Tuesday, 1/7/20 – Pressing on…

Surrender to Greatness

achievement confident free freedom

The Christian is one who has made that commitment spoken of yesterday.* The Christian has received the message of the gospel and – more than that – has believed Christ to be Whom He said He was, the Messiah, Saviour of souls, Lord of all: God in flesh. The Christian has invited the Spirit of God to indwell him and God has been true to His Word and begun a transformative work in that person… a rebirth… not natural, or by human resolution, but a rebirth sparked and maintained by God.

The Christian walks with an awareness of “Christ within them, their hope of glory.” (see Col. 1:27). The One Greater than all angels or demons, the One Greater than anything one might imagine now lives within the Christian. As John remarkably understates “Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4).

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The Christian is now a “little Christ” in this world. “We have this treasure in earthen vessels,” wrote Paul (1 Cor. 4:7). Our effort is small, but that Greatness of God at work within us can multiply that small effort times upon times, Jesus Himself has told us “He who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do.” (John 14:12).

It is all about our surrender of what we have into the hands of that One who is Greater, our Saviour.

Scripture has multiple examples of this. Here are just a few…

• Surrender some waterpots – Jesus fills them with wine (John 2:1-12).
• Surrender a small lunch – Jesus multiplies it to feed 5,000 (John 6:1-14).
• Surrender a face washing – Jesus honors the obedience with restored sight John 9:1-7).
• Surrender a closed tomb stone – Jesus causes the dead man inside to live again (John 11:38-44).
• Surrender a donkey – Jesus makes it His chariot (Matt. 21:1-11).
• Surrender a spare room – Jesus makes it a place preeminent (Luke 22:7-12).
• Surrender a fishnet – Jesus fills it with fish (John 21:1-14).

What will you surrender to Jesus today?

More tomorrow…

* see yesterday’s blog

To hear Pastor Andrew’s complete message, go to the Lincoln Baptist Church website and look under ‘Sermons Online’ for the Jan. 5 message.

Monday, 1/6/20 – Pressing on…

Fill in the blank…

blue and red superman print tank top shirt

Tommy: “Betcha my dad is stronger than your dad!”
Billy: “No way! My dad can lift a motorbike!”
Tommy: “My dad can lift two motorbikes – one in each hand!”
Billy: “Oh yeah! Well my dad could do that with someone sitting on each bike!!”
Tommy: “My dad can do all that while riding on a third bike!!!”

Well, you get the idea. Every kid want to believe in the all-surpassing greatness of their father. I wonder from where they get that desire? Could it be from just a teeny bit of that image of God in us that whispers “You are an offspring of a Great One! You are a child of the Eternal and Almighty God of all creation.” Could it be?

sky space dark galaxy

Well, we are such creatures, though many of us are at present estranged from Him. Jesus came as God among us to teach us this very truth. To remind us of our rightful Father. To teach us to pray, “Our Father in Heaven…” (Matt. 6:9). “The Father Himself loves you…” (John 16:27) He said, and “…it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom” (Luke 12:32). He also said, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).

person sky silhouette night

Jesus is greater than all! In fact, this was the theme of Pastor Andrew’s message this recent Sunday. “Jesus is Greater Than ___________.” You may fill in the blank and whatever you write will be true! You don’t find many open ended statements like that! But it is true. Jesus is the Eternal expression of God, the “Word” made flesh awhile to communicate God to us (see John 1:1-14). Through Jesus the universe was made and by Him it is sustained (v.2,3). Paul wrote “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Col. 1:17).

Yes, Jesus is greater than all, yet pleased to dwell within any who turn from self and sin and make Him their Lord instead. Though He is infinitely greater than you He will not force Himself upon you. You alone hold that power to refuse or receive Him.

John writes,

He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” (John 1:11-13).

Wow!

More tomorrow…

Wednesday, 1/1/20 – Pressing on…

Do you know…

20191230_115329From the late 1960s through to the 1980s a Public Service Announcement ran on TV stations across North America. Moments prior to the 10 o-clock evening news a placard would appear with voiced-over narrative stating the hour and asking parents this one simple question, “Do you know where your children are?”

The ad was designed to provoke awareness in the minds of potentially irresponsible parents. These days these children are now parents themselves. Many, never having learned parental accountability as a child, think nothing of allowing their own children to run wild.

apple applications apps cell phone

Ask some of these same parents, or single parents, “Do you know where your cell phone is?” and you may get an immediate reply… it’s right there beside them, or in use in their hands. Ask, “Do you know where your wallet (or purse) is?” and most will be able to tell you. We keep tabs on what we value.

Jesus said, “Abide [Remain] in Me” (John 15:4)… “Apart from me you can do nothing” (v. 5).

Paul urged the believers in Thessalonica to “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:16). — Is that possible?! There’s no getting around it, the Greek word, ἀδιαλείπτως literally means: without intermission, incessantly, without ceasing.

The disciples walking to Emmaus did not immediately recognize that Jesus walked with them (Luke 24:16). We too in times of stress or distraction easily forget this. We must train ourselves to be ever Christ conscious, ever in prayerful ‘sync’ with Him.

aerial photo of vehicles in the city

Express to Him your gratitude for every little blessing. Talk to Him while doing your mundane chores. Remind yourself of His workings past and present in your life. Sing to Him. Pray for those around you when in checkout lines, waiting rooms, traffic jams. When you mess up, admit it to Him immediately. Finally, just listen. God desires to speak with you. Perhaps an inner voice, a scripture, the words of a Christian friend, or even the beauty of Creation.

Can a mother forget the baby at her breast…” God asks His people through the prophet Isaiah, “… and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!” (Isa. 49:15). As unlikely as it ought be for a mother to forget her children, there is no such possibility with God. We are in His thoughts at all times.

How often is He in your thoughts? Do you know where Jesus is?

Press on…

To hear Pastor John’s complete message, go to the Lincoln Baptist Church website and look under ‘Sermons Online’ for the Dec. 29 message.

Tuesday, 12/31/19 – Pressing on…

Jesus in the everyday…

20191230_063938I used to drive or hop a bus to the Regent Mall in winter months, not to shop but just to walk. It’s warm corridors free of ice and snow made a lovely alternative to battling the frigid and treacherous elements outdoors. Arriving an hour or so before the shops within it opened was a special treat — wide corridors devoid of frenzied shoppers with only the occasional cleaning person or like-minded walker.

It took about fifteen minutes to walk the entire mall, and when I needed a break there was a Starbucks at one end and a McDonald’s at the other. Sometimes I’d stay the morning, relaxing with a snack and watching the people.

person holding opened book

It was an interesting experience to read scripture, pray and meditate on the Lord while at the mall. I’d look at the masses of shoppers and see them as Christ saw them, dearly loved souls for whom He was not willing any should perish, yet whose hearts were far from Him, chasing other ‘gods.’

Being Christ-conscious in the marketplace. This is in fact the calling of every believer… to not only be thinking on Him, but to be living in Him, and through demonstration and words, testimony and challenge bring Christ into the consciousness of all.

Jesus in the everyday… Did not He command us,

“You are the salt of the earth… You are the light of the world… let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matt. 5:13-16).
“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father[a] is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” (John 2:15-17).

Bring Jesus into your world today.

More tomorrow…

To hear Pastor John’s complete message, go to the Lincoln Baptist Church website and look under ‘Sermons Online’ for the Dec. 29 message.

Monday, 12/30/19 – Pressing on…

The Answer…

Jesus! What a Name! Believers swear by it; unbelievers swear with it. “Jesus!” desperate souls cry out to Him. Saints end their prayers “…in Jesus’ Name.” and sing, “Jesus… there’s just something about that Name…” Many end their lives opposing it, relentlessly aware of its  unavoidable hounding approach.

brown wooden stair beside brown wooden panel

“You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus,” said Gabriel to Mary (Luke 1:31). “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” (Matt. 1:21a). the Angel likewise told Joseph.

“He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High” (Luke 1:32). “He will save his people from their sins.” (Matt. 1:21b).

Of Him Paul wrote,

“…God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the Name that is above every name, that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil. 2:9-11).

“He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Col. 1:17).

During His brief approximately three years of ministry Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” (John 14:6).

20191229_175018Apologist Ravi Zacharias notes, “There are 4 fundamental questions of life, questions of our origin, meaning, morality, and destiny: Where did I come from? Why am I here? How should I live? Where am I going?” Jesus is the Answer to them all!

Where did I come from? You were created by God the Father (“In the beginning God created…”) by the workings of God the Son (The Word, “And God said…”) and God the Holy Spirit (“…and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters”)

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” (John 1:1-3)

Why am I here? You are here to be loved by God and to enter into a joyous relationship with Him. Jesus is the Life!

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16).

How should I live? You should live by following the example of Jesus and guidance of the Holy Spirit.
You should walk in truth. Truth IS universal, and Jesus is that Truth.

“…In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth.” (John 18:37).

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” (3 John 4).

“But when He, the Spirit of Truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come.” (John 16:13)

Where am I going? If you are placing your faith in Jesus, you are heading to a wonderful, eternal home in eternity…

“…I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going… I am the Way” (John 14:3-4, 6).

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Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He is all we need, the Answer to all our questions, and He desires a daily, ongoing relationship with you!

More tomorrow…

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

shallow focus photography of religious figurines

“For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isa. 9:6)

Today let us reserve this blog to the Lord…

The Birth of Jesus

julius caesar marble statue

“In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

white and black goats

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

gold statue

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.”   (Luke 2:1-20).

20181002_142518Wishing you Jesus this Christmas and evermore…

John McLean thebrokenrunner 

 

Tuesday, 12/24/19 – Pressing on…

Krypton Explodes!

20191221_055558Greta Thunberg was being discussed on the radio this morning as I struggled through my stretches. “Our planet is dying!” one participant urged passionately. “But we’re not listening!” said another. “Well, not enough,” at least.

The discussion made me think of my younger comic book years… of Superman and his cosmic origin. It seems we’re no wiser than the inhabitants of his native Krypton who disbelieved Jor-El’s warnings of that planet’s imminent destruction much to their eventual regret and doom. Yet more – we don’t have a Jor-El and Lara… no infant Kal-El to hope in.

But wait! We DO have an EL SHADDAI (All-Sufficient One, Lord God Almighty – Gen 17:1). We DO have an EL ELYON (Most High God – Gen 14:18.). We DO have an EL OLAM (Everlasting God, God of Eternity, God of the Universe, God of Ancient Days – Gen 21:33). And best of all we have HIS Son… Himself… Jesus!

white sparklings

El Shaddai: the Almighty, the God who freely gives nourishment and blessing, our sustainer. El Elyon: the God most high, the sovereign God, the God of majesty and highest preeminence, the most exalted God. El Olamin: the everlasting God, the eternal God, the God Who always was, now is, and forever will be.

All these are Names for God our Father, and it is He Who loving us, sent into this world His Son… Himself become flesh… to save us not only from the destruction of the planet but from the destruction of our selves.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. (John 3:16-18)

architecture art cathedral chapel

This is what Christmas celebrates. God has come to us to save us! But like those of Krypton we must believe, and act.

Humankind experienced something like this in the days of Noah and their disbelief of the messenger resulted in their destruction. Christ has warned that the end days would be something similar “As in the days if Noah…” (Matt. 24:37-39). The warning has been given in the Psalms and reiterated in Hebrews: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.” (Ps. 95:7-8; Heb. 3:15 Psalm 95:7-8)

Be a ‘wise’-man… a ‘wise’-woman… Seek Jesus today!

“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.” (Rev. 21:1).

Merry Christmas!

To hear Don Longworth’s complete message, go to the Lincoln Baptist Church website and look under ‘Sermons Online’ for the Dec. 22 message.