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Archive for March, 2019

How Do You See Jesus?

How do you see Jesus? If you were to try to picture Him in your mind, how do you see Him? Long brown hair, beard, brown eyes, olive-colored skin. Remember, He was born to a Jewish family. In His humanity He is of Jewish decent from the tribe of Judah. For me, I guess I’ve gotten used to seeing Jesus like this…

I see Jesus with kind eyes. I see Him as looking at me with that welcoming face. Let me ask you this. What is Jesus doing right now?

He’s on the throne, seated at the right hand of God, right? Right! He sees you right now. At this moment He sees you reading this, wherever you are. He’s as alive as you are at this very moment.

You know, sometimes we forget that, don’t we? It’s like “out of sight, out of mind.” We don’t see Him with our physical eyes and so it feels like He’s not close. But, think about it. When you invited Jesus to become the boss of your life… When you called on His name, repenting of your sins, acknowledging Him as your Lord and Savior… Yes, at that moment the Holy Spirit came to indwell you. After all, we are spirit beings. Our spirit (who we are) is housed in these “jars of clay” until we die. But, when we die, our spirit leaves our bodies and we go to heaven to be with the Lord.

To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.  2 Corinthians 5:8

God is a Spirit and we are made in His image, never forget that. We are spirits as well and when we receive Jesus by faith, we receive the Holy Spirit (who comes to indwell our spirit). Remember when Jesus said:

Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. John 16:7

Jesus was speaking of the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity of God. Today, Jesus indwells my spirit through the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit guides my life and is my Teacher and Comforter.

Can you and I expect to experience the presence of God in our lives? Yes, as long as we are not quenching the Holy Spirit. 1 Thessalonians 5:19 simply says: Do not quench the Spirit.

How do we do this? Well, when the word “quench” is used in Scripture, it is speaking of suppressing fire. When believers put on the shield of faith, (as part of their armor of God), they are extinguishing the power of the fiery darts of Satan. Jesus described Hell as a place where the fire would not be “quenched.” (Mark 9:44-48) The same is true of the Holy Spirit. He (and He is a HE…He is NOT an “it” or some ethereal thing), is literally like a fire dwelling in each believer and He wants to show Himself in how we live. Yet, when we don’t allow Him to be seen by our actions, (because of sin), we suppress or quench the Spirit.

Again, the Holy Spirit possesses a personality. Only a PERSON can be grieved. You might need to read that again. The Holy Spirit feels. That’s why He can be grieved. You have to feel to be grieved. And get this… It’s okay to FEEL the presence of the Holy Spirit. It’s okay to actually have your soul stirred and fired up! Ephesians 4:30 says we shouldn’t grieve the Holy Spirit. But, we grieve the Spirit by living like unbelievers (4:17-19), by lying (4:25), by being angry (4:26-27), by stealing (4:28), by cussing (4:29), by being bitter and unforgiving (4:31-32), and by being sexually immoral (5:3-5). To grieve the Holy Spirit is to be living in a sinful manner.

Therefore, if you are having a hard time “feeling the presence of God,” you could be quenching the Spirit. And if you are quenching the Spirit, you are likely living in a way that is not walking in lock-step with the Lord. Believe me, I have to constantly look to the Lord to help me see the truth about myself because I don’t like admitting when I’m wrong. I want to be right! I want to be in control. Yet, when I, I, I takes control, then I’m going to soon begin to quench the Spirit in most instances.

Do, you know what helps me? To see Jesus! To picture Him in my mind when I’m dealing with things. Let’s say I’m having to have a tough conversation with someone. I try to picture Jesus over that person’s shoulder smiling back at me. Like He’s saying, “I’m here Kevin…I can help you.” That helps me to visualize Him in a way that puts me in a frame of mind to allow Him to guide my words and not my flesh.

How do you see Jesus?

This is how I see Him…

I can’t wait to see Him face to face, but until then…I’m so grateful for His Spirit to go with me wherever I go!

On that theme, here’s today’s Two-Minute Tuesday: http://mpbc.ws/media/?sapurl=Lys3ZWViL2xiL21pLytyNWJ3czU0P2JyYW5kaW5nPXRydWUmZW1iZWQ9dHJ1ZQ==

Kevin

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Have you noticed something lately about post-game interviews with winners of games? Have you noticed that a lot of them thank the Lord? Many even go so far as to say, “I want to thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ?” I have! I’ve noticed a lot! And do you know what that makes me think about?

Platforms

What’s a platform? This is…

That’s the Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs! And they won the Big South Championship over the weekend by defeating Radford 76-65 and they’ll be playing in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. https://gwusports.com/news/2019/3/10/mens-basketball-lets-dance-gardner-webb-punches-ncaa-ticket-sunday-with-76-65-win-at-radford.aspx.  I’m very excited and proud of those guys. I signed with Gardner-Webb out of High School.

My dad played for G-W too! So, we were both tickled to see them win and get into the “Big Dance!” But, here’s the cool thing. Their win became a platform for the Lord. Here’s how. The coach for the team is Tim Craft. He’s in his sixth season with the team.

He said this after the game at the press conference (his platform): “I’m just really humbled right now and blessed to get a chance to coach this group of guys. I want to give all the honor and glory to Jesus Christ, number one, and just thank God for what he’s done in my life, our family’s life and these players’ lives. I’m really proud of them. It was a hard fought win here on the road and I’m just really proud of them for pulling through.”

How about that! Didn’t Coach Craft do that well!!! What a powerful platform! Gardner-Webb will now await “Selection Sunday” this Sunday evening to find out where they will be headed for its first NCAA Tournament game. A lot of people may not know, but the Runnin’ Bulldogs have a lot of tournament experience through the years. They made national tournament appearances at the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and NCAA Division II. My dad played for G-W. He’s #42. Here’s the 1967-68 team.

They were a fantastic team! They ended up playing in the NJCAA in Hutchinson, Kansas for the Junior College National Championship. They didn’t win it, but were one of the best teams in the country. See #54 in the middle? The guy beside my dad… That’s Artis Gilmore (who later played in the NBA). Gilmore was/is 7′ 2″ tall and could pin a basketball on the rim flat-footed. Here’s a closer picture of Dad and Artis.

Gilmore became one of five college basketball players ever to average at least 20 points and 20 rebounds over his career at 24.3 and 22.7. Gilmore led the NCAA in rebounding both years at Jacksonville, and his career average of 22.7 rebounds per game is still the highest in NCAA Division I history.

For my dad…

and for me…

Basketball has always been a platform for us. We’ve used it throughout our lives to start conversations and relate to people about “the game of life.”

What’s your platform? We all have one. Certainly your job is a platform. Your family is a platform. Your social media page is a platform. For me, my ministry is a platform. My family. This blog. Two-Minute Tuesday.

The truth is: everything we do is a platform…either good or bad. What kind of influence are we making on others? As a believer…what we say and do is going to draw people closer to Christ or push them away from Christ. You pick the platform, but that former statement is truth no matter what.

I’m grateful for Coach Tim Craft. Take a couple of minutes and watch the opening comments. It’s a beautiful example of a platform. You’ll also note the players with the coach… D.J. Laster (scored 32 points) and David Efianayi (15 points). They are both so polite and gracious as well. Laster talks about how God made him strong and prepared him for this moment. It reminded me of Queen Esther (For such a time as this…).

What a great use of platforms. I pray the Lord will continue to help me use mine. You pray that He’ll help you use yours for His glory!

Here’s this week’s Two-Minute Tuesday: “Who’s Your One?”

http://mpbc.ws/media/?sapurl=Lys3ZWViL2xiL21pLytkd2M5dDZnP2JyYW5kaW5nPXRydWUmZW1iZWQ9dHJ1ZQ==

Kevin

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Have you seen this?

That’s pretty sobering. In fact if you do the math on it…from 2008 to 2017, the decline in baptisms throughout the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is down a whopping 18%. Look at good ole “Bible Belt” North Carolina:

We’ve dropped almost 22% in the past 10 years from 2008 to 2017. That’s scary stuff!

Folks, what’s scarier is that if you extrapolate this out for another 40 years… Well…it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to tell you that Christianity through the SBC is dying. Why is that the case? Take a look at a potential reason according to Barna Research:

 

That’s mind-boggling to me! 51% of churchgoers says they’ve never heard of the Great Commission! Are you serious! Those are our marching orders! Jesus is the one that gave us the Great Commission. This is not something obscure…something buried somewhere in the Bible in Obadiah or Zephaniah! This is in the New Testament from the mouth of Jesus:

Matthew 28:19-20

19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Jesus also said:

Acts 1:8

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Hey folks, we have the power of the Holy Spirit to help us share the good news of Jesus Christ so that folks might be saved and then follow Him in believer’s baptism. These are indeed our marching orders.

Do you know what I’m afraid of? I’m afraid as believers we see Jesus as someone we use like we do the Emergency Room. We don’t see Him like we do our cell phones. Is your cell phone near you? Do you know where it’s at right now? I bet you do. I bet you might have it within 10 feet of you. You KNOW WHERE YOUR CELL PHONE IS AT ALL TIMES. Why? Because it’s very, very important to you. It’s a lifeline to so many people and so many things in your life (and mine). But, the Emergency Room is someplace we only go to when we’ve got a big-time problem. And that’s how we can treat Jesus. We only go to Him with the problems and the cancer, and the inability to pay the mortgage. The everyday stuff…nah! I’ll use Google for that.

Here’s the point… Jesus wants to be wanted. Did you know that? He’s a person. He wants to be involved in our lives and when He is…then, He becomes important to us. He becomes more important than anything…including our cell phones. And when He has the place of prominence in our lives, then we will experience such power and joy in our lives through Him that we can’t help but tell others about Him. Trying to stop us from telling someone about all He’s done and is doing in our lives would be like trying to stop a tsunami.

Mom and Dad: are your children born again? Are they teenagers? If they are and you still aren’t sure they are saved…then, that’s your most important priority and you better get on it! Ma’am, Sir: Are you a Christian? If you are, then who has the Lord placed in your life…your circle of influence that needs to hear from you about Jesus?

Folks, we’re not getting the job done because we are so preoccupied with other things. I’m the chief of sinners, believe me. But, I’m working on it. I’m trying to be more intentional. I’m asking Jesus to help me open my eyes and yes, open my mouth and tell people about Him. Truly, He’s the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me. He’s everything to me and I want others to know Him… I want others to know the joy and peace I have. I want people to experience the presence of Jesus, because there’s nothing better in this life than Him. And what is more, when we know Him, He’ll take us from this life to our new life in heaven one day! It doesn’t get any better than that!

Here’s this week’s Two-Minute Tuesday on the subject we’ve just talked about: “We’re Not Getting the Job Done.” You should watch this…because the stats are fascinating.

http://mpbc.ws/media/?sapurl=Lys3ZWViL2xiL21pLytqbm5qeGJ3P2JyYW5kaW5nPXRydWUmZW1iZWQ9dHJ1ZQ==

Kevin

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