Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Victory!

by Gregory A. Johnson
Victory! by Gregory A. Johnson


There is one constant theme throughout the entire Bible—VICTORY! Because of His love and grace, God grants victory for His children. Life here on earth can be a battle as we try to live for the LORD, but we are afforded victory, and our victory is in Him.

Beloved, your victory today is found in Jesus. Follow Him with your whole being and victory is yours.

Scripture:
“No weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall confute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD and their vindication from me, declares the LORD” (Isaiah 54:17).

Prayer:
Father, I thank you for the victory you have given us through Jesus Christ. I pray for those today who are facing persecution in the home, workplace, schoolhouse, or wherever they are doing what is right and good as they follow Christ. I pray for those living in lands where their life is in danger because of their faith in Jesus. Encourage each one today, Father. Strengthen us all by your Holy Spirit, giving each of us reaffirmation of the victory that has already been afforded us at the cross of Christ, including our ultimate victory which is to come. I pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Excerpted from the book, Be Encouraged: A Daily Devotional, Volume 1 by Gregory A. Johnson. Copyright © by Gregory A. Johnson. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Most Segregated Day of the Week

by Gregory A. Johnson
The Most Segregated Day of the Week, by Gregory A. Johnson


A great display of racial segregation can still be found in America, and it's in an unlikely place—the church on Sunday mornings. Sunday is the most segregated day of the week. Here in America, we have churches for every race—African American, European American, Native American, Latino, Japanese, Korean, Hmong, Chinese, etc. I understand the language and cultural barriers that exist, but should our churches not have representatives from all races within the community that they reside?

In 1996, I received a call from a church board in Mississippi and was invited to come to speak on a Sunday morning as a candidate for a vacant senior pastor position. Becky, our two young children, and I traveled to Mississippi to spend a weekend meeting with the board, speaking to the church, and seeking the will of God. We were put up in the nicely furnished and fairly new parsonage that was adjacent to the large debt-free church, which sat on a nice piece of property.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Best is Yet to Come

by Gregory A. Johnson
The Best is Yet to Come, by Gregory A. Johnson

God is so good to his children, giving us a foretaste of glory that is to come.

Scripture declares: “And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us” (Romans 8:23, NLT).

Life can be difficult at times, but God does not leave us to navigate our journey alone. He has given each Christ-follower the Holy Spirit. The gift of the Spirit living within assures us of God’s constant and unconditional love for us and our future glory with him. The Spirit gives us tiny tastes of glory now, giving needed comfort, strength, and joy, reminding us that we are God’s children.

The Spirit living within also serves as a reminder that the best for us is yet to come. You see, if this is as good as it gets, it would be rather depressing, but we know that this is not as good as it gets. When we receive our new bodies, as promised, we receive our full rights as God’s children. Think about what this means for us:

  • We will be in the presence of the Lord for all eternity.
  • We will no longer be where sin is present.
  • We will never be tempted again.
  • We will never be lonely, depressed, or sad.
  • We will not have to remember to take our medicine.
  • We will no longer experience sickness, disease, or suffering.
  • We will receive our perfect healing from the Great Physician.
  • We will be held in the loving arms of the Lord.

Monday, July 1, 2013

The End of the Age

by Gregory A. Johnson
The End of the Age, by Gregory A. Johnson

Many today are wondering how much longer this world can go on like it is going. Is the end near?

The disciples questioned Jesus: "As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, ‘Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?’ (Matthew 24:3 ESV)."

Jesus responds: "And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come (Matthew 24:11-14 ESV)."

Allow me to quickly point out some things about the end of this age, according to Jesus:
  • Many will be led astray.
  • Lawlessness will increase, resulting in the love of many growing cold.
  • The one who endures to the end will be saved.
  • The gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed to all nations, and then the end of this age will come.