Hell and your E-mail Address…Caution…

John 17:3 “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. “

Hell and your E-mail Address …Caution…

A couple from Minneapolis decided to go to Florida for a long weekend to thaw out during one particularly icy winter. Because both had jobs, they had difficulty coordinating their travel schedules. It was decided that the husband would fly to Florida on a Thursday, and his wife would follow him the next day.

Upon arriving as planned, the husband checked into the hotel. There he decided to open his laptop and send his wife an e-mail back in Minneapolis. However, he accidentally left off one letter in her address, and sent the e-mail without realizing his error.

In Houston, a widow had just returned from her husband’s funeral. He was a minister of many years who had been “called home to glory following a heart attack. The widow checked her e-mail, expecting messages from relatives and friends. Upon reading the first message, she fainted and fell to the floor.

The widow’s son rushed into the room, found his mother on the floor, and saw the computer screen which read:

To: My Loving Wife

From: Your Departed Husband

Subject: I’ve Arrived!

I’ve just arrived and have been checked in. I see that everything has been prepared for your arrival tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing you then. Hope your journey is as uneventful as mine was.

P.S. Sure is hot down here!

That’s the humor for the day.

Now back to reality. Hell is real. Never forget that. And of course, there is someone who would wish that we did.

Prov  27:21a “Hell and destruction are never full…”

 Rev 20:14,15 “Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”

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CHRISTian Bumper Stickers and Signs…

James 1:5,6a “If any of you lacks wisdom let him ask of God, Who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith…”

CHRISTian Bumper Stickers and Signs

Be Fishers of Men…. You fish, He catches & Cleans ’em.
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A clean conscience makes a soft pillow.
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A family altar can alter a family.
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A lot of kneeling will keep you in good standing.
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Are you wrinkled with burden? Come on into Church for a faith lift!
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Coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous.
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Do your best and then sleep in peace. God is Awake.
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Don’t put a question mark where God put a period.
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Don’t wait for 6 strong men to take you to church.
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Exercise daily. Walk with the Lord!
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Fear knocked. Faith answered. No one was there
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For all you do, His blood’s for you!
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Forbidden fruits create many jams.
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Give God what’s right, not what’s left!
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Give Satan an inch and he’ll be a ruler.
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God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.
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God doesn’t want shares of your life; He wants controlling interest!
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God grades on the cross, not the curve.
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God loves everyone, but probably prefers “fruits of the spirit” over “religious nuts”!
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God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.
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Having truth decay? Brush up on your Bible!
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He who angers you controls you!
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He who is good at making excuses is seldom good for anything else.
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He who kneels before God can stand before anyone!
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If God is your Co-pilot – Swap seats!
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In the sentence of life the Devil may be a comma, but
DO NOT let him be the PERIOD!
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Kindness is difficult to give away because it keeps coming back.
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Man’s way leads to a hopeless end! God’s way leads to an endless hope!
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Most people want to serve God, but only in an advisory capacity.
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Never give the devil a ride! He will always want to drive!
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Nothing ruins the truth like stretching it.
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Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.
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“Pray” is a four letter word that you can say anywhere except in a public school.
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Prayer -Don’t give God instructions – just report for duty!
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Read The Bible…It Will Scare The Hell Out Of You!
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The task ahead of us is never as great as the Power behind us.
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The Will of God will never take you to where the Grace of God will not protect you.
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This Church is “Prayer Conditioned”!
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To be almost saved is to be totally lost.
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Wal-Mart isn’t the only saving place!
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WARNING: Exposure to the Son may prevent burning!
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Watch your step carefully! Everyone else does!
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We don’t change the message, the message changes us.
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We set the sail; God makes the wind.
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We’re too blessed to be depressed.
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When God ordains, He sustains.
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Wisdom has two parts: 1) Having a lot to say. 2) Not saying it.
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Worry is the darkroom in which “negatives” are developed.
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You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage him.

Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

The 10 Commandments and Idol Worship…

Exodus 20:2a-6 “I am the Lord your God…

  • “You shall have no other gods before
  • “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.”
  • At the end of this challenge there is a quiz, be sure to take it!

The 10 Commandments and Idol Worship….

When you hear of someone worshipping an Idol you usually picture some statue with people praying to it and even making offerings to it. So when you are asked if you worship idols you immediately think that you are not in with those folks.  You see yourself as being good at least on the first two commandments of God to us having to do with idol worship. If we truly are keeping the first two then the other eight noted below should be easy. But if you are breaking the first two then the next eight are usually a product of that sin of idolatry. Look at them and you will see that if you are worshipping anything, person or statue and not worshipping God then breaking the other eight is easy.

  • “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
  • “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.Six days you shall labor and do all your work,but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
  • “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
  • “You shall not murder.
  • “You shall not commit adultery.
  • “You shall not steal.
  • “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
  • “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

So, the real question is whether idolatry is simply the worship of some statue or can it be the worship of other items or people including self. A preacher some 300 years ago gave the following list of 7 questions as a test to folks to see if they were worshipping idols. When you read it you will see that our nature or humanity is the same today as it was then so the test is as relevant today as it was then. Technology may change and do so rapidly but the human nature that Adan and Eve had is no different than what we have today. I have added the verses that help me on each question and hopefully you also.

  1. What are you most disappointed with right now?
    1. Ex 20:3 “You shall have no other gods before me.”
  2. What do you sacrifice your time and money for?
    1. Mat 6:21 “for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also”
  3. What do you worry about? What scares you?
    1. 2 Tim 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
  4. Where do you go when you hurt?
    1. Mat 11:28-30 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
  5. What makes you mad? The following is an example of righteous anger…..
    1. Mark 11:15 “So they came to Jerusalem. Then Jesus went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves.”
  6. What brings you the most joy?
    1. Romans 14:17-19 “for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men. 19Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.”
  7. Whose applause do you long for?
    1. 2 Tim 4:7-8 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”

 

So, how did you do on the quiz? And if you did not like some of your answers what are you going to do about it?

 

I John 1:8-10 “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”

 

It’s never too late to change your worship patterns.

 

Heb 12:1-2 “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Directions for Living Your Life…

All of us need improvement in our lives. Check out the following to see which will piece of advice best meets your needs.

James 1:2,3 “For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is
like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself,

goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. “

Directions for Living Your Life…

  1. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
    2. Memorize your favorite verse(s) of scripture.
    3. Don’t believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want. Check things out with scripture and run from those that do not line up with God’s word.
    4. When you say, “I love you”, mean it.
    5. When you say, “I’m sorry”, look the person in the eye and also mean it.
    6. Believe in Jesus and be a part of His work on this earth before He returns a 2nd time.
    7. Believe in love God’s way.
    8. Never laugh at anyone’s dreams.
    9. Love deeply and passionately and do it unconditionally as God does.
    10. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling. Not even fighting may be the best solution. Listen much more than talking.
    11. Don’t judge people by their relatives or your values. Or by what you perceive their motives to be. If scripture does clearly ID that it is wrong, maybe you are the one with the log in your eye.
    12. Talk slowly. Listen long…………..
    13. When someone asks you a question you don’t want to answer, smile and
    ask, “Why do you want to know?” or simply be silent. Lying is never ok.
    14. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risks.
    15. Call your Mom (and your dad) today. Oh, don’t forget the Grandparents, now that I am one! And maybe twice a day for them, they need it!
    16. Remember as you look into the mirror that Jesus will always love you.
    17. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
    18. Remember the three R’s: Respect for self; Respect for others; Responsibility for all your actions.
    19. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
    20. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it. And do not be afraid to say you were wrong.
    21. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.
    22. Marry the one you love to talk to and is a friend. As you get older,
    the conversational skills will be as important as any other.
    23. Spend much time alone with God so He can direct your path and do it first thing in the morning.
    24. REMEMBER, God’s values do not change over time. His absolutes are for eternity. Only the wisdom of this world changes.
    25. Silence is frequently the best answer.
    26. Read more books and watch less TV. Especially read The Book that God has authored, the Bible.
    27. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll get to enjoy it a second time.
    28. Trust in God and lean not upon your own understanding.
    29. A loving atmosphere in your home is so important. Do all you can to create a tranquil harmonious home.
    30. In disagreements with loved ones, deal with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past. Don’t go to bed angry.
    31. Don’t read between the lines it almost always is wrong.
    32. Share your faith. It’s a way to achieve immortality and help someone else to do the same.
    33. Be gentle with all.
    34. Pray from the heart and not with repetition. There’s immeasurable power in it.
    35. Never interrupt.
    36. Mind your own business.
    37. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.
    38. If you make a lot of money, put it to use as God intends by helping
    others while you are on this earth. Make sure God gets the first fruits and not the last or leftovers.
    39. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes exactly the way God has planned it.
    40. Learn the rules, then keep them. The rules are written in the Book (Bible).
    41. Remember that the best relationship is one where your love for each other is greater than your need for each other.
    42. Judge your success by what you willingly gave up in order to get it.
    43. Remember that your character is how the world judges you.
    44. Remember that what you did with the knowledge of Jesus as your
    Savior is how God the Father will judge you. John 3:3, 14:6

Now how do you look in the mirror?

James 1:5,6 “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.”

Putting things into the Right Perspective…

I Tim 6:6 “Godliness with contentment is great gain.”
***Putting things into the Right Perspective!!!

“Come in,” God said to me,
“So, you would like to interview Me?”

“If you have the time,” I said.

God smiled and said:
“My time is called eternity and is enough to do everything;
What questions do you have in mind to ask me?”
” Probably none that are new to you.

What’s the one thing that surprises you most about mankind?”

God answered:

– That they get bored of being children, are in a rush to grow up, and then long to be children again.
– That they lose their health to make money and then lose their money to restore their health.
– That by thinking anxiously about the future, they forget the present, such that they live neither for the present nor the future.

– That they willing trade fellowship with Me for the pleasures of sin for a moment that bring spiritual and physical death.
– That they live as if they will never die, and they die as if they had never lived…”

God’s hands took mine and we were silent.

After a long period, I said,
“May I ask you another question?”

“As a Parent, what would you ask your children to do?”

God replied with a smile:

– To learn that they cannot make anyone love them.
– The first step is to display My love which is unconditional.”
– To learn that it takes years to build trust, and a few seconds to destroy it.
– To learn that what is most valuable is not the things they have in their lives, but who they have in their lives.
– To learn that it is not good to compare themselves to others. There will be others better and worse than they are.
– To learn that a rich person is not one who has the most, but is one who gives the most.
– To learn that they should control their attitudes, otherwise their attitudes will control them.
– To learn that it only takes a few seconds to open profound wounds in persons we love, and that it takes many years to heal them.
– To learn to forgive by practicing forgiveness.
– To learn that there are persons that love them dearly, but simply do not know how to show their feelings.
– To learn that money can buy things that will perish but it cannot buy happiness and fulfillment and peace that last for eternity.
– To learn that while at times they may be entitled to be upset, that does not give them the right to upset those around them.
– To learn that great dreams of eternal value do not require inner strength, but they do require My strength to achieve.
– To learn that true friends are scarce, he/she who has found one has found a true treasure.
– To learn that it is not always enough that they be forgiven by others, but that they forgive others and themselves. Even when you are the offended.
– To learn that they are masters of what they keep to themselves and slaves of what they say.
– To learn that they shall reap what they plant; if they plant gossip they will harvest intrigues, if they plant love they will harvest happiness.
– To learn that happiness is a blessing and a decision. They decide to be happy with what they are and have, or die from envy and jealousy of what they lack.
– To learn that two people can look at the same thing and see something totally different.
– To learn that those who are honest with themselves and those around them will be content and at peace regardless of the circumstances.
– To learn that even though they may think they have nothing to give, when a friend cries with them, they find the strength to appease the pain.
– By learning when to hold on to loved ones, and when to let go of those they love, they will be side by side forever.
– To learn that even though the word “love” has many different meanings, it loses value when it is overstated or falsely spoken.
– To learn that they can never do something extraordinary for Me to love them; I simply do.
– To learn that the shortest distance they could be from Me is the distance to their knees.”

Mat 6:33 “But seek you first the Kingdom of God and its righteousness…”

Where to find Absolute Truth for Today…

Where to find Absolute Truth!

We all want answers to the troubles of life. So, where do you go when you need an answer? How about the Bible? Some say the Bible was and is just the writings of men as are millions of books found in the local library. Is that the case?

Is the Gospel of John a book of John’s words and John’s wisdom? Is the book of Romans a book of Paul’s words and Paul’s wisdom? The same question applies to the other books of scripture. Just who’s thoughts, words and wisdom, are they? The question is are the scriptures actually the word, thoughts and truths of God or of men? If they are the truths of God and not men we then have the ONLY source of truth we will ever need for directing our paths through life!! And if the authors are human then the thoughts conveyed there are merely that, only the thoughts of men.

Also, one of my bibles has the words that Jesus spoke outlined in red. There is a danger in thinking that only those words are God’s words. I remember a 6th grader saying to me during an AWANA night (kids program at church) that those red letters mean that God is speaking to us. With that thought process they unknowingly were thinking that all the other words were not from God. The truth is that God inspired and protects the words in black print also. I don’t know about you, but the scriptures take on a much more important place in my life when just Who is speaking to me is recognized as God!!!!! Listen to what God declares about His word and then you decide.

II Tim 3:16,117 “All scripture is given by the inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness so that the man of God may be made perfect thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

Then the question arises about how God did it. Now listen to how our Lord recorded His word.

II Peter 3:18 “Knowing this first that no prophesy of scripture is of any private interpretation, for the prophesy came not in old times by the will of men, but holy men of God spoke, as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”

The lives that God used to reveal His word to us do have significance. Those individuals and their lives had an awesome privilege in that God used their lives to point out His direction and truth for our lives. In the Bible God used the lives of 40 different people to reveal His truths. The important thing is that they are God’s truths and wisdom and not those of the scribes. The truths of scripture are God’s truths which only He allowed to be recorded as such and protects down through the ages. God also promises to protect His truths down through the ages so that no man can change them and so that every generation has them. The jot and tittle noted in Mat 5:18 are small punctuation marks in the languages God used to record His word and even those will not be lost down through the ages so that we have all the truth to make eternal decisions by.

Mat 5:18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.

Isa 55:10,11 “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth and make it bring forth and bud that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”

One great example of how God revealed His truths is recorded in the last book of the Bible. Listen to how God revealed it to us.

Rev 1:911a “I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, 11 saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book…”

Whose writings and counsel do you turn to?

Psalm 1:1-4 “Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, but his delight is in the law of the Lord and in the law does he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth it’s fruit in its season, and whatever he does shall prosper.”

Silence can be Deadly…

Romans 10: 13,14a”For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord  shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? …”

Silence can be Deadly!

There are people near us who are going down spiritually. Some are dead spiritually
because they don’t know the Savior and some are hurting and are having trouble reaching
out to their Savior. Are you able and willing to help them this morning? Of course it may
require that you look for those needing help and it will require your time and love.

Once you realize the ultimate reason why you are where you are, your everyday
activities will never be everyday again. Consider the example of the young woman from
the Word of God in 2 Kings 5:2-3. It’s the story of a young Jewish girl who has been
taken captive by the Syrians and forced to become a servant girl in the home of a Syrian
military commander. She’s clearly a victim of unfair circumstances beyond her control.
She’s in a situation that had to be lonely, she’s ripped from her home, forced to live in
another country, and we can be pretty sure she’s in a place she doesn’t want to be. But
none of that makes her forget why she is where she is. In the course of her everyday
chores, she has the opportunity to save a life – and she does.

Her master, General Naaman, has developed leprosy. He’ll die from it unless he
can find a cure which, humanly, does not exist. But the Bible tells us, “She said to her
mistress,’ If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure
him of his leprosy.'” She realizes she is in a unique position to save this man’s life
because she knows the dying person and she knows the only one who can save him.
If you belong to Jesus Christ, that is exactly the position God has put us in with the
people we go to school with, the people we work with, the people we live close to, the
people we recreate with, the people in our family.

When we go where we go each day to do what we do, we go on an eternal
rescue mission! Jesus put us there for a reason. So, how are we doing? Every day,
we are there to show by our life the difference Jesus makes and to capture every
God-given opportunity to tell them how they can belong to Him. And suddenly our
everyday takes on eternal significance.

That Syrian commander didn’t die because someone who worked for him
cared enough to tell him how he could live. Imagine if that girl had been too shy
or too scared to speak up about the answer she knew. Her silence would have been
his death sentence. And so it is for the people near us who don’t know Jesus. Our
silence could mean their death sentence, because we know the Jesus who is their
only hope. They don’t know Him, but they do know us. And, humanly speaking, we
are their best chance – maybe their only chance – of ever belonging to Jesus, of ever
being in heaven.

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Romans 10:13-15 “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”

Each of us has the responsibility (Mat 28:19, 20) and the power (Phil 4:13) to share the gospel.