Have you ever read this verse and thought, how can we stop sinning, is it even possible to stop? If it is not possible, John says we are not in Him and therefore lost. That is not very encouraging.
I ended last week’s message with the rhetorical question, are the natural and manmade disasters the worst that can happen, even war? As bad as they are as listed in Matthew 24, it is interesting that Jesus first says: Matthew 24:4a “Watch out that no one deceives you. Perhaps deception is
Where is our focus?
Isaiah was right when he said: Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. Isaiah 5:20.
I’m taking a break from my miniseries on the snake in the grass to report some very good news if you haven’t heard, revival. Something many Christians have been praying for, for decades. How far will it reach, how long will it last, how will it change America and beyond no one knows , only time will tell. What can we do? Pray that God would pour out his Spirit of revival on North Iowa colleges, universities, and churches. I know there will be skeptics and nay sayers, do not be one, pray for revival. Read the few clips I copied and be encouraged. When God begins something no one can stop it.
The Look of Faith
Last week we discovered the antivenom for snake bites delivering the “sting of death.” It was the brass serpent lifted up on a pole. Like the ancient Hebrews we too have been stung with the ‘sting of death’ and it leads to eternal death if ignored or with improper treatment. The antivenom for sin is nothing but the blood of Jesus as he was lifted up on a cross and paid the price for our sin – death. Galatians 3:22 Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.
The Healing Snake
Last week we looked at an epidemic of snake bites leaving many to die a slow and painful death. The Hebrews cried out to Moses for God to stop them, but He did not, instead He instructed Moses to do something. He was instructed to set up a pole, fashion a brass serpent and place it on the pole. The only thing required was for those who had gotten the sting of death were to look at it for the venom’s antidote. That’s it, look at the bronze snake on a pole and live! God was gracious by providing a simple physical healing and salvation from certain death. The only requirement was obedience to God’s word. Simple, right? I wonder how many obeyed. Perhaps some thought it was a joke or too simple. How would looking at a brass snake do anything?
When outside there is something we do not need to fear this time of the year. During the spring when the sun is warm, the snow has receded, the ground has thawed and life bursts forth after a long cold winter it is not uncommon when walking through the grass, flower bed or garden to see a legless reptile slithering away. For many the sight of a snake strikes fear and panic in their minds. Even though garter snakes are harmless, how might you respond to a dangerous snake such as a cobra, rattlesnake, copperhead, water moccasin or coral snake. Any of those would catch our attention.
Marks of True Faith
Reputation: a favorable and publicly recognized name or standing for merit, achievement, or reliability. (Dictionary.com) A reputation is something that is established over time with consistency, but can be tarnished in no time flat.
What will it take?
What will it take for some people to believe that Jesus is God, the savior of the world; to believe he is the way, the truth, and the life? Will it take a sign, an answered prayer, a vision, or a miracle? Would an unbeliever recognize a sign or a miracle; after all it could be a coincidence or luck. Perhaps the best sign and miracle of all would be someone rising from the dead.
Are You Thirsty?
We all know what it is to be hungry and thirsty. Our stomachs and mouths tell us when to eat and drink. We also know what happens when we do not eat or drink. People in third world countries experiencing starvation or malnutrition show signs of sickness, child development is hindered and many more problems often resulting in death.