Friday, April 18, 2014

Thought for the Day

A few days someone posted a picture on one of my social sites that said "Every time I see a police car behind me I begin to feel anxiety instead of feeling protected. Some how I feel cheated".

I didn't think much of it at first, but on my drive to work I noticed a police officer parked on the side of the road and immediately looked down to see if I was speeding. I already knew I wasn't because I normally set my cruise control for that stretch at lower than the speed limit.

Anyways, it made me think of that picture that some one posted and then I was thinking, "is this the was we feel towards God? Jesus? Or any of the angels who are sent down to protect us?" Just makes you really wonder where we have gone wrong to start feeling not protected and if our faith lies in the wrong place...

Well off to work, enjoy your day.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sharing Your Story

How would you like to share the story of what God has done in your life? Start by looking at Paul’s story of how he became a believer in Jesus.

In the story of Acts 26 Paul was telling King Agrippa how he became a believer in Jesus. You will notice that Paul was used to be called “Saul.” He was the same person, just two different names. What was Paul like before he became a believer in Jesus? (v.9-11). He arrested Christians and even agreed to killing Christians. What happened that got Paul’s attention? (v.13-14)? Jesus appeared to him on the road to Damascus.

In this chapter Paul was telling the story of how God changed his life. He turned from his sins and put his faith in Jesus as his Savior.

What did Paul hope to happen to King Agrippa? That he too will become a believer in Jesus.

God uses the story of our conversion to faith in Christ to help others to put their trust in Him. God wants us to tell our story to others (even if it is not as dramatic as Paul’s).

Paul’s life was radically changed by his encounter with Jesus. To him it was the difference between life an death!

In Ephesians 2:1-10, Paul told us what happen to a person who becomes a believer in Jesus. He said before we believed in Christ we were all dead in sin, following the ways of the world and Satan. But God in His mercy made a way for us to be made alive! The way is explained in verses 8 and 9.

Pray: Name three people you will likely see this week who needs new life in Jesus. Ask God for the opportunity to share your testimony with them this week. Pray about a personal need.

Go: Share your testimony with 3 people who need to hear about Jesus. Take 3 minutes to tell your story of how you came to trust in Christ. In two sentences tell them what you were like before you came to Christ. Then in 3 or 4 sentences tell how you came to believe in Jesus. Then in one sentence tell how your life has changed since. It is very important that this testimony be no more than 3-4 minutes. Keep it short!

28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?”
29 Paul replied, “Short time or long—I pray to God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.”
- Acts 26:28-29 (NIV)

1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,
2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.
3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.
4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,
5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,
7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—
9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. 
- Ephesians 2:1-10 (NIV)

I am ready

As I ready myself, preparing for my shift.
I trust in Jesus that this day will go by swift.

Customers amass and are sometimes mean, I let the comments bounce off and fall or so it seems.

I still greet them with a smile and great cheer, though great pain I endure just standing and walking.

Day by day Jesus walks with me, whispering in my ear "Brad, you are one of my redeemed, and are welcome when your time is done here"


I know another sad attempt by me for some poetry.. hope you liked it tho.


Monday, April 14, 2014

The old has gone, the new is here!

My life has changed since I came to know Jesus Christ.” Can you say that? No one likes to be told his or her beliefs are wrong. So when you share your life changing experience, keep the focus in on Jesus: Jesus is the way – not any church or religion.

Let’s look at the story of how Paul’s life was changed when he put his faith in Jesus. Remember Paul was also called Saul. Don’t be confused by the two names.

In Acts 9: 2, why do you think Christians were called people of “the Way?”

Christians claim that faith in Jesus is the “only way” to salvation (John 14: 2). Paul was a proud Jewish religious leader and did not want to admit that his religion was wrong.

Ananias was not convinced that Saul has become a believer in Jesus. Still in Acts 9:11, what the Lord told Ananias was evidence that Saul has changed? He was praying.

Do you think Saul’s prayers were (a) casual or (b) Intense, crying out to God for mercy and forgiveness?

Someone has said: “When a person becomes desperate Jesus comes near.” God humbled Saul so that he would realize how desperately he needed Jesus. Can you share a time when God humbled you in order to bring you close to Him?

Read Acts 9:19b-22 How would you describe the change that had occurred in Saul’s life? It was a 180 degree turn! A radical change, right?

In 2 Corinthians 5:17, Paul described what happened to him — and to us who believe in Christ. Not many people have a dramatic “Damascus Road experience” like Saul, but all of us should be able to say: The old has gone, the new is here!

Go: Share your testimony with 3 other people who need to hear about Jesus.

1 Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest
2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.
3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.
4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied.
6 “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
7 The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone.
8 Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus.
9 For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything. - Acts 9:1-9 (NIV)

6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.  - John 14:6 (NIV)

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!  - 2Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)