John 12:21 The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus.
It was a great feast which hosted a large number of people. These feasts might be considered festivals with visitors coming from surrounding cities. Attractions and readily available merchandise lined the narrow, cobblestoned streets, but of all the things accessible, the Greeks sought out Jesus. “We would see Jesus.” Philip went to Andrew, who in turn took action. These traveling Greeks bypassed the celebration and festivities. They seemed uninterested in the temporal times afforded them. They just wanted to see the Lord. This is the desire of the lost soul. Whether they are aware or not; whether they can consciously make that statement or not, they are desperate to see Him! Yet the only Jesus they are going to see is us. Yes, we are the image of Christ on the earth. We are the ones to whom He gave the commission. We are His hands, His feet, His mouth. If the world is going to see Jesus today, they will see Him through the people called by His name.
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The burden on the church is at an all time high. Never has the darkness overshadowed the world like it is today. Our society is morally bankrupt; spiritually adrift; and emotionally damaged. While religion has grown, the Word has faded. Christianity must become full of Christians again. Spirit filled and Spirit-led churches must function under the integrity of the Word so that the Spirit can move. When the light grows strong enough, lost souls will make their way toward it, but if the church lives like the world, there will be no reason for the lost to seek out this great salvation. We want to see Jesus, but more than that, we want to live in His image so the world can see Him too.
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole
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2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the test? NIV
Romans 8:8-9 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
I could not escape Paul’s admonition to the churches in both Corinth and Rome. It seems that his message was more universal than specific to one particular region. The matter included people who considered themselves Christians, but also wanted to live according to the desires of their flesh. They wanted a portion of the world and a portion of the Spirit. Paul said that the flesh cannot please God, meaning that no one can have a little of both. It’s either “All In” for the Cause of Christ or a diluted faith littered with fleshy intent and excuses for worldly pleasures. Paul wrote these words almost 2,000 years ago, but he could have been speaking to our generation this very day. The fact is that most church goers do not want to examine themselves. They would rather rest on their intent instead of their obedience. Yet I rise to say that this cannot be. We must be dedicated to the work of the Church and the Word with all of our hearts, souls, minds and strength. Riding the fence is just as bad as being totally lost. No one will barely make it to heaven. I remind you of the scripture: 1 Peter 4:18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
Our salvation is no trivial matter. We must be totally and completely sold out to Worship, the Word; the church and every Spiritual endeavor. No talent or gift can lay buried or unused. It’s all or nothing. We must Walk after the Spirit!
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole
Psalm 118:6 The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?
It’s a small passage of scripture that often captivates my thoughts. In most cases I begin with the end in mind, i.e., the result based on the premise, but in this case the psalmist puts the Lord in His place. The Lord is where? “on my side.” It is His location to me that provokes faith and not fear. It’s where He is that makes all the difference. He is beside me and that fact alone changes the setting and scene.
Yet how easy it is for us to forget the intention of our God? We struggle with doubt and bewilderment simply because we believe that we are all alone. When we forget where He is; when we are distracted by some circumstance in our life, that is when we are set at odds with the truth. He said that He would never leave us. He will never forsake us. It’s only when we fail to see our place in Christ that we lean toward worry and fear.
How often have I stumbled in the face of men only to run back to the knowledge of this truth. The presence of the Lord is enough to sustain me. It’s more than enough to thwart the attacks of the enemy. This is not to say that harm is impossible. David is not saying that accusations and slander will not come. He certainly did not imply that we are free from the pressing of people or tribulation. These things were experienced by the saints throughout the ages. There were persecutions and pains to be sure, but in light of our faith and in the reality of our will, man can do nothing. God is on our side! The physical world cannot steal our faith or our hope without our permission. The natural realm cannot dismantle our doctrine or destroy our worship. No one can take your praise unless you let them. The Lord is our Protector, Keeper, High Tower, Refuge, and Strength. The Lord is on our side.
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole