Scrub Up?

Before I became a Christian, I wanted nothing to do with Christianity or religion!  I just knew I’d have to stop doing all the “fun” things I was doing!  Controlled by the flesh, I had no concept these things were slowly killing me, blinding me, and keeping me from the Truth.  What’s worse, when I heard the Truth, I thought God wouldn’t accept me until I cleaned up my act.  Little did I know THAT message comes from the enemy!  It’s kept many a would-be Christian from accepting Christ’s love.  The truth is that we FIRST come to God when His Spirit urges, forsaking the things we once thought held happiness and joy.  After we give our lives to Christ, THEN His Spirit gives us the power to break the chains that bind us!  

“Their deeds do not permit them to return to their God.  A spirit of prostitution is in their heart; they do not acknowledge the Lord.”  Hosea 5:4

In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kilbin8er
Jim@JamesKilby.com

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Worldly?

“You are still worldly.  For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly?”  1 Corinthians 3:3

What a biting indictment from the Apostle Paul.  Can you imagine just for a moment being the elders or the deacons of the First Church of Rome, opening your mentor and teacher’s letter and finding those words?  What’s worse, can you imagine them being true?  I imagine we can, because I believe many of us ARE still worldly.  We put on our best “Sunday Face” and head out to church, but like the religious folks Jesus blasted, inwardly we’re wasting away.  I DO believe each of us are capable of being controlled by the Spirit of God, and actually working toward one common goal with our brothers and sisters in the Lord.  First, however, we’ve got to get our eyes off of ourselves (worldly), and get them on God (Godly).  It’s not about what WE want, but about what HE wants!  Without that change of focus we’re destined to do the devil’s work all the days of our lives, church or no church!  

So…. where’s your focus been lately?

In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kilbin8er
Jim@JamesKilby.com

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Students?

For years now I’ve been learning a little more about Jesus each and every day.  I suppose I’ve learned more than the average person, but surely I’ll not understand all of His teachings while I’m in this earthly body.  If I went on for a few hundred years though, continuing to learn more and more about Jesus, I would still not be a Christian, or even a disciple of Christ, without first giving my life to Him.  In fact, all that learning could become an end in itself–something to be proud of… an idol of sorts.  Think about it for a minute… are you a student of Jesus, or are you a disciple of Jesus, engaged in the disciplined practice of daily becoming more and more like the Savior you worship?  My dear friends, to be a student is simply not enough.  In the end, everything there is to know about Jesus won’t save our souls–we’ve got to KNOW JESUS!  We’ve got to take the plunge!

“We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true.  And we are in him who is true–even in his Son Jesus Christ.  He is the true God and eternal life.  Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.”  1 John 5:20-21

In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kilbin8er
Jim@JamesKilby.com

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Help Me!

“He [Jesus] said to them:  ‘It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.'”  Acts 1:7-8

Where would the truth of Christ have gone if you were one of the original disciples?  Where has it gone as a direct result of you witnessing to His Truth?

In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kilbin8er
Jim@JamesKilby.com

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Enemy Evangelists!

Although today’s title may seem to be an oxymoron, there actually is such a thing as an enemy evangelist.  Not only is Satan busy causing death and destruction at every moment, but he’s got plenty of help pointing people toward his leadership.  His evangelists have it pretty easy though… they don’t have to convince anyone of anything in particular.  They’ve only got to point in any direction other than Jesus… or even easier, they just deceive people into believing that “no decision” won’t sentence them to an eternity with Satan.  Oh, did I mention that they’ll also tell you there isn’t such a place as hell?

Have you shared your faith lately?  Remember, you’ve been given the most valuable piece of information ever shared with man?  Why are you holding out?  Why are you keeping it to yourself?  The good news of Jesus Christ is sort of like a compliment… it’s real worth comes when you actually give it to someone else!

“But Elymas the sorcerer… opposed them [Paul and Barnabus] and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith.  Then Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, ‘You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right!'”  Acts 13:8-10a

In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kilbin8er
Jim@JamesKilby.com

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Just Do It!

“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”  Luke 6:49

The main problem with Christians is not that we’ve never been taught what to do and how to do it.  The problem is we simply don’t do what we’ve been told.  I’ve heard it said that most of us are educated way beyond our willingness to obey.  What a shame it is.  All those difficulties that seem to come out of nowhere and knock us for a loop… they’re all unnecessary.  Maybe we should just sit down and do a one- day study on the meaning of the word “Lord.”

“I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice.  He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock.  When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.  But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation.  The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”  Luke 6:44-49

In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kilbin8er
Jim@JamesKilby.com

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Total Depravity

Have you ever heard the term “The total depravity of man?”  It gets tossed around quite a bit in church and in Christian circles–maybe you’ve heard it.  Either way, I think the phrase itself conjures up misconceptions about its true meaning.  For starters though, it does not mean that man could not be more depraved.  On the contrary, no matter how bad people get, they could all probably get worse.  Instead of referring to how bad we are, rather, “the total depravity of man” describes the position we are in without God, and for those who don’t know Christ, their position with God simply could not be worse!  We are separated from heaven by a great chasm, and without Christ we will never be able to “cross” it.  Instead, we’ll descend to hell with Satan and his angels, continuing in the position we earned when we first chose to disobey our God.

“They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity.”  Romans 1:29

In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kilbin8er
Jim@jhamesKilby.com

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New Car Fever!

Every few years I used to get a real bad case of “new car fever.”  I don’t know if you’ve ever been there or not, but the disease has quite a few close relatives… “new video game fever” and “new clothes fever” are also quite common.  Among teenagers we often find drastic cases of “first car fever,” a second cousin to the disease I’ve suffered from.  These diseases can be quite debilitating, actually taking your mind off of just about everything else in life.  Family, friends, God, etc., can all fade into a blur quite easily until the fire has been quenched.  What’s even worse is that after the animal has been fed, it’s usually only a few days before it realizes the object of its desire hasn’t done the trick.  Without an act of God, the disease is incurable–it usually leads to complete and total blindness to everything except the newest “fever.”

“The sorrows of those will increase who run after other gods [stuff].”  Psalm 16:4a

In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kibin8er
Jim@JamesKilby.com

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American Values

Top 2 American Values:

#1.  Comfort

#2.  Convenience

Serving God will get you neither of these.

“… If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”  Jesus of Nazareth (Luke 9:23)

In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kibin8er
Jim@JamesKilby.com

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A Funeral?

“He [Jesus] said to another man, ‘Follow me.’  But the man replied, ‘Lord, first let me go and bury my father.’  Jesus said to him, ‘Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”  (Luke 9:59-60

At first glance, this appears to be one of the most cruel and inhuman statements ever to be uttered by anyone, much less by Jesus.  Could He really be against this man going to his own father’s funeral?  Surely catching up with Jesus in a day or so wouldn’t be that bad–couldn’t he minister to his own family first?  After a further look into Jewish culture, however, it appears our English rendition misses a little in the translation.  After further investigation, it appears highly unlikely this young man’s father is dead, or that he’s even ill!  It was generally an eldest son’s responsibility to remain with his mother and father until they passed on.  For all we know, the young man could have waited another fifty years before being able to follow the Lord.  Of course, only Jesus knew the man’s heart, but from all appearances, he looks to be handing God an excuse.  And no matter how valid the excuse appears, it’s still an excuse.  Following Jesus MUST take first priority in our lives… even over the disapproving chants of family members–no excuses!  I think Jesus makes that perfectly clear.  Don’t you?

“And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.”  Jesus of Nazareth (Matthew 19:29)

In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kilbin8er
Jim@JamesKilby.com

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