The Faith of One…

or just his own beliefs…

Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’

Launch Out Into The Deep…

Posted by onemansbeliefs on November 29, 2010

“And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land.  And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.  Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.” Luke 5:3-4

I wonder what people think when they hear the phrase “launch out into the deep.”  I’ve been (not sure about others) taught that Jesus expects me to step out and get in over my head.  To go beyond my level of security and the firm foundation of that with which I am familiar.  This will put me in a position where I will have to rely on him completely.  This is what I believed and it left me not wanting to hear from Jesus.

However, this is a story about the goodness of God.  He used Peter’s boat to assist Him in the preaching of the Gospel and rewarded Peter handsomely in return.  I’ve always liked the thought of the net breaking harvest, but had trouble wanting to launch out into the deep.  Stepping into the unknown brings with it apprehension, anxiousness and fear.  This is where I was having trouble.  I understand the goodness of God and trusting in Jesus, but why would either cause me to be surrounded by feelings that are from neither.

If launching out makes me feel uncomfortable and I’m getting it second-hand, I wondered how Peter must have felt when he was told to do so by Jesus, Himself.  Back to the story…

“And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.” Luke 5:5

Just like I thought, Peter’s response is filled with fear and trepidation.

Wait…

Peter did not experience any of the feelings I feel when told to launch out into the deep.  Why?  All Jesus told Peter to do was “go back to work.”  This may be the key to us receiving our harvest.  If you own a business, work a little extra when it seems like there will be no result.  If you work for someone, work a little overtime at no charge to your employer.

So, don’t be afraid when you hear Jesus say, “Launch out into the deep.”

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When Accusations Turn Into Accolades…

Posted by onemansbeliefs on March 3, 2010

The title refers to the attitudes of two groups of people (separated by many years) in regards to what Jesus did 2000 years ago.  It was not so much what Jesus did that was and is the reason for the accusations and accolades.  It was who he did it with.

What he did was have dinner.

He had dinner with publicans and sinners.

The scribes and Pharisees of Jesus’ day murmured and asked His disciples “Why do you and your Master eat with publicans and sinners?”  (Matt 9:10-11, Mark 2:15-16, Luke 5:29-30)  The accusation presented by the scribes and Pharisees of the day is straight forward and simple.  If you are a man of God, why do you fellowship with these types of people?  They believed that a Rabbi, teacher or man of God should not lower themselves to associate with people who are ungodly.

There are some today which proclaim that Jesus’ eating with publicans and sinners shows His tolerance for those that lived alternate lifestyles.  They applaud His efforts and state His action shows God’s approval of everybody regardless of how they choose to live their lives.

I believe that both parties are way off the mark and the response that Jesus made those many years ago still applies today.

Jesus said, “They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.  I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”  (Matt 9:12-13, Mark 2:17, Luke 5:31-32)

Many people ask “What would Jesus do?”  These people would be better served if they found out “what Jesus did” and believed “what Jesus said.”

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Cursed Or Blessed…

Posted by onemansbeliefs on January 25, 2010

It was around October of last year that I decided to fast all cable news programs.  Well, all except for the Weather Channel.  Let’s face the facts, the music played during “local on the 8’s” can be quite enjoyable.  Okay, back to the cable news programs…

The reason for the fast was my sanity.  At the time, I was working 11pm to 7am three nights a week and the only thing on during these hours are the aforementioned shows, Sportscenter and infomercials.  I don’t care how much one likes sports or information, a human being can only handle so much Sportscenter or infomercials.  That leaves the cable news programs as my only choice and they were hour after hour of hysterical name calling.  They were void of civil discussions or possible solutions required to turn this country around.  They just cast a net of blame over anyone or anything in direct opposition to their beliefs.  All networks were guilty of this and all of them were making me crazy.  The only solution was to fast, cold turkey.  And you know what?

It worked…

I have recently eased in a news program or two and have been able to stay sane in the process.  Not that anything about the programs has changed, I just have a different perspective.  Why?  I’m glad you asked.  I was allowing those things being said to affect/effect (I type you decide) my outlook.  During my fast I realized this was not helpful and could be harmful to me.  See, the major theme in all these news programs is not about “what” is going on, but “who” we should trust to fix the issues concerning us these days.  There are many men anointed, by the media to fill the position of “who” and our trusting in them only leads to our demise.  My reason for this is found in…

Jeremiah 17:5, “Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.”

Sadly, none of these news programs point us to the only “WHO” that can help us.

Jeremiah 17:7, “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.”

It is the Lord that can help us.  The Psalms are full of His Word regarding our (His) deliverance, redemption and salvation.  We should not let His work go to waste while we struggle in this world to just get by, if that.  We need to put our trust in Him and rise above the issues of this present life.  Jesus tells us in…

John 6:33, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

Because Jesus has overcome the world we can be world overcomers too.  Paul tells us how in…

Romans 8:35-39, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

All the problems we face as a people and a nation have only one solution and…

The answer is the Love of God.

He will also help you watch cable news programs without going crazy…

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How Can I Know That I Am Saved?

Posted by onemansbeliefs on January 13, 2010

I remember right where I was when I gave my life to Jesus.

I was on my knees…

Next to my bed…

It was in the spring of 1996…

I don’t remember the day, the hour or the minute it took place.

I didn’t think this was a bad thing, until I started to hear others talk about their moment of conversion.  They told tales of fireworks (figurative), warm feelings, immediate deliverance from drugs (or any other thing that held them captive) and countless other things that made it a moment they would never forget.  After hearing all these wonderful stories I started to think that something was wrong with me.  Maybe I wasn’t born again.

Then I had a dream…  Not the MLK kind, but the I’m asleep and having a dream kind.

In the dream, I was sitting on a small stool.  The kind you would keep in a kitchen to help you reach the top shelves in the cabinets.  I sat there looking up at a man who was sitting at a table.  He was alone and I knew he was waiting for me to ask him a question.  I was aware this man was Jesus and I could only ask one question.  I was taking my time to make sure my one question would not be wasted.  Then it came to me and I asked…

How can I know that I am saved?

He lifted his hand and made a gesture of dismissal (but not) and an intense weight or pressure came upon me.  It knocked me off the stool to the floor.  The feeling I had was immense joy or happiness and it was far greater than any feeling I have ever had in my life.  Then I awoke.

As I was lying in bed thinking about the dream a still small voice said to me, “That’s how much I love you and that’s how you can know you are saved.”

This alone was enough to put me in a place to never question my salvation.  However, I serve a God that does exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.

The Mrs. & I were in New York City attending a student recital at the Juilliard School when God showed up and did a repeat performance.  I was in my seat enjoying the music and all the sudden a force just pushed me deeper into my seat.  Tears of joy and happiness began to flow and I could not stop them.   This experience lasted for about 3 minutes, but the memory has remained.

A number of years have passed and my walk with God has continued.  Each time I read his word I am reminded that He loves me.  I know this to be a fact, but sometimes I must make an effort to remember…

How much God loves me!!!

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Jesus is Universal Health Care…

Posted by onemansbeliefs on November 26, 2009

Universal Health Care (UHC) has become a big topic of conversation among the peoples of the United States.  Some individuals are for and some are against legislation that would possibly make the government the largest health care provider in U.S.  I’ve heard arguments for and against, but the thing I wish to address here is the statement that all Christians should be in favor of UHC.  I’ve heard this a couple of times during the debating of UHC.

The question is should all Christians support Universal Health Care?

I will not response for all Christians, but I, as a Christian will answer for myself.  I believe Christians should not be in favor of a government-run health care system.

Why?  Because, they should support the Universal Health Care system that is currently in place and is operated by Jesus the Christ and overseen by Jehovah Rapha.  In the following Scriptures we can see the beginning stages of my prefered UHC system.

Matthew 4:24 “And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.

Matthew 12:15 “But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all

Matthew 19:2 “And great multitudes followed him; and he healed them there.”

Luke 4:40 “Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them.”

Luke 9:11 “And the people, when they knew it, followed him: and he received them, and spake unto them of the kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing.”

There is no evidence in the Scripture that Jesus refused to provide healing (healthcare) to anyone that came to Him seeking such.  Has the time of healing and miracles has passed away?  Not at all.  Jesus knew He would be leaving the earth and after His resurrection He told us in…

Mark 16:15-18 “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.  And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”

He left His UHC system in the hands of His followers and we can see by the following Scriptures that it continued to work.  People getting healed through the teaching and preaching of Apostles (Peter and Paul) and table waiters (Philip).

Acts 5:12-16 “And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch.  And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them.  And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.)  Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them.  There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.”

Acts 14:8-10 “And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother’s womb, who never had walked:  The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked.”

Acts 8:5-7 “Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.  And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.  For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed.”

These Scriptures have a couple of things in common.  One is that preaching took place.  Jesus preached the Kingdom of God and repentance.  The Apostles and Philip preached Christ and what Christ preached.  The other is that the people followed or came to the individuals involved and heard their preaching and believed.  The healings we see in the Gospels and the Book of Acts should be happening today.  Why?  We should be preaching what Jesus has done for the world by becoming the sacrifice for all sin.

Isaiah 53:5 “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.”

Psalm 107:20 “He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.”

1 Peter 2:24 “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”

When Christ is preached and people hear and believe, healing is a natural occurence.

What Jesus did for us should not be taken for granted.

It should be preached.

It should be heard.

It should be believed.

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Thanksgiving – A Holiday or Power…

Posted by onemansbeliefs on November 25, 2009

Last year I wrote a post about Thanksgiving and provided a little history about our now celebrated day of thanks.

This year I wanted to touch on the power of thanksgiving, but I do believe that the series of sermons on thanksgiving, called Thanksgiving Victory, taught by my pastor is far better than the words I can type here.  Be that as it may…

In the Bible we are told to give thanks unto God, but, why?

Psalm 107:1 “O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.”

He is good and His mercy endures forever are the words most often used when we are told to give thanks unto God.  Other reasons we are told to give thanks are His righteous judgements and His holiness.  However, I wanted to focus on 2 more reasons which Paul tells us to give thanks and these are found in…

I Cor 15:57 “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

2 Cor 2:14 “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.”

God gives us the victory and causes us to triumph in and through the Lord Jesus Christ.  Seems to be pretty good reasons to give thanks.  This giving of thanks is the trigger for power to be released in our lives.  Why?  Well, when we are walking our lives out we may not see how we can triumph or have victory over present circumstances, but God has already provided these for us.  Our giving thanks is an activation of our faith, belief and trust that God will do what He says He will do.  There is another reason to give thanks to God and it is found in…

II Thess 5:18 “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

Notice that this verse does not say “for every thing.”  Most Christians get this mixed up and believe that we need to thank God for everything in our lives.  No need to give God thanks for sickness, disease, poverty or anything else under the curse of the law.  He has redeemed us from these and has given us the victory over them.  Why give thanks in every thing?  There are 2 reasons.  God has already given us the victory in every situation and giving thanks is the releasing of faith that brings God-given power into our lives.  The last part of the verse gives us the number 1 reason we should give thanks to God…

It is His will.

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To Prove or Not to Prove…

Posted by onemansbeliefs on November 19, 2009

I have read a number of blogs that demand the Christian believer must prove that God exists to those who do not share their belief.  Some of these writers put up convincing arguments why we must submit proof.  However, I like to reference the Word to find the direction I should take in such matters.  In the Scripture, I find a fellow believer who was ordered by unbelievers to quit teaching and preaching Jesus.  Peter’s response is found in…

Acts 5:29 “Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.”

This seems like very good advice, so I went to the Word to see what it says about providing proof that God exists.  Not surprisingly, I found not one single instance where God directed the believer to prove His existence.  If we are not supposed to prove God is, then what?  How about this…

Mark 16:15 “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”

Proclaiming the good news is a far different thing than proving that God does, indeed, exist.  It doesn’t provide evidence for a God, but it does provide a foundation upon which one can build a relationship with our Creator.  It is in the establishing of this relationship that one will receive all the proof they need to believe that there is a God.  We are told in…

John 14:21 “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” and again in John 14:23 “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”

It’s clear to me that God is the one who will provide proof of His existence.  It’s as simple as believing He is, hearing His Word and doing it.  So, if there are any requests for me to provide proof that my Heavenly Father is real, my response is and will always be…

No thanks and have a nice day!!!

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It’s All About Me…

Posted by onemansbeliefs on May 3, 2009

A number of days have passed since I learned about Senator Arlen Specter’s decision to switch party affiliations and the anger his decision created has subsided. I wanted to write something earlier, but I was having difficulty understanding why his betrayal of the Republican Party and those which voted him into office would bother me the way it has. It’s not like this is the first time a politician has left his party and/or his people, so I was not sure why I felt the way I did.

Okay, anger is a bit much, it was more like irritation, frustration and/or disappointment.

Thinking about this over the last few days I kept getting the image of a person that commits adultery. It seems like a stretch, but hang in there. This man ran for office as a Republican and now, in midstream, has switched to the Democratic Party. This could give the illusion that he was elected on false pretenses. I have heard the opinion that he was voting Democratic anyway so no big deal and I might agree, but that was not the reason for his changing suits. He changed parties so he could win re-election. This only days after stating that he would not be leaving the Republican Party. One could conclude that his actions were based on selfishness and the number one tell-tale sign of selfishness is lying…

This is where I have a problem with what he did.

He was elected to serve those which voted for him and the last time I checked there is no place for selfishness in serving. Yet, he put his own interests above the interests of the people which put him in this honorable position. He willingly entered into a relationship with his constituents and then breaks their trust to satisfy his own personal agenda. This is where, I believe, he is no different than an adulterer.

Confession Time: I, at one time, was given to acts of selfishness…

However, as I grow older (and I hope wiser), I have come to believe that selfishness should be eliminated from my life. I exert lots of effort to remove “me” from any situation which I find myself involved, be it home, work or social gatherings. In fact, with “me” removed I find more joy and peace in every place I go. Why have I come to the decision to remove selfishness from my life? I’m glad you asked…

Let me give you two examples…

1. Isaiah 14:12-14, “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”

2. John 4:34 “Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” John 5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” Luke 22:42 “Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.”

I have made the decision to do my best to resemble the one who came to serve and not the one who came to rule. I understand there are those that choose not to believe as I do. Therefore, I offer you two other examples.

You can be like Senator Arlen Specter or you can be like…

ME!!!

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What Love Did…

Posted by onemansbeliefs on April 9, 2009

I’ve been pondering for a number of days about what I should write in celebration of the resurrection of my Lord and Saviour. I’ve had different ideas about the subject and thought about the ways to approach the subject of Jesus’ death and resurrection. However, the words would not come and I couldn’t get beyond the title. As it turns out, even the title has been forsaken for the one you now see.

So, I’ve decided to use the words of the Bible to share what Jesus did for me.

Isaiah 53:3-5 “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 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 50:6 “I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.”

2 Corinthians 5:21 “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

Galatians 3:13 “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:”

Hebrews 9:12, 34 “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.”

Matthew 27:29-31 “And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.”

John 19:34 “But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.”

Psalm 16:10 “For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.”

However, there is good news…

Matthew 28:5-7 “And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.”

I have heard many ask, “Why would a loving God sacrifice His own Son for us?” Those people do not realize they are answering their own question.

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

This is where Love comes in… He did this while I was still his enemy!!!

Romans 5:8 “But God shows and clearly proves His love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

As I celebrate this weekend…

I will remember what the Lord has done for me…
I will remind others that He has done this for them…

I will be eternally grateful for what He endured; that I could become a child of God…

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