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Tuesday, September 13, 2011
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"Jesus Is Still The Answer"
"But they will have to give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead" (1 Peter 4:5).
I’ve attended many large concerts and conventions over the years such as the "Creation Festival" held annually in central Pennsylvania. I specifically recall attending a concert in Springfield MO as a college student in the mid-seventies with Andrae Crouch and the Disciples, a popular band at that time. I recall the Lord touching my heart as Andrae repeatedly sang these words, "Jesus Is The Answer" in response to the stanzas that presented life’s questions to complex issues that every person faces. That was about 36 years ago but the truth of that song is just as vital now and prompts today’s message.
Many of you will remember the game, “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” where the host would typically ask the contestant, “Is that your final answer?” It was during the popularity of this weekly game show that I saw a young man’s t-shirt that read, "Jesus, that is my final answer." Now that very notion is increasingly offensive to many, but Jesus is the answer from our greatest need to our smallest need.
In our daily Scripture reference the apostle Peter is writing to a group of first century believers undergoing persecution. This passage (1 Peter 4:1-5) was very meaningful to me as a new Christian in the seventies. I had accepted Jesus Christ as my Saviour, but for over a year I lived with nominal commitment to His cause. I still wanted to have my associations with the world as I continued to "walk the fence." What a miserable way to live! A committed believer sat down with me and boldly shared this passage and the Holy Spirit did His wonderful work of enlightening and convicting my heart.
Peter forthrightly tells his initial readers and all who heed the sacred words of Scripture, "You have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do" (v.3). He goes on to make a list of sinful behavior that sounds very familiar to what pagans still choose to do in our day.
The pagans, in observing the transformed life of the believer, "think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you" (v.4). (The words "heap abuse" translated from the Greek is to "blaspheme.") Indeed the early believers encountered abuse and so do we. This abuse may be verbal ridicule from a fellow worker, the writings of a pagan "intellectual" or for some of our brethren, physical torture and death.
Peter makes the solemn statement found in the daily text: "But they will have to give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead" (1 Peter 4:5). This account will be the final answer and by far it is the most important.
Have you dealt with it yet? The apostle Paul wrote that "At the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Philippians 2:10,11). Greatly rejoice today if you have taken care of this accounting and join me in boldly declaring, "Jesus is my final answer." If you have not made this decision I urge you, please delay no longer.
Here is a sample prayer that expresses belief and commitment to Jesus Christ: "Jesus, thank you for loving me. I confess that I am a sinner. I believe You are the promised Messiah who came to die for my sins. Please forgive me of my sin and come into my life. I receive You as my Savior and will follow You as my Lord. Thank You for hearing my prayer. Amen".
Jesus is the answer, for the world today.
Above Him there's no other, Jesus is the way.
If you have some questions, in the corners of your mind.
Traces of discouragement, and peace you cannot find.
Reflections of your past, seem to face you everyday.
But this one thing I do know, Jesus is the way.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, You've appointed us to live in a decadent age where the hearts of men are turned away from the true living God and live instead by the world’s principles. But we who have the indwelling Holy Spirit must continue to build our lives on the foundation of our holy faith as we spread the gospel message, "Jesus is the first and final answer to all of life's problems." We seek to be directed by Your Spirit and live in such a way that we honor You even as scoffers ridicule us. May we show mercy to those whose faith is wavering and rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. In the process of daily living, as we reach out to the lost and dying, help us not to stumble so that on Your appointed day we will be brought into Your glorious presence innocent of sin.
(Prayer prompted by Jude 22,23)
Stephen's Note: In an interview several years ago a reporter for a business publication asked me this question concerning faith in the workplace: "What are companies doing to make the workplace more inclusive?" I told him, "In my view, a major problem of the present business environment is that certain groups are easily offended and use this as a wedge to advance their own agenda. After all, everybody has something they can be offended about."
Brooksyne’s Note: The message today reminds me of the following story: A young man came to D.L. Moody and said, “Mr. Moody, I want to be a Christian; but must I give up the world? Moody characteristically replied, “Young man, if you live the out-and-out Christian life, the world will soon give you up.” If there isn’t a price to pay for our life in Christ we have good reason to evaluate the genuineness of our discipleship.
Traveling through central Pennsylvania I came upon a vegetable processing plant for Hanover Foods, in this case trailer loads of freshly harvested green beans.
The beans were offloaded then sent up a conveyor where they were washed prior to going into the plant. I would have found this an interesting plant tour!
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Jesus Is The Answer" Video Andrae Crouch When I listen to this song it takes me right back to that concert in Springfield, including Andrae Crouch's moving introductory remarks.
"Jesus Is Still The Answer" Video Collingsworth Family
"It's Still The Cross" Video Gold City
Today's Scripture portion in context. 1 Peter 4:1-5
Today's top photo was taken of Lake Ontario by a college student near Oswego, New York and sent to me by a friend.
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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