Whatsoever Things Are True
by Dan Coburn
Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church
Hey Christians!  Do you remember a time when Jesus was the first thing on your mind in the morning, and the last thing on your mind at night? 
When you hear "return to your first love", does it stir even a mild response? Do you remember actually feeling guilty over sin - participation in a bad joke, or hurting someone's feelings for sport?  Has your relationship with Universe Maker devolved to a "circle the wagons" strategy in which you are just getting through life rather than living it "more abundantly"? Was there ever a time when Scripture flooded your mind in time of need or in response to a situation or circumstance? 
An old Baptist adage declares that  "A new Christian has to backslide for six months in order to have fellowship with the rest of us".  Cheeky, but true. Have you ever noticed someone who only placed their faith in Christ a week ago, quote Scripture like a Seminary graduate?  And finally, do you remember a time when you grieved over your sin? I don't mean a casual response, but a gut wrenching, I can't hardly breath, God forgive me repentance. If not, I have a formula for you. It is an observation found in John 12:16. Before we go there, I would like to remind you of a character named Saul. His encounter with Christ happened on the road to Damascus where he planned to round up Christians, and have them beaten, imprisoned or killed.  This isn't supposition as he shares his intentions openly both before and after the encounter. "What's that got to do with me preacher?". Well let's see.  Saul was convinced he was doing the will of God. He was a prominent leader of the "big Church". He was sure Jesus was a fraud, and hated Jesus'  disciples for claiming He was alive, and converting folks from the "religion de jour".  These Christians must be stopped. Any testimonies or post Christ writings were heresy in Saul's eyes, and must be stopped.  
Let's turn the Spiritual Switch.  Our John 12 Scripture goes like this - "These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him."  Stay with me; When Saul has a face to face with Jesus, his response is to glorify Him - see Acts 9:5. 1), he calls Jesus Lord.  This is huge. And what happened? Saul asks: "What would you have me to do?" vs 6.  
Nugget:  Only via this process, does God grant repentance, and the "scales" literally fall from our eyes.  In other words, Saul didn't understand the gospel, until he  glorified Jesus, Then he immediately remembered all the things that were written about Jesus, and the things he (Saul) had been doing against Him (Jesus), which caused him to repent painfully.  Sooooo,,, If you are disinterested in His Word, if you have become calloused to your own sin in His presence, perhaps - just perhaps,  you are not glorifying Him.   Next time, we will examine how you might or might not do this.  Till then God bless.

Cottonwood, Idaho 83522


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