Saturday, December 9, 2017

How God Prepares Us for Service

by Gregory A. Johnson
How God Prepares Us for Service, by Gregory A. Johnson
We are ALL called to serve God by following Jesus and making a difference in our day for Him. Many confuse attending church with answering that call. Please know that attending church is not fully following Christ, although many who follow Christ attend church. Church will not make us a Christ-follower. To be willing and ready to follow Christ, we have to recognize who He is and what we are not. He is holy; we are not. As we recognize who Jesus is and what we are not, we realize that He must do a work in our lives in order for us to follow and serve Him.

Isaiah had a fresh revelation of God and His holiness that revealed to him his unholy state (Isaiah 6:1-8). Recognizing that God needed to do a work in him before he could serve God, Isaiah cried out, “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts” (Isaiah 6:5). God answered Isaiah’s cry for help and sent seraphim from His very presence to cleanse Isaiah. After God cleansed Isaiah, he was willing and ready to go and do whatever God required, in total obedience and service to the Almighty.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Forgiven Sin and What Jesus Expects

by Gregory A. Johnson

Forgiven Sin and What Jesus Expects, by Gregory A. JohnsonWhen the religionists of Jesus’ day brought a woman to him caught in adultery, they expected he would uphold the Jewish law and condemn her to death by stoning. Instead of meeting their expectations, he used the opportunity to shift their focus from judging others to self-examination when he said, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her [the woman caught in adultery]." — John 8:7

At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her,
“Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
“No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” — John 8:9-11
Jesus did not judge this woman like the religionists did. He did not condemn her to death. His actions demonstrate his forgiveness. He communicates to her his expectation moving forward. He tells her, “go now and leave your life of sin.”

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Living Free from Condemnation and Judgement

By Gregory A. Johnson
Living Free from Condemnation and Judgement, by Gregory A. Johnson

One of the ten commandments that God gave Moses was not to commit adultery. Doing so would be a sin against God. The Jewish law was to stone to death those caught in adultery.

One day religionists brought a woman that was caught in adultery to Jesus. They wanted to see if Jesus would uphold the Jewish law and condemn this woman to death.

This was Jesus' response, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her [the woman caught in adultery]." — John 8:7

It is easy for us to identify the sins of others and focus on those sins instead of the fact that we all are sinners and each of us falls short. Please know that God wants to deliver us from the sin of being critical and judgmental.

Friday, September 15, 2017

How to Inherit the Kingdom of God

How to Inherit the Kingdom of God, by Gregory A. Johnsonby Gregory A. Johnson

Check out this paragraph taken from God’s word, the Bible:
Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 NLT). 
The last two sentences thrill me the most:
Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God (1 Corinthians 6:11 NLT). 
The key word is “were.” The list of sins that the paragraph begins with is what some of us were. God does not want our focus to be on what we were as much as he wants us to always remember what he has done for us through Jesus Christ and by the Holy Spirit. We all were sinners that fell way short of what God designed us to be, but he did not leave us in that state. No, he did something about it. Because he loves us so much, he sent his Son to pay the penalty, and take the punishment for our sin.