The best life is a God First life

Category: Messaging (Page 1 of 2)

40 Christians on a bus

40 Christians on a tour bus for the week, a day has come and gone. How many of us will get to know the bus driver’s name? Is he married, does he have children, is he a Christian? Does he believe in Jesus? Is he In Christ?

By the end of the week, will the bus driver think of us as “good samaritans”? As 40 Christ-loving, Christ-sharing Christians concerned for his well-being, for his soul, Christians willing to vest some of our vacation time sharing the love of Christ with this stranger, or will we be just another group of people he drove around for the week?

This is a challenge for all Christians as a group or as individuals. So that we plant the seeds of truth in all that we do, will those we meet know more about Christ’s love for them after we’re gone than they did before we met them?

And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” – Mark 16:15

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. – Philippians 2:3

 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

Rhetorical question: How can we claim to love others and not seek every opportunity to share the most important message of our lifetime? The saving message of Christ, the message that can bring eternal life in heaven with our creator.

Let us plant Seeds in all that we do

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”

God First!

Learning what 3000 learned!

When the Church of Christ was first established in 33 AD, the apostles told their audience about the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, and many in the crowd listened. I would imagine they listened very intensely and that the more they heard, the more they realized the significance of what had been done. They were now comprehending the truth over a false narrative. They now realized the Jesus they hung on the cross was the actual; Son of God. This awaking prompted them to be concerned, to wonder, and to ask: “What shall we do?

“And Peter said to them, Repent and be baptized (emersed) 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

To repent from sin against God is to realize we are wrong and become remorseful. In this remorse, we understand our sinful actions move us away from God and towards eternal darkness. In this realization, we long never to make such bad choices again. Thus, in our desire to make it right, we repent, consciously taking steps in a new direction, walking away from the darkness of this world towards the forgiving light of Jesus.

Peter went on to say, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.”

Each of us is accountable for our own salvation; each person who heard this message had (and today, we still have) the ability to be saved by responding to the Word of God! (Below, many verses are listed that tell us how)

Choosing to follow God is not a forced decision; it’s an informed decision. God has given us reason and proof to believe. In today’s world, we all have access to God’s Word. So why not study the actual Word of God and find out if what we understand from others is what the Bible says? If not, be willing to change direction. When God’s Word is our foundation and not the words of others, it leads us to better discernment.

“So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.” Acts 2:40-41 ESV

After hearing Peter’s answer along with more testimony and words to compel them, around three thousand souls came to understand that to be saved, they needed to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins, and they would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Scripture goes on to tell us those who did so were; added to the lord’s church.

Peter’s answer was good for about 3000 souls

Ever wonder why it’s not good enough for many today? Scripture does NOT say they were baptized simply as an outward sign of an inward decision. No, God’s Word says they were baptized for the forgiveness of sins.

Why do some discount the apostles’ answer and cling to claims invented by others thousands of years later? Claims such as; A prayer alone now saves you, or faith alone now saves you, or that baptism is a work, or that a symbolic baptism before you have heard the message of Christ or have any understanding saves you. I implore anyone who believes any of these ideas to please look closer at what scripture says on these matters. Find out what the bible says about how to be “In Christ.” Don’t believe me; believe God’s own words. Open your bible and study the God-breathed scripture. It is the Absolute Truth of God, and despite some opinions, take comfort in knowing the bible itself proves God and that all of scripture is God-Breathed.

Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Romans 6:3-11
  • 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 for forgivness of sin: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!

The well-being of others

Do you pray for the well-being of others? As I was praying for just that, the following question came to mind: What is the best thing for anybody’s well-being?

I concluded: The testament of Jesus pricks our hearts and opens our minds to God’s grace, His forgiveness, our repentance, and the love of God for us; it brings those who understand what Jesus has done for us an overwhelming desire to do His will and keep His commandments. This understanding stirs our hearts to take action. It makes us want to be “In Christ.”

According to God’s word to be in Christ, we must hear the message of Christ, believe, repent, confess Jesus as the risen Son of God, and be baptized into Christ in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit for the forgiveness of our sins. We need to realize that when we come up out of that watery grave, we are doing God’s will, we have ratified God’s Grace through Jesus, and by doing so, we are forgiven! At this point, we are free of our past sins, begin a new life as a new creature, and move forward in life as disciples of Christ, enjoying all the blessings that encompass our obedient faith.

Blessings like the knowledge that we now have never-ending life available to us in heaven, a spiritual world not made with human hands, where there is no more pain, tears, or death. That God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are now within us, helping us walk this world without being of this world. We can now take comfort in the knowledge that the blood of Christ continues to wash us even when we make mistakes.

So, What is the best thing for anybody’s well-being? The message of Christ!

With this understanding, I continue to pray that we all take time to learn and share the message of Christ for the well-being of all!

[Scriptures for consideration]

  • 1 John 5:3
  • Romans 10:17
  • 2 Corinthians 5:17-18
  • 2 Peter 3:9
  • Acts 2:37-47
  • Acts 16:30-33
  • Acts 8:30-38
  • Romans 6:23
  • Romans 5:15-18
  • Ephesians 2:1-10
  • Luke 17:10
  • James 2:17-18
  • 1 Peter 1:17-25
  • 1 John 1:7

God First!

66 Books of absolute truth we should learn

We can never understand the whole truth if we only learn part of it!

The Holy Bible is the whole and absolute truth of God! It is 66 Books of God-breathed wisdom and instruction that our creator assembled for our betterment and understanding. The Old Testament has 39 books of ”before Christ” history, including hundreds of prophecies over hundreds of years about Christ. The New Testament has 27 books telling us of the Son of God, Christ. Telling us how to accept God’s offer of grace through our obedient faith in Christ and how we can each “put on Christ” or be “In Christ.”

Scripture defines “obedient faith,” telling us how to lay up treasures in heavenly places and have our souls live forever in a heavenly home not made with hands. God’s Word shows us how God extended us grace through Christ. It lets us know that when we hear the message of Christ, believe in Christ, repent, confess Christ as the living son of God, and make the decision to be immersed in the waters of baptism, we can be forgiven of our sins and walk in newness of life. (Acts 2:38, Romans 6:3-11)

New Testament scripture stresses the importance of sharing the gospel and teaching others, however; How can we teach what we do not know? We need to study! Our children need us to study! Why? So we can accurately teach them God’s word and spread the truth according to the truth.

It is through understanding and our obedient faith that we can know a peace beyond our understanding.

  • Don’t we want that?
  • Don’t we want that for our children and others?

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it, the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

Romans 1:16-17
  • 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 for forgivness of sin: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!

Improving on Gods ways

When we worship according to God’s word, we don’t offer strange fire. In other words, we don’t try to improve on the Lord’s commands no matter how well-intended and innocent we believe our hearts and minds to be. Doing God’s will is what pleases God! Scripture is riddled with examples of this point. Jesus says, “if you love me, you will keep My commandments.” Jesus does NOT SAY: if you love me, you will attempt to improve on my commandments.

If we are truly honest with ourselves, we should realize that attempting to glorify God in any way other than what God laid out before us by command and example in New Testament scripture is really an attempt to glorify ourselves. No matter how unwittingly.

Does anyone really believe their ideas are better than God’s? To me, attempting to conform scripture to today’s culture is foolish and backward thinking. It’s also dangerous thinking that puts souls at risk.

Instead, we should be doing all we can to show our love and respect for God, By making sure we are not ourselves doing as Nadab and Abihu did in doing their own thing rather than what God asked.

STRANGE FIRE(unauthorized)

‭‭“Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it and laid incense on it and offered unauthorized fire before the Lord, which he had not commanded them. And fire came out from before the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord. Then Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord has said: ‘Among those who are near me I will be sanctified, and before all the people I will be glorified.'” And Aaron held his peace.”

Leviticus‬ ‭10:1-3‬ ‭ESV

Let’s diligently work to spread God’s word according to God’s Word and help our families, culture, and society understand and want to conform to God’s ways remembering that heaven is the ultimate goal and available for all who will follow Jesus and keep His Commandments.

God First!

Advocate for Christ!

To be clear to my new friends who are reading my post. Some have made assumptions. I am not a pulpit, preacher; I am not affiliated with any denomination. I am simply a Christian, an Advocate for Christ. I worship and study weekly with my brothers and sisters in Christ at the Buford Church of Christ congregation in Buford, Ga. The use of ”God First!” as my profile or to end many writings is because I believe God should be first in our lives. I believe that with God at the helm those ”In Christ” have God’s promise for eternity in heaven. Comfort and joy are ours to have from the “God of all Comfort,” even during the horrendously sad and difficult stuff.

Many people wear spirit wear to depict their favorite teams, school, sport, etc. My idea of ”spirit wear”- is the term God First! (seen on many of my clothes) Sometimes its presence sparks a conversation and probably curtails language I’d prefer not to hear. While it’s true that I do sell items with “God First!” It’s not for personal gain but rather to help those who love God share that love with the world. I started using the term “God First” because I believe putting God First adds significant Joy to our lives. I care about myself, my family, and others, so why would I not want to share such a message? A message that makes life better for all who choose to live by it, a message that offers the promise of everlasting life with our loving creator.

God has given us every reason to love Him as He first loved us; I am extremely grateful for all of God’s creation and sacrifices that we might have an eternal home with Him. Eternity is a serious matter, and loving God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength is a natural response to those with an understanding of God’s love for us.

I once heard this from Brother Don Blackwell – ”The Lords Church is not a country club for saints; it’s a hospital for sinners.”

  • 2 Corinthians 1:3-9
  • Mark 12:28-34
  • 2 Timothy 2:15
  • 1 John 4:19

God First!

We really miss out when we predetermine not to listen!

When someone disagrees with me on important issues, especially scriptural issues where we have God’s own words as a standard, it can be aggravating, however; If I am not already familiar with their position, I will still listen and research their assertions to be certain I have not misunderstood something.

I will not take offense if they disagree. If anything, I am challenged. My first assumption is not anger towards them but rather that I need to understand better the facts and reasoning behind my own position to help us both gain a better understanding.

These days the word “Offended” is popular and seems to be used to dismiss reasoning and detour discussion in place of working together to find solutions via reason and research.

In the New Testament, we read that Paul went to synagogues to reason with leaders about fulfilled prophecies of Scripture and tell them of Christ, yet many did not listen. Most likely, some were predetermined not to listen and instead took offense to what Paul demonstrated to them from scripture and explained them from his personal experience.

To me, accepting God’s Grace through obedient faith and acting on that faith is important. We can’t have obedient faith, without understanding and that comes from study and reasoning, not feelings. As Jesus puts it… “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”

God’s Word is important; Keeping God’s commands and precepts is important to our souls, our eternal life. For this reason, I persistently encourage everyone to study and reason with truth and love that we can learn together and mature in the body of Christ. We really miss out when we predetermine not to listen.

  • Acts 17 (Paul and Silas in the synagogues)
  • Acts 18 (Reasoning resisted and blasphemed)
  • John 14:15 (If you love Me…)
  • Ephesians 4:25 (We are to speak Truth with others, not avoid it)

God First!

Would $$$ Change our Motivation to share Christ?

If someone offered us $100 for each person who came to worship service based on our invitation (with no limit), How many people would we invite?

1, 10, 100, more?

If our answer is more than we would invite without such a monetary incentive, we have a real question to ponder…

Why would I not be this zealous for the Lord without immediate personal gain?

All Christians are to share the message of Christ and plant the seeds of Truth leading to eternal life in Heaven; Scripture tells us God will provide the growth.

To God be the glory!

  • Matthew 28:19–20
  • Matthew 19:21
  • 1st Corinthians 3:6-7
  • Mark 16:15

God First!

FAKE NEWS

Fake news is nothing new to Christians. We have been bombarded with Fake News since the beginning of Christianity. Jesus’s disciples and apostles spread the Good News of our salvation through Christ by telling of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. They established congregations all over, giving us examples of Church actions, worship, and leadership. Many of the letters we find in the New Testament are addressing “Fake News” and it continues today. Our world is full of Fake News in Christianity, but there’s good news. We don’t have to be gullible!

God has given us the means to discern the Truth from the Fake. We have 66 books of inspired words from God to study so that we can discern God’s Will, God’s teachings, through His holy word, comparing them to the desires and teachings of mankind. The answers are not found in what someone says is of God’s Word but in what God’s word actually says.

God First!

Writer: Wayne Johnson

”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.

« Older posts

© 2021 Advocate for Christ

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑