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Alive

Well we just got through the month of October and in doing so Halloween was just a few days ago. I guess Halloween was always alright, but it was not really my favorite holiday. One reason is that I am not one who likes spooky things, nor do I like to get scared. In fact, I can’t hardly watch T.V. commercials for that show “The Walking Dead” without having nightmares. There is just something about having the undead chasing me and trying to eat my flesh that creeps me out.

There is one nice thing about these movies and shows. You know who the bad guys are. There is no mistaking those who are truly alive versus those who are the walking dead. This is true in the spiritual world as well. In the book of Mark in Chapter 12 Jesus was tested once again about doctrinal issues. This one in particular is about whether there is such a thing as resurrection. Jesus responds with a glaring truth in verse 27; God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. Now of course Jesus is speaking of those who are resurrected physically to eternal life, but there is also the truth that God is only the God of the spiritually resurrected.

In other words, not everyone belongs to God like it is mistaught in our society today. I John 3:10 tells us that there will be evidence of who belongs to God and who belongs to the devil. Those who belong to God will have been spiritually resurrected to newness of life. They will not be the walking dead.

We as followers of Jesus have to fulfill our ministry of watchmen on the wall by proclaiming the only hope that is in Jesus. To see the dead resurrected to this life we call following Jesus. Family, if you are a follower of Jesus you have been given an amazing and powerful life to live. Let me challenge you today…LIVE IT!



Reputation

How are you known to others? That is a good question. We call it a person’s reputation. I can’t think of anyone that I know that doesn’t truly care about their reputation. Nobody wants to be thought of in a negative light. We want to be thought of in positive ways. The Bible even tells us that those who want to serve as pastors and deacons need to be people of good reputation. The Lord teaches us that we should be a people of good reputation.

Today though I want us to look at our reputation in another way, and that is what is our reputation to our enemy? What does the devil and his little imps think about us? In Acts chapter 19 there was an event where there were those who tried to do an exorcism and they called out the demon “by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.” The demon responded in a chilling way, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you? These poor brothers then got the daylights beat out of them.

The enemy absolutely knew who Jesus was, it had even heard of Paul, but these guys had no reputation. Earlier in Acts chapter 16 Paul and Silas were being followed by a girl possessed by a demon and telling fortunes. The demon kept calling out that “these men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.” Paul and Silas’ reputations were getting around and the enemy knew what they were all about.

This brings up a very good question. What is your reputation among the enemy of our soul? Does the enemy take us seriously or does he even know our name? You see I believe the Bible teaches us that our faithfulness to Christ will put us on the enemies’ radar. In my mind I like to imagine the enemy cringing every time I am around one of his captives because they know that the words of salvation and freedom will be spoken.   Oh sure, I am like everyone else, I want to be liked and have a good reputation among people. Yet when it comes to the enemy, I want a different kind of reputation. I want the enemy to cry out “this is one of the servants of the Most High proclaiming the way of salvation, keep away, keep away.”

That is my hope anyway.

What about you? What do you think your reputation is to the enemy? Are you a thorn in his side? Does he dread every time you are in the presence of a lost person knowing that the first opportunity you get you are going to proclaim the way of salvation?  Then there is the other question, does the enemy even know you exist? Here is what I know; when you have a horrible reputation among the enemy, your reputation in heaven is great. Soldiers of the cross rise to the battle, the enemy is real. Let us be a thorn in his side. Let us have a reputation among the enemy for the Glory of the King.



This Life

I’m not sure if you have noticed this, but it seems to me that this world is becoming less tolerant and more hostile. There was a day when people could sit around a table and discuss ideas and thoughts. They may not all agree, but they would listen and at least try to understand and respect where someone was coming from. It sure seems like those days are over. I will read news articles and then scroll down and look to see the comments that are made. That is usually a mistake. I begin to read the venom and hatred in which people respond to one another. We no longer want to discuss and learn from one another. We just want to insult and tear one another down for having a different perspective.

This is especially true when it comes to the truth of who Jesus is. There was a day when just about everyone knew there was a God. They also knew that Jesus lived and died on a cross and the truth is that even most people believed that He died for them. Now that didn’t mean they had trusted Him as Savior, but they knew the truth. Yet today just the mere mention of the name of Jesus and people will lose their minds. I guess that makes sense because we were told that the days would grow more evil as the end draws near. My friends the world and our society are becoming more and more evil. This makes sharing Jesus a little more intimidating because people will not just say they don’t want to hear, no, they will verbally try to rip you to shreds.

The early church did not have it any better, in fact they may have had it even worse than we do. At least for today the worst that people can do is insult us. In the days of the early church it could cost you your life. We see this in the book of Acts in chapter 5. The Apostles were arrested because of two things, through the poser of the Holy Spirit they healed people and they would tell people about Jesus the Christ. They would tell that Jesus was the reason any of these miracles could occur. To thank them the Sadducees had the Apostles arrested. What is cool is that in the middle of the night an angel came and opened up the prison doors and let them out. I want us to look at what the angel did not tell them to do and then what he did tell them to do. The angel did not tell them to run for the hills. He did not tell them to hide. This angel told the Apostles to go into the very place where the people had them arrested would be and then speak to the people “the words of this life.”

This is extremely important for us to grab. The instruction was to tell people about “this life.” That being a Christian is more than just praying a prayer. That being a Christian is to be a follower of Jesus the Christ. That the life we now live is totally different than the life we used to live. There is and must be a distinction in the way we live, and in all honesty, there must be an explanation to people on why. Church let us go out and speak to the people all the words of this life. Let us do so unapologetically.



This Life

I’m not sure if you have noticed this, but it seems to me that this world is becoming less tolerant and more hostile. There was a day when people could sit around a table and discuss ideas and thoughts. They may not all agree, but they would listen and at least try to understand and respect where someone was coming from. It sure seems like those days are over. I will read news articles and then scroll down and look to see the comments that are made. That is usually a mistake. I begin to read the venom and hatred in which people respond to one another. We no longer want to discuss and learn from one another. We just want to insult and tear one another down for having a different perspective.

This is especially true when it comes to the truth of who Jesus is. There was a day when just about everyone knew there was a God. They also knew that Jesus lived and died on a cross and the truth is that even most people believed that He died for them. Now that didn’t mean they had trusted Him as Savior, but they knew the truth. Yet today just the mere mention of the name of Jesus and people will lose their minds. I guess that makes sense because we were told that the days would grow more evil as the end draws near. My friends the world and our society are becoming more and more evil. This makes sharing Jesus a little more intimidating because people will not just say they don’t want to hear, no, they will verbally try to rip you to shreds.

The early church did not have it any better, in fact they may have had it even worse than we do. At least for today the worst that people can do is insult us. In the days of the early church it could cost you your life. We see this in the book of Acts in chapter 5. The Apostles were arrested because of two things, through the poser of the Holy Spirit they healed people and they would tell people about Jesus the Christ. They would tell that Jesus was the reason any of these miracles could occur. To thank them the Sadducees had the Apostles arrested. What is cool is that in the middle of the night an angel came and opened up the prison doors and let them out. I want us to look at what the angel did not tell them to do and then what he did tell them to do. The angel did not tell them to run for the hills. He did not tell them to hide. This angel told the Apostles to go into the very place where the people had them arrested would be and then speak to the people “the words of this life.”

This is extremely important for us to grab. The instruction was to tell people about “this life.” That being a Christian is more than just praying a prayer. That being a Christian is to be a follower of Jesus the Christ. That the life we now live is totally different than the life we used to live. There is and must be a distinction in the way we live, and in all honesty, there must be an explanation to people on why. Church let us go out and speak to the people all the words of this life. Let us do so unapologetically.