Highly Motivated?

What Jesus did on the cross not only gives those who believe and accept His sacrifice the promise of redemption from sin, but it should also motivate them to walk a life worthy of His blood.  If you ask me what makes the Christian church so anemic today, it’s that so few who call themselves Christians desire to walk with Christ.  Sadly, I believe it’s highly unlikely many of them even know the Lord–choosing to fellowship with believers for their own selfish reasons.  I’ve seen it too often, and I’ve seen it from too many to see it any other way.  A prayer or some religious sounding jargon uttered to God once and followed by no evidence of the Spirit is not the Christian life–it is evil masquerading as light.  It not only gives evidence of the lack of God’s presence, but done in the name of Christ no doubt drives others from His bleeding side!  If the blood of God’s own Son poured out for our sins doesn’t motivate us to walk in righteousness, then nothing ever will.  No amount of Bible thumping and church attendance will ever change it.

“Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin.  As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.”  1 Peter 4:1-2

In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kilbin8er
[email protected]

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Accuser!

Did you know the word translated Satan means “accuser” in Hebrew.  Believe it or not, Satan (the great accuser) is not in hell.  The Bible tells us that one day he will be confined to hell, but he is not there yet.  In fact, the Scriptures lead us to understand he still has access to God, and get this, for the purpose of pointing out our failures!  Frankly, I don’t think the Lord would need someone to point out my failures, they’re surely obvious to everyone!  But what’s interesting is that for those who have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior, Satan might as well be “talking to the hand!”  God is not listening… choosing instead to forgive and forget, removing our filth and replacing it with royalty!  Imagine standing before God wearing clothes covered with the nastiest and smelliest things you can imagine, all the while Satan standing beside you pointing out why you smell so bad!  Got the picture?  Good… Now read this:

“Then he [an angel] showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him.  The Lord said to Satan, ‘The Lord rebuke you, Satan!  The Lord, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you!  Is not his man a burning stick snatched from the fire?’  Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel.  The angel said to those who were standing before him, ‘Take off his filthy clothes.’  Then he said to Joshua, ‘See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put rich garments on you.'”  Zechariah 3:1-4

In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kilbin8er
[email protected]

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I’m All Shook Up!

The Scriptures have abundant examples of the details surrounding how many early believers came to know Jesus as Lord.  Some were eye witnesses of His incredible miracles and some were convicted of their sins after hearing the early disciples witness of His saving grace.  Paul and others led some to Christ by using their considerable education to convincingly argue the deity of Jesus.  For me, and for many other headstrong sinners, however, our worlds had to be shaken so hard that we were left searching for answers. Believe it or not, trouble can often come from the hand of God, for His express purposes.  I wouldn’t want to live through them again, but I’m grateful for their result!  My suspicion is that those who found themselves in a similar boat will be eternally grateful as well.

“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.  Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken.  At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose.  The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped [he would have been put to death].  But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself!  We are all here!”  The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas.  He then brought them out and asked, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?'”  Acts 16:23-30

In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kilbin8er
[email protected]

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It Lives!

No stone was left unturned in early efforts to kill the message Jesus came to share.  At the hour of His birth, Satan pushed Herod to have Him killed.  Eventually Satan succeeded in murdering Jesus, but that very murder played right into those nail-scared hands!  Eventually even Herod the great died, but the message lived on, and it still lives today!  The “Gospel,” as we’ve come to call it, at its core means “the good news.”  The good news is we need not remain separated from God because of our Sins… and there’s more good news.  The Gospel continues to be preached in spite of hell’s efforts to the contrary!

“Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.  But the word of God continued to increase and spread.”  Acts 12:23-24

In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kilbin8er
[email protected]

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Heavenly Money?

One of the churches specifically spoken of by Jesus in the book of Revelation was the church of Laodicea.  The people in this church had acquired much wealth, and because of that wealth they somehow became less interested in the things of the Lord.  He called them “lukewarm” saying He wished they were either “hot or cold.”  Frankly, they just didn’t feel like they needed Him, or to be faithful to Him in study, prayer or deed.  Often I think many churches in the modern day United States are guilty of this same sin.  I find it quite interesting that Jesus finishes by telling them of a different kind of currency–not the kind they had, but the kind He uses.  A pastor friend of mine put it this way.  “The currency of heaven is disciplined repentance, not disciplined work.”  The point being that we actually can and do gain when we turn from our sins and agree with God; but not when we think He owes us something because we’ve earned it.

“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot.  I wish you were either one of the other!  So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth.  You say, ‘I am rich, I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’  But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.  I counsel you to BUY FROM ME gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.”  Revelation 4:15-18

In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kilbin8er
[email protected]

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Short Accounts?

Are you the type of person who hold’s grudges against others?  If so, you may be surprised at who you’re really hurting.  Even if the other person was totally wrong, if you don’t do everything you can to clear it up, you’re not only hurting yourself by holding unforgiveness in your heart, but also by causing God to withhold his forgiveness from you.  I know it sounds hard-core, but Jesus Himself told us that’s how forgiveness works.  We’re even given a time-line to get things fixed before the sun goes down!  And not only that, but before we bring any type of offering to God.  For us to forgive is so important that God’s emphasis is all over it throughout the Bible.  And just think…. if Christians really took this message to heart and kept short accounts with one another, what an incredible Church we would be!  So, if you’ve got something in your heart that’s keeping you separated from a brother or sister in Christ–today’s the day to fix it!

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned.  Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”  Jesus of Nazareth (Luke 6:37-38)

In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kilbin8er
[email protected]

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Slave To Myself?

God sent Moses, who wasn’t an Egyptian, to live in Egypt as an Egyptian, with the express purpose of bringing His people home from slavery and giving them a mission to show His love to a desperate world.  God sent Jesus, who wasn’t a mortal, to live as a mortal, with the express purpose of bringing His people home from slavery and giving them a mission to show His love to a desperate world. Although Moses’ mission was played out in the Old Testament, and Jesus’ ushered in the New Testament, both are eerily similar.  The big question remains, however.  If God always gives the same mission to those He saves from slavery, then why do those He saved so often wind up serving themselves?

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”  Philippians 2:3

In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kilbin8er
[email protected]

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Encouragement?

Encouragement is an incredible thing! It can rejuvenate a tired body is a nanosecond. On some occasions, one simple word of encouragement can last an entire lifetime. Our heavenly Father knows how powerful it is and even commanded us to provide it to one another. Still, it seems like even the Church can be void of it. This week, consider giving a heartfelt “thank you” to someone close to you.  No…. consider two or three. I think you’ll find it encourages you too. Let your heart meditate on these words of encouragement from an imprisoned Paul to his friend Philemon.  Imagine how they made him feel as they were read in front of the congregation he led. 

“I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, because I hear about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints. I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.” Philemon 1:4-7 

In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kilbin8er
[email protected]

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Blessed?

Is it an incredible blessing to know the Gospel of Jesus Christ?  How much more would it be a blessing to actually have walked the streets with Jesus, maybe even having intimate conversation with Him about the Kingdom of God?

Or would those things be blessings at all…  

The truth is that neither of them are a blessing, unless of course the person “believed” the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and trusted in the Lord and actually acted on what they heard from His lips.  One day someone told Jesus that his mother must have been blessed to have nursed Him.  Surely she was blessed, but not because she nursed the God-child, but rather because she believed He was the Christ and followed Him only!  The question really is not whether you think it’s neat to be near Jesus, but whether or not you are His alone.

“As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.”  He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”  Luke 11:27-28

In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kilbin8er
[email protected]

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Who’s Message?

If a total stranger who was obviously in serious distress grabbed you and begged you to take a message to the President of the United States would you do it?  What if they showed you a badge and told you with their last breath that hundreds, or thousands of lives depended on it getting there?  If you really believed them, what kind of determination would you have to make the delivery?  Would you let anything get in your way?  Would you get side tracked with things like finishing college, playing baseball, buying a video game, or chatting on line with friends?  The truth is that the message Christians have is frankly far more important than even the one in my make-believe example.  But the starker truth is that we prove how little we care about our Lord by the way we treat His message… And… by the measly way we tend to support His other messengers.

“for, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!'” Romans 10:13-15

In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kilbin8er
[email protected]

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