Category Archives: Christian thought

Mission Sunday

As many know who are regular readers, I don’t have a “Home Church”, but visit several churches and fellowship with as many people of God as I can. This morning I was visiting my friends at the Nazarene Church and it was Mission Sunday (they have four a year) and I heard about the wonderful work of the “Jesus Film Harvest partners” and saw how they are spreading the Word of God without words.

The Jesus film is the Gospel of Luke show wordless so that the one film can be used world wide. The also have solar powered units and many other lightweight tools to share the Gospel. I was amazed at how simple and effective these tools can by used to share the Good News.

What I also found to ironic was the fact that I was inspired to write on the Great Commission for the month of July’s publication and also that my friends in the Evangelical Church have been singing praises about the GODTV channel on cable/satellite TV.

You can find out more about the Jesus film and their success with the film by going to JFHP.org. It is worth your while to invest your time going there,

Why the Great Commission.

( All verses are from the ESV translation unless stated otherwise)

In the Gospel of Mark it is written: “…Then they reported all these instructions briefly to Peter and his companions.  Afterward Jesus Himself sent them out from east to west with the sacred and unfailing message of salvation that gives eternal life. Amen.” (Mark 16:8 NLT) [This ending is not found in all translations.  Most copies of Mark omit this section of verse eight and add eleven more verses to the text. You can find the Commission otherwise in Mark 16:15 KJV] We call this the Great Commission to spread the Good News of the Gospel to the whole world.  It has always been my belief that none were to be spared the Good News, that none were to be denied the grace of salvation.  I searched the scriptures to prove this point and there is ample evidence that all who choose to come to the call of God and accept Jesus and the reconciliation of the Father are answered in the affirmative.

What I list in this article are only some of the scriptures that support this belief.  I  start with the Gospel of John 1:9-13, ” The true light which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.  …He came to His own and His own people did NOT RECIEVE HIM, but to ALL who did receive Him, who believed in His Name,  He gave the right to be called the Children of God… .”   This scripture clearly states that it is not a exclusive club that only a few can join but that any and all who choice to accept the Word of God through Jesus are to be added to  the family of God.  I know that most of the Christian world has memorized John 3:16 so I don’t think that I have to quote it here but it is further evidence that Salvation is available to all who seek it.  But I what to bring up other verses in the New Testament that support the Grace of Salvation is readily offered by the Father through Jesus Christ.

1 John 2:2.  “(Jesus) is the propitiation for our sins, and not only ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”  

 Couple this with the prior verse that we have an advocate with the Father who is Jesus Christ the Righteous, we are led to believe that the sins are forgiven of all who seek the advocacy of Jesus. We can still sin, we are human but we are forgiven of those sins by our Faith.  Just as the unsaved still sin, we are not totally free of the desires of the world so we will still slip up.  The difference is that because we have an advocate, we can call upon Him to grant us forgiveness.  Jesus is the satisfaction, our offering.  This in no way denies the forgiveness to others.  They must be willing to ask for it.  NO ONE is exempt from the forgiveness of the Father.  Jesus died for the sins of all mankind, no one is beyond forgiveness.  I know this because Jesus forgave me of the blasphemies of my heart and the vileness  of my regard for the believers.  When I sing Amazing Grace, it is my heart that tells the story.  Oh I know that I was dedicated at my birth, but my life was not of God’s will but of the Evil One.   Yet by Grace I was saved, I still had to make the choice.  If I did not ask for and accept the forgiveness of Christ, I would still be unsaved and doomed.  Jesus sacrificed Himself so that the like of me could know His Love.

Favorite Scripture

I’m curious?  What is your favorite scripture and what English translation do you prefer? 

 Please send them to me in the comments and if you like, tell me why you like this verse.  I hope that I will not receive a whole bunch of John 3:16, but a variety of verses. 

To start you off, my Salvation verse was Romans 4:6-9 and My Sanctification verse is Ephesians 1:13-14.(NAS)

I’m Back

As those of you that a regular readers of my blog have noticed, I haven’t been posting much the last couple of months.  I’ve been busy with other stuff and was sick, then my wife (who is my spiritual proof reader) was sick.  Then she fell and broke a rib and was on strong pain killers and not very lucid.  And I had some construction going on so I wasn’t thinking of what the Lord wanted me to share.

Things are back to normal now so I think that I can put more effort in my prayer life and my search through Scriptures to find wonderful thing to share with all of you.  Right off the bat, I can say that the Scripture for today in my everyday living is Psalm 103. But also read Jeremiah 31:1-3, 21-23.

I also want to say that we had an opportunity go take part in a Messianic Seder in April during Passover week.  I am a strong believer in the Traditions of Faith and this is one of them.  A Messianic Seder combines the Traditions of the Jewish Passover Feast with the Promise fulfilled by Jesus. The one I went to used the Seder feast as communion and it was very meaningful and Spiritual to me.  Next year, I will seek out these Messianic Jews and see if we can join them again.

Lazarus, the Rich Man, and the Bossom of Abraham (part 2)

In part one I dwelt on the plight of the rich man.  Now I want to spend some time on Lazarus and the Jesus connection.

Scripture: Psalm 146, Luke 16:19-31, Isaiah 53:3-5

I will concentrate my story on Lazarus because I am concerned with the Lazarus’s of our lives., the lazarus of the World.  We have over the last few decades seem to placed our “Religion” on the “Jesus Loves ME (first)” mode and have as did the rich man rejected or ignored the plights of the poor, sick and rejected of the World.  But we don’t have to go to the far reached of the Third World countries to find the rejected and sick, they are in our home towns, or byways and under the overpasses of our highways.  They are in the streets of our cities; the homeless, the runaways and the underpaid single mothers of our affluent societies.  Just how many Lazarus are there? I haven’t a clue but I know that they number in the Millions.  The evidence of all the people that could be a Lazarus is all around us.  In fact, maybe there is a bit of Lazarus in you.

We have tried to help many of these rejected and ignored people in the World, we send workers into the refugee camps, protest civil right abuses, pass laws to protect and contribute to the needs of Missionaries.  But is this enough?  What we need to see is that there is a connection between Jesus and these Lazarus’s. We can go back in History and see how the Nations created the Lazarus’s, Starting with the U.S.A. with the oppression of the Native American, and the slavery of the Blacks to the practice of shunning and child labor.  But America was not alone in this and we have made great strides to change.  What is great about America is that we confess our sins to the World and try to make amends.  Throughout the World, there is over mounting evidence that Evil is done to the people and that whole peoples are turned into Lazarus.  People of all walks of life find themselves rejected and dispised through no fault of their own.

This is the Jesus connection.  I believe that when Jesus told the parable about Lazarus, He was speaking of Himself.  Just as the event of the death of Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha, was to illustrate His three days in the tomb, the Parable was to relate to how the Son of Man was rejected by the very Chosen of Israel.  As Lazarus suffered the sores of the flesh, Jesus suffered the sores of the sins of man.  As Lazarus was locked out of the home of the rich man (whom you notice is unnamed), Jesus was locked out of the Hearts of Man.  As Lazarus was rejected so was Jesus rejected.  That is why I wanted you to read the passage from Isaiah with this Parable from Luke.  And as Lazarus is carried to the Bosom of Abraham, Jesus was Lifted up to the Heavens and sits with the Father.

 (to be continued)

 

Heaven

(sumitted by archshrk)

A sick man turned to his doctor as he was preparing to leave the examination room and said, “Doctor, I am afraid to die. Tell me what lies on the other side.”

Very quietly, the doctor said, “I don’t know.”

“You don’t know? You, a Christian man, do not know what is on the other side?”

The doctor was holding the handle of the door; on the other side came a sound of scratching and whining, and as he opened the door, a dog sprang into the room and leaped on him with an eager show of gladness. Turning to the patient, the doctor said, “Did you notice my dog? He’s never been in this room before. He didn’t know what was inside. He knew nothing except that his master was here, and when the door opened, he sprang in without fear. I know little of what is on the other side of death, but I do know one thing…

I know my Master is there and that is enough.”

Why I write, who I am.

(This isn’t a new POST but I thought I’ld bring it up for the new readers to the site.)

I wasn’t going to do a bio. because I didn’t want to appear to be boasting. But the more I thought about it, the more I was convicted that unless you know the source, you would be wary to read what I had to write.

My name is Paul R. Shiras. I have a limited education having never completed even one year of College. I was raised in a devout Roman Catholic family but left ALL Christian thought at the age of nineteen in 1963. I cried when I left because I wanted to believe in a True God but because of the many wars, persecutions by Christians and the sense of failure of Jesus in changing the hearts of man, I was left with nothing.

I went searching and searching until I came to the logical conclusion that God’s wisdom prevails while man is the one who fails. So it is no wonder that since, I came to Christ that I fight to preserve the message of unity of Christ and argue against the squabbles of the churches. I became a member of a non-catholic church but for several years had no real relationship with Jesus.

Lazarus, the Rich Man, and the Bosom of Abraham (part 1)

Read Luke 16:19-31

I found three lessons in the parable of Lazarus and the rich man. The first is the lesson of the greed of the rich man and the failure to be concerned with the beggar at his door. the second is the fate of the poor, sick Lazarus and the reward of God. The third is the relationship of God (AKA Abraham) with both men.

In this lesson (part 1) I want to relate to the rich man and His greed and selfishness. It is because so many people of faith have fallen for the “prosperity gospel” that I feel that it is important that we be made aware that prosperity is not that God rewards us with material wealth as some teach today but that we prosper in the Word of God. It is not with money or property that we are to be rich, because those are things of the world and the flesh, but the things of the Spirit and the Glory of God.

Amos 6:1,5-9 reads: “Woe to those who are at ease in Zion, and to those who feel secure in the mountain of Samaria, the distinguished men of the foremost nations…Who improvise to the sound of the harp, and like David have composed for themselves, Who drink wine from sacrificial bowls while they anoint themselves with finest oils, yet have not grieved over the ruin of Joseph.”A clear call to those who are “comfortable’ in their walk and think that they are justified in acquiring vast wealth while at the same time, ignoring the plights of the world and thanking God they are not like the poor man in the back of the church. When John Wesley started to preach to the poor and the working masses, these self-righteous men of the church cast him out. They falsely believed that because they where rich, they were special to God and that the poor were sinners and deserved their fate. Jesus talked to the pharisees about the same thing, saying that their gift from their plenty was less to God than the meager offerings of the poor woman.

Return to Worship

I just finished reading a fine article in Dec. 24, 2007 issue of USNews & World report by Jay Tolson titled: “A Return to Tradition.” If you have not read it yet, go on line and do so. It is well worth your time.

While some may think that I regard traditional worship structure as confining, the opposite is really true. I savor the worship that is bible based and bible filled. I would welcome the chance to worship in the same way in every country that I would chance to be in. In the “Old days,” mass in America was the same as mass in Africa, Japan or France. I could take my Missal to a Spanish church and follow along because I could read the English to myself and still be fed by the Word.

As an Evangelical/Holiness Christian, I don’t like to guess as to whether or not there is any scripture in Worship or if it is just a bunch of Happy Songs. Maybe the Preacher will use a verse or two in their sermon. I’m not saying that is the case , mind you, but I have been in churches that made me wonder if they did know any scripture because I didn’t hear any while I was there. One of the goals of Wholeness is to recognize that Scripture must be used more extensively, so I welcome the tradition forms of Worship to expose the people to more of the Word and to teach them how to pray collectively.

What if Mary Said No?

What if Mary had said no to the angel? That question was asked the other night after a Christmas presentation. It gave me thought, what if she had said no? Where would we be today? As a world, nothing much would be different. America would probably be speaking Spanish or French because the English settled here for religious freedom while Spain and French for economic growth. England and France would have still had all their wars because they just love to fight all the time anyway. But other than that, I haven’t a clue of how the world would have evolved.

What I do know is that Mary would not have said no. Just as Samuel did not say no nor did Abram, Joseph, Moses, David, Daniel or any other people that God called. So now at this time a year we celebrate the Great “I WILL!” Because Mary said yes to God, we are able to say yes to Jesus. And as I listen to the carols and pray to the Heaven’s Son, I rejoice that a young girl was brave enough and strong enough to say Yes to God!

At this time a year, when so many temptations surround us, Be ready to say; “Yes, I will ” to Jesus. It is in the promise fulfilled that we can rejoice, we are able to sing Glory to God in the highest.

As most churches are closed on the morning of Christmas (Much to my dismay), most if not all have something going on Christmas Eve. Join with one of them this year as give praise to the King of Kings for His birth to mankind. Start your morning, not with present openings but with a prayer of Thanksgiving to the Father of Salvation, Reading John 1:1-18). Before you sit down to your breakfast, breakfast with God’s communion with us. And as you sit down to the christmas dinner, feast in the word of God, read the story of the birth (Luke 2:1-20).

And may all your Christmases be merry and bright. May the Joy of Salvation reign in your Life. May God’s blessings shower down on all who say “YES! to Jesus”.