The Greatest Man, overlooked by many

Using Matthew 9

Who do you look up to? Most people have someone in their life to look up to for inspiration, guidance and help in the time of need. With that said history reveals some great people in the eyes of man through human perception. No matter who you look up to history will have recorded some unfavorable things in their life. At mans best he still does not measure up to the greatest man to walk this earth!

A look into history will reveal a man who no other can match. Others may have more money, some will have more fame, but still they cannot compare to this man. Bigger houses have certainly been had by others, for this man owned no house. Popularity among the highly esteemed is a goal and comfort for some; however our subject today was despised and rejected by the elite. He still is unmatched by any other.

Who is this man who was despised, rejected, poor and murdered? Who is the one with all the suffering and yet He is unmatched? It is the Lord Jesus Christ! He is the King of Kings, Lord of Lords and God incarnate. No other can match Him in any way.

Though He had no place to lay His head He owns all of Heaven. He was despised and rejected by the elite, but He is accepted by The Father in Heaven and will be worshipped throughout eternity. He suffered at the hand of man, but He brings comfort to the burdened and heavy laden. He is the all time, undisputed Lord. As a man He was likely slim in build and He was not great to look at. In the end all the world will feel the weight of His judgment and His people will admire His beauty and splendor for all eternity. Again, He is the Lord Jesus Christ!

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Confessions, are they imortant in church life?

I am asking a question today to provoke thought in the Christian community. Are confessions important in church life today? The confessions I speak of are the statements of faith. Examples would be Baptist Faith and Message, Shorter Catachism, Westminster Confession of Faith, the Articles of Religion (Methodist), Mennonite Confession of Faith and many more.

I of course have a strong opinion concerning statements of faith. Before I share my view with you I want to know what you think and why. This is not to provoke controversy, but to open communication concerning a part of church life which has been around for a long time.

Go ahead, let’s get started!

We Really Are! He Really Is!

2 Corinthians chapter 3

Ephesians chapter 2

Romans chapter 3

Today we have a number of preachers and doctrines floating around. Many want to tell us how good we are. According to many preachers we can be anything and do anything we desire as long as we believe we can. Important truths are left out of this kind of preaching. The Simple Truth is we can do nothing nor can we become something apart from God’s working.

We often make plans without considering who we really are. If we neglect this beginning the end will hold misery and disappointment for us. We are not capable of accomplishing any of our plans. You see we are a lot of things in God’s eyes. None of which prosperity preachers want to admit.

As part of the human race we are filthy. Isaiah 64 reminds us our righteousness is as filthy rags. We are also fit for punishment in God’s eyes because we have broken His laws. Romans 3 states this truth by saying all have sinned and come short of the glory of God and none of us are righteous. Not even one. The wage for our sin is death according to Romans 6.

We are not righteous and on our own we cannot obtain righteousness. In Ephesians 2 a wonderful three letter word breaks through our sin. But. But God. Those who are saved by God’s marvellous grace know God hath quickened us while we were dead in our trespasses and sins.

We really are;

  1. fallen = sinful
  2. fallible = capable of making mistakes, and often do so
  3. feeble = helpless
  4. futile = constantly changing

He really is!

  1. Faultless = sinless
  2. Flawless = Infallible. Never mistaken
  3. Foundational = the foundation of all things including salvation
  4. Faithful = Never leaves us. Forgives us when we repent. Promises are never broken.

You see we really are all of those bad things and Christ really is all of the good things. Until we understand the Simple Truth we are nothing outside of Christ we will never see who we Really are.

Real Christians

Many people claim to be Christian. We know the real Jesus Christ challenges people. Real Christians accept the challenges. First the challenge to believe. Many fail in this challenge and never completely trust Christ in all matters pertaining to life and godliness. Second the challenge of continuing well. The preceding challenge will determine how we respond to the second challenge. Unless we accept the first challenge and believe by faith in Jesus Christ we will not only fail in the end we are completely incapable of continuing. How can one continue in something he/she never really began?

Continue with Christ in the Good Times! 

  • The man who asked what he must do to inherit the Kingdom of Heaven refused to accept the challenge to sell all his possessions. Do we realize where all good things come from? Do we realize who provides all good things? Only those who know the provider of all good things and maker of all good times can continue with Christ in the good times. (Luke 18:21-23)

Continue with Christ in the Bad Times!

  • Paul suffered stoning (Acts 14)
  • Daniel suffered attempted murder (Daniel)
  • Joseph suffered in various ways (Genesis = begin in chapter 37)
  • Job (Job)

How do we Handle the bad times? Do we leave our so called faith, the church and our christian friends when bad times come. That is not continuing well!

Continue with Christ in the Last Times 1Corinthians 15:20-23)

  • We will all face death.

Many give up when they face death. For those who have trusted in the real Christ  through faith hold an understanding of the promise our risen Lord gave us concerning His return for us. Those who know Christ from a fantasy understandably fear when life comes to the end. If  they had only begun with Christ they would have finished well!

Paul returned to place where he was stoned. He encouraged the disciples to continue in the faith. As Christians we must continue well in good times, bad times and even the last times.

Real Christians trusting the Real Christ living real Christian Lives!

Taste and See That the Lord is Good! Psalm 34:8

My grandmother passed away five years ago. I remember the sad task of cleaning out her home. After all the big pieces had been removed we focused on the last thing, the refrigerator. In the freezer were two pies. These were not just any kind of pie, these were chess pies. Grandmothers chess pie has always been my favorite pie. I ate on that pie slowly for a week. I remember the last bite well, because I knew it was the absolute last bite of Grandmother’s pie I would have the privilege to taste.

God has created us with the privilege to taste the things He has created (Genesis 1:29). Our taste buds help us in our worship toward a holy and righteous God (Psalm 34:8). When I taste things I enjoy I am overcome with a thankful heart. If I taste something bitter I am also reminded of the bitter cup our Lord drank on crucifixion day (Matthew 26:39 & Matthew 27:34). When I taste other things such as bread I am reminded of the promises God made and kept with His people in the Old Testament. In the Old Testament Israel held feasts to remember the things God had done (Leviticus 23:33-44).

God gives us an infinite supply of opportunities to taste and see that He is good. He is good in that He supplies us with sustaining provisions. God is good in that Christ tasted a bitter cup so those who trust in Him will not have to taste such bitterness. God also promises us an eternal supply of fruit in Heaven (Revelation 22:2).

Maybe the next time you partake of the Lord’s Supper you might consider the bitter drink and what it means to drink it. We should worship God when we taste the bitter drink knowing our Lord drank the bitter cup of God’s wrath, and He did so on our behalf. We can even worship God in our church fellowship. The next time you attend a church fellowship and taste the wonderful food remember the Lord Himself has created such good taste. In tasting anything let us do so and see that the Lord is good! Lastly let us not forget the promised fruit in Heaven. May we gather together beside the river and taste God’s goodness.