Witnessing Is A Christian Imperative

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31 “But Abraham said, ‘If they won’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they won’t be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’”  — Luke 16:31 NLT
 
The rich man who had refused to comfort Lazarus was sent to Hades (the place of the dead).  From there, he was allowed to look into Paradise where he saw Lazarus sitting with Abraham.  Realizing how wrong he had been in not showing mercy to Lazarus when they both lived on earth, he began to beg for mercy. “Just allow Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and bring it to me”.  But Abraham reminded the rich man that he had had ample opportunity to help others with his riches while he lived on the earth.  The rich man realizes that the reason he has ended up in this place of torment is because he refused to accept Jesus and his teachings.  Since there is now no hope for him, he remembers his brothers and asks Abraham to send Lazarus back from the dead to witness to them.. Abraham tells the rich man that it wouldn’t make any difference, if his brothers won’t believe Moses and the prophets, they won’t believe just because someone returned from the dead.  We find this statement proved to be true over and over since so many refused to believe when Jesus was raised from the dead.  Even now, with all the proof we have of His Resurrection, there are those who still refuse to believe.  Since we don’t know who those believe are, we still must witness to everyone that God puts in our lives.  When we don’t share the Gospel with those around us who desparately need it, we are as guilty of withholding our riches from them as the rich man was in withholding his riches from Lazarus.  Our part is to share the Gospel with everyone, God takes care of the results.
Post 04- 14-2016

True Believers Are Never Without Jesus

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

17 When Jesus arrived, he learned that Lazarus had already been dead and in the tomb for four days. 18 Bethany was about two miles from Jerusalem. 19 Many of the Jews had come there to comfort Martha and Mary about their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed home. 21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you anything you ask.” 23 Jesus said, “Your brother will rise and live again.” 24 Martha answered, “I know that he will rise and live again in the resurrection on the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me will have life even if they die. 26 And everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Martha, do you believe this?” 27 Martha answered, “Yes, Lord. I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the One coming to the world.” —John 11:17-27 (NCV)
​As Jesus traveled toward Bethany, He learned that Lazarus had been buried four days ago. Many had already come out to comfort Mary and Martha about the loss of their brother. Martha heard that Jesus was coming and ran out to meet Him​, but Mary stayed home. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, ​my brother would not have died.” She had no idea that this death would be used for the glory of God. But Jesus assured her that Lazarus would live again. Martha, still not understanding, thought Jesus was referring to the final resurrection. But Jesus told her that those that believe in Him will never die. Jesus asked Martha if she believed this. She said, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ…. “. But her answer did not acknowledge what Jesus had asked her. If she truly believed, would she have thought that Lazarus died just because Jesus wasn’t physically present?
The Holy Spirit had not yet been sent to remain on the earth and would not be here until Jesus ascended, so we can understand how Martha and the others might have thought that Jesus had to be physically present to heal Lazarus. But, thank God, we have His promise that Christ, in the form of the Holy Spirit, abides in us and that we are in Christ Jesus. We are never without Jesus. He will never leave us or forsake us.
20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.—1 John 5:20 (NASB)
​If we truly believe this, why do we worry and fret​? Isn’t dying for and in Christ to be much more desired than living in this sinful world? As Paul said:
23 I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me.–Philippians 1:23 (NLT)
Post 01-08-2015

“It is For the Glory of God”

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

1 A man named Lazarus was sick. He lived in the town of Bethany, where Mary and her sister Martha lived. 2 Mary was the woman who later put perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair. Mary’s brother was Lazarus, the man who was now sick. 3 So Mary and Martha sent someone to tell Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” 4 When Jesus heard this, he said, “This sickness will not end in death. It is for the glory of God, to bring glory to the Son of God.” 5 Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 But when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was for two more days.—John 11:1-6 (NCV)
​Lazarus and his sisters were dear friends of Jesus. Mary and Martha sent a messenger to tell Jesus that Lazarus was sick. The messenger and the disciples must have been very surprised at what Jesus said when he heard the message. “This sickness will not end in death, it is for the glory of God”. How could sickness be for the glory of God? They, like us today, look at things from the human standpoint. Why should a friend of Jesus, the Great Physician, or a child of God have to suffer? A better question might be, “Why don’t wretched sinners like us have to suffer more than we do now?” Sin came into the world when man disobeyed God and it will remain in the world until Jesus comes back to establish His Kingdom here on earth. Until that time of restoration comes, we remain under the curse of sin. God gets glory by overcoming the curse of sin. While Jesus was here on earth, He overcame the curse of sin one act at a time. Yes, Jesus could have just spoken a word right where He was when He heard the message or He could have left immediately and gone to Lazarus. He chose not to do either of those things, but waited for 2 days before He left to go to Lazarus. God’s timing is not our timing and His answer is not always what we want to hear, but they are always exactly what is necessary to bring glory to Himself.
8 The Lord says, “My thoughts are not like your thoughts.Your ways are not like my ways. 9 Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts–Jeremiah 55:8, 9 (NCV)
​Now we aren’t able to see and understand these things, but one day we will know and understand.​
12 It is the same with us. Now we see a dim reflection, as if we were looking into a mirror, but then we shall see clearly. Now I know only a part, but then I will know fully, as God has known me.—1 Cor. 13:12 (NCV)
Until​ then, we can be comforted with God’s promises and the many gifts He gives each day, one of which is the gift of music and song writers. I am reminded of a favorite hymn, “I Know Who Holds Tomorrow”.
Here are the words to the Chorus:
Many things about tomorrow
I don’t seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand.

Post 01-06-2105

Just the Right Time

God is waiting to show you the way.

God is waiting to show you the way.


6 When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. 7 Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. 8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. 9 And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. 10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son.–Romans 5:6-10 (NLT)
In our busy lives, we often get impatient with God when He doesn’t deliver exactly what and when we want Him to. But, take a look at history, He has never been early and He has never been late. Mary and Martha thought surely Jesus was late, but, no, He was right on time for God to get the glory of resurrecting Lazarus from the dead. He lives outside our time and only sees the “now”. If it is always “now”, and it is, then He can never be early or late. His great love for us compels Him to act “at just the right time.”
Post 01-04-14