VIDEO A Constant Invitation

And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. Luke 15:20

The prodigal son was still a far way off. There was no guarantee of his repentance. Perhaps he was returning to demand more money? Yet, in this parable, we see the father rushing toward his son, as soon as he is within sight.

Throughout the Gospels, Jesus is compassionate. His words and power transform and heal one person at a time. Even in His rage and harsh words to the Pharisees and Sadducees, He is motivated by a heart broken over their dead faith and the heavy burdens they are inflicting on others.

Jesus proclaims His desire that no one should perish. As Christians, we not only receive Christ’s compassion for ourselves, but we also get to share it with the world through our actions and words, inviting others to experience Christ for themselves. Who will you show compassion to today?

No matter how low down you are; no matter what your disposition has been; you may be low in your thoughts, words, and actions; you may be selfish; your heart may be overflowing with corruption and wickedness; yet Jesus will have compassion upon you. Dwight L. Moody


July 29, 2018 | Dr. Jack Graham | Reckless Love | Luke 15 | Sunday Service

How Do I Lead Others To Christ?

“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” – Mark 16:15

Every believer is commissioned to bring people to Jesus. The Lord is not asking us to do something impossible or impractical. A faithful witness is one who is credible on a particular subject because of their experience, which shows in their convictions. A witness is also a spokesperson, someone who has something to say on the subject. The character of the Lord and the power of the Holy Spirit working through our lives will give evidence of our genuine Savior, Jesus.

John 3:1-8 tells of the new birth experience of Nicodemus. Anyone desiring to lead another person to Christ needs to be aware of verse 8: “The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, and you don’t know where it comes from or where it’s going. So it is with everyone that is born of the Spirit.” No human being can make this happen. It has to do with the Spirit. In any situation, depend upon the Holy Spirit to present opportunities to minister the truth and life of Jesus. Then, let the Holy Spirit take it from there.

Don’t be disappointed if the person doesn’t show the response that you expected. Recognize that new birth is multi-processed. Our job is to lift Jesus up (John 12:32), and that takes place when we present the love and forgiving grace of God. The Holy Spirit will convict of sin (John 16:8, 9). If we try to impose guilt or coerce a conversion, most people will reject our message. When we invite others to come to the Person of Jesus, telling of His wondrous love and sharing what Jesus has done in our lives, the gentleness of Christ is seen in us, and others will be drawn to Him.

Here are four concepts to remember when leading a person to Christ:

Focus on Jesus as God’s Son and resurrected Savior. Invite the person to “receive” the gift of salvation. (John 3:16; Romans 10:9; Luke 10:20; Revelation 21:27)

Present the promises of acceptance, forgiveness, assurance, and eternal life. We are fully accepted and entirely forgiven. (John 1:12; 6:37, 40)

Invite the seeker to prayer as an action of faith to receive Jesus Christ. Help the person understand what it means to confess and acknowledge Jesus. (John 16:24; Matthew 10:32; Revelation 3:5)

Affirm their obedience to God, and pray a prayer of thanksgiving. Help the new believer get started in their walk with Jesus by providing them with resources and fellowship. (Philippians 1:6)

The Lord will make us effective in evangelism as we watch Him make the way, and then we gently step into the door He opens. There, His presence and power are available to touch the person’s heart and draw to them His love. He will save those we lead to Him.

Original here

Building on Christ

1 Corinthians 3:9-15

Have you ever seen an elaborate, masterfully crafted sandcastle? That’s one of the most delightful experiences of a trip to the beach. The best builders are painstaking in every detail as they craft these beautiful works of art. The towers are straight, the windows are even, and sometimes the outline of individual bricks can be seen on each wall. The end result is often stunning, rivaling the elegance of homes in the wealthiest neighborhoods of the world.

But for all a sandcastle’s splendor, its hours are numbered. From the moment the first grain of sand is set in place, the miniature building is on its way to oblivion. Within hours the details are destroyed by wind, rain, and the incoming tide. There is simply no future for a house of sand.

Sometimes believers’ lives are like sandcastles. Even though everything looks perfect on the outside, their life’s pursuits and activities will be revealed as worthless in the fire of God’s judgment. Although their eternal destiny is secure, they will suffer the loss of heavenly rewards because they used inferior building materials.

The most important thing in life is to make sure we have the right foundation. Church attendance, ministry work, discipleship programs, or community service are no substitute for the rock-solid foundation of faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. We also need to build our life with faithful, obedient service to the Lord. The goal is not to have the most impressive-looking life in this world but to build one that demonstrates our devotion to the Savior who died to rescue us.

Running to Christ, not away from

“The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.” (Proverbs 18:10)

When one realizes that he is lost and that only Christ can save him, he should not delay a moment but come immediately to Christ. There are, in fact, several men in the New Testament who actually ran to Him.

There was the man possessed with a whole legion of demons. “But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him” (Mark 5:6), and Jesus set him free.

Then there was a young man who wanted to learn of Christ. When he found that Jesus was going away, he came “running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” (Mark 10:17). Unfortunately, his sincerity failed when he realized the cost. Zeal without sacrifice is dead, as is faith without works.

There was another wealthy man who was willing to pay the price. “And [Zacchaeus] ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way” (Luke 19:4). The conversion of Zacchaeus was genuine, and he demonstrated it by a changed and sacrificial life.

In Christ’s suffering on the cross, He spoke of His awful thirst, and an unknown observer “ran and filled a spunge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink” (Mark 15:36). Christ will not forget this expression of concern and sympathy.

After His burial, Mary Magdalene came back to tell Peter and John that the tomb was open. “So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. . . . and he saw, and believed” (John 20:4-8).

All who hasten wholeheartedly to Christ, sincerely seeking to know and serve Him, will find salvation in His name, for “the name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.” HMM

Old-Fashioned Horse Sense

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.

—John 14:21

When they want to get blessed, some people try getting worked up psychologically….

Some people try group dynamics….

What is needed is some old-fashioned, salty horse sense. I am sure there are 189 mules in the state of Missouri that have more sense than a lot of the preachers who are trying to teach people how to get the blessing of God in some way other than by the constituted means. When you get people all broken up, dabbing at their eyes and shaking, what is the result? It does not bring them any closer to God. It does not make them love God any better, in accordance with the first commandment. Nor does it give any greater love for neighbors, which is the second commandment. It does not prepare them to live fruitfully on earth. It does not prepare them to die victoriously, and it does not guarantee that they will be with the Lord at last.

The Lord has constituted means. Jesus said in the Gospel of John, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me” (John 14:21).   RRR050-052

Father, keep me from the false ways of attempting to secure Your blessing. Help me to boldly declare the importance of old-fashioned obedience to Your commands. Amen.

 

Through God we shall do valiantly

Through God we shall do valiantly, for He it is that shall tread down our enemies.—Psalm 60:12.

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.—Psalm 51:10.

 

If any man compares his own soul with the picture drawn in the New Testament of what a Christian ought to be; if any man fixes his eye on the pattern of self-sacrifice, of purity, of truth, of tenderness, and measures his own distance from that standard, he might be ready to despair. But fear not, because you are far from being like the pattern set before you; fear not because your faults are painful to think of: continue the battle and fear not. If, indeed, you are content with yourself, and are making no endeavor to rise above the poor level at which you now stand, then there is reason to fear, But if you are fighting with all your might, fear not, however often you may have fallen, however deeply, however ungratefully, however inexcusably. This one thing we can give, and this is what He asks, hearts that shall never cease from this day forward, till we reach the grave, to strive, to be more like Him, to come nearer to Him; to root out from within us the sin that keeps us from Him. To such a battle, brethren, I call you in His name.

Frederick Temple.

 

Just No Need to Stint

The upright shall have good things in possession. Prov. 28:10

The Book of Proverbs is also a Book of Promises. Promises ought to be proverbs among the people of God. This is a very remarkable one. We are accustomed to think of our good things as in reversion, but here we are told that we shall have them in possession.

Not all the malice and cunning of our enemies can work our destruction: they shall fall into the pit which they have digged. Our inheritance is so entailed upon us that we shall not be kept out of it, nor so turned out of the way as to miss it.

But what have we now? We have a quiet conscience through the precious blood of Jesus. We have the love of God set upon us beyond all change. We have power with God in prayer in all time of need. We have the providence of God to watch over us, the angels of God to minister to us, and, above all, the Spirit of God to dwell in us. In fact, all things are ours. “Whether things present or things to come: all are yours.” Jesus is ours. Yea, the divine trinity in unity is ours. Hallelujah. Let us not pine and whine, and stint and slave, since we have good things in possession. Let us live on our God and rejoice in Him all the day. Help us, O Holy Ghost!