It is amazing how many people want the power of Christ but not the path of Christ. They do not want to follow a Christ who uses His resources and power to help others. However, they will soon discover that following Jesus inevitably leads to a road of self-sacrifice. It is at this crossroads that many turn away from following the Jesus of the Bible.
We see in the Scriptures that multitudes came to Jesus because they were hungry and saw that He could multiply bread. Others came because they wanted to rule and reign, and they thought Jesus would overthrow the Roman Empire. What Jesus was asking for, however, was full commitment to the cause of God that was about to be unfolded in His life. He told them, “It is the spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63). In other words, “What I am telling you will give you life, carry you, sustain you and keep you through difficult days.” Jesus added, “But there are some of you who do not believe,” for He “knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him” (6:64).
When they recognized what it would cost, many disciples turned away and walked with him no more. I believe this is how it will play out in our day too. When the truth of Christ is proclaimed, many people will realize that they did not sign up to be a representation of God’s life in the midst of a hostile generation. God is asking for a commitment that will take them to a cross — and suddenly it is no longer attractive.
Scripture does not say the people abandoned religion; rather, they abandoned Jesus Christ. In other words, they returned to “a form of godliness but denying its power” (2 Timothy 3:5). They went back to a form of religion, and perhaps they were even more zealous than before. But all of it was powerless. They went back to powerless singing, powerless reading and powerless praying — all because they were confronted with what a life of following Christ is truly supposed to look like.
The true power of God is ultimately found in reaching the lost. Once we are determined to give ourselves for the purposes of God and for the people around us, this Spirit of power will be realized in our lives.
(Carter Conlon / General Overseer of Times Square Church, Inc. - “When The Cross Is No Longer Attractive”
And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18
O Father of glory, this is the cry of my heart — to be changed from one degree of glory to another, until, in the resurrection, at the last trumpet, I am completely conformed to the image of Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Until then, I long to grow in grace and in the knowledge of my Lord, especially the knowledge of His glory. I want to see it as clearly as I see the sun, and to savor it as deeply as my most desired pleasure. O merciful God, incline my heart to Your word and the wonders of Your glory. Wean me from my obsession with trivial things. Open the eyes of my heart to see each day what the created universe is telling about Your glory. Enlighten my mind to see the glory of Your Son in the Gospel. I believe that You are the All-glorious One, and that there is none like You. Help my unbelief. Forgive the wandering of my affections and the undue attention I give to lesser things. Have mercy on me for Christ’s sake, and fulfill in me Your great design to display the glory of Your grace. In Jesus’s Name I pray, Amen.
My “best friend” recently lead me to a video clip that I am forwarding below to all who have ears to hear and eyes to see. The message described so majestically and perfectly my heart’s desire and vision behind the calling and creation of our Wild Elks outreach efforts. My prayer would be for this same message to become the foundational tenant of faith and principle upon which your higher calling in Christ is also established.
We are called to herald “the narrow way” leading to the life of Jesus, refusing to follow the ways of man. We seek to allow His heart to be revealed through a life of excellence in all that we say and do.
For the Glory of Christ
We can only and truly God when we remove the desire to glorify self. The goal of our outreach efforts is to win fame for Jesus Christ, using the gifts He has given in order to proclaim life and set captives free while proclaiming the Gospel message of the Great Love of our Creator.
It takes a brave heart and a steadfast spirit - won’t you join with us today and bring others with you in this calling towards a greater glory in Christ Jesus and the advancement of His Kingdom.
“Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.” Matthew 28:5
I was lead, as I so often am by Holy Spirit, to go back and re-read key Scriptures and related study devotionals that have spoken to me at specific times and seasons of my life - spiritual markers and altars of worship that serve as reminders to help guide and keep me steadfast. Today, it was back to my June 21st post titled “Because You Seek Jesus” where my heart became fixed and centered upon those words spoken by the Angel in Matthew’s account of the Gospel. “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus...”
Oh, the sweet assurances and security we have made available to us in the Lord! Those truly seeking the Him, freedom from fear will be a heritage indeed. Those who are walking upright with God will not be afraid of whatever comes on the news tomorrow or happens in the world around them. For as the Psalmist said, “Surely he will never be shaken; the righteous will be in everlasting remembrance. He will not be afraid of evil tidings; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord” (112:6-7).
Yes, those who have chosen to follow God will be able to hear and believe as the Lord speaks to them: “Don’t fear because I know you seek Jesus.” And, every believer must come to a point of decision where he determines to go all the way with God and declare, “By the grace of God, I am going to trust him for the power to finish this journey in victory.”
With this post, I am also calling out to those who have made that decision in their life or are seeking help in making that decision for their life. Come along and join us in life’s journey together to victory. I am a Certified Chaplain and Life Coach, and I would love to help all find that connection through either small online group interactions or personal one on one sessions. Just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know your interest or need.
Multiplied blessings and His abiding peace be with you all!
This Independence Day - July 4, 2020 - I am reminded of a quote that says, “When the system fails, righteous men will rise up.” I was also lead to these related words from a devotional written by Billy Graham (Unto the Hills). May they stir in your heart as they do in mine.
“The Bible teaches that worldliness is a force, a spirit, an atmosphere of the cosmos that is in opposition and in contradiction to all that is godly and Christian. Its goal is selfish pleasure, material success, and the pride of life. It is ambitious, self-centered. God is not necessarily denied; He is just ignored and forgotten.
Three times Christ designated Satan as the prince of this world. He said, ‘The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me” (John 14:30). In John 16:11, He again said, ‘Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.’ In John 12:31, He said, ‘Now shall the prince of this world be cast out.’
Thus the Bible is clear that the world’s inhabitants are either under the influence of this world with its cunning, deception, and spell; or they are in Christ and under the direction of the Spirit of God. There is no neutral ground. The lines are drawn by the Bible.
Paul wrote to the Ephesians, ‘Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.... Even when we were dead in sins [God] hath quickened us together with Christ”p’ (2:2, 5).
Now the words ‘course of this world’ carry the meaning of current or flow. There is an undertow, a subtle current, which runs against and in contradiction to the will and the way of God. Its eddies are deep and treacherous. They are stirred and troubled by Satan and intended to trap and ensnare those who would walk godly in Christ Jesus.
Satan employs every device at his command to harass, tempt, thwart, and hurt the people of God. His attack is relentless. Paul wrote, ‘We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places’ (Ephesians 6:12).
However, the Christian is not left defenseless in this conflict. God provides the power to give us victory over Satan. Paul said, ‘We are more than conquerors through him that loved us’ (Romans 8:37). And John wrote, ‘Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world’ (1 John 4:4).”
Oh yes indeed, greater is He! Just pause a moment in His Presence. Ponder His greatness and all that He is. If He is not all that to you, then make Him that today. And, be encouraged and emboldened by also calling to mind what was shared in another recent post dated July 2nd -
We are holding a light. We are to let it shine. We are blowing a trumpet...we must keep sounding the alarm to those who are in danger. We are kindling a fire...we must keep our fire burning. We are striking with a hammer. The blows may seem only to jar our hands as we strike, but we are to keep on hammering. We have bread for a hungry world...we must keep on giving it, offering it to the souls of men. We have water for famishing people. We must keep standing and crying out, “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters” (Isaiah 55:1). We must persevere. We must never give up. Keep using the Word. Jesus said that much of our seed will find good soil and spring up and bear fruit. We must be faithful witnesses.
Yes - the righteous must arise!
Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:57-58