The best life is a God First life

Month: March 2021 (Page 1 of 2)

If you were to die tomorrow, what would you wish you had gotten done today?

Several days each week, my sister-in-law Julie and her two teenage children meet to go on evening walks with some other brothers and sisters in Christ. Yesterday, on the ride there, in an attempt to spark conversation with her teenage son, she asked him this question: “If you were to die tomorrow, what would you wish you had gotten done today?”

She expected a secular answer, but his response: “Be Baptized.”

This lead to further discussion, and my nephew Michael Jr. Johnson (affectionately known as Mikey) made the absolute best decision any of us ever make in this life. Mikey decided he wanted to have eternal life in heaven by being baptized and following Christ for the rest of his life.

So, last night, Michael Jr. confessed Jesus as the Son of God and was baptized into Christ in the name of The Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit for the forgiveness of his sins. Later, Mikey told me he had been thinking about it for a while. You just never know what’s on someone’s mind.

The timing of his mother’s question and a follow-up question of “why wait?” Seemingly perfect.

Welcome to the Lord’s Church, Michael Jr. Johnson

God First?

written by: Wayne Johnson

Wow, If only the Apostle Peter knew

On the day of Pentecost when Peter preached the first gospel sermon, Do you wonder Why?

Why is it that when Peter and the other Apostles (in Acts 2) were asked by the crowd whose hearts had just been pierced by the message of Christ: ”Brothers, What do we do?” Why did Peter NOT answer the crowd’s question with: “accept Jesus into your heart and recite with me these words in a prayer and you will be forgiven, you will be saved.”

WOW, if only the Apostle Peter, who was; filled with the Holy Spirit, had known what many people claim today. That they could “just” accept Jesus into their hearts and recite a prayer to be saved; however, that’s “NOT” how Peter answered.

Peter never said: “baptism is an outward sign of an inward decision.” In fact, No such prayer is found in God’s Word. INSTEAD, Peter, who was filled with the Holy Spirit, tells them exactly what God wanted them to do “And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts‬ ‭2:38‬ ‭ESV) ‬‬None of Peter’s responses indicates any of God’s instructions were mutually exclusive.

In verse 41, God’s Holy Word says: “So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.”‭‭(Acts‬ ‭2:41‬ ‭ESV)‬‬

So, right after they received the message of Christ, they immediately went to all the trouble of following the Apostle’s instructions, and were immersed in baptism.

They could have set appointments, they could have done so in small groups over weeks, but instead, we find urgency is implied, “So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.” (Acts 2:41)

That day, about 3000 souls were added to the Church! (Don’t you know that took a while? )

These scriptures show us that; hearing, believing, repentance, and being baptized in the name of Jesus Christ is how we obtain the Holy Spirit.

Who did the adding? Who was being saved? Verse 47 “praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.” (Acts‬ ‭2:47‬ ‭ESV)

Please, Don’t take my word for it. Take God’s word for it. “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15

‬‬Below are several passages on Grace, belief, repentance, confession, and baptism to consider. God First!

• Grace: – Ephesians 2:8, Romans 3:24, Titus 2:11, Acts 15:11

• Belief/Faith: – Hebrews 11:1, John 8:24, Romans 10:17, Acts 3:19

• Repentance: – 2 Cor. 7:9-10, Luke 13:3-5, Acts 17:30

• Confess: – Romans 10:9-10, Matthew 10:32-33, Luke 12:8-9

• Baptism by immersion: – Matthew 16:15-16 1 Peter 3:21, Acts 2:38, Mark 16:16, John 3:5, Matt 28:18-20, Ephesians 4:5, Romans 6:3-4, Colossians 2:12, Acts 8:36-39, Mark 1:9-10, John 3:23

God First!

written by: Wayne Johnson

Written for a reason

Someone brought us Jell-O with fruit last week, and we enjoyed having a little each night for a dessert. Last night I decided to make some myself. The directions on the box looked very simple. (2 cups of boiling water, stir 2 min., mix in 2 cups cold water, refrigerate 4 hours). I added banana and pineapple.

I have made Jell-O successfully a couple of times in my life, but admittedly, rarely.  After 4 hours in the fridge, I picked up one of the containers to see if the Jell-O was set. The lid was loose, and liquid Jell-O splashed all over the refrigerator and onto the floor.

This morning,  “being a lot more cautious,” I found the Jell-O still Not Set and threw it all away. I looked at the box carefully to see what I could’ve done wrong, and guess what I found?

I found it essential to read all of the instructions and the notes written on the box as they were written for a reason. By not reading them carefully, I wasted my time, effort, and money, which caused me to fail at the most simple task.

Not that much different from God‘s Word.  Everything in “The Word of God” was put there for a reason and put there for a reason by God.

2 Timothy 3:17-17

God First!

written by: Wayne Johnson

America’s Greatness (Canceled)

Our forefathers (for many, this is distant relatives) suffered, fought, and gave their lives in battles for independence, for “Liberty and justice for all,” and in 1776, America was born. “We The People” celebrate America’s independence on the 4th of July each year.

Fast forward 245 years, and it seems almost half the nation wants to give away the independence our forefathers fought and died for; half the nation seems “Ok” with the idea of socialism and would rather whine and have government be our babysitter than take personal responsibility for their role in Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Our country did not become great from our ancestors sitting on their tushes and wallowing in self-pity, expecting a government to provide for them. Our country became great as our ancestors meet overwhelming struggles head-on. Dreaming and working to make those dreams reality, legal immigrants became Americans, and those Americans came together, working and striving to better their lives through hard work and big ideas.

American’s of all shapes, sizes, colors, and beliefs made the seemingly impossible possible. They forged wilderness into the country of vast convenience we know today. Our American families had to work hard to get us to this point, and we have to work hard to maintain it.

Sitting on our tush and expecting others to provide for us will destroy our nation. Let’s honor the lives of those who fought and died to give us freedom; let’s take pride in the work we each do—One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. We need to find as many legal ways as possible to stop America’s Cancelation! Our constitution is under attack, our freedom of speech under attack, our voting system under attack, freedom of religion under attack, the list keeps mounting.

While it’s true that our ultimate home is not of this world for Christians, those of us who live in America have been blessed to live in this land of the free and given the opportunity to share God’s Word, According to God’s Word, let us study, learn, and spread the seeds of Christ’s message. Let us make a difference today before our children suffer the consequences of only having Satan seed the land we were blessed to live in.

God First!

Satan is the evil one.

God’s Word tells his disciples…

“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”

James‬ ‭4:8‬ ‭ESV

‬If you feel farther away from God today than you have in the past, the question becomes… WHO MOVED?

Hint: it wasn’t God.

“Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.”

James‬ ‭1:13‬ ‭NASB‬‬”

If there is any evil in it, it is not from God

This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him, there is no darkness at all.”‭‭

1 John‬ ‭1:5‬ ‭NASB“

God is Love

“The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”

1 John‬ ‭4:8‬ ‭NASB

God is Good

“For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭100:5‬ ‭ESV‬‬

All the Time

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!”

Isaiah 5:20

Sometimes we are tempted to blame God when our hearts are torn in anguish and pain; We struggle to reason why such tragic things happen to good people, innocent children, loved ones, or maybe to ourselves. We might ask, why me? Why us? Why them? We may experience the tragic loss of life or have life-altering events we simply don’t understand. We want an explanation, and we want to assign blame but blaming God is misplaced.

As we see from the scriptures above, there is NO evil in God. There is, however, refuge; there is hope, there is help, answered prayer. There is the possibility of eternal life in heaven for those to choose to become In Christ and keep his commandments according to God’s will, Not our own.

“For he makes the sun rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust.” Matthew 5:45

Satan is the evil one.

God First!

Acts 2:38-41, 1 Peter 3:20-21, Colossians 2:11-13, Romans 6:4-5, John 3:5, Mark 16:16, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Titus 3:5, Matthew 28:19–20, Acts 10:48

”Oops, I almost forgot to take my eyes out.”

Or, “Got to put my eyes in” This type of language is called: “hyperbole.” It can be engaging to the listener by bringing more attention to an otherwise dry statement.

In today’s culture, especially in our news, hyperbolic language is often distorted and twisted to be ”Literal Language” no matter how obvious the exaggeration. By treating hyperbolic statements literally, one might call someone a liar or twist their statement’s intention to make it sound like it was meant to be disrespectful to something or someone when there was no such intent.

My point is: We would do well to pay more attention to the intent of messages rather than getting caught up and inflamed by spin. Generally, the intent of a hyperbolic statement is obvious; unless you’re looking to change the message to further a different agenda, you should get it.

In my case, I’m referring to my contact lenses. By the way, I have used hyperbolic language naturally for many, many years. Long before I learned, it had a name and definition.

Definition:

hy·per·bo·le [hīˈpərbəlē]

NOUN

* Exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally.

BE THE ROCK

BE THE ROCK to those around you. Be the stability of Christlike love they can count on. Do not waiver from righteousness when the winds of desire or difficulty blow. Stand Firm! Study and Know God’s will, Pursue God’s will, For if God is with us, who can be against us. Be the Rock of faith that inspires others to be rocks of faith. Love others as Christ loved us. For the closer we draw to God, the closer he draws to us.

Trust in God!

God First!

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.

John 13:34 ESV

Examples of Jesus and how We can overcome!

Jesus would not be swayed from his purpose. His purpose was to do the will of His Father!

Even after fasting 40 days and nights. When Satan tried he could not sway Jesus. 

When Jesus was weak and hungry Satan tried to exploit that hunger and provoke Jesus to perform a miracle “tell these stones to become bread” 

Instead, Jesus quotes scripture to Satan telling him that life comes from “Every Word of God” (The Holy Bible is the word of God for us today)

Satan then tries to get Jesus to prove; He is, the Son of God, by throwing himself down from the pinnacle of the temple in the holy city, SATAN EVEN USES SCRIPTURE in his temptation. 

Jesus quotes scripture again, 

” ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ”

Satan tries yet again, and shows Jesus the splendor in all the Kingdoms of the World and offers them to Jesus If, he will just bow down to him. 

Jesus tells him to “BE GONE” and quotes scripture a 3rd time.

“‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’”

This is a great example to Christians to not allow Satan to sway us from our purpose, to put God first, to seek all his righteousness, to hold fast and to trust God.

It shows us that Satan, knows scripture, Satan will try to use scripture to mislead us. It’s also a great example of how knowing scripture can help ”us” overcome temptations and discern the truth. It points out that we are NOT to test God and ARE to Worship and Serve God Only

God knows what’s best for us, if we love him we will keep His commandments and when we study we shew ourselves approved unto God.

If God is for us who can be against us!

May God be with us all!

  • Matthew 4:1-11
  • 2 Timothy 2:15
  • Romans 8:31
  • John 14:15

God First!

I love this Biblical story! What do you take from it?

“There was a little city with few men in it; and a great king came against it, besieged it, and built great snares around it. Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city. Yet no one remembered that same poor man. Then I said: “Wisdom is better than strength. Nevertheless the poor man’s wisdom is despised, And his words are not heard. Words of the wise, spoken quietly, should be heard Rather than the shout of a ruler of fools. Wisdom is better than weapons of war; But one sinner destroys much good.” (Ecclesiastes‬ ‭9:14-18‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)

God is my refuge

Thankful that with God, we don’t have to face life’s difficulties alone.

Cast your Anxieties on the lord. (Share in prayer)

“casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”

1 Peter 5:7 ESV….

No need to be Anxious

.“do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:6-7

God of All Comfort

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”

2 Corinthians 1:3-5

God First!

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