Advocate for Christ

The best life is a God First life

Prayer request

Lately, I see more prayer requests on social media than I have ever seen before. Although it’s sad to see so many people dealing with sickness, death, fears, and concerns, I am very grateful that many recognize the power of prayer and know they should ask for prayers from their brothers and sisters in Christ.

As I encounter these requests, it’s quite normal for me to pause and pray before moving forward. I don’t often know the recipients of my prayers personally. However, I know from their request that they believe in God’s power to help and provide comfort as they have asked for prayers.

We can see from Scripture that God wants us to pray and wants to be included in our daily lives. But, more than that, and with; good reason, God wants to be the center of our life. Scripture clearly demonstrates God’s desire to be included in our daily lives, so putting God first would consist of prayer before action.

  • John 15:7 (Notice conditions)
  • 1 John 5:14
  • James 5:14-16
  • 2 Corinthians 1:11
  • Matthew 7:7
  • Luke 11:9
  • John 16:24
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
  • James 1:5
  • Romans 12:2
  • Romans 12:12
  • Ephesians 6:18

Get Mercy

      • God shows us, love,
      • Encourages us to love,
      • Teaches us to love,
      •  
      • Motivates us to love,
      • Expects us to love,
      • Responds to our love,
      • Commands us to love,
      • Yearns for us to love

God want’s our love!

But,

God wants us to freely give it with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love others as Christ loved us. 

Is it any surprise?

The only
gift we
can give God
Is, Our Love

That’s right, our love is all we can give. God can create anything else.

God has extended mercy to mankind through the gift of grace but its up to us to accept this offer of grace by loving him and keeping His commands.

 

Jesus tells us: If you love Me, you will keep my Commandments.”  (John 14:15)

He tells us: …”The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 

(Mark 12:29-31)

God First!

Love of Sports, Love of God

A lot of people get very excited about sports. It’s a topic of numerous conversations. Seldom am I with a group of men where sports is not immediately part of the conversation or dominates it.

Many parents rightfully recognize the benefits of raising their children to grasp the positive principles of sports and start them playing very early in life. Lifelong friendships build as parents help each other with rides and mutually encourage their children and each other.

As a result, Money, Time, and Schedules are eagerly manipulated so that parents can be supportive of events, practice meets, or games by their presence, and the value of teamwork is fortified. Families unite in sports talk, laughs, jokes, etc., discuss sports greats, sportsmanship, teamwork, missed opportunities, and often spend countless hours watching professional sports together.

These bonding moments are excellent training and contribute to building solid friendships and good character in our young adults to help them navigate life.

Isn’t this precisely how we should prioritize, teach, and share Christ in our lives?

Shouldn’t our conversations and social media posts include glorifying and sharing the blessings of Christ and showing concern for others?

If we showed our love for God the way we show our love for sports, how would our lives change?

What would it look like if our interest in God took priority over our interest in sports?

  • Would we start our children attending bible classes early in life?
  • Would we prioritize our schedules to ensure committed involvement in Church activities?
  • Would we prioritize teaching our children the love of Christ?
  • Would we encourage their understanding and development of leadership skills?

Imagine how excellent this world would be if the same effort we put into sports were put into following and sharing the message of Christ?

We would excel at learning everything we could about our creator. Jesus would be prominent in daily conversations and taking His name in vain, absent.

Instead, we would seek to be as Christ-like as possible, making every effort to do God’s Will according to what God tells us in scripture and our time would be arranged so that we could be involved in as many good works as possible.

If the world were to embrace God the way many embrace sports, we would put our service to God above all else, and our children would take notice. Just as they will notice, if we make exceptions, making exceptions sends the message that we believe it’s ok to deprioritize God from Time to Time, and that’s never ok!

Sports may bring a lifetime of happy moments but should never take priority over God, where blessings go far beyond this lifetime and lead us to our eternal home, a glorious place without tears, pain, or woes.

God First!

  • Acts 20:32
  • Jude 1:25
  • 2 Timothy 3:15-17
  • 1 Corinthians 14:26
  • Philippians 3:21
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:11
  • Romans 1:12
  • Ephesians 4:15-16
  • John 3:16-17
  • John 17:3
  • Matthew 6:23-24
  • 1 Timothy 1:17
  • 1 Corinthians 2:9
  • 1 Corinthians 8:6
  • Luke 15:7
  • Matthew 7:21-23
  • Matthew 25:46
  • Philippians 3:20-21
  • Revelation 21:9-12
  • Revelation 12:4

Time and Love

Yesterday’s lesson from the pulpit was about showing brotherly love to one another. One of the points made is that being the recipient of such love reminds us we are loved. This is true whether the love expressed is on a grand or minuscule scale.

Whether it’s a card, a visit, a gift, or simply a caring wave from across the way, showing our love for others can make a positive difference in someone’s life while at the same time making one in ours. Don’t discount the little stuff, like a simple phone call. It says we care enough to call.

Let’s take time to reach out, don’t think of the call as obtrusive but rather inclusive. You’re not making a sales call; you’re making an “I Care Call.” Why wait for sickness or turmoil to make a call. If they can’t answer, leave a short message; if they are busy, simply let them know you are thinking of them. The call says: We care!

Phone calls are such simple actions and easy ways to do good and express Christ-like love for others; you never know how much your phone call could mean in someone’s day or even how it could provide comfort precisely when someone needs it most.

Time is one of the most precious gifts we can offer others. It’s a reminder that they are loved.

  • Hebrews 13:16
  • Philippians 2:4
  • Galatians 6:2
  • John 15:12
  • Proverbs 3:27
  • Acts 20:35
  • Galatians 6:9-10
  • Matthew 5:16
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:15
  • Hebrews 10:24
  • 1 Corinthians 11:1

God First!

Rainbows and Promises

Yesterday, The Morning light gifted us with the rainbow-colored patch seen in this picture. As I pointed it out to Virginia (my wife), I thought, how cool! Its presence then sent me down a pathway of thoughts I needed for the day.

Like the rainbow in the sky, this simple patch of colors reminded me of God’s promises. That God cannot lie and will always be with those, who love Him. How Jesus said: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

While sipping my morning coffee, my mind kept highlighting snippets of God’s Word, “God is the God of All Comfort,” “the closer we draw to God, the closer God will draw towards us,” “Ask, and it will be given, Seek and you will find, Knock and the door will open,” “Pray without Ceasing!”

It is comforting to remember how much Jesus cares for us and tells us to be humble and cast all our anxieties on Him. This little patch of light reminded me that Faith includes Trust. “Never give up on doing good” Lean on Jesus, especially in times of trial when the challenges of life are heavy, and things don’t make any sense.

So much brought to mind in this little patch of rainbow light.

Jesus has prepared for those who love Him a place with many rooms where tears, death, mourning, crying, and pain will be no more. It gives me peace to remember this world is but a temporary home; our forever home is, as a song states: “Beyond the azure blue.” Scripture tells us, “Do not love the world or the things in the world,” All this world and its desires are passing away but, “whoever does the will of God abides forever.”

  • Hebrews 6:18
  • Titus 1:2
  • Proverbs 8:17
  • John 14:15
  • James 4:8
  • Romans 8:28
  • Galatians 6:9
  • 1 Peter 5:7
  • Galatians 6:2
  • 1 John 2:15-17
  • John 14:1-3
  • Revelation 21:4

To God be the Glory!

Ever had someone take credit for your accomplishments? How did you or would you feel feel about it? Maybe it was a trivial matter, so you just let it go. I’ve done this too; it still rubbed me the wrong way, even if just a little. Now, let’s magnify the situation.

Suppose you developed a single cure for all cancers and shared it. Yet, instead of being appreciated, praised, and given credit for all your work, credit is taken or given elsewhere. Would you be upset?

I would probably do all I could to Let the world know; THIS IS MY DOING, AND I CAN PROVE IT. Stop giving credit elsewhere; I created this cure! I would assemble all my proof, witnesses’ testimonies, etc., and present them to the world as best I could. But, what if, rather than admit their deception, the unscrupulous attack the Truth with false information and lies to take or give credit elsewhere. How would you like this? How would you respond?

Unfortunately, This is how God is treated repeatedly.

Despite the fact that God’s proof is all around us. That Science, Math, and History truly support what we find in Scripture, and that God is the most logical explanation as the Creator of everything we know many actively work to give credit elsewhere. Sadly, the gullible then fall prey to praising the creations of God rather than God Himself. History shows people inherently desire to worship something; they want to put faith in something they deem greater than themselves. Worship and praise have been given to such things as the moon, the sun, stars, mountains, water, fire, animals. Numerous statues have been made and erected to worship, and numerous theories have been invented and taught.

Today, many give the credit that belongs to God to those touting disbelief under the disguise of science. Technical-sounding words are created and used to create hypothetical theories and then presented as sound science.

Think about it, Theories are taught to our most gullible, our children, and told it is science. Our children are taught to believe our creation was a fluke accident where nothing exploded into something rather than God Created All. That a spec of absolutely nothing too small for our eyes to see exploded into something that created planets in a perfect universal placement to provide life on Earth. Then, over billions of years developed into the perfectly designed world of nature and life, we live in today. That Animal and Human life were some natural phenomena and that our human ancestry is monkeys. If not from God, Where did our intelligence come from?

Were you taught this? Did you or do you currently lend “ANY” credence to these theories today? God gave us free will that we may choose to look at the evidence. God would not have given us so much proof if expected blind faith only.

EVERYTHING CREATED IS GOD’S DOING, AND HE PROVES ITTO GOD BE THE GLORY!

  • Genesis 1:1
  • Romans 1:20-25
  • Revelation 4:11
  • John 1:3
  • Colossians 1:16
  • 1 Corinthians 8:6
  • Nehemiah 9:6
  • Psalm 33:6
  • Genesis 1:1-37
  • Genesis 1:27
  • Psalm 19:1
  • Hebrews 11:1-3
  • John 1:1-3
  • Exodus 34:14
  • Deuteronomy 5:9
  • Exodus 20:1-26
  • Jeremiah 10:12
  • Isaiah 45:18
  • Romans 10:17
  • Proverbs 3:13
  • James 1:5
  • 1 Peter 3:15-16
  • Isaiah 1:18
  • John 20:31
  • 2 Timothy 2:15

God First!

The Best Part of our Story

I don’t like giving “Off-the-cuff” answers to questions as my response often seems inadequate; I prefer to think before responding. Last night was no exception when a young man asked: “What do you think is the best part of being married for so long?(We must have really looked old, to him) I had just met the lad about 90mins before when Virginia and I were standing at the restaurant counter reviewing the menu. We were trying to decide, stay or leave.

It was Valentine’s day and our Anniversary. So far, the evening was not going according to my plan. I intended to have an early dinner at a nice Italian restaurant, but we started late. The restaurant website indicated they were NOT booking reservations, so I assumed “first come, first serve,” but when we arrived, I saw the dreaded sign at the doorway “call for reservations.” It was about 5:30 PM; the place was almost empty but, they would not seat us. This snafu put me under pressure to find someplace quickly; Virginia was hungry, and I still hoped to beat the main crowd.

We found a restaurant we had never tried before. It was not fancy nor the type of food we typically eat; In fact, entirely out of the norm for us. It was a family-style Cuban Restaurant called Papis. We entered and talked with a young man behind the counter, mentioned it was our Anniversary, looked at the menu, got his recommendations, and decided to stay. They sat us in a quiet booth where we enjoyed some flavorful dishes. Although we were apprehensive at first, we found that being out of our norm added to the evening and made it even more enjoyable and memorable by night’s end.

We showed our waitress a FB picture I’d recently posted of us over the years. Then, before we left, she presented us with a complimentary dessert, one of our favorites, “Flan.”

As we were leaving, Virginia went to the lady’s room as I waited at the counter. I thanked the young man for his food suggestions and began some casual conversation when he asked: What do you think is the best part of being married for so long? (I was not prepared for that question). I thought for a brief moment looking for a quick answer and said: Contentment – We are both very content with each other now. Then, a short moment longer, I added: When you’re young as you are, jealousies, and things like that, often get in the way, but with a good wife, you don’t have to worry about that. Shortly after that response, I finally hit the nail on the head and Stated: but actually, the best part was when we decided to include God in our lives and live that type of lifestyle. The young man acknowledged my final answer and said: Really? Yes, Really!, Putting God first is the best thing we ever did for our marriage. The young man then thanked me and said: I really appreciate it. I wish my last response had been my first so I could have expanded on it.

Choosing to make God’s Word “The Standard” for our lifestyle has been the most important decision Virginia and I ever made in our marriage. I could expand for hours on all the facets of why our marriage is strong, but the bottom line is: The decision to put God First has by far been the best part of our story!

  • Matthew 5:6
  • Acts 5:29
  • Proverbs 16:3
  • Matthew 6:24
  • Galatians 2:20
  • Galatians 6:9-10
  • 2 Corinthians 8:6
  • Acts 10:35
  • Matthew 13:44-46
  • Proverbs 3:5-6
  • Proverbs 19:14
  • Proverbs 31:10
  • Ephesians 5:44-33

God First!

Learning from self-evaluation

Self-evaluation is not about longing for our past but instead learning from it!

Some say: Always look forward, never look back! So, if by looking back, you find yourself longing for those past days and focusing so much on what you once did that it distracts you from being content and enjoying what you can still do at the moment, this is a valid point. In this respect, I struggle in tennis, falling prey to looking back and longing for the game I once played with its power and speed. But, in doing so, I steal from the moment and all it could be If I would just let it.

However, self-reflection and evaluation are different from looking back and getting stuck in the past. When we evaluate ourselves, we create opportunities to take pauses and learn from our experiences.

Self-reflection is essential, it does indeed stir up feelings of embarrassment, regret, and sadness, but it also stirs up levels of self-validation, self-approval, smiles, and laughter which can add to our contentment.

For example, looking back on one such moment was embarrassing and funny.

It was in the late 80s; There was once a popular sitcom cartoon on TV called “The Simpsons,” One of the characters was “Bartman,” which was the superhero alter ego of “Bart Simpson.” Although I was not a fan of the show, Virginia gave me a pair of Bartman shorts for my 30th Birthday.

A couple of weeks later, probably in November of 1989, we met our friends Jan and Wayne to play mixed doubles tennis. It was a chilly day, so we all started in warmups. As we played, the clothing trickled off till I was down to a T-shirt and my new shorts. A few points after removing my warmup pants, Jan paused the match to ask: Are you going to play in underwear? I quickly stated: No, these are Bartman shorts; Virginia got me for my Birthday.

Jan responds: with a flap in the middle?

I was instantly embarrassed as I realized they were “Bartman boxers,” not shorts. I had never worn boxers and assumed they were regular shorts. Needless to say, I immediately put my warmup pants back on, was relentlessly teased, and we laughed about it.

However, this moment of embarrassment etched a permanent place in my mind, and I learned at least three things from experience.

  • Assumptions are dangerous (Be more careful)
  • Details are important (Pay closer attention)
  • Relentless teasing ( It’s going to happen)

Without self-reflection and self-evaluation, we hinder self-accountability, which helps us make better choices on what to and not do in the future.

Scripturally, We find attributes of self-reflection and evaluation attributed to many of King Soloman’s writings. A man gifted with wisdom from God. And, in the Psalms of David, more on this later.

God First!

Flaxseed and Scripture

Some friends recently set a family goal to read one thousand books by the year’s end. As I am a slow reader, this goal is truly impressive. In fact, When I ordered the book in this picture, “The Utterance of God,” I ordered based on a friend’s recommendation and my interest in the topic. The book identifies and demonstrates numerous biblical proofs (many of which I was unaware) that what we read in the Bible is indeed the actual Words of God. The Bible claims this fact in 2 Timothy 3:16, where God tells us, “All Scripture is God-breathed…”.

Recognizing, understanding, and comprehending these many proofs found in Scripture also solidifies God as the creator of everything we know and understand; therefore, we should do all within our power to follow Christ according to what we find in God’s Word.

This book was not yet published when I placed my order, it does have a nice size font, but still, I did not realize the book was over 500 pgs. Likewise, the Bible has over a thousand pages and three-quarters of a million words. Large books seem daunting to me. However, I have learned to take the Flaxseed approach to my reading.

Like the books above, Flaxseed was also recommended to me as having several health benefits for our bodies. When I ordered the Flaxseed, and it arrived, I thought, wow, that’s a lot of Flaxseed; how will I ever get through all this? Yet by using just a teaspoon at a time, I have now consumed the first container and am starting this new one; and am healthier for it.

Today, I am proud to report that I have read every word in “The Utterance of God.” Although parts of it were challenging to comprehend, much was very easy and extremely interesting. Moreover, I have gained considerably by being persistent in periodically consuming just a few pages at a time over months.

The result: Studying this information strengthened my understanding of God’s Word, increased my confidence when I thought I lacked none, and helped to embolden my faith.

Reading good books can provide several benefits for the health of our minds, and Reading God’s Holy Word provides nourishment for both mind & soul; it is life’s best guide. Following God’s Word according to God’s Word is to follow Jesus, and Jesus is our only way to spend eternity with God. John 14:6, Acts 4:2, 1 Timothy 2:5, John 10:9, John 1:14,

I encourage anyone reading this, take time to read the Bible, don’t decide in advance it’s too hard to understand, be persistent with yourself instead and commit yourself to at least a spoonful of reading per day. Before you know it, just like with the Flaxseed or the book I read, you will have consumed the whole book. It’s a blessing!

God First!

It’s been over a year!

Well, It has now been slightly over a year since I decided to purchase and create a website called “AdvocateforChrist.com,“ along with the supporting aids needed to help me write and secure the site. I now have 165 posts to date.

I did this for two reasons:

  • First and foremost, as a means of sharing God’s Word and the beautiful blessings derived from following Jesus. To follow Christ according to His Word is by far the best life one can choose to live and the best advice one can give. However, It is a choice!
    • In my writings, I often present my thoughts with supporting Scripture to persuade readers to pursue God’s Word independently. I don’t want readers to simply adopt my thoughts but rather encourage them to go to God’s Word and check them out. God’s Word is where all truth originates.
    • The Bible is where one may learn the Truth of God’s Word more fully. Self-Study and self evaluation is essential! Satan has spent thousands of years twisting the truth with partial truths starting with Eve, persuading people to adopt manufactured ideas of God’s Truth. Our best defense to being misled in what God’s Word says is to have personal knowledge of God’s Word.
  • Secondly, I began this effort as a result of the encouragement I received. So many reading my post on Facebook kept suggesting I do more. I am grateful for all those uplifting and encouraging words. To all who have motivated me to do more, Thank you! I pray and hope my efforts are fruitful to someone, somewhere.

Last year, many of the advocateforChrist.com posts were a combination of new efforts and works I had written in years past. I would review, modify, and use grammar software to improve the previous post. I quickly realized that formulating, writing, and running my thoughts through grammar-checking software takes time, whether new or old ideas. At this point, I have now posted most of my previous social media posts onto the Advocate for Christ site. Going forward, it is my hope to post at least two or three times a week in 2022.

How can you help if you find these posts thought-provoking and beneficial? I’m glad you asked! 🙂

  1. Go to https://AdvocateforChrist.com and sign up to receive the post via email. Reading them on the website is easier than reading them on Facebook, plus; The scriptures link to an online bible for quick review.
  2. Like them, Love them, comment, and share them. (Once in a while, I write one worthy of sharing). With social media algorithms, Your likes, love, comments, and shares help others see them.
  3. If you have accounts with MEWE, Parlor, Aggos, or Instagram, I also post many writings or memes on those sites and welcome your likes and shares.
  4. Reach out in the comments section on Advocate for Christ or social media. Extend your thoughts, questions, and applicable humor.
  5. By all means, If you feel I am in an error of Scripture, contact me. Let’s have a private discussion.

God First!

Wayne R. Johnson

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