translation), he hears “every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them” praising God. A football stadium full of people is NOTHING compared to all creation praising Him! This is what we’ll be doing when we get to Heaven: praising God and being in His presence physically and spiritually for eternity. Now, that will be a memory to fill the senses!

This concludes the 4-1-1 study; I hope you have been blessed in some way through the study of these verses. After a short hiatus, we’ll resume in January 2015 by going through the book of Acts.

God bless you in the new year!

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1 John 4:11: “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”

Does the verse above sound familiar? Try reading John 3:16.

At this blessed time of year, as Christians celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in human form on earth, take some time and tell your family that you love them, contact an old friend and tell them you’ve been thinking about them, and basically just love one another. God loved us so much, He gave us the present of God the Son, Jesus Christ.

Merry Christmas.

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Verse 8: “But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.”

The Justice Society lay defeated at the hands of the emotion-manipulating Psycho-Pirate; he had enslaved the Golden Age Green Lantern with bitterness and hatred, and the Golden Age Flash with anger. By the power of the Medusa Masks that gave him the ability to project emotions upon his victims, and with his emotionally-captured slaves, the Psycho-Pirate had the members of the Justice Society at his mercy. Only Wildcat remained to defy him: Wildcat, who was in reality Ted Grant, the retired undisputed heavyweight boxing champion of the world. So what chance did a two-fisted palooka who chose to fight crime with his fists and no real super-powers have against this arch-villain? Wildcat challenged the Psycho-Pirate to face him one-on-one; the Pirate blasted fear at Wildcat as the hero stalked toward him, fists clenched in a boxer’s stance in front of his face. By the time the Psycho-Pirate realized that his powers were having no effect on him, Wildcat knocked the villain out with one punch! With the Psycho-Pirate down for the count, Flash and Green Lantern collapsed unconscious, no longer in the villain’s thrall. As his teammates came to their senses, they wondered how Wildcat could defy the Psycho-Pirate’s powers of emotional control. Wildcat responded that “my old coach always told me to never let an opponent see that you’re afraid of him; never look him in the eye. Just keeping advancing on him.” Wildcat’s steely focus kept him from succumbing to the draining effects of the negative emotions that the Psycho-Pirate threw at him.

Paul is telling the Colossians that, in addition to the other sins he mentioned in the prior verses of this chapter, that they should also throw off these negative emotions which can lead to sin as well. Sometimes we can let the devil use these emotions to get the better of us. However, like Wildcat in the story above (from All-Star Comics #68), we need to stay focused on the Lord and His purpose and His will. Emotions are okay in their proper place, but the devil loves to play our emotions against us, especially against us serving God. Also remember: we can’t knock the devil out on our own…but if Jesus is in your corner (Lord and Savior of your life), you’ve got the undisputed champion on your side. He can take the devil down for the count.

Something to think about.

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Philippians 4:8-9

Verse 8: “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things.”

It’s amazing what God shows you during a funeral. I was prepared during my grandmother’s recent funeral for the eulogies of both the Methodist and Baptist preachers who spoke, and the fond stories they shared of my grandmother. After I sang “Because He Lives”, my mother rose from the piano (she was my accompanist) and spoke…I didn’t know she was going to do this, so I was curious as to what she was going to say. She shared a concise list of some of things my grandmother did (some I knew, some I didn’t). She shared important family times when she taught her daughter, when she taught her grandchildren, and when she taught her great-grandchildren. These were the things to meditate on and to remember about my grandmother; not the sadness and pain of her last days, but all the good things she brought to her family, to her friends, and to her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. That is what I’m trying to remember during the times when grief wells up.

Likewise, Paul wanted the Philippians to focus on what was true, noble, just, pure, lovely, and of good report, especially if it was virtuous and praiseworthy…for such things can only be from God. We can’t let ourselves be distracted by the junk we see in the material world; there’s a lot we could focus on, but it would only lead us depressed or downtrodden. Keep your eye on the eternal Savior in your Christian walk. Meditate on these things.

Something to think about.

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Verse 6: “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.”

I am the President of the United States…can I be saved through Jesus? “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.”
I am a homeless person…can I be saved through Jesus? “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.”
I am a rich and famous celebrity…can I be saved through Jesus? “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.”
I am a person no one has ever heard of…can I be saved through Jesus? “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.”
I am African-American. I am Asian. I grew up in a Muslim household. I am a woman. I am a good person. “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.”
I am the criminal on the a cross beside you, Jesus…can you save me? “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.”
I am Saul, the man who killed countless Christians…can I be saved through Jesus? “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.”
..and by the way, remember that Saul, once converted, became Paul.

It doesn’t matter who or what you are, who or what you did; accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and you will be saved, your life transformed!

Have a blessed day in Jesus!

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Ephesians 6:17: “And take the HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

What do the following occupations have in common: a football player, a construction worker on a high-rise building, a soldier on the battlefield, and a motorcyclist? They all wear helmets. Now, why do they wear helmets? Because it is the safety gear that they need to protect their heads. So why protect the head? Because it houses the important organ we call the brain.

It is with the brain that the body’s systems are supervised. It is also with the brain that we think and reason and decide. Among the most important decisions we ever make in our lives…is whether to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. My wife and I work in some of the children’s programs in our church, and among one of the things we always tell the kids is that the most important decision you’ll ever make is accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior of your life. Accepting Him is a decision that will save your life!

Now we do accept Jesus with our hearts, don’t get me wrong. But your brain is where you decide to formulate those words, ask Jesus to come into your heart, and make that acceptance in a public profession of faith. Decision time could be closer than you know, if you haven’t decided yet…are you going to put on the helmet to be safe?

Have a blessed day!

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