The Master of the waves

The Master of the waves
Come, and Serve the peace giver!
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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Fans or Followers!

Howdy y'all; It has been a very long time since I put up a post and for that I apologize, and I am hoping that I will be able to keep up a bit better in the future. The first thing I want to let you all know is that Leona and I have found a new church and are taking steps to be made members. It is a wonderful group of people dedicated to service to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! We also share a feeling of "family" that is awesome. The whole congregation are also dedicated prayer warriors and if anyone needs prayer they are right there "Johnny on the spot" ready to keep you covered in prayer. Our Pastor, Tommy Sprinkle is obviously a Spirit filled preacher and teacher of God's word. His wife Donna is also a Spirit filled servant of God and Jesus Christ. I feel confident in stating that by watching them and seeing how they lead their lives. You can tell a true believer and a spirit filled believer by their "fruits" and brothers and sisters I have to tell you their fruits are evident in all they do. They are loving, caring, committed believers of Jesus Christ. You can feel their love! Pastor Tommy's sermons are truly inspired by the Holy Spirit! After the years I spent in Seminary, my years of preaching myself, and also the years I spent sitting in pews listening to a wide variety of Preachers I think I can be fairly correct in my estimate of a Pastor's devotion and dedication to God and Christ by the words that proceed from his mouth, and also how he / or she responds to members of the congregation and the community. 
For the past few weeks Pastor Tommy has been preaching on what it is to be a true follower of Jesus rather than just a "fan" of Jesus. Twenty-five years ago I also preached a series of sermons on the same thing. "Fans or Followers" that is the big question we all should ask ourselves. The "fans" are the folks who have the WWJD, Fish, and Honk if you Love Jesus bumper stickers on their cars and trucks. They wear the biggest gaudiest crosses around their necks when they go to church and usually carry these huge King James Bibles (You know . . . THE only Bible!) And they have big Bibles on their coffee tables or open on their book shelves that have NEVER been open. That is unless they are open to the 23rd Psalm for show. They also have a cross collection or numerous crosses all over their houses and in all the rooms, including the bathroom! Some brag about how they accepted Jesus into their hearts when they were six, seven, eight or nine years old and how it made a great change in their lives then. Now I am not condemning those things, but you had better have a good reason to do so. Some of them go up to the alter at EVERY alter call, and kneel there in pious prayer for a long time. Unfortunately many of them hold tightly to the old Baptist saw, "Once saved always saved!"  You can also see them hanging around with some pretty disreputable folks, going to honky-tonks and bars, cussing and fussing about everything. They go to church every time the doors are open and they even have many "good works" in their lives. They may Bring food to shut-ins, pray with folks for all kinds of things, and may also adhere to the "Name it and Claim it" group of "believers" who are way off base in what it means to believe in God. They may have their own special pew that they always sit in and get VERY upset if anyone else dares to sit there. They may say things like; "My family have been members of this church for four generations and we have always sat in this pew." or "We have never done it that way before, the old traditions are the best traditions." or even something like; "We, in our family, have all believed in Jesus as Lord and Savior!" Here my dear ones is the dilemma. Believing in God and in Jesus as His only Son is great! Scripture is pretty clear in that. That is true.
 

Romans 10:9
". . .that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."
Romans 10:8-10
But . . . that is not the only requirement!
Jesus himself says; "

In John 6
35 And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. 40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”
Jesus also said to the young rich man who asked what he must do to gain the Kingdom of God:
Mark 10:21
Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”
Mark 10:20-22
So what does it mean to take up your cross? As my Pastor pointed out, taking up ones cross is to begin to live like Jesus! This also ties in with the "Greatest Commandment" noted below.
Matthew 22:37-39
New King James Version (NKJV)
37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]
Footnotes:

Believing in Jesus is wonderful, accepting Him as your personal Lord and Savior is the best step anyone can take in their lives, just doing that may get you saved, but the fruits of the spirit MUST be evident in your life. You must reach out to others in love. That pure love that Jesus had for us when He went to the cross to bleed, suffer and die for us so that we would have eternal life and salvation. But just believing is not enough. It is love, love for God, love for Jesus, love for one another that leads to service to one another! Jesus said numerous times, and the Apostles recorded it many times in other New Testament books:
John 13:33-36, John 15:11-13, John 15:16-18, Romans 12:9-11, Romans 13:7-9, Galatians 5:12-14, Ephesians 4:1-3, 1 Thess. 3:11-13, 1 Thess. 4:8-10, Hebrews 10:23-25, 1 Peter 1:21-23, 1 John 3:22-24, 1 John 4:10-13, 2 John 1:4-6 are but a few. Look it up it is every where! 
A fan believes in Jesus, maybe even accepts Jesus, maybe even has some good "works" that they have done. They may go to church every time the doors are open and wear out their knees in prayer. But if you do not truly love your neighbor as yourself and commit to service to others first, even first before your own needs. It is nothing. Even Satan believes in God and Jesus. Believing doesn't cut it, service is the true test to your faith! The fruits of the Spirit must be evident in your life. Going to church every day doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you an automobile! We must die to the world, take up our cross and serve others! When I was young I thought that "your cross" was whatever pain, bad health, bad habit you had in your life was it. Well, it isn't that. Taking up your cross daily and dying to the world daily is putting yourself and all of your needs second to serving God. Just as Jesus' cross was an actual cross of service to us by hanging on that horrible rugged rough cross and dying for us! Max Lucado's book; He Chose The Nails, puts it very clearly before us. Jesus could have turned away, he could have refused the cross, but He didn't. He chose to act as propitiation for our sins and take ALL of our sinfulness upon Himself so that we might be worthy to even gaze in through the gates of heaven. We owe Jesus EVERYTHING! Without Him and without what He did for me on Mount Calvary I would be nothing but a worthless sinner not worthy to even kiss His sandals! Jesus payed a debt He did not owe. He paid my sin debt. It seems to me that the least we can do is to pick up our own cross and follow after Jesus in service to others and also to spread the Gospel message by sharing our testimonies with others so that  maybe they could see the change in our lives and maybe want what we have received FREELY from God for accepting His Son as our Savior and believing in Him and wanting to do for others out of no selfish desire but out of true Christian Love. The same kind of Love that Jesus had for us. All Praise, Honor and Glory to God our creator and Jesus His Son, our salvation! I would encourage you to go to my Church's web-page at: www.LOAH.org and check it out. There is a Pod cast page too where you can find sermons and a Face book page and a page of Testimonies of some of our members. God Bless you all in all you do. Remember SERVICE to the Kingdom of God is the way.          

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