Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Seeing God's Grace

by Gregory A. Johnson

Santiago, Cubu - Seeing God's Grace, by Gregory A. JohnsonI was preaching the good news of Christ in Santiago, Cuba, on a hot and humid, tropical, spring night to hundreds of people who had gathered elbow to elbow. The small building the church used for meetings was packed full and the crowd stretched out the open doors. There was standing room only as the people flowed into the yard outside and across the street. Later I would be told that there were over nine hundred people there listening that night; most of them outside, listening through loud-speakers because they could not get into the building for the crowd that had gathered.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Peace During the Storms of Life

by Gregory A. Johnson

Peace During the Storms of Live, by Gregory A. JohnsonWhen we receive Kingdom peace from Jesus and move throughout life living under His expectation that we go, live, and walk in this peace, does that mean we will never have tumultuous times? No, it does not mean that at all. We will have storms that come throughout our journey. Some will be sudden and unexpected. Some will be short-lived in duration, while others will be marathons. As the storms come and go, we are to remember who is in the boat with us. The disciples had to learn this, and so do we.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Taxes, Choices, and Jesus

by Gregory A. Johnson

Taxes, Choices, and Jesus, by Gregory A. JohnsonToday there is much fuss about taxes. I pay my taxes, but I’m no tax expert nor am I an economist with an opinion on what tax structure is best for people and the economy. One thing I do know is that I would rather be paying taxes today than in Jesus’ day.
In Jesus’ day there was much fuss about taxes also, but He did not get involved in the debate. One thing He did was go out of His way to befriend the tax collectors even though the taxes they imposed were both oppressive and unjust.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Called by Grace

by Gregory A. Johnson

We see much grace displayed by Jesus as He handpicks ordinary people to be His followers. He gives the imperative to follow Him, but all will have to choose whether or not they will obey Him. We learn through Scripture that receiving the grace of the Kingdom offered to us by God through Jesus is a choice—Jesus calls us to follow Him, but the choice is ours.
While the world today is looking for leaders to step up, Jesus is looking for followers to step out. The call to step out and follow Him is all grace. The act of stepping out will require faith and that faith is initiated by Jesus in those whom He calls. Jesus calls us right where we are; He calls us just as we are. He makes us into what He wants us to be, as we answer the call and follow Him.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

One at a Time

by Gregory A. Johnson

One at a Time, by Gregory A. Johnson
While pastoring in central Kentucky, we were fortunate to have a very capable and talented Christian education director, Rae Jean Slusher. Rae Jean conducted training conferences for our teachers and in one of those trainings she gave an illustration that has stuck with me ever since. She showed a video clip that told a story about a boy on the beach who is dismayed by all of the starfish washed up on the beach, knowing that with them being exposed to the rays of the sun and without water, they will dry up and quickly die. The boy starts taking the starfish one by one, throwing them back into the water where they will live.