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All Eyes On Christ

31 Jan

by Krystian Jaskula

If someone would ask you this simple question, “What do you want?” What and how would you respond? There are so many things that you would want (i.e.: status, success, graduation, money, job, respect, land, toys, food, car, clothes, spouse, children, etc.) but that answer must be something far more worthy to live for than “your best life now”. It must be and have a sense reality. It must be a consummation of the person and finish work of Jesus Christ. And anything else than that is idolatry.

I am convinced that if you would catch only one glimpse of Jesus Christ, it would be beyond any creature’s reach to pull you from it. It will be at least, the beginning of the end of self.

,You will never appreciate Jesus Christ before you first understand something of the preexistence of Christ His exaltation and His humiliation. You will never treasure that pearl of great prize (Matthew 13:45-46) until you first catch something from how high He was to how low He came. Something of His eternal nature, essence and worth. Something of His holiness, glory and might. [see also; John 1:1-3, 14-15; 8:58; 12:41; 17:5; Genesis 1:1; Exodus 3:14, Colossians 1:15-20; Hebrews 1:1-14; Isaiah 6:1-9; 53]

In this short video, the study was made on Christ’s glory, and I’ve not yet scratched the surface… 

“Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. ”
Colossians 1:15-17

O how can it be that my Master is so infinitely beautiful & glorious and sometimes my heart can be so dull? O Lord, open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. (Ps. 119:18)

To end, I have 3 more things to say:
1) I inform you that the glories that are in the Bible concerning Jesus the Messiah are too great to be contained in a creature mind. Matter fact, anyone who claims that he has found all the mysteries in the scriptures and has also put his arms around the Gospel is an heretic. We will never understand the Gospel, but we will chew on it for eternity.

2) I encourage you to watch this sermon, download it on your mp3, get it on your iPod.http://illbehonest.com/the-gospel-paul-washer

3) I urge you to study the Gospel on your knees because it is the first truth and it is the last. It’s all about JESUS CHRIST.

Ask yourself, “Shall not the Lamb who was slain receive the full reward of His suffering?”

Where are the men and women who will mourn over the sins of others and over their own until Christ be formed?

A Truth is a Terrible Thing to Waste

28 Aug

I think Christians don’t practice evangelism as much as they should. Maybe it’s because we feel awkward telling other people how to live their lives. Maybe it’s because we believe people will come to salvation by God drawing them to Himself and not by some street preacher. Whatever the reason is, I’m convinced we’ve got it wrong.

Why does Jesus tell his disciples to be “fishers of men” as a last commandment before he leaves for heaven? Why does David say, “I will teach transgressors Your ways and sinners will turn to You” after he repents from his sin with Bathsheeba? Why does Psalm 73, the very middle of the bible and of the psalms and often regarded as the pinnacle of the bible, end with, “I will tell of all your deeds”?

I am by no means telling Christians what to do. I hardly ever evangelize and if I do, it’s usually a short one-minute conversation. I’m probably not the only one for whom this rings true. We’ve become so caught up with things in the church that we’ve forgotten the people who walk by the chapel window on Sunday mornings. They are looking for truth. We have the answer. But we keep it in our pockets.  That makes a lot of sense…

“Very Early in the Morning”

10 Jul

Mark 1:35-38 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!” Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.”

The more I think of it, I realize that if I don’t spend time in prayer and in the word right when I wake up in the morning, I spend the day not giving much glory to God. I’m not exactly what you would call a “morning person”. I prefer late night to early morning. I even sometimes convince myself that reading the bible at night before I go to bed is better than early in the morning. Maybe you do the same.

The bible is inspired by God according to 2 Timothy 3:16. That means that the writer of the gospel of Mark was inspired by God and that there’s a reason why this book includes a few verses where Jesus wakes up early in the morning, goes to a place of solitude and prays.

Allow me to apologize to everyone who likes to read the bible and pray before going to bed as opposed to reading and praying in the morning. I’m in the same boat and I’m sorry if I offend you, but I think we have it wrong.

Jesus prayed in the morning. More than that, he got up while it was still dark and went to pray. Almost no one wakes up regularly when it’s still dark, right? When we read on, we see that his disciples came to him and told him that people were looking for Jesus. This means that Jesus started praying when it was still dark and nobody was up and finished praying when everyone was already awake. Wouldn’t that be like today’s 5am to 7am? Jesus prayed for around two hours! If a prefect Jesus needs to pray for two hours, how many hours should we pray in the morning?

When we pray in the morning, we prepare our minds and our hearts for the spiritual battle of that day. We also show that, by making prayer and meditation on God’s word the first thing we do when we wake up, God is the number one priority in our lives.

So, to those who do read and pray in the morning, never quit. To the rest of us (including myself) who prefer reading and praying at night, I think we need to change our habits. Don’t you agree?

Good Christian?

2 May

I read this short article by Francis Chan the other day and it really hit me. Francis Chan is the teaching pastor of Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, California. He’s a great preacher with a unique in-your-face style of teaching. He wrote a book entitled Crazy Love. I’m looking forward to buying it and reading it as soon as possible.

This article talks about how much we overuse the word “Christian” to describe ourselves. Instead, we should use another word to evaluate our lives.

I think it’s time we stop asking ourselves the question: “Am I a good Christian?” We live in a time when the term “Christian” has been so diluted that millions of immoral but nice people genuinely consider themselves “good Christians.” We have reduced the idea of a good Christian to someone who believes in Jesus, loves his or her family, and attends church regularly. Others will label you a good Christian even though your life has no semblance to the way Christ spent His days on earth. Perhaps we should start asking the question: “Am I a good Christ?” In other words, do I look anything like Jesus? This question never even entered my mind until a friend of mine made a passing comment to me one day.

Dan is a long time friend of mine. In fact, he’s the pastor who performed my wedding. He was talking to me about a pastor named Von. Von has been working with youth in the San Diego area for decades. Many of his students have gone on to become amazing missionaries and powerful servants of God. Dan described a trip to Tijuana, Mexico with Pastor Von. (Von has been ministering to the poor in the dumps of Tijuana for years). Dan didn’t speak of the awful living conditions of those who made their homes amidst the rubbish. What impacted Dan the most was the relationship he saw between Von and the people of this community. He spoke of the compassion, sacrifice, and love that he witnessed in Von’s words and actions as he held these malnourished and un-bathed children. Then he made the statement that sent me reeling:

“The day I spent with Von was the closest thing I’ve ever experienced to walking with Jesus.”

Dan explained that the whole experience was so eerie because he kept thinking to himself: “If Jesus were still walking on earth in the flesh, this is what it would feel like to walk alongside of Him!” After that discussion, I kept wondering if anyone had ever said that about me: “The day I spent with Francis was the closest thing I’ve ever experienced to walking with Jesus.” The answer was an obvious “no.” Would any honest person say that about you?

What bothered me was not that I hadn’t “arrived”, but that I wasn’t even heading in the right direction. I hadn’t made it my goal to resemble Christ. I wasn’t striving to become the kind of person who could be mistaken for Jesus Christ. Isn’t it ironic that a man can be known as a successful pastor, speaker, and CHRISTian even if his life doesn’t resemble Christ’s

“He Rejoiced in the Holy Spirit”

11 Apr

Whenever I read a book, I always try to imagine the voice of the author speaking to me and narrating the story in my head. I was never a big fan of reading, but this technique really keeps me interested in whatever I’m reading.

One of the coolest passages in the Bible is in the first half of Luke 10. Jesus sends out seventy-two people, in groups of two, to towns and villages to proclaim the gospel and drive out demons. When they all come back, they tell Jesus of the many miracles that happened.

While you read this, try to imagine Jesus’ voice in your mind.

Luke 10:17-20

The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

As marvelous as this passage seems, the best part is yet to come. In the following few verses, Jesus rejoices in the Holy Spirit. I don’t think Jesus rejoices in the Spirit anywhere else in the four gospels, which is why this passage is so unique and incredible.

Luke 10:21-24

In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

Then turning to the disciples he said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.”

I find this passage so cool because I try to imagine what Jesus sounded like and what he did in that hour or rejoicing. Could you imagine hearing and seeing Jesus rejoice in the Holy Spirit? What a sight that must’ve been! He must’ve danced and sung praises in His rejoicing.

We need to be reminded of the joy we find in God. We’re so busy with our work and our jam-packed lives that we forget what it means to live with God’s joy in our hearts. Once in a while, we need to take time to sing and dance and rejoice in the Spirit because, just as Jesus said in verse 20, our names are written in heaven, and the ink that was used to write our names will never wash off.

The Dark Secret of Light

21 Mar

The darkness of the night craves for the light of the day.

In Ephesians 5:1-21, Paul plays around with this image of darkness and light. “for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light” (v.8), “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” (v.11), “But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. […]” (v.13-14).

Here’s an interesting fact: darkness happens when there is no light. Darkness craves light, there is no trace of light in darkness. In fact, the dark secret of light is that light is the complete opposite of darkness. Paul tells us in this passage that we are the light and the world is the darkness. Paul is telling the Ephesian church to be the complete opposite of the world.

Keeping these facts in mind, let’s see how well we’d score on the Being a Light” test.

If we are to be the complete opposite of the world, then we must not watch the same movies or TV as the world, we must not listen to the same music as the world, we must not dress the same as the world and we cannot talk or act the same as the world. If we do even just one of these things, then we are not being a light.

Remember, there is absolutely no light that resembles darkness. How much does your life resemble the world’s life? How weak of a light are you?

“Even If They Kill Me…”

27 Feb

I was at the computer today doing my daily routine when I stumbled upon a video on YouTube. This video brought me to tears. It shows Christians in India and how they are hated and beaten by the Hindus. This is happening all over the world, not just in India. In fact, by the time you finish reading this post, at least one Christian will have been martyred in the world.

Please watch and see how it is to truly be like Christ.

“Even if they kill me, I am not going to leave Jesus.”

This sentence brought me to tears. This boy was clearly about to cry as well as he recounts the events that transpired at his church which was burned while his pastor was being beaten. And we’re too tired to wake up Sundays to go to the house of God? We’re too busy with our homework and housework to pray? We North-Americans have Christianity all wrong. We’re too caught up in winning a life for ourselves that we have no idea what it’s like to fully depend on God for our lives. These Indians can’t walk down the street without fear of losing their lives, but they will never leave Jesus. This little boy probably glorified God with those words more than any of us have since the beginning of the year. He’s truly showing the right way to live, putting  Christ above all things every day. What are you doing for God today?

“I have forgiven them, let them be blessed.”

Not only are these people faithful to God and His promises, but they bless their enemies. Those who take bats and beat them and kick them and punch them, they bless. Those who burn their churches, burn them alive and cut them into pieces, they bless. With every one of those blessings, they punch the devil in the face. Satan thinks that he can rock their faith with this persecution, but it’s only making their faith stronger.

These martyrs are literally taking up their cross and dying alongside Jesus Christ every day, but as Paul says, they “rejoice in their sufferings” and count it a joy and honor to suffer like Jesus Christ. In the end, God is glorified, and in this, I rejoice.

May this challenge you to step up and be the disciple whom you were called to be. These Christians are dying and hurting every day. Why is it that we only think of how the world is hurting when something like the earthquake in Haiti happens. God’s children are hurting every day while we listen to our worldly music and waste our lives in front of technology. Pray for them to have boldness and to not stop preaching the gospel even in the midst of this suffering and pray for us to realize this truth every day and to live radical risky lives for Jesus Christ.

“Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.” Hebrews 13:3

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