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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Faith and Works

Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. - James 2:17 (KJV)

Works do not save us. We have been saved by grace through faith and our salvation is a gift of God (Eph. 2:8-10). Yet, since we have faith, let us also be conscious to apply our faith to works. Let our good works serve as evidence of our faith before others. We must be willing to serve in a manner that reflects Jesus Christ in our lives. Day after day, we must offer a willing sacrifice that speaks about our faith in Christ as Christians.
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Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Matrix-Like Messiah

Neo. Yeah, man. I said Neo, not Nemo. Neo serves as an iconic pop culture figure that has the power to influence the shootings by the young men of Columbine fame. Yet. somewhere nestled deep within the storyline, you hear and see hints of Neo with some Messianic qualities that many expected to see out of the Lord upon His coming. In fact, many of the film's fans having a parallel understanding of the film's storyline and the Messiah's role for saving His people from the enemy. What gets me is that some of our church-going, God-serving people are not aware that The Matrix has such a following. Nor, if we truly pay homage to art imitating life and life pulling a vice versa, do we expect that many youth pastors will start sporting long black trench coats and dark Ray-Ban shades. However, I am convinced that some who sit on the edge eagerly await a fighting, kicking and swinging type of Messianic figure like Neo to truly "free" believers from the enemy. Like many others, they should probably read Revelations and at least John 1:1-14, Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Jesus is the Model for Ministry

When we look at ministry, look at Jesus. Consider the standard for ministry to have been set by the Master Himself. Jesus simply sets the example for us. We don't need to look elsewhere. Jesus offers us a model by which we can follow His footsteps and make the most of what He offers us in ministry. Look at Jesus for :
  • Message: Look and listen to what Jesus shared and how He shared it with the multitudes and His disciples. From the Sermon on the Mount to the upper room before Calvary, hear what type of message Jesus shared with people. He interwove the Word from the prophets and others with a "new command" like loving one another.
  • Methods: Revisit Jesus' journeys through the Gospel of Mark. See Jesus moving in and out of situation after situation in the Gospels, dealing Jairus and the woman with the issue of blood. Even when Jesus is confronted with the woman caught in adultery, His method of response appears to have made Him an offense to those who sought to keep the law themselves.
Jesus did provide us an example. He exemplifies what we should have as our ultimate ministry "hero." He gives us the blueprint of what we must live up to. Look at Jesus. He is our example.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Making Peace Both Near and Far

Some of us need to make peace with family. No matter how far that you have come, you still need to make peace. Someone just needs to bury the hatchet ASAP. There is no more time to waste. Friendships have lied in ruin because of the failure of one side to approach making peace and settling the matter. Presidents and foreign magistrates need to get together and have more "peace talks" and summits. We need to settle some old unresolved matters and start making peace both near and far.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Kingdom Worth and Kingdom Work

...the kingdom of God is within you. . .-Luke 17:21 (ASV)
We are born again, born as heirs to His holy kingdom. We find ourselves a part of a family that is a "royal priesthood." Out of this newness of life, we realize that we were once living as the poor pauper but now we live a life of luxury like a prince. We are born through this new birth as part of the kingdom. We discover that we have both kingdom worth and kingdom work. The King Himself has ascribed our worth to us, sharing that we are precious and valuable to Him. The King has withstood the penalty of sin in order to redeem us with His very life and blood. That's how valuable we are to Him.
Yet, He also gives us work. God offers us work, a call to serve Him with gladness before others (Psalm 100:2). He shares that all that He desires to accomplish will not come about except that His harvest have laborers sent forth by the Lord. It is this kingdom work that the Lord grants us as a partnership opportunity with Him. Paul shared that we are "fellow workers" with God. Pray that you discover your kingdom worth and your kingdom work. It is our work that goes along with God's work that accomplish God's will.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Like Him

For I have given you an example. . .-John 13:15 (KJV)
Jesus serves as our example of all that we can be in Him. Our words are to be like His words. Our walk is to be like His walk. Our works are to be like His works. Our worship is in His name. We are to reach others as he reached out to others. As we serve like Him, we will experience sacrifice as He did.
Whatever makes men good Christians makes them good citizens.- William Penn

Exciting News from RevBruce

Currently, I am working on expanding Life Path Ministries & Services via a multimedia approach, sharing San Diego's Saved2Serve Network and Operation Reach Out. This fall will serve as a platform for unleashing some exciting things related to our ministry and our efforts to generate community change. Look out for what comes down the pipe from us soon.
Everyone has a story to tell. Are you willing to listen?
Check out my other blogs for RevBruce and LifePath. In fact, keep updated on our latest items for download visit LifePath online another resource for our online friends.
"Success is costly."- A.W. Tozer
Satan uses obstacles and obstructions to keep us from reaching our objectives and taking advantage of our opportunities. Be on guard. Be sure to watch out for his subtle and crafty trickery. He wants to destroy you and rob you of your joy. His pleasure is causing you grief by creating doubt and despair among believers. Misery truly loves company, so do not keep company with one who thrives off misery.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Evangelism: Extending God's Offer

A few years ago, I wrote a short PowerPoint presentation on evangelism that was called Salvation Offered Without Strings (S.O.W.S.). I have often referenced its principles in order to share with others how we need to give up some of our own hang-ups about people coming to church rather than coming to Christ. It's sad when I see people on an evangelistic expedition and someone wants to make a commitment to the Lord, but the faithful Christian says that it won't be complete until the person walks down the aisle at church on the next Sunday. No, that's not true.
Salvation goes beyond Sunday. The Word says so when Peter encounters the faith of those at the house of Corneilus (Acts 10). The Lord said as much when a repentive tax collector spoke of giving back what he has taken. Salvation is about acceptance; acceptance by the unbeliever as the believer accepts the unbeliever where he is and where he starts from.

Friday, September 11, 2009

9/11 Etched in Our Memories

There is little that we can say that will even begin to help our children and youth truly understand the impact of 9/11 on America. We were once simply living under the mantra as the land of the free and home of the brave. Now we have security checkpoints since we are insecure and we tend to watch low-flying planes a little closer as they pass by overhead. Someone destroyed the Twin Towers of the New York skyline, but they also destroyed the daily lives of Americans. They left us questioning, asking,"Why?"
Take today and offer a simple prayer for America today. Ask God to shower us with grave, mercy, and forgiveness.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Created & the Creator

"God is the Potter; we are His clay." - Charles Swindoll
Isaiah 64:8; Romans 9:20-21
The Bible makes a clear distinctionbetween that which is created and the Creator Himself. God is the self-existing, creative force that spoke and light shined, life came into being, and He saw that it was good. What is troubling is when that which is created seems to forget that it is under the power of the Creator. God created us with a free will, the ability to choose and make decisions for ourselves, and it is that very free will that brings about challenges with our own thoughts and intensions versus the ways of the Lord. We are to submit to the Lord's will, not our own. We are to pray that our heart's desires and wishes match up with the Lord's will. It is by keeping within His will that we stay close to the Creator. Pray daily that your footsteps are along the path that the Lord has set for you that day.
Thou art near, O Lord; and all thy commandments are truth.- Psalm 119:151 (KJV)

"The aim of good works is that God may be glorified."- Andrew Murray

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Painful Yet Prayerful

Pray without ceasing.- 1 Thes. 5:17

Prayer is an essential for daily life. We need prayer, and we need to pray. However, at times, the pain can seem to override any prayer that we can utter from our lips. The daily drudgery of life itself can cause us to get lost or caught up in the agony and aching of the pain. We can lose sight of our source. We lose touch with what has kept us going from the beginning. Yes, life can surely be painful. However, I am truly convinced that we must remain prayerful in spite of the pain.
Faith means trusting and daring unconditionally.- Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Currently, I am overseeing the development of a web-based network for San Diego's Saved2Serve Network that will include special event announcements, volunteer recruitment, and prayer requests. We look forward to launching this network during this fall.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Count It All Joy (James 1:2-3)

James, the brother of the Lord, shared something real deep in James 1:2-3. He simply told people to "count it all joy" when faced with various trials. His words make me think of the many things that bring me joy (parenthood, marriage, CHristian service, . . .), but trials? Temptations? Tests? That doesn't seem to spark much joy in me, James. There's got to be more to it than that.

James does share that we should take on this perspective because "the testing of your faith produces patience." When you get taken through it for the sake of the Lord, your patience is actually being built up. After all the hell you catch for being a person of faith, there is some development that occurs in the aftermath. Out of all that mess that you just got dragged through in the name of Jesus, some new strength has been added to your spiritual arsenal. You gain patience.

You may wonder about patience. You may even question why patience. I would simply add this small bit of commentary from the sidelines; because you are going to need more and more patience the longer you stay in the faith. As we go further, we will be tested even more. We will face bigger giants than Goliath. We will face bigger challenges than those found in the wilderness. Yes, we will need patience to make our faith enduring to the end. We just have to hold on through the testing and simply count it all joy.
"Prayer is humbling work." -E.M. Bounds
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