Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Christian or Christ-Follower?

by Gregory A. Johnson

Christian or Christ-Follower? by Gregory A. Johnson

I feel compelled to bring clarity to the confusion existing that is hindering Jesus' purpose for the church and its witness in our day. In the post-Christian culture we now live in, many are confused about being a Christian and being a  Christ-follower. There is a vast difference between the two.

There are Christians who do not follow Christ, and there are Christians who choose to follow Christ. Sadly, non-Christ-following Christians can do much damage to people inside and outside the church through their words and actions. 

In all my years of ministry, it has always been a joy to pastor Christ-following Christians. Still, I have discovered non-Christ-following Christians to be abusive in their words and actions, making it difficult, if not impossible, for the church to reach and make a difference in its community. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

6 Ways to Reduce Stress

by Gregory A. Johnson

6 Ways to Reduce Stress, by Gregory A. Johnson
We live during stressful times, and stress causes mental and physical illness. Stress causes high blood pressure that leads to heart disease and stroke. Heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death in the world.

I confess to you that I struggle with stress and must work daily to manage it and overcome stress damage to my mind and body. I have learned to recognize specific stress triggers in my life and have implemented strategies to counter them. Desiring to help you reduce stress and overcome stress damage in your life, allow me to share with you six ways to reduce stress that helps me. What I am sharing with you, I practice.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

America Is at a Crossroads

by Gregory A. Johnson
America Is at a Crossroads, by Gregory A. Johnson

Today, the world is battling the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. Here in America, we are mourning the deaths from the pandemic of over 100,000 precious people. Forty million workers have lost their jobs due to the pandemic. With over 100,000 deaths and 40 million jobless, some are still resisting social distancing guidelines. Some are politicizing it. It is not about politics. It is about people. God help us.

At the same time, there are race riots fueled by pent-up rage from generations of racism and oppression in America. Hatred and racism are not right. Hatred and racism are anti-Christ. God help us.

All this sickness, joblessness, and unrest is impacting mental and physical health. Stress, anxiety, and worry are having their way, wreaking havoc on one’s mind and body. Left unchecked stress and anxiety lead to heart disease, which will cause even more death. God help us.

Thirty years ago, I was preaching and warning people that if America, the most powerful nation in the world, was ever destroyed it will be from within. With a rapid decline in hunger for God and hunger for the Bible over the last three decades, we are now living in those dangerous days. America is at a crossroads. Divided from God and divided with people, we will fall. United to God and united with people, we will stand. Loving God and loving ALL people is the life Christ has called us to live. The choice is ours. God help us.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

How to Receive Endurance, Encouragement, and Hope

by Gregory A. Johnson
How to Receive Endurance, Encouragement, and Hope, by Gregory A. Johnson

Amid this worldwide pandemic, please know that God’s promises given to you in Scripture are true and everlasting. Trusting His Word will get us through every day. You can count on it!

Please allow me to share a short devotion with you that I have written and feel led to share with you:

HOW TO RECEIVE ENDURANCE, ENCOURAGEMENT, AND HOPE 
We live at a time when many exist in a seemingly endless state of hopelessness. The news is filled with stories of wars and rumors of wars, terrorism, anarchy, famine, drought, unemployment, economic recession, depression, disease, sickness, and an epidemic of both financial and spiritual bankruptcy. Uncertainty abounds.
In over the thirty years I have served in the ministry, I have noticed a rapid decline in the hunger for Scripture. Many go to church, but few read, study, and memorize the Bible. Some only receive bless-me-and-make-me-feel-good sermons on Sundays that may encourage them for a brief season, but such light teaching does not build endurance. When a crisis hits, they lose hope.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

How to Live Free From Fear

by Gregory A. Johnson
How to Live Free From Fear, by Gregory A. Johnson

Many in our day live in total control of their lives but when something is shaken, their confidence quickly turns to fear. Jesus describes the day in which we live. He says, "And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken” (Luke 21:25-26 ESV).

What are we to do? We are to look to Jesus. The night before Christ died on the cross for our sins, he showed us how to live free from fear. He was facing a horrendous death by crucifixion. The next day he would be tortured to death. What does he do? He goes to a garden to pray. Jesus prays, "Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done" (Luke 22:42 ESV).

In the last hours before the cross, Jesus prays, releasing his will over to the Father. Christ faced the cross without fear, placing his life in God’s care, trusting God for the resurrection to come.

The next day, tortured and hanging nailed to the cross, Jesus gives his life for the sins of the world. “Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last” (Luke 23:46 ESV).

Saturday, March 21, 2020

What Kingdom Love Looks Like

by Gregory A. Johnson
What Kingdom Love Looks Like, by Gregory A. Johnson

In Jesus' day, a scribe was a lawyer who specialized in the Mosaic Law. One day one of these scribes came to Jesus with a question: "'Which commandment is the most important of all?' Jesus answered, 'The most important is, "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength." The second is this: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." There is no other commandment greater than these.' And the scribe said to him, 'You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.' And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, 'You are not far from the kingdom of God.' And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions" (Mark 12:28-34).

Out of all the imperatives given to us in the Bible, including the Ten Commandments found in Exodus 20, Jesus wraps it all up into one commandment referred to as The Great Commandment—to love God with everything we have. That's it! That's the bottom line. Loving God is what it is all about. Loving God is what separates Christ-followers from mere church attendees. Loving God is what separates Christ-followers from the religionists of our day who are bound by denomination and church rules, regulations, and traditions.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response

by Gregory A. Johnson
Coronavirus Response, by Gregory A. Johnson


In response to the Coronavirus COVID-19, I encourage you to:
Follow the advice and recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and your local government and healthcare agency. 
Pray and stay in God’s Word. This is where you will find peace, comfort, and healing. Read Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Read the Psalms.
Submit your prayer requests at LovingGodFellowship.org. We pray for every request that is submitted there, trusting God to meet needs, according to his will and his Word, working undeniable miracles in ways that will bring Him glory.
Love others as Jesus has loved us, being light in the midst of darkness.
I feel led by the Spirit to remind you of these three verses in God’s Word, the Bible:
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7 KJV).”
“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:5 ASV).”
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid (Jesus, John 14:27 ESV).”

Thursday, February 6, 2020

How to Guard Your Mouth Even on Social Media

By Gregory A. Johnson

How Guard to Your Mouth Even on Social Media, by Gregory A. Johnson
#GuardYourMouthEvenOnSocialMedia

We are living in strange times. People not only say terrible things, but they also post awful things on social media, attacking others. Attacking others is not Christ-following.

Cursing has become commonplace in the post-Christian culture that we live in, even with people in the Christian faith. I’m shocked at what people say and post on social media.

Under the unction of the Spirit, I feel led to remind you that there is a day coming when each person will give account for every word.

Don’t take my word for it; take Jesus’ word. Jesus said, “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak (Matthew 12:36 ESV).”

This should be sobering to us all.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Top 10 Posts of 2019

by Gregory A. Johnson

Top 10 Posts of 2019, by Gregory A. Johnson

I'm thankful for the readers from 82 countries, 1,154 cities, and 5 continents that read what I shared in 2019.

Please allow me to share with you the top ten posts that were read in 2019:

Friday, November 15, 2019

When Tempted to Give up on Prayer

by Gregory A. Johnson
When Tempted to Give up on Prayer, by Gregory A. Johnson

I think one of the most heartbreaking things I have experienced as a pastor and as a Christ-follower is when a person tells me that they have given up on prayer. It seems to be happening more frequently as we get closer to the return of Christ. Hardly a week goes by now that I’m not made aware of a person giving up. I’m concerned about it and I feel led under the unction of the Holy Spirit to address it.

Friend, the devil is the one who will tempt you to give up on prayer. He does this because he knows that prayer is powerful. He also knows that the less you pray, the more casual you will be with sin and that sin will destroy you and those around you. Satan is in the business of destruction. Do not give him a foothold by giving up on prayer. You will not like the results.

Those giving up on prayer tell me it is because they pray, and God does not give them what they want or do what they need him to do. I will tell you why God does not always give us what we want or do what we ask him to do in prayer.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Two Powerful Forces That Will Impact Your Life

By Gregory A. Johnson
Two Powerful Forces That Will Impact Your Life, by Gregory A. Johnson

There are two powerful forces that will impact your life. One impacts your life negatively and one impacts your life positively. These forces are controlled by you and the choices you make. The negative force will destroy your life and future. The positive force will ensure your success in life, both now and forevermore. These two forces are sin and prayer.

Sin is disobedience to God and his word to us, the Bible. The Bible is full of instruction and commandments, but when asked what commandment was the most important, Jesus answered: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself" (Matthew 22:37-39).

Friday, September 13, 2019

Your Hope is Safe

By Gregory A. Johnson
Your Hope is Safe, by Gregory A. Johnson


The devil wants to take away your hope, stealing your present joy. He wants you to fear your future so that you will live each day dreading what lies ahead of you. I have good news for you today — the devil is wrong about you and your future. Refuse to give his lies any thought or energy. He has no future, but you do, and your future is bright.

As you follow Jesus, he leads, and he guides. There are valleys and there are mountaintops throughout life as he leads you down the path of righteousness and to your future glory. Your hope is in him and in his word. That hope is not wishing for, but instead, the hope that Jesus gives his followers is wrapped in expectation. Christ-followers live in expectation, knowing that Jesus keeps his word. All his promises given in Scripture will be fulfilled in and through his followers. You can count on it. You can expect it.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Building Hope Within You

by Gregory A. Johnson
Building Hope Within You, by Gregory A. Johnson

Living in a famine of truth, when all around us in a state of confusion and turmoil with fear abounding, the Lord is our hope. We can always count on him.

The Psalmist in God’s word says, “I am counting on the Lord; yes, I am counting on him. I have put my hope in his word” (Psalm 130:5).

You can also do that today, friend. You can count on the Lord. You can put your hope in his word. It will get you through whatever comes your way.

Please allow me to give you a good starting point. Get a Bible and read the first four books of the New Testament — Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. As you read, pay attention to how Jesus lives his life and what he teaches. Note the promises Jesus gives to those who will answer the call to follow him. As you follow Jesus, you can stand on these promises. They are for you and all who follow Jesus.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Racism and Hate Are Antichrist

by Gregory A. Johnson
Racism and Hate Are Anti-Christ, by Gregory A. Johnson
Racism and hatred are alive and well, but not for those who are citizens of the Kingdom. No, you see, the citizens of the Kingdom love God with everything they have, and they love other people as they love themselves. They are willing to give their life for others as Christ did. They are willing to go to jail protesting unjust laws that do not treat people equally, as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. did.

What would Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. say to us today? I think that he would say to us the same things he said in his day. Listen to what he had to say:
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction....The chain reaction of evil—hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars—must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation (King 1963).
Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man's sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true (King 1963).

Friday, July 12, 2019

The One Reason Why You Made It Through the Night

by Gregory A. Johnson
The One Reason Why You Made It Through the Night, by Gregory A. Johnson

Life is full of difficulties and it can be very challenging at times. Stress, panic, and fear threaten to destroy minds and bodies as people struggle to make it from day to day. Please know today that the Lord knows your struggles and he is not far away.

The Lord sees all your life difficulties and he knows your every crisis. He not only knows, but he also cares. He does not want you to panic or get ahead of him. He simply desires that you pray and wait on him. You can rest assured that his help is coming because he loves you deeply.

Friday, June 14, 2019

There Is Hope in a Famine of Truth

by Gregory A. Johnson

There Is Hope in a Famine of Truth, by Gregory A. Johnson

We are living in a famine of truth today. Many in our day are looking to social media and the Internet for advice, information, and even direction in life. As you know, we cannot always trust the information found online. Yes, we are living in a famine of truth today, but I have good news for you — there is hope.

Listen to these words of Jesus found in the Gospel of John. Jesus says, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me" (John 14:6).

Friend, please know that Jesus is relevant to your life and to your daily living. He is the way you need to go. He is the direction in life that you need to take. As you keep your focus on Jesus and you follow him, you will make the right decisions and you will end up in the right places. Follow Jesus.

Many today, including those in leadership, are deceptive and some never tell the truth, being habitual liars. Friend, Jesus never deceives. Look to him for truth. Make the life and teachings of Jesus the absolute truth for all your beliefs and actions. When you do, you can measure everything you hear, everything you read, and everything you see with the life and teachings of Jesus. As you line everything up with Jesus, you will know what the truth is and what it is not.


Friday, May 10, 2019

Love Wins!

by Gregory A. Johnson


Love Wins, by Gregory A. Johnson
We live in a day when hate fueled by hate-filled speech is threatening to destroy peace and civility. Hate-driven violence is abusing and taking precious lives of people who are made in the image and likeness of God himself.

Fear that is bread by hate and its evilness threatens to paralyze and hold people's thoughts and actions hostage in a day when all thoughts and actions need to be attentive to the needs of others—those who are vulnerable and trapped in the vicious cycle of poverty and all the ills that it produces, regardless of age, race, gender, and religion.


Friday, April 12, 2019

Evil Does Not Win

by Gregory A. Johnson

Evil Does Not Win, by Gregory A. Johnson

We are reminded daily of how evil destroys lives. As a result, many live in fear instead of faith. Fear says that evil wins. Faith knows that evil never wins.

Please know today that if you have fear in your life, it is not of God. God does not want you to live in fear. Evil wants you to live in fear.

Fear comes when our focus is no longer on Jesus and following him. When a person is living in fear, they lose sight that the best in their life is yet to come.

The next time evil comes knocking and fear starts to take over your thoughts, stop it. Just, stop it. Refuse to go there. Instead of giving it any energy, thank God for all he has done for you, all he is doing for you, and all he will do for you. You are his child created in his image, and he loves you.


Saturday, March 9, 2019

How to Protect You Mind

by Gregory A. Johnson

How to Protect You Mind, by Gregory A. Johnson

Please know that you are what you think. Your thinking will control your speech and your actions.

Friend, what consumes your thoughts? What are you thinking about when you are trying to get to sleep at night? What are you thinking about when you awake? What is controlling your thoughts?  Is it impacting your speech and your actions?

Our mind will absorb and retain what we feed it.  If we feed it garbage, it will produce garbage. Garbage in; Garbage out. More in our day than ever, we must protect our mind. We must protect what goes in.


Saturday, February 9, 2019

Successfully Navigating Life

by Gregory A. Johnson

Successfully Navigating Life, by Gregory A. Johnson
Life brings ups and downs, good times and bad times. Our emotions can be on the mountaintop one day and way down in the valley the next day. It can be like riding a roller coaster. How does one successfully ride this roller coaster called life?

King David faithfully declared that the Lord is the answer. In prayer, he tells the Lord, "You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever (Psalm 16:11, NLT).”

Jesus will show you the way of life. Get your Bible and read the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, noticing how Jesus lived his life. After you read them, read them again. Read them over and over again. Jesus came into our world to show us the way of life.

There is joy in the presence of Jesus. There is nothing like spending time with him in prayer, allowing him to renew and refresh our joy. Find you a quiet place today where you can be alone with him. He will revive you as you wait silently in his presence, meditating on him, his life, and his teachings.


Thursday, January 17, 2019

The Old Testament Case for Nonviolence Book Review

by Gregory A. Johnson
The Old Testament Case for Nonviolence Book Review, by Gregory A. Johnson

Matthew Curtis Fleischer has a passion for God and God’s will. He is a lover of God and truth. It became evident to me as I read each chapter of his book, The Old Testament Case for Nonviolence.

On the back cover of the book, it is stated, “The violence in the Old Testament is one of the biggest obstacles facing Christianity today.” I sense that assisting to remove this obstacle is the motivation of the author in writing a book that so adequately and thoroughly lays out the case that the Old Testament (OT) does not advocate violence. Instead, the OT is anti-violence.

Fleischer starts the book in Chapter one with a series of questions that I’m sure most of us have thought and probably have even been asked:
Can we reconcile the violence of the Old Testament with the nonviolence of the New Testament (NT)? Can we honestly and rationally square God’s violent OT actions and commands with Jesus’ nonviolent actions and commands?
Who are we to imitate and obey? Are we to ruthlessly and mercilessly slaughter our enemies like the OT God or are we to self-sacrificially love our enemies like Jesus? What is the moral standard today—the OT, the NT, or a bit of both?
What is God really like? Is he more like the angry, jealous jihadist God revealed in the OT or the patient, merciful, nonviolent God revealed in Jesus?

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Top 10 Posts of 2018

by Gregory A. Johnson
Top 10 Posts of 2018, by Gregory A. Johnson

I am always humbled by the number of people who take the time to read what I write. I pray for the Spirit of God to encourage and inspire each reader as they read each word.

I simply write what God lays on my heart, finding that God often allows me to be transparent, writing from a life that has experienced not only joy and peace, but also pain, hardship, hurt, trials, and tribulations on my journey as I follow Christ.

I'm thankful for the readers from 87 countries in 2018 that have read what I shared.

Please allow me to share with you the top ten posts that were read in 2018:

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

10 Benefits of Loving God

by Gregory A. Johnson
10 Benefits of Loving God, by Gregory A. Johnson

Please allow me to share with you ten benefits of loving God:

  1. God redeems us from a life of sin.
  2. God forgives all our sins.
  3. God removes our sins from us as far as the east is from the west.
  4. God does not give us the punishment we deserve for our sins.
  5. God heals us.
  6. God renews our youth by satisfying us with good.
  7. God works righteousness and justice for us.
  8. God remembers that we are human.
  9. God shows us compassion.
  10. God loves us endlessly.

Given these ten benefits, why would anyone not want to love God? The benefits are out of this world!

Saturday, November 10, 2018

The Promise of Answered Prayer

by Gregory A. Johnson
The Promise of Answered Prayer, by Gregory A. Johnson


The Bible, God’s word to us, is full of promises. With those promises come conditions. For example, Jesus says, “if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! (John 15:7, NLT)."

Let’s explore that Scripture. The promise is that our prayers will be answered. The condition attached to that promise is that we are to remain in Jesus and his words remain in us.

As Christ-followers, we know and do what Jesus teaches, continuing his point-of-need ministry in the power of the Holy Spirit. Our prayers will be in accordance with his life and teachings. Our prayers will not conflict with the life and teachings of Jesus. Our prayers will agree with them.

As we pray according to the life and teachings of Jesus, he promises that our prayer requests will be granted. We can stand on that promise. We may not get what we are asking for in our timing, but our prayers will be answered.

Friday, October 12, 2018

3 Things You Can Do to Help Yourself

By Gregory A. Johnson
Three Things You Can Do to Help Yourself, by Gregory A. Johnson

Please allow me to give you three things you can do today and every day to help yourself regardless of the circumstances that surround you.

First, rejoice in our confident hope. As a child of God and a follower of Christ, rejoice in the fact that Christ is saving you from this world and all its difficulties. His return is imminent. All Bible prophecy up to the return of Christ has been fulfilled. Be ready. It is the very next big event on God’s agenda. Beloved, this is our confident hope. Rejoice in it.

Second, be patient in trouble. When trouble comes your way, pray, asking God to help you. He will help you, but his help may not be immediate. Be patient. Don’t try to fix your troubles without God’s solution. That will bring more trouble. Instead, pray and wait for God’s solution.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

How to Live in God's Presence

by Gregory A. Johnson
How to Live in God's Presence, by Gregory A. Johnson

How does one live in the presence of God? That is a question that many have asked throughout history and many ask today. David wrote in Psalm 15, asking God that question. He says, “Lord, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill?” (Psalm 15:1, NIV).

God gives David the answer to his prayerful questioning and David documents it: “He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks truth from his heart.” (Psalm 15:2, NIV).

Let’s think about that answer. First, we are to have a blameless walk. The only way we can have a blameless walk is to keep our focus on Jesus and follow him. As we follow Jesus, he keeps us on the right path.

Second, we are to do what is right. We live in a day when many do not know what is right and what is wrong. We have a famine of leaders in our day who live a life of integrity. How do we do what is right? We make God’s Word, the Bible, the absolute guide for all our actions and beliefs. When we do, we will do what is right.

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?

For sake of space, allow me to give the last Scripture in the Bible that addresses 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.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Top Ten Posts of 2017

by Gregory A. Johnson

Top Ten Post of 2017, by Gregory A. Johnson
I am always humbled by the number of people who take time to read what I write. I simply share what God lays on my heart, finding that God often allows me to be transparent, writing from a life that has experienced not only joy and peace, but also pain, hardship, hurt, trials, and tribulations on my journey as I follow Christ. I pray for the Spirit of God to encourage and inspire each reader as they read each word.

I'm thankful for the readers from 68 countries that read what I have written and shared in 2017. Please allow me to share with you the top ten posts read in 2017:

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. Johnson
When 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.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

How to Seek Good

How to Seek Good, by Gregory A. Johnsonby Gregory A. Johnson

Many people will be seeking many things today. Some will be seeking that which is good, and some will be seeking evil. Whatever is sought today will be found—whether good or evil.

When we turn on the news at the end of the day, or we pick up tomorrow’s paper, we will read many accounts of those who sought evil and found it. We will see that the fruit of seeking evil is death and destruction.

Have you noticed that there is not enough news about those who seek to do good? The fruit of seeking good is life-giving; it brings hope and joy. Oh, how I wish our news would be dominated with reports of those seeking good, and not evil.

Life is the fruit of seeking good. May we daily decide to seek good instead of evil; life is there for us and others if we do.

How do we seek good?

Saturday, July 22, 2017

One Thing That God Is Most Willing to Give Us

by Gregory A. Johnson

The One Thing That God Is Most Willing to Give Us, by Gregory A. Johnson
We all have seen them. They stand at busy intersections holding up signs asking for help. We are sometimes quick to judge, but we don’t know their story. How did they get to this point in their life? What caused their need to beg, standing in the smothering heat of summer or the bone chilling and teeth-rattling cold of winter. How did it come to this?

Check out this paragraph of Scripture:
Then they came to the town of Jericho. Jesus was leaving that town with his followers and many other people. A blind man named Bartimaeus (son of Timaeus) was sitting by the road. This man was always begging for money. The blind man heard that Jesus from Nazareth was walking by. The blind man shouted, "Jesus, Son of David, please help me!" ( Mark 10:46-47 ERV). 


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Why Do We Need God?

by Gregory A. Johnson

Why Do We Need God? by Gregory A. JohnsonWe need God. A list of reasons why we need Him would be endless—taking more than a lifetime to compile. Please allow me to share a few reasons with you that are close to my heart:
  • God covers us with amazing grace.
  • God surrounds us with supernatural peace.
  • God lets us know unconditional love. His love for us is not based on what we do or don’t do. His love for us was completed at the cross of Christ. It seems so simple, yet beyond our comprehension.
  • God gives us a supreme gift of love that enables us to love those that we could never love before.
  • God brings correction when we are wrong.
  • God gives us more than one chance.
  • God sees value in us.
  • God never gives up on us.
  • God allows us to dump all of our cares and anxieties on Him, granting us the privilege of communicating with Him in prayer.
  • God gives us hope.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

How to Live All out for God

by Gregory A. Johnson

How to Live All out for God, by Gregory A. Johnson
Throughout history, God’s Spirit has been at work. You can read the Bible and see God’s Spirit leading and guiding, empowering, and prophesying, bringing God’s will on earth to fruition.

The events documented in the Bible did not come about by accident or chance. God sent His own son into our world to take care of our sin problem.

The word of God says, "Through the Spirit, Christ offered himself as an unblemished sacrifice, freeing us from all those dead-end efforts to make ourselves respectable, so that we can live all out for God (Hebrews 9:14-15 MSG)."

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Don't Forget the Needy and the Poor

by Gregory A. Johnson
Don't Forget the Needy and the Poor, by Gregory A. Johnson

In my book, The Kingdom According to Jesus, I write about how some church folk wrongly use John 12:7-8 as an excuse to do nothing to help the poor in their community, but they take that scripture out of the context in which it was spoken. (Jesus said, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial. For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”). I’m so thankful for the many who minister to the needy and the poor, utilizing their time, talent, and treasure. They get what it’s all about and are truly following Christ in a point-of-need ministry.

I look forward to the day when a justice revival sweeps the land and every church is actively involved in helping the needy and the poor in their community. I pray that it happens in our day. I pray that it happens in this generation.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

How to Succesfully Reach Your Destination

by Gregory A. Johnson

How to Successfully Reach Your Destination, by Gregory A. Johnson
When you place a stamp on an envelope and mail it, it will be delivered to its destination. If you don’t put a stamp on it before you mail it, it gets returned to you.

Check out this paragraph of Scripture: "Whatever God has promised gets stamped with the Yes of Jesus. In him, this is what we preach and pray, the great Amen, God's Yes and our Yes together, gloriously evident. God affirms us, making us a sure thing in Christ, putting his Yes within us. By his Spirit he has stamped us with his eternal pledge — a sure beginning of what he is destined to complete ( 2 Corinthians 1:20-22 MSG)."

Beloved, God stamps every promise he makes in the Bible with the “Yes of Jesus.” Jesus is God’s way of saying, “Yes!”

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Three Choices That Will Start Your Day off Right Every Day

by Gregory A. Johnson

Three Choices That Will Start Your Day off Right Every Day, by Gregory A. JohnsonEach one of us has to make lots of choices today and every day. Those choices impact our lives and the lives of those around us.

If you struggle with knowing how to keep your life on the right path, here are three choices you can make every morning that will start your day off right:
  1. Choose to trust God, knowing that He loves you and that there is nothing you can do to make Him love you any more or any less than He already does. His love for you is complete.
  2. Choose to rejoice in the Lord because Jesus rescues you on a daily basis.
  3. Choose to praise the Lord for His goodness toward you.
Beloved, make those three choices daily to start your day off right, and you will see your life will unfold as it is meant to, according to His perfect will for you.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Things That Will Last Forever

by Gregory A. Johnson

 That Will Last Forever, by Gregory A. Johnson
All the stuff we work so hard for will not last forever. It will wear out, break down, be used up…. It won’t last forever. If someone gives you a nice present, you can enjoy it for a period of time, but it won’t last forever either.

Forever is a long time. Forever never ends.

Just like stuff, conditions and feelings will not last forever.  If you are in pain, it will not last forever. If you are lonely, it will not last forever. Sorrow will not last forever. Sickness will not last forever. I could go on and on…

What will last forever?

Saturday, November 5, 2016

How to Raise Children for God

by Gregory A. Johnson 
How to Raise Children for God, by Gregory A. Johnson

Our children are both adults now. They have brought much joy and encouragement to Becky and me. It seems like it was yesterday that they were born—time sure does go fast. Both Austin Gregory and Kelsey Ann have matured to be good and hard-working young adults. I believe they both will have positive impacts upon society, being model citizens of God’s Kingdom.

The best advice I can give to parents today is to raise your children under the influence of the church. With all of its imperfections, the church is still the finest place to raise children. Becky and I raised our children in church. Not only did they grow up in the front row of the sanctuary, but we also included them in the ministry.

Austin was two years old when Kelsey was born, and I was preaching revivals and ministering as a fill-in pastor within the district in which I was credentialed. Many times I would be contacted by the district superintendent to preach at one church Sunday morning and then drive hundreds of miles across the state to preach at another church on Sunday evening. Becky and the children always went with me. Many times we left the house before sunrise to get to the Sunday morning church, drive all afternoon to get to the Sunday evening church, and drive home after the service, arriving after midnight. It was a challenge, but we went together as a family and ministered. Many of the churches were small and could not pay us anything. Many did not have nurseries. From behind the pulpit, I would see Becky in the front row with Austin by her side and Kelsey in her arms. We did this for a couple of years before pastoring our own church.

Kelsey was two and Austin was four years old when we pastored our first little church. On our first Sunday, we had six people in service—four of them were us!

From mission trips and city outreaches to shut-in and hospital visitations, we included our children in point-of-need ministry as they grew. We went to church together, and we ministered together, both inside and outside the walls of the church building and the confines of a church service. I recommend that for all Christian homes.

Let me give you a list of my recommendation to parents:

Saturday, October 15, 2016

How to Ignite and Fuel a Justice Revival in Our Day

by Gregory A. Johnson

How to Ignite and Fuel a Justice Revival in Our Day, by Gregory A. JohnsonWe can read the book of Acts in the Bible and see that the early church was a powerful church. The message of Christ was proclaimed throughout the land with signs and wonders following the preaching of Christ. People were ministered to in the communities at their point of need. The ministry of Christ continued in the power of the Holy Spirit, resulting in a justice revival driven by faith. The Kingdom was enlarged. (I write about Kingdom growth in my book, The Kingdom According to Jesus.)

The early church was a praying church. The Apostle Paul placed emphasis on prayer in his teachings to the church. His teachings on prayer encouraged early followers of Christ to:

Sunday, September 11, 2016

The Value of Level Ground

by Gregory A. Johnson

We experience ups and downs throughout our life. The peaks are only fleeting moments. Oh, how I long for level ground. It’s on level ground where we can do our best work for the Lord. We need God to lead us to level ground on a daily basis.

Running on level ground in my first marathon - Gregory A. JohnsonI learned the value of level ground from running marathons. I have run marathons on both hilly and level terrain. Like most runners, I prefer level ground because running uphill expends a lot of energy, and running downhill is hard on the quads, especially in miles 20 through 26.2. It’s hard enough for me to make it on level ground!

Some of the hills we encounter in life are unavoidable, but many are caused by us. When we go our own way and do our own thing, ignoring God as the Lord of our life, we put ourselves on a hilly course.