“Saving Faith”

E Y Mullins in Baptist Beliefs (1912) says “Saving faith includes belief and trust: belief of the facts and truths of the gospel and trust in Jesus Christ for Salvation.”

Jesus, healed ten of Leprosy (Luke 17:11-19), but only the Samaritan came back to thank him. “He (Jesus) said to him (the Samaritan), “Rise and go: your faith has made you well.” (Luke  17:19)

As the Samaritan’s faith in Jesus saved him from the leprosy, only our faith in Jesus Christ provides us eternal Salvation.

 

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In it to Win It

As children of God we are not in the race of life just to run it. We are in it to win it.

For I am already poured out like a drink offering and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there  is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. 2 Timothy 4:6-8.

 

 

The Process of Coming to God’s Perfect Placement

The Process of becoming what we feel God wants us to be is not easy. When a prefect God, brings us closer to His perfection, for His use, our adjustments to His requirements are not easy. But the adjustments we call difficult, can’t in any way be compared with the difficult task Jesus had of dying for the sins of others. Every day, we must continue to hope that  “just at the right time” we will experience the feeling of accomplishing exactly what God wants. However remember, the process of becoming is not easy.

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.  Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance , character; and character , hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this; While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:1-8)

 

Invocation for Homegoing Celebration

We come today because of the magnificent and inerrant timing of God. Who ordained this gathering, because He has called one of His soldiers from labor to reward.

We fully understand that as the timing of birth is God’s, so is the timing of death, for Job 14:5 remind us, “Man’s days are determined; you (God) have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.”

But, Scripture does not always diminish the pain of the moment. For we miss our beloved. We will miss her/him in all of the ways she/he has served. We will miss them as a spouse, as a parent, as a friend, as a neighbor, as a co-worker and most certainly as a fellow laborer in our Christian faith.

Since we cannot stop God’s timing, but sometimes feel the pain in the process we take solace in this celebration of our loved one going out from here to eternity.

In this celebration:

We ask comfort for the spouse and family that will miss the beloved the most. Restore them dear God to your perfect peace.

We thank you dear God for creating the beloved and the time they have spent with us all. It has truly been a joy!

We savor the memories of their life and the expressions that tells us, their life has been a job “well done”.

Although we are not the final account, our observation is that they followed the teaching of the Apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 4:7, I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 

Finally, we find comfort through the word of The Apostle Paul’s writing, which not only make the sting of the moment acceptable but also gives us hope. This comfort and hope is found in 2 Corinthians 5:8 …. to be away from the body is at home with Lord. In all our love, would we deny them or anyone the ultimate prize of being with the Lord? I think not!

So, we celebrate the magnificent timing of God, and give thanks to Him for His Omniscience wisdom of the moment.

In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Homewords Ministry Tampa Bay, FL

“In Preparation for the Savior” (Reprint from December 2011)

Revelation 3:20-22

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with me.

To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

 

“Laodicea (Revelation 3:14-22)

“Laodicea was a commercial and administrative center, the richest city in its district.  In fact, when it was destroyed by an earthquake in 60 AD, Laodicea refused imperial aid that its neighbors gladly accepted.  Laodicea “was known throughout the Roman world of its time for three things: its banks, which even Cicero recommended for exchanging money, its linen and wool industry, which produced cloth, and carpets, especially from the glossy black wool of sheep reared in the area; its medical school  and widely famed medicines, notable among which was an eye-ointment. (See Revelation 3:17-18).   Laodicea’s sister city were Hierapolis and Colosse. Because Laodicea was built to suit the trade routes rather than natural resources, the city had no local water supply.  Water had to be piped in through stone conduits. This made the city extremely vulnerable to attack, so its politicians specialized in appeasement.  Laodicea had a large Jewish population –at least 7,500 adult males.”Laodicea means, “rule of the people” or “judgment of the people.” “(2, pg. 43)

                 We, like the church at Laodicea have taken pride in our resources and accomplishments.  However, Jesus had to remind them that they were:  wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked (3:17); although they accumulated money in their banks, produced an eye-ointment in their medical school, and linen and wool for cloth.  Especially glossy black wool of the sheep reared in that area—reminds me of the Nursery Rhyme, “Baa, Baa Black Sheep”.  In their self-pride in their accomplishments, they had forgotten their benefactor— the source of their supply—the Savior, Himself.

Jesus’ position with the church of Laodicea is the same position He takes with us today, outside the door (Revelation 3:20) of our hearts, homes, churches, and concerns. “God is standing outside the doors of our homes— the black doors, the green doors, the red doors, the white doors, the shabby doors, and the neat doors.  Shall we open those doors to Him and invite Him into our family circle?  He is waiting for us to do just that.”  (3. pg. 129)  God is ever-present, and accessible— yet waiting to be invited in to our hearts, homes, churches, and concerns.  We may sometimes wonder why God isn’t doing more in some of our situations; we may even get angry at God for not caring.  The problem is not with God; it’s that we’ve never had the courage to invite God into the problem, give it to Him completely to solve, and trust Him totally with the outcome. Have we prepared room for the Savior in our hearts, homes, churches, and concerns? Are there areas of our lives that we frankly feel that Jesus should have no involvement in? If He’s not Lord of all, is He Lord at all?   Are we so full of ourselves that we can only “top our glass-off” with the Savior through a few minutes when we have nothing else on our schedule?  Have we left the Savior standing outside the door, knocking and waiting, again?

Jesus, the Savior, “was born of a virgin, lived a perfect life, died a substitionary death, bodily rose from the dead, and is physically coming back again.”  (1. pg. 162) Have you made room for the Savior?

References

  1. Evans, Tony, Dry Bones Dancing, Multnomah, Publishers, Inc., Sister, OR,2005
  2. Revelation, Life Change Series, NavPress, Colorado Springs,Co.,1989.
  3. Shoemaker, Helen Smith, The Secret of Effective Prayer, Word Books, Waco TX, 1967

Out of Darkness – John 3:1-21

The detail that Nicodemus came “by might” to see Jesus shows that he and the other Jewish leaders associated with Jesus only in secret. Since Nicodemus’ questions were inquiry and not interrogation, it is evident that he understood there were elements of misunderstanding amoung the Jewish leaders regarding Jesus. Nicodemus was seeking information, but he was blind to the truth of God.

Are we Christians often blind to the truth of God? Do we really understand what God wants through us and from us, or are we as blind as Nicodemus? Nicodemus didn’t understand Jesus or His mission because he was looking for a Messiah of a political kingdom. He didn’t understand that Jesus had come to be the Messiah of a “New Birth” resulting from the impregnation of the heart by the Spirit of God. Like Nicodemus, many come to Jesus in the dark for the wrong reasons? Are we more concerned about the miracles He will do for us or are we concerned about true change of being Born Again? Worse, do we ever grow enough in our Christian walk to know the difference?

In John 3:1-32, Nicodemus got it wrong, but did he later get it right? Maybe the answer is found in John 19:38-42. Most importantly, where do you stand and are you willing to grow?