Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Experiencing Victory in the Midst of Trouble

by Gregory A. Johnson

Experiencing Victory in the Midst of Trouble, by Gregory A. JohnsonThe news of this world is troubling. If you watch the evening news or read the daily newspaper, you know what I mean. There are wars, rumors of wars, terrorism, civil unrest, genocides, droughts, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, shootings, kidnappings, robberies, assaults—the list goes on and on. This world is troubled.

Christ-followers live in this troubled world, struggling at times, but they are not part of this world. They are here on temporary assignment to follow Christ, making His Kingdom known. Their citizenship is out of this world. They live here in the midst of trouble, but their victory is secure! The One they follow has overcome the world, and because He did, they will.

Beloved, our victory is in Jesus. We find trouble in the world, but we find victory in Him. Jesus secured our victory. There is no trouble that can keep us down. Death cannot stop us. The grave cannot hold us. Jesus is coming back riding a white horse of victory. The first time He came to be our example and our savior. The next time He comes as the King of kings and the Lord of lords! We can shout today in total VICTORY! Hallelujah! Maranatha! Our Lord, come.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

How Far God Separates You from Your Sins

by Gregory A. Johnson

How Far God Separates You from Your Sins, by Gregory A. Johnson
I have had the privilege of watching the sun rise from a sandy beach on the East Coast of America, and I have watched the sun set from a sandy beach on the West Coast. Both shorelines are beautiful yet they are completely different, with flat topography on the East Coast and a mountain range hugging the West Coast. Both experiences are breathtaking, causing an awareness of a Creator who inspires awe in all that He has created and in all that He does.

One of the most incredible things any of us can experience is the forgiveness of our sins. The forgiveness of our sins by the Creator is truly wonderful and amazing. If we confess our sins to God, and we run to Him in repentance, He not only forgives us, but He also removes those sins from us. We are guilty, but owe no penalty. Why? Christ took the penalty for our sins when He died on the cross for them.

Just how far does God remove our sins from us?

Monday, January 21, 2013

We need a faith and justice revival in our day!

by Gregory A. Johnson

"After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, 'Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!'" (Revelation 7:9-10 ESV).

By New York World-Telegram and the Sun staff photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsOn January 15, 1929, Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in Atlanta, Georgia. He was born in a day when those with dark skin did not have equality with those with white skin. The African American was not allowed to ride in the front of the bus with the European American. African Americans could not use the same restrooms. They could not eat in the same sections of the restaurants. The children could not play in the same playgrounds nor go to the same schools. They could not drink from the same water fountain. They could not even go to the same church. Slavery, a great sin of the nation, was over, but segregation and all of its inequalities remained in America. In the land of the free and the home of the brave, not everyone was free; many were bound by the injustices of racism. It is with that backdrop that a dream was birthed in an individual. Although that dream has not fully reached reality, it is burning intensely in the hearts of many in our day.

Dr. King lived his life in the belief of God’s rule that all people are created equal, and all people should be treated equal. This is the dream of justice driven by faith. It is the dream that God gave to Dr. King. It is the dream that God plants deep into the heart of citizens of the Kingdom.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Close your church office on Martin Luther King Day!

by Gregory A. Johnson

By Mjswisher79 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsThe senior pastor walks into the room to conduct yet another weekly staff meeting that amounts to the same questions being asked week after week; they were just worded in different ways. The basis of the questions is this: What can we do to get more people to attend our weekly service.

Many of the staff grow tired of these questions and the staff meetings. Dreading to attend, and trying to find ways to avoid them, the staff often made light of the meetings in private. It is very obvious to those close to him that the only thing driving the senior pastor is numbers; he doesn't have a heart for people. It is all about the attendance numbers he reports to the denomination's headquarters. This is how he measures the success of himself, his staff, and the church.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

My Dad's Toolbox


Be Encouraged: A Daily Devotional, Volume 3 by Gregory A. Johnson
The day in which we live is full of uncertainty and change. We don’t know when our Lord will return, but we watch with anticipation as we move along on our journey of following Him from earth to glory. With each passing day, we realize how fragile life can be; we realize that we need help on our journey. Each of us needs encouragement and people in our life who will encourage us.

As I was growing up, I always helped my dad when he worked on things around the house or on the cars. I would get his toolbox and be quick to hand him each tool that he asked for. To this day, when I see dad’s toolbox, I remember all the great times I had as I spent time with him working on things. They are memories that uplift and stir me to this day.

As a pastor and an author, I look at myself as one who helps others by handing them the tools they need for their journey as they follow Christ. The Be Encouraged series is a set of encouraging tools that will be of great value in the Christ-follower’s toolbox.