Month: June 2017
“And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved…” (Acts 2:21)
Did you catch the universality of the invitation to salvation?
- Not just the saintly ones…EVERY ONE
- Not just the white people, the black people, the yellow people, the red people, or purple people…EVERY ONE
- Not just the straight ones, or the gay ones, or the we don’t mind either ones…EVERY ONE
The invitation to receive the gift of salvation is open to EVERY ONE.
AND…did you catch the absolute exclusivity of the invitation to salvation?
Everyone WHO CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD will be saved.
- Not everyone is saved by default. Only those WHO CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD will be saved.
- You have to call on Jesus. You have to call on the name of the Lord.
- Did you know every time you utter Jesus, you are literally saying “Save me”? The name Jesus, in the Greek is “Ihsus”, which is a derivative of the Hebrew “Yeshua”.
- Both “Ihsus” and “Yeshua” literally means “Savior”, “Deliverer”, “Rescuer”
- Every time you utter the name of Jesus, you are literally saying “Save me.”
In Acts 4:12 we are told, “Salvation is found in non one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to humankind by which we must be saved.”
The pathway to salvation is through Jesus and Jesus alone. It is absolutely exclusive. And yet, this pathway to salvation is open to all. Salvation is universally available to all who will call on the name of the Lord.
It is quite possible to read the Bible, go to church, memorize chunks of the Bible by heart…do all these churchy things and completely miss out on God. The Pharisees were experts of all these churchy things and Jesus made it crystal clear that they completely missed the Kingdom of God.
None of these are bad things, of course. They are good things, but none of these are the goal of the Christian life. It’s quite possible to do all of these things and miss Jesus completely. The goal is Jesus. All these things point to Jesus.
One of the most amazing things about this Jesus thing is that when we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior, this Jesus, this Savior, Lord, King of kings, Lord of lords, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, this Jesus promises to be a real presence in our lives.
What this means is that every time we open up the Bible to read, every time we open our hearts to pray, every time we worship, Jesus is fully present. It’s as if, when I was reading the Bible and journaling earlier today at Starbucks, Jesus was sitting in the chair in front of me!
Imagine that! The living Christ present with me, hanging out with me.
That’s exactly what Jesus promises. Jesus is present to Christ-followers through his Holy Spirit!
So, go ahead! Talk to him! Let him know how much you love him and are thankful to him. Really, do it. The next time you read the Bible, pray, or worship, do it as if Jesus is right there with you….because he is!
I know…I can smell it from here too.
That’s what cow-stalls were created for: cows. And because there are real, living, eating, and you know…the other thing that happens after we eat…cows, stalls need to be regularly cleaned and taken care.
Proverbs 14:4 says, “Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty, but from the strength of the ox come abundant harvest.”
If you want a clean, non-crappy, sanitized manger don’t put cows in it. You might have a clean manger, but if you’re a farmer, you’re not going to have much of a harvest. A clean manger but no power, no harvest.
The church exists for people. And wherever there are people, there’s crap because every single person comes with their scars, their past, their demons, their baggage, theirs struggles and their sin. But church and ministry exists for people. In fact the signs and manifestations of God changing people are people! And the more people there are, there’s bound to be more crap.
And that’s good.
- Dealing with crap is a good thing! There are people there, and God is at work
- Managing well, responding with grace and integrity to crap…that’s what Godly leadership is
So, lead well. The church is full of crap…and that’s ok. I didn’t say it was pleasant. Just look at that picture. You know that place stinks.
But I would much rather that have than then a clean, sanitized, life-less, empty manger.