Imagine that you had a very wealthy relative, and one day her attorney called and told you she had died and left you a million dollars. The money, he added, was deposited in a bank in your name, and you could draw on it at any time.
You'd act on it, accepting by faith that what the attorney had told you was true, and you were now a millionaire.
In a far greater way God offers us a gift- the gift of salvation in Jesus Christ. Christ has done everything possible to provide it for you; all you need to do is believe and receive.
"This is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life." 1 John 5:11-12
Once we come to Christ we are no longer just individuals. We are no members of Hs family- what the Bible calls "the church, his body". We are now part of that vast group of people throughout the ages who have trusted Christ and are our brothers and sisters in His family. Although we'll never meet most of them this side of eternity, we're still united spiritually with them. This transcends any local church or denomination; it includes all who truly belong to Christ. The local church of which God includes you is your family. Some have the idea they can go from family to family and still be effective in His kingdom. Not so!
" Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior." - Ephesians 5:23
Jesus was warning His disciples that it would be costly for them to follow Him. It would be costly because they would have to give up their own plans and goals... because they must share in His rejection and death, No wonder " many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed Him"( John 6:66).
The cost of following Jesus has not changed. We want to cling to our plans- our possessions- our positions- but He says they must go. We want to live for ourselves- but He says we must live for Him. We want to live a life of pleasure and ease- but He says we must follow Him to the cross.
Unfortunately, I have known way too many who " have turned back and no longer follow Him."
" If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." Luke 9:23
We all experience discouragement, and sometimes it can almost be overwhelming. Elijah...had been one of God's faithful servants, never wavering in the face of disaster. God used Elijah to overcome the pagan prophets of Baal and demonstrate to all the nation that God alone was worthy of their worship. We hav stood twice on that Mt. Carmel and sensed this great event.
But now, only days later, discouragement and depression have almost overwhelmed him... Elijah flees into the desert and concludes he is a failure.
God showed Him His glory, reminding Elijah of the greatness of the God he served. When discouragement comes and you wonder if you can go on remember Elijah- and be encouraged.
[ Elijah] came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die." I have had enough, Lord," he said.- 1 Kings 19:4
" I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.
Men will rise up even from your own number and distort the truth to lure the disciples into following them. Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for three years I never stopped warning each one of you with tears. "Acts 20:29-31
Yes, we have been warned of wolves among us, There are those within our congregations that Satan will use to lead people away from the truth., to destroy their faith in the real and true God. Wolves in sheep's clothing. We must be constantly alert and be watchful.
Abba Father, reveal the wolves among us. May I be ever watchful and alert of those who are trying to lead the sheep astray. Help me to be strong and courageous. Give me Your rod and staff to protect and comfort. Your presence and your power.- Amen!
What we Learned on Sunday? Insights, ideas and Inspiration