Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Sunday, May 18, 2014
I had to write this paper for Apologetics class... And then.. They made me give it as a speech.. :-O
One of my earliest childhood remembrances is when I was about five years old. I must have really liked candy because I was willing to sneak it out of the candy bowl in the cabinet when no one was around. I was sneaky because I didn’t want to get caught. Have you ever done something like this? You knew something was wrong but yet still did it? This is called sinning. We have all sinned, but sin is not a light, fun thing. It is a bad thing with horrible consequences- some now and some later. Wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t have to pay for those sins? Well, maybe there is another way. Justification is the process in which your sins are in a way forgotten, and you can go free. It is the process in which Jesus Christ takes on the punishment for your sins. This is significant because it saves us from our sins. We are going to look at what justification means, the process of it, and what makes it so significant.
My first point- Justification is an act that God does in us by which we become cleansed of our sin. According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, justification is “the act, process or state of being justified by God”. Joyce Meyer, who is a speaker and author, describes justification as being “just as if you’ve never sinned.” Because God is a holy, perfect God, He cannot look upon us when we are living sinful lives. But since God loved the people in the world so much, He came up with a plan that would cleanse us of our sin so He could bridge the gap that our sin had made between Him and us. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”
This leads me to my second point- The process of justification came through God’s Son, Jesus Christ. And mind you, this was not one of His hundreds of sons. This was the only Son He had. And God gave Him willing for you just as John 3:16 says. This Son lived a perfect life which means He never sinned once. He was tempted just as we are, but He never fell into the temptation. And then, He willingly died on the cross for each and every one of us. He then was raised again three days later by God, His Father. What this did for us was give us the opportunity to be free from our sin. You see, when Jesus died, He took every sin that you would ever commit during your whole life and paid for it all. All you have to do is accept His free gift. Romans 10:9 says “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved”. William Gurnall also once said, “We are justified, not by giving anything to God, -what we do,- but by receiving from God, what Christ hath done for us.” It is as simple as that.
My last point- Justification is significant because, without it, we would be faced with eternal punishment instead of eternal life. Because of our sin, we deserve death. But when Jesus died on the cross, He paid for our sin. We no longer have to die for our sins. Romans 5:9 says, “Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.” His death saved us from God’s wrath. We can now be declared righteous if we accept Him. “This is the rock where we stand when the dark clouds gather and the floods lick at our feet. Justification is by grace alone, through faith alone, and in Christ alone” (John Piper).
Looking back years ago to the candy bowl incident, I know that was wrong. God gave everyone a conscience to know what is right and wrong. We have no excuse. That is why when we sin, we must be punished. When we are justified, we are made right in God’s sight. We are no longer guilty in His eyes. God’s plan in sending Jesus Christ to die a sinner’s death made a way for us to be justified. And justification saves us from death. The way has already been paid for you, will you accept this free gift and be justified?
Monday, May 5, 2014
Long time no blogging here?
So, this past Friday and Saturday, I had a leadership conference/meeting with the fellow leaders of AIM. Our assistant director asked me to give a short devotional on Saturday morning.
I thought I might as well share it here. It isn't much, but I hope it may encourage at least one person.
Discipling as a Leader
If we do not disciple, the people we are leading will not be able to reach out to others and becoming disciplers themselves. And there can be little to no growth in them while they are with us.
Jesus’s example: Told us to, Did it/showed us how, His followers grew
Tips on discipling~
- Listen to them
This you know, my beloved brethren. But let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.
- Be encouraging
But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called "Today," lest any one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. Hebrews 3:13
Let them know you appreciate them
Be sure to give them compliments and so on when they do something good
Treat them like you are their friend
- Be caring and patient
And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary. Galatians 6:9
Proverbs 15:1- A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Don’t expect results right away. So don’t give up on them. Be patient. Discipleship takes time.
How much time and effort are you willing to invest in their lives?
- Let the Lord lead you
Let Him guide you and disciple you as you disciple and lead others
It may get discouraging sometimes. In fact, it probably will be.
Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary. Isaiah 40:31
There can also be many rewarding times. Seeing someone grow in the Lord and grow in His image can be so encouraging and rewarding.
- Make a lasting impact.
Are they going to remember you?
Are there lives going to be changed/touched by the Lord working through you?
How will you impact them?
- Do discipleship intentionally.
Look for opportunities to disciple
Do things intentionally to be a discipler
- Be a disciple
Willingly learn and take advantage of letting your own leaders/parents/pastors/etc. (And especially the Lord!!!) disciple you
Jesus was a leader with a lasting impact. He discipled His disciples and they later were able to become leaders themselves and disciple others. It is like a chain. You disciple someone.. They grow, They become a discipler or grow as one.. Etc. Etc.
What kind of leader will you be (or are you)? One that made a lasting impact or just another leader in someone’s life who didn’t help them to grow spiritually?