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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Too Late

There are times in our lives that we figure things out when its too late, however there are plans that must be made for our eternal security that need to be made now.  For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation [2 Corinthians 6:2].

We find in [Acts 16:22-24] that Paul and Silas were imprisoned, Paul had angered some merchants when he freed a young woman from possession.  These merchants derived their living by exploiting the  possessed girl's ability to tell fortunes.  Her owners delivered Paul and Silas to the magistrates, who had  Paul and Silas beaten and thrown into prison.  Now Paul and Silas could have said, "Its been a long day and we have been wrongly accused and beaten; let's go to bed and start tomorrow fresh."  But they didn't do that, the bible says that at Midnight Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises to God [Acts 16:25-26] and suddenly an earthquake shook the prison and loosed everyone from their bonds and opened all the cells.

The keeper of the prison was so distraught because he thought that all the prisoners had escaped that he took his sword and planned to kill himself, because he knew that if one prisoner escaped that he would have to pay for it with his life.  It is here that Paul stopped him from leaving this life without eternal security.  Paul said, "Do thyself no harm: for we are all here."  The keeper of the prison immediately asked them, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"  Isn't this counter intuitive, this is the same man that planned to kill himself mere moments earlier, and now he has come to the realization that he wants to be saved before it is too late.

Paul and Silas responded by saying, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house."  Isn't it great to realize that a saved person will persist until he convinces his entire family to be saved.  Now again, Paul and Silas didn't waste any time; they preached the word of God to the keeper and his family that very night, and also baptized them.  Isn't it great to realize the timeliness in which the apostles worked within; they didn't put anything off until tomorrow; they acted swiftly, moved by fear of losing one soul.

Will you act swiftly now and accept Christ Jesus, or will you wait until its too late?

Friday, March 1, 2013

Overcome Evil with Good

There are still a good bit of prejudices in this world, and as long as men keep and nurture these prejudices then we know that the adversary is still resisting the call of the church.  Christians are commanded to be neighborly and treat all men with charity and kindness.  When Jesus walked the earth, the Jews considered the Samaritans to be unclean and would not fellowship with them.  They would not even so much as drink a glass of water from a Samaritan's cup.

We find in John chapter 4, that Jesus was traveling to Galilee and had to pass through Samaria.  Jesus and his disciples came near a parcel of land that Jacob had ceded to his son Joseph, which had a well there.  The disciples went into town and Jesus waited at the well for them to return with food.  At noon a Samaritan woman came to the well to draw water out and Jesus said unto her, "Give me to drink."[John 4:7]  The woman asked Jesus how could he, a Jew, ask her a Samaritan to drink water from her waterpot; she knew that if Jesus drank from her waterpot, that he would be considered unclean, because she being a Samaritan was considered unclean.

We find here that, even though this is water from a well that Jacob dug and left to his son Joseph, the same Jacob that had the promises of God, the same Jacob that dug the well, drank from the well, and left blessings to his seed; Jacob left the well to the Samaritans, so how could this water be considered unclean?  Jesus had already said that there is nothing that enters the body that can make a person unclean [Mark 7:15].  The water wasn't unclean, the waterpot wasn't unclean, but somehow the person handing the water to you, could somehow make it unclean.  Isn't that how racism works; a segment of people are ostracized for some unimportant reason, and are hated and mistreated for something that they can't even control.   People who if you look back far enough on their family tree are related to the people, that hate them.  The woman then reminds Jesus that the Jews have no dealing with the Samaritans.  Have you ever said, "I don't want anything to do with that person?"  This type of attitude goes against the mind of Christ.  So how does Jesus respond to this situation?

Jesus overcomes: [1] the hatred the Samaritan woman has for the Jews, which was based on how she had been treated; [2] the woman's perception of what cleanness is and the incorrect idea that something unclean can make what God has made clean, to be unclean [Acts 10:15].  Jesus bassicly tell her, I am the Holy One of God, neither you nor anything else can make me unclean.  I am here to make you clean.  Jesus tells her, "If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water." [John 4:10].  Jesus overcomes her prejudices by giving her the word of God and offering her the gift of salvation.  The woman tells Jesus, that she must have this gift, the living water that Jesus spoke of.

The word is a powerful thing my friends and at the end of the day, its anointing is the only thing that can overcome the things that truly make us unclean like racism;  "And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts,
adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man."  [Mark 7:20-23]