Tag Archives: personal relationship with God

WHAT? A CHRISTIAN? WHO IS THAT? 051315

[The following is an excerpt from the Kairos Talk: A Christian]

Silhouette illustration of a man praying under the lightWhen we follow Jesus, we learn to love, because Jesus is in our hearts. We begin to see with Jesus’ eyes, and hear with Jesus’ ears, and feel with Jesus’ heart.  We’re not struggling to love others, to love ourselves and to love God, because Jesus’ Spirit is inside our hearts loving others through us.

So how in the world do we reach the point of having Jesus live His eternal life in us?  We have to give up.  We have to quit trying to do good and do right and never make mistakes.  If you finally get that message, that you can’t do it on your own, you can’t do it in your own power, you cannot possibly be good enough to satisfy God, and you accept the gift of Jesus’ death on the cross, and surrender yourself to Him, THEN you can start the journey of following Jesus.

Here’s the central message of this talk.   We’re all a bunch of pieces of manure.  We stink.  And what’s worse, we’re not getting any better.  It’s not hard to see that without God we’re not going to make it out of here alive.  And I don’t mean this prison.  I mean this life, my life, your life, in this world.  The only way we’re going to make it is if we humble ourselves and accept Jesus as our Savior, and start letting Jesus live His life in us.

FORGIVENESS CEREMONY.050615

forgive yourselfIn the Kairos program we focus a lot of attention on forgiveness.   We do it for two reasons: 1] because in the Bible Jesus devotes  a lot of attention to it; and 2] because in the prisons, there are a lot of people who really need it.

To bring this subject into focus: in Matthew 6:9-15, the Lord’s Prayer, forgiveness is a major point of the whole prayer.  In verse 12, it says, “Forgive us our trespasses (sins, debts) as we forgive those who trespass against us.”  And we usually think the prayer ends with verse 13, “And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one.  For Yours is the kingdom .  .”

But that’s not really the end, because immediately, without taking a breath, Jesus adds, “If you forgive others their trespasses, then God will forgive you; but if you don’t forgive others, then He won’t forgive you.’  (Isn’t it interesting that He doesn’t make any comments about any other verses in the prayer, only about forgiveness.) Continue reading

I’M SOOOO SORRY.042015

man lawn mowing1 Samuel 15:22-23: Samuel said, “Does the Lord delight as much in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the Lord? Surely, to obey is better than sacrifice, to pay attention is better than the fat of rams.  Indeed, rebellion is like witchcraft, and stubborn arrogance is idolatry. Because you have rejected this message from the Lord, he has rejected you from being king.”

This passage comes from the story of King Saul and the prophet Samuel, when God told Saul to take his army and kill all the Amalekites; man, woman and child; and destroy all the plunder, all the stuff they captured in the battle.  Turns out, Saul did not obey. He brought back the best of the sheep and cattle supposedly to sacrifice to the Lord; and he even failed to execute Agag, the king of the Amalekites.  God was very angry, so He sent Samuel to tell Saul what was going to happen. Continue reading

WHO IS YOUR MASTER? 041815

Business conceptMatthew 6:24 “Jesus: No one can serve two masters. If you try, you will wind up loving the first master and hating the second, or vice versa. People try to serve both God and money—but you can’t. You must choose one or the other.” (VOICE)  The old versions, like KJV, say “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” (Mammon = riches)

If you can’t serve both, then you must choose.  Or as I often say, “You get to choose.”  Do you want to serve money and stuff, or do you want to serve the Creator and Ruler of the Universe? Continue reading

Don’t Make Me Leave You. 041715

Young smiling woman with her teen daughterRuth 1:16-17: But Ruth said [to Naomi], “Don’t force me to leave you; don’t make me go home. Where you go, I go; and where you live, I’ll live. Your people are my people, your God is my god; where you die, I’ll die, and that’s where I’ll be buried, so help me God—not even death itself is going to come between us!” The Message

You probably heard this story, about Ruth and Naomi.  Naomi was from Israel, but because there was a famine, she and her husband and two sons moved to Moab, where the two sons married, one of them to Ruth, a girl from Moab.  Continue reading

WHERE IS YOUR TREASURE? 041615

Coin. Coin pyramid.“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there your heart will be too.”  Matt 6:19-21

Le Christ du Corcovado et la Baie de RioSo I’ve got a few questions for you: 1] Where is your heart? 2] What do you treasure?  I mean, what do you really care about?  What do you focus your attention on? When you’re not really thinking about anything in particular, what does your mind keep coming back to?  If you had three wishes, what would you wish for?  Here’s another way to say it: What do you really love, with all your heart?

Continue reading

Works of Righteousness. 041215

Ephesians 2.8In Ephesians 2:8-9: Paul says,“For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

And in his letter to Titus, in chapter 3, verse 5, Paul says again,  “ .  .  not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,”   Did you get that?  It is not by any works, not by any deeds we have done, or by any special actions we have taken, that God saves us.  Particularly not by “works of righteousness”, meaning good things we’ve done to make God like us. 

Continue reading

God Is Your Life. 040915

Male hands with babyDeuteronomy 30:19-20:  “ . . . I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;  that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days.”  This passage is part of the renewal of the covenant that the Lord made with the people of Israel at Mount Horeb.  This comes at the end of Moses life, part of his Departing Address to the people, just before the Song of Moses that is recorded in Deut. 32. Continue reading

Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat. 040115

shadow of karavan“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good .  .  .” Genesis 50:20 

You know the story of Joseph.  He was the favorite son of Jacob, the eleventh of twelve, and when he was young he was a little arrogant.  His father gave him the “technicolor dreamcoat”.  He told his brothers he had a dream which showed all his brothers and even their father bowing down to Joseph. He probably shouldn’t have done that.  Made ‘em mad.  So mad they wanted to kill him. They even threw him in a well and left him there to die.  But Reuben (one of the brothers) got him out and sold him to slave traders on the way to Egypt.  Continue reading

GOD’S GRACE.033115

Miracles HappenHere I am.  66.  Married to a good wife with three grown children and six grandchildren; and a 16 yr old son at home. I’m still working at a ‘real’ job, ‘cause my baby needs shoes.  Really because God wants me to keep on working so I get to talk to people about Him. Continue reading