True North

COMPASS -- Efraim Stochter -- PX

 

In routine life on Planet Earth, there’s one rather ordinary looking piece of equipment that is used by thousands of people every day. It’s called a compass. Hikers, hunters, military personnel, navigators on ships and planes, and even  12-year-old boy scouts and girl scouts out on field trips use a compass as a normal part of their activities. Most of us have used one at some point in time, or at least played with one just to see how it works. Its job: to make geographical directions clear so that we can find our way safely and expeditiously from one point on this earth to another.

But that compass will not help us — it will, in fact, lead us the wrong way and get us into trouble — it is fails to point its arrow accurately to the North. It it’s off just a tiny bit, it can cause us to go miles in the wrong direction and totally miss our destination. That compass must point its arrow to TRUE NORTH, or it does us no good at all.

Now for individual journeys from one geographical place to another, any average compass in good working order is good enough. But what about our life-long journey — our time from birth to death — when we make our way along the road of life with all its twists and turns and possible detours? What provides our source of accurate directions for that journey?  Well, there’s only One who knows for sure how to navigate that life path successfully and wind up at the right places at the right times — as well as how to wind up in the right place at the end of the journey — and that person is our Creator — the One who made us to live this life in the first place.

We hear people today talk about how different people have different “moral compasses”  — to each his own — everyone lives by his own standards. But the truth is that all moral compasses that don’t point to Jesus Christ are extremely faulty and will lead the followers into trouble — and eventually into destruction.

Jesus Christ is the only TRUE NORTH. If our life compass focuses on Him, we will be able to stay on course — with joyful results. It if does not point to Him, we’re lost — in more ways than one.

I hear people say things like this: “Well, there are people who do good an live right in this world who aren’t Christians.” And i agree that I know some people who love their families and who try to live by rules that are, for the most part, kind. But the fact is that the only reason those people act as positively as they do is that they’ve been taught the basic rules of God’s Word.

Now they may not recognize those words as coming from the Bible. And they may not have learned them in a church. But they were influenced by others — even by the laws of the land — to understand a lot about what’s right and wrong. Every law of the land in any nation that protects people and guides them to act in ways that avoid hurting someone else came originally from the plans for living right laid out in God’s original law.

The truth is that the only foundation any society — indeed any human being from Adam and Eve down — has for determining what’s right and wrong is God’s Word. That’s why God gave the original ten commandments: so man would know what was good and what was evil. And all the civilized nations in the word have laws that follow those ten commandments. No human being came up with those ideas on his own. His Creator taught him right and wrong.

Why did the Creator need to teach man? Because the only good there is in the universe is in God Himself and what proceeds out of Him.

Let me say that again: There is no good in this world except what proceeds out of God. Man is born sinful — selfish, self-centered, and out for himself alone. Prove it you say? Look at any little baby. He wants his needs met, and when they’re not met, he cries — and cries — and cries — until Mom and Dad stop whatever else they are doing and give baby whatever it is he wants.  And as a child grows, he knows to focus on his own needs and wants without being taught. His wants come first.

Most parents — if they are responsible in their child rearing — begin teaching their children about kindness and consideration for others at an early age. But those things have to be taught. They never come naturally to any human being. Goodness, kindness, and generosity are learned behavior — coming either from instruction or environmental influence. There is no inherent good in any human being when left on his own.

The Word of God says it simply and succinctly when it says, “There is none good but God.” (Luke 18:19) and “There is none righteous, no not one” (Romans 3:10 and “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23).  There is no inherent good in any human being when left on his own.  He must receive his goodness from God.

Now, living on this earth in the right environment may help some people soak up understanding of some of that goodness. And they may exert some effort to make it active in their lives. Anyone who gets out in the rain gets wet. Anyone who gets out in the sun gets warm. But those conditions are superficial and temporary. So, in the same manner, anyone who is reared and nurtured in an environment of good, loving ways will, no doubt, soak up some of that attitude and that philosophy of life — and its accompanying behavior.

But as with the sun and the rain, those things are superficial and temporary. They will carry that person only so far and for only so long. He will ultimately fail in his morality and goodness. I have lived 72 years on this earth and been actively involved with thousands of people from all over the world, and I have yet to see an exception to this rule. Nor do I know any other people who have come across an exception. No human being other than Jesus Christ has ever lived without failing in morality and goodness. Until we receive Jesus Christ and put Him in control, everyone of us fails to live up to the goodness of God — the goodness required to be fit to live with Him for eternity.

The only good we know and do apart from Jesus is what we acquired by osmosis because God’s goodness managed to penetrate our soul a little. But without our spirit being born again by the entrance of Jesus Christ, that “goodness” is nothing but a garment we wear. What’s inside will eventually come to the forefront. And, yes, I realize I am repeating myself here, but with good reason. My experience with humanity has taught me that very few people can capture and hold onto a new concept the first time they hear it. And, for many people reading this article, the concept I’m sharing is new indeed. So explaining the same truth again — and in slightly different terms — is a safeguard and an insurance that more people will grasp this truth and let it help them move forward to what they need.

The exciting part of this truth is that once Jesus is allowed to come in and take control, His own righteousness is transferred into our being. At that point, we aren’t just trying to be good and do good because of some training that will eventually fail us. No. Jesus gives us His own inherent goodness and holiness. It becomes who we are because He has become the controller of who we are. We are one with Him.

And since He alone is TRUTH (John 1:17; John 14:6), He provides the infallible compass for our life from that point through all eternity. Do our souls and bodies sometimes fail to measure up? Yes, but Jesus, our unerring compass, lovingly points us back to the right direction, and the wrong steps we took gets corrected so that we don’t ever get completely off course again.

Jesus Christ is our TRUE NORTH. If you haven’t yet made Him the compass of your life, right now is the best time to do it. No matter how far off course you are at present, if you’ll turn your life over to Him, you will immediately see where “True North” is, and you’ll never have to worry about being lost again on this journey through life. Not only that, you’re guaranteed to wind up at the destination you were always intended to reach — in this life on earth and for eternity.


photo credit: Efraim Stochter (MW) @ pixabay.com



 

There Is A Cure

The truth of Jesus Christ’s complete redemption can be told in any form. In this post I’ve set God’s truth into Cinquain — one of my favorite poetic forms.


SATAN CAST DOWN - GOLD LARGER

Virus:
To lots of folks
It is a scary word.
But there’s a name that can kill it:
Jesus!

Disease
By any name.
Must bow to Jesus’ name.
His sacrifice redeemed us from
Disease.

Have faith.
Get in His Word:
He says it’s medicine
For every ailment we can face.
Trust Him.

(Scripture References: Acts 3:16, Philippians 2:9-10, Galatians 3:13-14, Proverbs 4:20-22, and Psalm 107:17-20)

 



 

Lenten Poems — week 3

CRUCIFIX - FOR YOU - GOSPEL GIFS

SUFFICIENT

Seized and stripped and slapped and spit upon,
Scornful salutations; sorrow; shame;
Satan stalks the Son of God and Son of Man
Scarlet stripes, scalding tears, searing pain;

Search the scriptures, surely they the story tell:
Insatiable evil strikes; the Lamb is slain.

But surely, it’s my sins He bore, my sorrow and shame,
My sickness, my distress, my grief, my pain.

Submitted Sacrifice: He sealed the promise;
Sufficient, He bought me peace with God again.

 

 

 


 

Christmas Light

WHITE CHRISTMAS TREE MODERN LIGHTS 2 - Ana_J - PX

 

Oh Christmas tree, oh geometric Christmas tree,
Updated decoration of this century,
Combining old tradition with technology —
Eye-catching combination set for all to see.

I wonder if the architect has realized
That though his modern concept is a structural prize,
The Light that gives it meaning appeared to Moses’ eyes.
From burning bush to modern tree, it’s Jesus Christ.

 


photo courtesy of Ana_J @ pixabay

 

 

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Having Church at Home Today

MAN REPAIRING CAR IN SNOWOur roads were way too icy to get out and go to church this morning. My church is about 30 miles from my house, and if I could have gotten to the major highway that is part of my route, I’m sure it would have been clear. Unfortunately my own road and the other local roads are still slick as snot, and travel didn’t seem wise.

Then to make matters worse, my heater in my car stopped working this week. But by the time I realized it wouldn’t work, I didn’t have time to get it into the shop before the snow and ice got here. However, in lieu of going to service (and preaching, which I was scheduled to do this morning) I spent good time with the Lord anyway in prayer and His Word. And I will undoubtedly do that more later today as well.

But just in case a lot of my friends out there are in the same predicament, I thought I’d share a couple of the short Bible lesson videos I’ve made this past year.  They are part of my Know the Word; Experience the Power series of messages, produced by the ministry God called me to establish several years ago: Radical About Jesus Ministries. Hopefully, they will encourage and energize your faith today, and you won’t miss being at church as much.

WHEN YOU HAVE THE WORD, YOU HAVE THE VICTORY

 

BUILDING UP OUR RESISTANCE

 

Have a happy day. Jesus Christ loves you!

 

 

 


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FMF October Challenge 2017 – Day 2

Today’s prompt is “tell.”

I’ve chosen to write poetry today. The following is a set of stanzas in cinquain form.

ANGEL CLIP ART- WITH TEXTTELL

Tell me,
Is there a balm
That heals a broken heart?
That comforts and restores a soul?
Tell me.

And please,
Is there a cure
For sickness and disease?
Is there a power strong enough
To heal?

Tell me,
Is there cleansing
From sin’s embedded stain —
A solvent that can purify
All men?

Tell me,
Is there someone
Who knows the truths of life —
Who can be trusted to lead us
Aright?

Oh, yes!
There is a balm —
A cure for soul and flesh —
A purifying solvent for
All sin

And yes,
There is a God
Who came to earth Himself
To pay the price for us and set
Us free.

He bought
Our liberty
With His own precious blood.
He is Himself the way, the truth,
The life.

His name:
Jesus, the Christ.
And everyone who calls
He will receive. Now that you know,
Go tell.

 


Even though this challenge is titled “five-minute free write,” I am not restricting myself to writing for just 5 minutes. I’m using this challenge to spur myself to write daily after being in a rather stagnate state due to a grievous loss in my life and its effect on my creativity. So as I discipline myself to write something based on the daily prompt, I am allowing myself to continue to write until I feel released each day.

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I Am My Beloved’s

HEART RIVER TRQUS BRIGHT“I am my Beloved’s, and His desire is toward me”  

(Song of Solomon 7:10)

Jesus loves you, and His desire is toward you. That word toward is very significant here, because most people who love someone have a desire for them — rather than toward them. And, in truth, Jesus does desire to have you for His own, but that’s only so that He can give you everything He is and everything He’s accomplished for you. He wants you to have everything He has. And He’s already paid the price for you to possess it. You don’t have to do anything to earn all that He has for you. The only requirement on your part is that you receive Him into your own spirit (your own heart) and make Him Lord of your life. Once He’s in that position, He can begin pouring into you all that you need and all that will make your life blessed and successful now — and throughout eternity.

In Ephesians, chapter 1, the Word of God tells us that God accomplished total victory over every force of evil through Jesus’ work of redemption, and when He raised Jesus from the grave, He gave Him absolute, eternal power and authority over every person and thing in the entire universe. Then the Word says that when God did that, He was exercising the “greatness of His power toward us.”  It was all done for us. You see, God’s power is always moving and working to bring us good. It’s always toward us. The truth is that if you become a child of God — by accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord — you just can’t get away from God’s power working good for you.

Men and women for generations have sought high and low for some kind of religion that would satisfy them. They’ve studied one religious system after another and experimented with their various tenets and practices. But not one — not one single religion on the face of the earth — can offer man a total deliverance from his own base nature and from the evil that exudes from that nature. Not one of those religions can offer a fresh start, free of charge, and a nature purified and changed into the nature of the God who created us in the first place. Every religion out there tells us that we, somehow, have to do something, to earn a better life and a better eternity. We have to work at it, and then may not obtain our goal in the end after all.

But Christianity is NOT a religion. True Christianity is simply the Father God loving His own children, and being loved by them. It’s a family, pure and simple. Every parent who is worthy to be called a parent is constantly aware that he loves his child more than his own life, and his constant desire is toward his child — to meet his needs, heal his wounds, and bless him with gifts. And God is no different. That’s His desire as well. And through Jesus, the first Son, He calls all of us into His loving arms, desiring us to receive His love and become sons and daughter as well, so that He can exert His power toward us for good.

If you know this wonderful Father, you know what I’m talking about. But if you do not yet know Him, today can be your day. He already loves you, His desire is already toward you. Call out to Jesus and let His exceeding great power work a total regeneration in you today — and for eternity.

 

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