Saturday, August 9, 2014

Are we living in the last days?

By National Geographic Channel (Original here) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
by Gregory A. Johnson

Today, there is more of an infatuation with the end of days than in any other time I can recall during my lifetime. Movies have been made, books written, and predictions made. Preppers are building bomb shelters, stockpiling food, water, guns and ammunition, while buying up silver and gold. Are we living in the last days?

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Gender Equality

by Gregory A. Johnson

http://picturesofpoverty.com/post/13617563492/uganda-equality-signIn Jesus' day and the days of the early Pauline church, women were not recognized or treated much better than animals. There are still parts of this world where women are not allowed to get an education, vote, or even drive a car.

The apostle Paul taught that women were to be silent in the church and could not hold some leadership positions. In the early Pauline church, women would sit on one side of the church and men on the other. I love the apostle Paul, and I believe his writings are inspired of God. He is one of my heroes of the faith, but I must take my understanding of his teachings within the boundaries of the teachings and actions of Jesus. If I do that, I can properly interpret the Scriptures. If I don't do that, my theology will become unbalanced and the result will not look like the Kingdom according to Jesus.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Race Equality

by Gregory A. Johnson
Wikimedia Commons

Jesus made it clear that the Kingdom, which has been established in Him, is to include all people of all races, color, and creed, as indicated to us in His last words on earth prior to ascending back to the right hand of the Father.

The Gospel of Matthew concludes with Jesus informing His followers that the Kingdom is to be preached and taught in all nations: "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:18-20).

The Gospel of Mark concludes in the same manner: "Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned" (Mark 16:15-16).

Saturday, June 7, 2014

God is Always Working in Your Life

by Gregory A. Johnson

By King of Hearts (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsI was contacted by a man who had lost his business, home, wife, and children during a seven-year span. As if that were not enough heartache, he now found himself unemployed and homeless. He told me that the devil wanted him to kill himself, but he knew that the devil was a liar. Instead of suicide, he made the choice to trust Jesus, having faith that Jesus would bring him through it all.

So many precious people are in similar situations. Hopelessness abounds in our day, and can strike any of us at any time; none of us know what tomorrow will bring.

Allow me to draw your attention to something that Christ-follower Stephen said right before he was violently murdered by a group of religionists who thought they were doing God a favor. Stephen told them: “But as the time of the promise drew near, which God had granted to Abraham, the people increased and multiplied in Egypt until there arose over Egypt another king who did not know Joseph. He dealt shrewdly with our race and forced our fathers to expose their infants, so that they would not be kept alive. At this time Moses was born”… (Acts 7:17-20 ESV).

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Surviving the Storms of Life

by Gregory A. Johnson

By Image ISS009E20440 was provided by the by the Earth Sciences and Image Analysis Laboratory, Johnson Space Center. [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsUnder dark skies with the wind blowing wildly, causing the waves to be hurricane-like in size and strength, they were all together in the boat. Their pulses raced with anxiety. Fear was on the verge of overpowering and overwhelming them as they frantically tried steering the vessel through the madness and the fierceness of the raging sea. They would row in one direction only to have to row in the other direction as the unrelenting, powerful winds were swirling all about them. The spray was stinging their eyes, and the waves were lapping up over the sides of the boat. The boat was taking on water, and the question of survival was racing through their minds. It was the storm of a lifetime, and they could not rely on any past experiences or self-ability to get them through it.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Cross and the Empty Tomb

by Gregory A. Johnson

By Rennett Stowe from USA (Easter Lilly  Uploaded by russavia) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Easter Lilly
Not just during the Easter season, but each day, we are confronted with the cross of Christ and the empty tomb. What do they mean? Why are they so significant?

In the 1800's Ralph E. Hudson wrote the chorus to the sacred hymn, At the Cross: "At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, and the burden of my heart rolled away. It was there by faith I received my sight, and now I am happy all the day!"
  • At the cross, we realize how much God loves us (Romans 5:8).  
  • At the cross, we are justified and saved from God’s wrath (Romans 5:9).  
  • At the cross, we are reconciled to God (Romans 5:10). 
  • At the cross, we experience forgiveness of sins (Luke 23:34). 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Lent is a Blessed Time of Year

By Lolcatss (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
by Gregory A. Johnson

Every year, Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and continues until Easter. Spanning approximately six weeks, it is a wonderful season on the Christian calendar, being observed by Christ’s followers, Protestants and Catholics alike, who desire to fast something in recognition of our Lord's sacrifice for us.

It is good to give the cost of what is given-up during Lent to the work of the ministry, and the time associated with what you give up to works of faith and justice (Isaiah 58:6-11 ESV).

What are you giving up for Lent? The Spirit within you will help you decide as you pray and ask the Lord.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Jesus Christ Will Return

by Gregory A. Johnson

By Adam Smith (originally posted to Flickr as .) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsI am thankful that we are one day closer to the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. Media has utilized the date-setting false prophets of our day to desensitize society to the reality of the return of Christ, but that does not negate its truth. I feel the Holy Spirit compelling me, more and more, to remind people that Christ is returning as he promised, and we are to always be ready.

So many in our day, both inside and outside the walls of the church building, base what is right from wrong on what feels good, what is socially acceptable, what media and Hollywood suggests, instead of on Scripture. They are not hearing much different coming from behind the pulpits, and they are not reading the Bible on their own. Many go to church and only hear about receiving God's blessings. This bless-me-and-all-that-I-do message mimics many of the books written today by popular television preachers.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Trust God Even if You Feel Forsaken

By Wilfredor [CC0], via Wikimedia Commonsby Gregory A. Johnson

Have you ever felt forsaken, finding yourself isolated, desolated, and deserted? You surround your life with people, even church people, yet it’s as if everyone has left you—even God. You pray, but your prayers go unanswered. The heavens are like solid brass, bouncing your words back to you as you cry out for help in your desperation.

Please know that it is not wrong to have these feelings. You can have a heart for God, seeking to serve him with everything you have, and still have these feelings. The Bible tells us that King David was a man after God's own heart. He delighted in the LORD, but there were times when he felt forsaken.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Top Ten Posts of 2013

By Rajwinder Singh from Sydney, Australia (Happy New Year !!  Uploaded by berichard) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commonsby Gregory A. Johnson

Reflecting on 2013, looking forward to 2014, I am thankful for you. I am humbled by the number of people who take time to read what I write.

Writing is not something I do by choice, but something that I believe God calls me to do. He has opened up an audience that spans the globe. I pray for his Spirit to inspire and speak to each reader, finding that he often allows me to be transparent, writing from a life that has experienced pain, hardship, hurt, trials, and tribulations on my journey as I follow Christ. I write what he gives me, realizing he brings me through difficulty, allowing me to help others through the same.

In gratitude to those who read my posts and my books, please allow me to share with you the top ten posts that have been read this year. I pray that one, two, or many of the posts below will draw you to click and read or re-read, allowing the Spirit of God to speak encouragement, pouring upon you waves of joy, covering you with abundant grace, and shielding you with tender mercy.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

How to Make the Right Decisions

by Gregory A. Johnson

Joseph and the Christ Child by Guido Reni [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsPlease know that whatever God is speaking and through whatever avenue He chooses to speak it, it will always line up with His written word. The angel that came to Joseph in a dream lined up God’s plan with God’s Word. He lined up what was happening with the Word of God spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14).

Throughout our life, we will continually have to make decisions in difficult situations and circumstances. To make the right choices, we must seek God’s plan. How do we know when we have found God’s plan? There will always be two indicators that will let us know when we have found God’s plan. Number one, God’s plan will always line up with His Word (click to tweet). Number two, we will have a peace that God gives us about the plan.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Fountains of Endless Life

By Averette (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
by Gregory A. Johnson

The Spirit of the Living God brings us fountains of endless life (Click to tweet). Take a moment and allow those words to sink into the deep regions of your intellect, flooding your being with peace and joy, flowing through you like a spring gushing forth with fresh, cool, clear, sparkling water.

She had been searching for something in life that she could never find. She sought fulfillment in relationship after relationship, only to find that they often led to and ended in hurt. Married five times and currently living with another, she was wearied and worn, emotionally and mentally spent. Her life had become as empty as the dry and waterless vessel that she carried that morning to draw water from the well.