buildingbodies4christ

building on the foundation of Jesus Christ

Archive for the tag “Foundation”

Stand Firm

This morning’s Bible passage was from Daniel 3 concerning the three men and their fiery trial. The King had set up a golden image for everyone to worship, but the three Jewish men refused to do so. They knew that worshipping an idol was forbidden by God.

In Deuteronomy, Moses referred to God as a jealous God. Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land.

So when the men were given the opportunity to worship the idol, they still refused even though it meant they would be thrown into a blazing furnace. They were convinced that God would rescue them, but even if God didn’t they would still stand firm in their conviction. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

Conviction. Do you have that type of conviction? Even if? If everything you know to be true, do you still stand firm? Many people throughout the world have that type of conviction. They stand firm even if their lives are threatened. We are at a big disadvantage in this western world. Hard to believe, right? However, we have many things that distract us from worshiping God. Our conviction may not stand up if we are threatened.

This week, I read the book Case for Christ by Lee Strobel. He was an investigative reporter who decided to investigate the evidence for Jesus. He was an atheist whose wife became a Christian. He wanted to disprove this Christian cult (as he considered Christianity). So for two years or so, he followed the evidence. In the end, the evidence led him to the truth. The evidence was overwhelming that this Jesus did live; He did die; and He did rise again. The evidence was enough to convince Lee that it took “more faith to maintain atheism than to trust in Jesus of Nazareth.”

Many lives have been changed throughout the centuries through this Gospel message. As an investigative journalist, Lee knew how to trace the evidence – he had seen too many trials with evidence stacked up against the defendant that conviction was just a matter of when not if. Evidence can change the whole trial. Testimony too is an important key to conviction. But evidence in the case seals the deal.

After reading Lee’s book, it just gave me a deeper feeling of gratitude for what Jesus had done for me. Jesus did suffer and die for me – and you. It was a gruesome death. It was all the wickedness poured out on Him by every lash He received – tearing skin and muscle and every fiber from his head to his knees. He took that pain and suffering on for every human heart that beats even if those hearts don’t beat for Him. His pain and suffering was enough to cover every sin committed – past, present and future. His sacrifice was enough to cleanse every heart and make every heart whole.

There was a period in my life where I doubted this Christianity thing. I saw the hypocrites in church and wondered how this Christianity was supposed to be true. A man once said to me that he didn’t want to go to heaven if the “Christians” were going to be there. I understood what he said because I had thought those same thoughts somewhere down the line of my faith journey. However, we don’t follow Christians, we follow Jesus. Christians are just a work in progress.

My faith journey didn’t stop with the doubts; it just made me want to know more. My parents and my grandparents were convinced that Jesus was who He said He was. But I couldn’t rely on their faith to help me when times got rough. I had to have my own conviction that this Jesus was the real deal.

We can’t stop at the questions and doubts. God doesn’t want us to quit searching and seeking. Actually, we are told when we search and seek, we will find when we search with our whole heart. God is after our whole heart because He is a jealous God who doesn’t want to share our hearts with any competition. Does that seem too harsh? God so loved us that He sent His Son to die for us. He earned every heart by the strips on His back. It was a pretty harsh way to die. But He did it for our sakes because there is no other way to God but by the blood of Jesus.

Are you convinced about this Jesus? Do you still have doubts? Seek out the evidence. It’s never too late to find Him. And you’re never too broken to be fixed. Jesus is the real deal. I am convinced of it. I hope you are too. When the fiery trials come, let us stand firm on the foundation of Jesus.

I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud
and mire;
he set my feet
on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song
in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the
Lord
and put their trust
in him. Psalm 40:1-3

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The Warnings

A couple of weeks ago, I started reading a book called The Harbinger by Jonathan Cahn. I started one afternoon and couldn’t put the book down (or close the laptop as the case may be). I read it until I got through all the nine harbingers. The book concerns the 9/11 devastation and the aftermath. The story is written as fiction but reveals the facts of the 9/11 attacks. The book basically states America is under God’s judgment. God used the attacks on 9/11 as His warning to us before judgment comes.

Soon after the attacks, I remember thinking – whether this was revelation from the Holy Spirit, I don’t know  – I believed God’s hand was taken off of America temporarily; the hedge of protection was dropped briefly. I also remember hearing the news then Senator John Edwards gave a speech on the anniversary of 9/11 in 2004; he wanted to offer the country “hope” through the Scripture found in Isaiah 9:10. The Scripture is actually foretelling the destruction of Israel. He was not the only one though that used this same Scripture. The Speaker of the House used it as well the day after 9/11. According to the book, all the prophecies mentioned in the Scripture have come true for America. The Scripture was spoken over Israel in Isaiah’s time. According to the author, with the ones who spoke the Scripture connected America to the same judgment.

Was this God’s warning of coming judgment for America? I don’t know; time will tell. But this I do know, we have not heeded any warnings to correct our course. I stopped reading to go to bed after the nine harbingers. The next morning I began on the “second” warning. As I was reading I began to get a little anxious. The night before, I hadn’t been anxious because everything had already taken place. The more I was reading about the next warning, the more I realized there could be another major “shake” in our future. I stopped reading for lunch. I put aside any anxious thoughts. I sat down with my lunch and tuned into a sermon. The sermon was on fear. The sermon was on focus, faith and fear. Where we put our focus will either cause our faith to grow or our fear to grow. Fear says “what if” but faith says “even if.” Even if something bad happens, God has already said “He will never leave me or forsake me.” Where is my focus?

One thing I know for sure, my financial picture does not make me secure. God has been working on this concept for the last three years with me. When I was anxious about the future possibilities, I realized I was looking again at the concept of my financial security being shaken again. Do I sell everything and hide in a cave? Or do I face these uncertain times with faith that God will get me through it once again? Even if I lose everything, God is my security. He is my Deliverer. We might be in for another shake that will expose our true foundations; only God knows the future. But if judgment comes, I am secure in Him. I know where my security lies. My foundation is built on the Rock.

As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well-built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.” Luke 6:47-49

Foundations and Buildings

I have recently heard two messages on both the foundations of God and Jesus building the church. I don’t believe in consequences. I believe God is giving us a word. Jesus said over two thousand years ago that He is building His church. He is still doing it today. The church has grown from 120 people when Jesus started to millions today. The foundation was laid through Jesus’ ministry. His words came from God. He spoke the truth of God. Then He laid down on a cross. He is building on the foundation that cannot be shaken. It is the Truth spoken by Jesus and through Jesus.

I listen to several sermons a week through different ministries. God is building a firm foundation in me. I am hearing the truth through scripture, the spoken word and the written word. God is building a church through each person that is willing to listen, learn and put the Word into practice. God is not a god of duplication but multiplication. His church is not dying but thriving. There are multiple churches out there in the world that are bringing the Truth to light and people are responding. God is at work.

I am in the process of becoming ready to join the movement in whatever role I am to play. God is preparing my heart. He is preparing my mind. He is preparing my body. He is at work. He is not preparing me for a ministry that is duplicated but is unique to what He is calling me to. Beth Moore recently spoke about rebuilding the temple in Ezra 3. She spoke about the same foundation was used to rebuild temple, the same materials, same architectural plans, but the temple came out different. God didn’t dwell the same in the second temple as He did the first. We are in the temple age where He now dwells in us. He doesn’t dwell the same with everyone. Whoever is ready, let him receive the Holy Spirit for the greater work God is doing. Join the movement – build the church. Others are waiting to be introduced to Jesus.

For those that have ears, let them hear.

Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God. Revelation 3:5,7

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