Posts by Brandon Tipsword
Our culture has placed a great emphasis of late on identity. So people have gone about labeling themselves in a way they desire to be identified. I first remember hearing the concept of self-branding when I was in college. The philosophy teaches that you are a brand and you need to market yourself to the world. Little did I know that some 20 years later with the advent of social media how that philosophy would grip a generation.
Man does not have much if anything to boast about in himself. I certainly do not. However, those that know Jesus have a lot to boast about. Not about themselves, but about the one that loves them and saved them. There is a song we sing often in church who’s refrain goes:
Scripture teaches us that we are a whole person. Our spiritual life effects our physical life. Each and everyday we come across people that are hurting spiritually. Harold Vaughan once preached a message entitled, “The Ministry of Encouragement.” What a great ministry! We should all be encouragers. When you encourage someone it is like given someone a dose of spiritual medicine for their soul. Each day we should ask ourselves, “Who can I encourage today?”
Have you ever wandered how can you possibly continue? Have you ever found yourself running out of strength to run the race before you? Have you ever been faced with incredibly difficult circumstances of life that make you want to throw in the towel? Well join the club! However, when you are at that point you must realize that you are on the cusp of having the power of Christ upon you. So when you get to the point where you say, “I cannot go on anymore I am out of strength” you are almost there, but not quite. You must then go on to admit your weakness and accept God’s grace to give you strength. Then you can say, “I can do all thing through Christ that strengtheneth me.”
When I read this verse I am reminded to make sure my heart is in my service to the Lord. God does not want us to serve Him begrudgingly, but with genuine desire and reverence. Half-hearted service to the Lord is not pleasing to God; neither is service done to please men. It is a good practice to check our hearts from time to time.
How many of us could honestly say this about ourselves. Can we say that the only purpose in my life is to live for Christ? Can we say that we truly believe that to die is gain? Do we have a greater desire for the things of the world or the things of Christ? What evidence is their in our lives to support our claim to love Jesus? In the case of the Apostle Paul there was plenty of evidence to support this verse to be true in his life.
Yesterday we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus. But, where is He now? Well my friend, look at what Stephen saw as he was being stoned to death because of his witness for Christ. Stephen got a glimpse of Jesus standing on the right hand of God. What comfort that must have been for Stephen! Notice this, before he saw Jesus he stedfastly looked into heaven. I do not know what you might be going through today, but I know this, if you want to see Jesus in the midst of trouble, if you want the comfort of Christ, you need to take your eyes off of the trouble and look to where He can be found. He is not hard to find. He is still in the same place that Stephen saw Him.
We call today Good Friday. What is so good about it? After all, it is a day that Jesus suffered the most brutal beating and death that an innocent man has ever endured. The disciples at the time certainly did not see the day as good. They saw it as a day they were losing someone they loved; their friend and leader. Yet we call it good. You see, the problem that all of has is that we see things from our perspective and not God’s. So things that he sees as good we do not always see as good. The answer to the question lies in a verse we often quote:
There is a “gospel” being taught that does not require you to deal with your sin. In fact, they rarely if ever mention the word sin. They say God wants to bless you as if God is their servant. This false gospel teaches a worldly prosperity that tells you to “believe God for things you want and you will get it.” However, the man that does not deal with his sin will never prosper in regards to the riches of heaven. It is the man that confesses and forsakes his sin that is truly blessed. Psalm 32:1-2 ……..Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.
In these verses I see three reasons why we can trust that the bodies of every believer that has died will be resurrected at the rapture. First, Jesus rose from the dead proving once and for all that he is who He said He was. Second, God who cannot lie said so and it is recorded in His word. Third, God is not relying upon someone else to receive us, He is coming himself! Therefore, we have great hope and comfort knowing that one day all saints will be reunited in the air to be with the Lord forever.