Thursday, April 7, 2011

Focus on JESUS

   Focus on JESUS

   Moses, Elijah, Samuel, James, John, Peter and the Apostle Paul, just to name a few of some of the great men of God recorded in the Bible.  Though these Apostles and Prophets are part of the foundation upon which the faith is laid, they are not the Chief Cornerstone (Jesus).  Some, get side tracted and easily forget that God’s grand goal is not to conform us into the image of the Apostle Paul or Elijah, but to conform us into “the image of His Son” (Romans 8:29) “….unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:” (Eph 4:13) (1 John 3:2-3; Phil 3:21; Eph 4:24; 2 Cor 3:18; 1 Cor 15:49; Rom 13:14)

  From time to time we need to examine ourselves to see IF we are really becoming more and more LIKE Jesus, not our denominations or favorite personalities.  I know of people who get so involved and fixated on error, cults, judgments and false religions, (and not that these things are not important or even critical) that they veer off the God called straight path and become more LIKE someone their hanging around rather than LIKE Jesus.  And that’s possible for anyone to fall into, so I’m not accusing or excusing, but it’s EASY to get caught up with people you hand around with, the momentum of a crowd, even perhaps like the crowd that was present along the Villa Del La Rosa, we need to be careful that we don’t get sucked into the crowd yelling crucify Him.  I’m reminded of the instance in the Gospel of Luke 9:53-56, where the disciples James and John seemed eager to command fire to come down from Heaven and consume the people for rejecting Jesus, but Jesus, “… he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them.” (Luke 9:55-56)  Some people can’t speak of the goodness of God that leads men to repentance (Romans 2:4), all their filled with is pending judgment (Hebrew 9:27), and how God is angry with the wicked every day, (Psalm 7:11)  And though these things are facts, I never see the comparison of themselves in the same manner with Jesus when they convey it!  That’s the scary thing!!  They’re religious, full of zeal, but no likeness of Christ as expressed in the Gospels!!!  One might say, wait, Jesus eyes are a flame of fire in the Book of Revelation.  That’s true, but, when He walked upon this earth the 1st time, in the image which we are to follow, He was full of mercy, grace and truth, seeking to SAVE that which is lost, He went about doing good healing all that were oppressed by the devil, the evidence of the fruit of the Spirit was overflowing in His life (Gal 5:22-23; Eph 5:9)  Compassion towards those broke and beaten down by sin, His words were seasoned with grace unto the hearers!  Warnings of Hell were to everybody but the stern warnings of Jesus of damnation and hell were always to those who held the truth in unrighteousness, the hypocrites, the self righteous, not to the crushed and repenting.
   I remember a story of a husband who heard two different preachers years apart preach on Hell and who goes there.  The first time, he heard the message, but didn’t surrender his life to Jesus, the second time he heard a similar message, and he did!  His wife asked him about it, knowing the 2 occasions, what was the difference?  The difference was, he replied, the first preacher proclaimed it, but sounded as if he wanted me to go there!  The second proclaimed the same thing, but sounded as if he didn’t want me to go there! 

   Brethren, In wrath, remember mercy, remember that God is still “…not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9) “Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?” (Ezek 33:11)

WWJD is not a far fetched idea to consider when we interact with people in communicating the Gospel.

Doulos D

Pastor Robert Venable