Saturday, August 18, 2018

All Lights Go out except One

by Gregory A. Johnson
All Lights Go out except One, by Gregory A. Johnson

We have been getting letters from our electric company, grading our household consumption of electricity, and comparing our usage with that of our surrounding neighbors. Our consumption is pretty much average. I don’t think much about electricity until I get one of these letters, or my electric bill each month, and it tells me what I need to pay for my usage. Until then, I don’t give it much thought. When I turn the light switch on, the light comes on. When I turn the switch off, the light goes off. I don’t think about it until the electricity goes out from a storm or blown transformer nearby. Have you noticed when that happens, it is usually at the worst possible time?

Lights go out—bulbs burn out, batteries run down, and electricity goes out. All lights go out, except one! Listen to this sentence of Scripture: “The Light shines in the darkness. The darkness has not defeated the Light (John 1:5, ERV).”

Jesus is the Light that keeps shining bright. Evil is the darkness. The devil has tried his best to snuff out The Light or at least hide its brightness, but the Light keeps shining, and it always will. Nothing, absolutely nothing, can dim its brightness, put it out, or destroy it. The Light is eternal. No darkness will overcome or defeat it!

Friend, are you walking in this light? Are you living your life in the radiance of its glow? Please know today, if you have strayed away from God and his will for you, God is not finished with you.

Friday, July 20, 2018

The Real Way to Life

by Gregory A. Johnson
The Real Way to Life, by Gregory A. Johnson

People work hard today trying to enhance their life through earning wealth and improving their body. There are multiple schemes and scams, offering us chances to get rich quick or a new diet, exercise plan, or pill that will help us live longer or better. You've seen the commercials on television or ads online. If you check your email spam folder today, you will probably find a few offers there. They all promise us a way to a better life.

God offers only one way to find life. God’s Word says: “In him there was life. That life was light (understanding, goodness) for the people of the world (John 1:4, ERV).”

The real way to life is found in Jesus, and he does not discriminate. The life he gives is for all the people of the world. Red, yellow, black and white, ALL are precious in his sight, and he loves each one of us, regardless of what we have done or what we have become.

You see, God's living Word became flesh when Jesus came into our world as a baby in a manger. His words and actions, the way he lived his life on earth, reveals God to us and how God desires that we live our life. That is light. Jesus is The Life, and he is The Light.

Friday, June 15, 2018

What Does the Bible Say about Immigration?

by Gregory A. Johnson
What Does the Bible Say About Immigration?, by Gregory A. Johnson

Invoking the Bible to defend immigration policy that separates children from parents makes me wonder if the invoker of such nonsense has even read the Bible, specifically the teachings of Jesus.

God, help us!

Please allow me to share a few paragraphs of Scripture that will shed some proper light on the matter.

Listen to what Jesus says:
"For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me. (Matthew 25:35-36, emphasis added)."
Check out this commandment:
"When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers... (Leviticus 19:33-34, emphasis added)."
Jesus taught us a couple of commandments, that if obeyed, will allow us to obey every commandment in Scripture.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

The Truth Matters

by Gregory A. Johnson
The Truth Matters, by Gregory A. Johnson

Truth-telling in our culture is no longer held to the same moral standing as Scripture declares it to be. Sad to say, many church attendees today do not even know what Scripture says about it and the consequences of not being truthful.

I personally know an evangelical pastor, of what some classify as a megachurch, who is a habitual liar. He is also a narcissist that spreads lies to discredit anyone he feels is a threat to expose him. Over and over, he paints fundamentally false portraits of people and events to flatter himself and disgrace others. He has hurt many people but does not care about anyone but himself. I have confronted him many times, desiring he truly repent and change his ways, to no avail.

This pastor has been at the same church for nearly two decades. As a classic narcissist, he constantly runs through staff. No one can work with him any amount of time. Many within the church and the church board know his problems with lying and narcissism but have not held him accountable. Some cover-up for him. If we have this in the leadership of evangelical churches, what can we expect of evangelicals? How can we expect them to hold truth-telling to the highest standard?

What does Scripture tell us about truth-telling?

Monday, May 14, 2018

The Artist of God's Masterpiece

by Gregory A. Johnson
The Artist of God's Masterpiece, by Gregory A. Johnson

I’m most happy in life, seeing and experiencing God’s beautiful and at times breath-taking creation that screams to my inner-most being his authenticity. The plants and trees, the lakes, the rivers, the oceans, the mountains, the valleys, the forests, the prairies, the deserts, the animals, and the people are all utterly amazing and unique. Who was the artist that took a blank canvas and turned it into God’s masterpiece vibrant with color, texture, and personality that speaks to all our senses?

God’s Word says, “He was there with God in the beginning. All things were made through him (the Word). Nothing was made without him (John 1:2-3 ERV).”

The Word, God’s message to us, the one God sent into our world as a human baby in a manger, Jesus was the artist and his fingerprints are all over the masterpiece.

Jesus brought into existence everything that is and has been, bringing life to God’s most intimate thoughts and desires. His power gave birth to the masterpiece of creation while his ongoing word maintains and holds it up, including you and me.

Words cannot adequately describe how great and awesome Jesus is and yet he cares enough about us to come into our world and die for us. I’m thankful that he knows you and me. He knows us, and he is caring for us.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Kingdom Love

by Gregory A. Johnson

Kingdom love is not a feeling. Kingdom love is not an emotion. Kingdom love is not just words. Kingdom love is action. This is how people will know that we are Christ followers—not by our church attendance, our words, and our beliefs—it will be by our actions. Throughout the Gospels it is like Jesus is saying, "Watch me; watch what I do, and you will learn what Kingdom love is all about."

Jesus said:

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you (John 15:9-14).

Saturday, March 10, 2018

How to Get a Second Chance in Life

by Gregory A. Johnson
How to Get a Second Chance in Life, by Gregory A. Johnson

Jesus walked this earth, seeking to save the lost, ministering to people at their point of need. One evening a religionist came to Jesus. His name was Nicodemus. He had heard Jesus teach and witnessed the miracles of Jesus. No doubt the Spirit of God is drawing this man to Jesus. Nicodemus tells Jesus, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.”

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”

"What do you mean?" exclaimed Nicodemus. "How can an old man go back into his mother's womb and be born again?"

Jesus replied, "I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit (John 3:2-5 NLT)."

Nicodemus knew, and we also know, that a physical re-birth is not possible. The good news that Jesus came to tell us is that we can begin life all over again. We can have a new starting point, a second chance. This is called the new birth. We can be born of God. Each true follower of Jesus is “born of water and the Spirit.”

Saturday, January 13, 2018

God's Message to You

by Gregory A. Johnson
God's Message to You, by Gregory A. Johnson

Do you ever pay attention to how a book begins? What is the opening statement? Paying attention to how the story begins can be very insightful.

Listen to how the Gospel of John begins: “Before the world began, the Word was there. The Word was there with God. The Word was God (John 1:1 ERV).”

The beginning of the Gospel of John is an interesting way to start a story, but it is also very insightful. John is saying that God’s message existed before anything else, as we know it, existed. We know it is true because God’s message is Jesus!

When God wanted human beings to know more about him, when he wanted to show them how he loved and forgave them, when he wanted to give them the good news about salvation, he sent Jesus into our world. Jesus is the good news. Jesus is the message of God to us. This message was with God before the world began. He is by nature God, Immanuel, God with us. Jesus is God come to us, in human flesh and blood.