Come Into The Light (Guess Blogger)

Good Morning Everyone I would like to take this opportunity to introduce to you Don Merritt:

Don Merritt (that’s me) is just a regular guy who has had a half-century of living life. I’ve had experiences that are quite normal and typical… and some that are less common. I’ve been busy for a long time in activities that range from politics to writing to running a business I am finished ghost-writing for others and writing things from a purely technical point of view; it’s my turn to write about the things that are really important in life: God, hope, faith, understanding and encouragement for others. It’s my hope to do so in a way that you will find interesting, unusual and non-threatening… and at the same time challenging.

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This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

1 John 1:5-7

Earlier we looked at the introduction to this letter, and here, we enter the first section of the letter which begins at verse 5 and continues through 2:14. This section is given context in verse 5: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. Thus, this section is all about John’s declaration of light versus darkness, and it contains comparisons and contrasts.
Before we take a look at it, keep in mind what John wrote in John 1:4 “In him was life, and that life was the light of men.” All through the Gospel story, John used “light” as signifying the presence of Jesus, contrasted with “darkness” denoting His absence. Keeping this in mind, let’s take a look at our text. After proclaiming that God is light, John gets down to his explanation claiming that if we claim to be in fellowship with God, but walk in darkness, we lie, and are not in the truth. This is a rather easy statement to understand, for if we are in darkness, then we aren’t in His presence, and if we aren’t in His presence, we couldn’t possibly be in fellowship: There is no half-way.

The contrast is that if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship… because we are with Him in the light. If we have this fellowship in the light of His presence and truth, then His blood purifies us from all sin. The reality of the statement is that we can’t be in fellowship with Him until our sins have been forgiven by His sacrifice on the cross.
Sometimes, we may walk a ways in darkness, and by this I mean that we may stray from time-to-time. John doesn’t suggest that our errors kick us out of fellowship as we will see a little farther through this text, but that there is a way to return to the light of His presence, by confessing our sins., as we see in the next paragraph:

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.
1 John 1:8-10
I think we all would agree that a claim by any one of us to have never sinned would be little short of crazy. John seems to think it’s worse than that− all have sinned, but take heart, for there is a way out, confess your sins and He will forgive; this is our covenant promise. There is simply no need for us to wring our hands and carry around a burden of guilt and shame before God, for when we confess our sins (acknowledge them) He will forgive; we have His Word on that.

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God’s Not Dead!

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So then woman hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshipped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”                    Matthew 28:8-10

As we recently celebrate Easter Sunday we remember the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The women after they had gone to the tomb left with great joy knowing that their teacher, friend, and Lord had risen from the dead, and could not wait to share with His disciples what they had learn. As Christians how many of us can not wait to share the Resurrection story with our family and friends, perhaps not many of us. It is okay to talk about at church on a Sunday morning but as followers of Jesus are we doing what he has called us to do and telling others about Him.

For myself, I grew up as a Christian, always going to church on a Sunday and being involved, but can I truly call myself a Christian. Let me take the time with all of my readers to share my own story and why I want to shout to the world that God is Not Dead! He is truly Alive. A couple of years ago as I was searching the scriptures for a sermon that I was going to share, I began to have a dream. I have the same dream more than once and I truly thought that it was only a dream and it never happen to me at all. After I have shared the dream with my oldest daughter she mention to me that I should google it and so I did and what I thought was just a dream, it was something that I did experience and that I witness. 

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Growing up there was a train that I went on called the Freedom Train, and on that train in all the different cars that I visited was about the history of America. However, except this one car as I followed all the other visitors this particular car had a huge class case that set down on top of something on the floor. This glass case had the Burial Cloth (Shroud of Turin) of Jesus Christ. You can see that this man was very tall perhaps close to six feet, and he also had a beard. On the top of his head you can see that their were some kind of crown that laid there, where their was drops of stain blood going down the face. The nails were not in his hands but the wrist (because the flesh couldn’t hold him up if the nails when through his hands). As I continue to walk slowly I can see that his side was pierced with something. His feet were together with holes through them, because of a huge nail that had gone through both of them. I continue to walk slowly and on his back you can tell that this man was whip many times,  (a whipped of leather thongs, which was used in Biblical times, with bits of metal or bone attached) The words from Isaiah 53: 4-5 came to my mind Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities, the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his strips we are healed. For whatever reason unknown to myself I somehow forgotten what I had seen until that one day while asking God for directions in sharing a message that I remember. Every time I think of that one day when I saw the Burial Cloth of Christ tears forms in my eyes and down my cheeks, as what is happening as I write down these words. My God, My Lord and My King you did this all for me, I didn’t deserve it, I am a sinner and I am unworthy for Jesus to suffer for me like that. And yet because of His great love for me even before I was ever born he died at Calvary in my place. As I read the words in Ephesians 2:4-5 But because of his great love for us , God who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions, it is by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is a gift from God, not by works, so that no one can boast. For all who have read these words I did see the Burial Cloth of Christ in 1976 here in America

Since God help me to remember what I witness I can never remain silent any more, I must tell anyone that I meet the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The stories in the Bible are not just stories but, real accounts that took place, written by men and inspire by God. It is not an easy journey I am on now being a disciple of Christ, I have had even family members and friends disown me all because of what I believe and I know what is true, and yes I am fine with that. I do hope that someday if not from me the ones who say because of what I believe I am nuts, will come to know Jesus Christ as their own personal Savior and decided to follow him. My Lord would want me to tell others about him, that he overcame death and that the tomb is empty, because My God Is Not Dead, He is Truly Alive,

Jesus Predicts His Death

Mark 9.png They left that place and passed through Galilee, Jesus did not want anyone to know where they were, because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him and after three days he will rise.” But they did not understand what he meant and were afraid to ask him about it.                                          Mark 9:30-32

This part of Scripture is a milepost in Jesus’ history. He was now going to Jerusalem where the cross awaited Him, Jesus carried on teaching His disciples, because a teacher must leave students behind that will continue to proclaim his message. But there was a traitor among Jesus’ disciples and Jesus knew this. he knew how Judas’ mind worked possibly better than Judas himself. 

Yet, the disciples still didn’t understand him when he told them he would rise from the dead. At that moment they were aware of the atmosphere of tragedy, but they didn’t understand the wonder of His resurrection. It was a miracle that was just too big for them to grasp, they would only understand it when it had become an accomplished fact.

Because they didn’t understand, they were afraid to ask any more questions and to be given more bad news. We might be surprised that the disciples didn’t grasp what they were so clearly being told. The human mind has the special ability to reject what it doesn’t want to hear. Are we any different to the disciples? We hear the Christian message over and over again; we know what will happen if we reject it. And if we accept it? We still accept certain parts of the gospel that appeal to us and refuse to understand the rest.

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father:

            Help each of us to accept all what is true with your scriptures, help us not to be afraid of unanswered questions we may have with all of this. We ask that you will open our hearts and eyes, and mind to understand what you need to teach you and to be able to share the gospel with others.

In Christ Name We Pray

Amen

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

In Your Hands Lord

Jeremiah 18.jpgThis is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord. Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message. So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands, so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. Then the word of the Lord came to me. He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as the potter does? declares the Lord. Like clay in the hands of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel.                                        Jeremiah 18:1-6 NIV

Jeremiah, led an emotionally, tortured life, yet remained steadfastly faithful to God, and the call to deliver his stern message. He spoke to Judah in the last decades before Babylon destroyed the nation.

The life of Jeremiah was never an easy one to say the least, God had called Jeremiah to be a prophet, and I am sure at times he was not thrill with that job at all. However God knew Jeremiah’s heart and he knew he had called the right person for the job he had in mind. If we all can take a moment to realize that God also has a job in mind for each one of us, I am not sure what God is calling you to do in your life, and it may not be an easy one at that.  As God is shaping each one of us into what he is calling us to do, it can be at times very painful, however in the end, it will be a beautiful thing. We all have a passion in our lives, something that God has given to us, and when we do what we love to do it brings us great joy. I have read more than once the book called “You were Born for This” by Rick Warren, and as you read thru this book you will begin to think what God is calling you to do with your own life. Rick Warren talks about the Miracle Life Keys—The master key is an urgent prayer to be sent by God on a miracle mission. Your request alerts Heaven that you are more than just available, you’re committed to respond whenever God nudges you. It’s called the Master Key because your urgent plea opens the door to a life of miracles. The People Key–readies you for the inevitable moments when Heaven’s agenda collides with your own. When you apply this key, you put yourself and Heaven  an notice that you have decided to make God’s heart for people your won. Because you now share His passion, you’ll be prepared to deliver miracles to whomever He ask whenever He asks. The Spirit Key—-prepares you to cooperate with God’s spirit, especially in regard to His supernatural power. The action of this key releases you from any false assumptions about your ability to do a miracle and aligns you with the supernatural power that’s always required to accomplish a miracle outcome. As you learn more about the Spirit works through you, you will come to rely on Him with increasing confidence. The Risk Key—shows you how to intentionally live in such a way that you take risks of faith, relying on God to accomplish what He wants done. You act in dependence on God despite feelings of discomfort or fear, trusting that He will bridge the gap between what you can do and what only He can do through you. When He bridges that gap with a miracle, His power and glory are on display. You see my friends God is the potter and we are His clay, and he will shape our lives into what He has called us to do here on earth, and all we need to do is simply trust in Him.

 

Grace and Peace to You My Frieds

Faith

Luke79.png The Faith of the Centurion                                 Luke 7:2-10

There is a centurion servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. This man deserves to have you do this, because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue. So Jesus went with them. He was far from the house when the centurion sent his friends to say to him. “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, “Come”, and he comes. I say to my servant, “Do this,” and he does it.” When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, ” I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.” Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.

What is faith a little child ask me during Sunday School one day. Well, I said, faith means we believe in God even thro we cannot see him or even touch him. We are all created in the image of God and therefore we know God does exists. If we take the time to google the definition of faith you will find that it tells us that faith is a complete trust in something or someone. It is believing something that you know in your mind it is not true, however your heart tells you it is. However, from a Christian point of view we can look up what faith is in the book of Hebrews 11:6. Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance what we do not see. Also in Hebrews 11:6 without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe he exists and he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

In the book of Luke we can read the amazing faith of a Roman solider. This centurion had a faithful servant who becomes sick and is near death. Somehow this centurion learns about Jesus and how he has healed others. With this knowledge he sent others to look for Jesus and to see if he would be willing to heal his servant. Jesus was willing to go to this centurion’s home to heal his servant, however he didn’t feel that he was worthy for Jesus to enter his home.  All Jesus had to do was to say the words and his servant would be heal, he had such great faith, knowing what Jesus was able to do. Throughout the scriptures we see men and women with amazing faith, and I will share with all of you over time. If you are sitting at your desk reading these words and ask yourself how do you come to have faith, my answer to you is this, by having a daily walk with our Savior Jesus Christ. We need to earnestly seek him. God doesn’t expect perfection in our search for him. He does rejoice when we seek him day after day, because nothing pleases him more than our longing for him to be a part of our daily lives.  How do we do this, first off by being a part of a Christian community such as a church family, fellowship with one another is important to our growth. Bible study, another way to understand the scriptures is during a bible study. Another important is having a prayer life with our Lord daily. We need time alone with God to ask for guidance for our own lives, and to have a closer walk with him, as well as praying for one another. As you begin to think of the scripture that I share with you today as well as a short message, reach out to God in prayer today to help you to have faith, faith as tiny as a mustard seed, and he will.

Grace and Peace to you my fiends