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Proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ.


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Actor Richard Gere goes undercover as homeless man

Richard Gere goes homeless

Actor Richard Gere recently went undercover as a homeless man in New York City (see photo). He learned firsthand how cruel and indifferent people can be towards the less fortunate.

A homeless woman came up to me the other day as I was leaving the local 7-Eleven. She asked me for a dollar to get something to eat. I didn’t give her any money, but I went back in and bought her a complete breakfast. I find this method works best because you’re not giving them money to buy drugs or alcohol. Afterwards, she asked me to pray for her. I did in Jesus’ name.

Let us follow Jesus’ example of compassion and mercy whenever we have opportunity to help someone in need, and use that opportunity to be a witness of God’s love.

– Luis Josephus

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Christian Mercy & Kindness

Mercy n Kindness

What did Jesus teach us about mercy and kindness?

In the Beatitudes He said, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy, God’s favor, and a life filled with joy and satisfaction.” – Matthew 5:7

He taught us to be merciful and kind towards others, no matter their station in life, their racial difference, or religious beliefs. The word merciful in the original Greek text means actively compassionate. Examine your motives: If you’re helping someone and expecting something in return, you’re doing business, not kindness.

As Christians, we must always remember that since we have obtained God’s mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ, shouldn’t we also extend the same grace to all we encounter in our lives everyday?

God wishes that none should perish, but that all should reach repentance and saving faith in Jesus. We are His ambassadors. One of the best ways we can best draw people to the true and living God is to show mercy and compassion in practical ways – like feeding and clothing the poor, encouraging the hurting, lending a hand to the needy, or offering some other act of kindness – expecting nothing in return from them.

Those Christians who are the most effective witnesses for Christ are those who not only witness in word, but also in action and good deeds.

Pray and ask Jesus to give you opportunities today to be merciful and kind to everyone you meet. In turn, you will receive God’s favor, and a life filled with joy and satisfaction.

– Luis Josephus

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God’s In-Box

Spirit-Lifting Thoughts for Today_150 x 150_jpg“All whom My Father gives (entrusts) to Me will come to Me; and the one who comes to Me I will most certainly not cast out [I will never, no never, reject one of them who comes to Me].” – John 6:37 (Amp)

Most mornings after I pray and have a cup of coffee, I log-on to my laptop computer and check my email messages. I start hitting the “Delete” button, trying to clean-out the dozens of messages I don’t have the time, or desire to read. Messages like those from scam ministries asking for money, or advertisers attempting to sell me cheap watches or fabulous vacations in Tobingo – all kinds of “Junk Email” that clutters my email box every day.

Recently, I wondered how God handles all the email He gets. If He had an email address, that is, it might be something like: “OneTrueGod@gmail.com.” Would He read every email He received? Or, would He delete many of them without opening, like I do? Actually, I believe He would read every single one! Here’s why: I believe our God loves to hear from us anytime we want to talk with Him. And He doesn’t get bored with us like other people do. He enjoys every conversation we have with Him. He is never too busy to listen to us when we visit with Him in prayer.

Gods In Box_jpgIn fact, He tells us to pray unceasingly.

God loves us so much that when we honestly let him know about what’s going on in our lives – our needs, feelings, hurts, and even complaints, we always have His full attention. God is the most compassionate and best friend we will ever have. We can talk to Him about anything. He will never be judgmental or criticize us for what we say, or for expressing our feelings no matter how dumb. He has promised to “be there” for us any time of the day or night, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.

“…casting all your care(s) upon Him, for He cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:7

So next time you need to talk with someone, talk with God first.

Prayer is the best (IM) Instant Messenger – better than chatting on Google or Facebook. You can chat with God without needing a computer or Internet service. He is always ready to listen, and your message will never be deleted from His In-Box.

P R A Y E R

Heavenly Father, I thank You for your unfailing love and concern for me. I thank You that I can come to You in prayer with all my needs, feelings, hurts, and complaints, 24/7. You will always be glad to hear from me. And as I cast all my cares upon You, You will care for me, understand me, and give me the right advice. I can always come before Your throne room of grace and receive mercy and compassion in my time of need. I bless You and praise You today. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

–         Luis Josephus

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Proclaiming the good news gospel of Jesus the Messiah to all nations.
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Struggling Faith

Grace For Today“When however they persisted with their accusations, He [Jesus] raised His head and said to them, “Let the sinless man among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” – John 8:7

Many people are quick to criticize and judge others who fall into sin or fail to live up to their standards of perfection.  But the truth of the matter is, none of us are perfect – no matter how much we say we love God or try to keep His commandments.

The Bible tells us that we are “saved by grace through  faith” in the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross on our behalf. We must remember that, even after we are saved and spiritually born again, we are still far from being perfect. We are all a “work-in-progress” for the rest of our lives. We will still commit mistakes and sin everyday, make wrong moral choices, and fail to live up to the righteous expectations of our holy God. We even have days that our faith is weak and wonder if we are really saved at all.

But does that make us phonies? Or does anyone else have the right to judge us or question our salvation? Not at all! Even Abraham, who is considered the “father of our faith” struggled with his faith and made wrong moral choices.

In Genesis 12:10-20, we are disappointed to learn that Abram, a great man of faith, was also a man of moral weakness. At 65 years of age, Abram took his family to Egypt. Because he feared for his life, he sold his beautiful wife Sarai into adultery with the Pharaoh of Egypt. He lied about Sarai being his sister and permitted her to become the sexual plaything of the King. Fortunately God intervened before Sarai was defiled and struck Pharaoh and all his other wives and family with disease.

When Abram’s deception was exposed, Pharaoh was mad. He declared, “Why didn’t you tell me she was your wife? Why did you lie to me and say, ‘She is my sister.’?” Ashamed and humiliated, Abram, Sarai and their entire clan were expelled from Egypt.

Abram’s character weakness and failure to trust God to protect him and deliver him out of any danger shows that, this great man of faith, still had “issues”. His faith still faltered at times, and his personal works did not line up with the religion he professed.

Does that sound familiar?

I think many of us can relate to that story. I know I can. I think many of us will admit we have done things that we regret and that has brought shame to the name of Christ. When we sin and make mistakes, don’t give up; God is very forgiving, merciful and patient with us. Confess your sins to Him and promise to do better. When you fall, pick yourself up and get back in the race. Keep pressing on towards the finish line and you will ultimately win the prize.

FAITH STEP

Memorize the verse: “If we confess our sins,[to God] He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Remember that Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. The good work He has started in us will be completed one day. Don’t ever give up on God – no matter what. He will never leave us or abandon us.

PRAYER

Dear heavenly Father, I thank you for your great mercy, forgiveness and compassion. Please forgive me of my sins today. I confess that I am weak and make mistakes. Strengthen me more and more each day and help me to live up to your holy standards. Thank you for Jesus who paid the penalty for my sins on the cross. In Jesus name I pray, amen.

– Pastor Luis Yosefus

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The Woman Caught in Adultery

John 8:4-11

John 8:4-11

“When I came to the Lord I was a stripper,” says the woman in the video below. But when she tried to learn more about God and started attending a local church, she was ostracized and condemned. Instead of receiving help, love and acceptance from Christian people, they gave her dirty looks and rejected her.

The religious scribes and Pharisees once brought a woman caught in adultery to Jesus. Apparently, she was having sexual intercourse with a married man, or perhaps she herself was married and cheating on her husband. When the religious people caught her, they immediately brought her to Jesus and asked Him what they should do with her. According to the Old Testament Law, she deserved to be killed by stoning. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear their question. When they asked Him again and pressed Him for an answer, Jesus said, “He who is without sin among you, let Him cast the first stone.” (John 8:4-11)

Everyone thought about it, and realized that no one there was without sin. Therefore, they really had no business condemning the woman to death when they themselves were guilty of probably worse sins. So being convicted by their consciences and hypocritical attitudes, they slowly left the scene, one by one. Finally Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are your accusers? Has no one condemned you?” Still feeling ashamed, she said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”

The gospel of grace saves.

In this incident, Jesus was demonstrating the love and grace of God in wanting to save sinners – not condemn them. He also stated elsewhere:

For God did not send His Son [Jesus Christ] into the world to condemn the world – to judge, reject, and pass judgment on; but that sinful, lost people through Him might find salvation and deliverance from sin.” – John 3:17 (JCV)

We Christians need to preach the same gospel that Jesus preached. The Good News gospel of Jesus Christ is, first and foremost, a message of hope; that God is willing to forgive us of our sins. He understands our weaknesses and faults, and wants to give us opportunity and supernatural power to change (grace).

In the above example, Jesus never approves of the woman’s sexual sins, but he doesn’t condemn her either. He told her, “Go and sin no more.” He forgave her and advised her to stop sinning. We Christians need to do likewise. Whether we are witnessing to a woman who makes a living dancing naked in front of men in a bar, or a man with homosexual tendencies, or a drug addict or alcoholic, our first priority is to preach  the love and forgiveness of God who sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for their sins. God might hate the sinful way they’re living, but He still loves the sinner. God’s purpose is always to have compassion on the sinner bound by sin, and is willing to deliver them from their sinful bondages. His message is one of restoration and liberty to live a new life.

For God so loved the world

I believe John 3:16 is the Good News gospel in a nutshell. God loves us sinners so much that He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the penalty for our sins, so that we could be forgiven, healed of our corrupt natures, and restored to fellowship with our Holy God.

For too long, the Christian church has been preaching the message of Jonathan Edwards, “Sinners in the hands of an angry God.” Instead, it should be preaching the true message of Jesus Christ, “Sinners in the arms of a loving, compassionate, and forgiving God.” This message makes the religious hypocrites fighting mad, that’s why they wanted to kill Jesus for preaching that He came to save sinners — not condemn them.

Let us pray and ask God to help us overcome our judgmental attitudes, and from being so critical of others. Let us learn to be more loving and accepting of people who may still be struggling with carnal sins, and be open and willing to forgive and help them. We must remember that, if God is patient and forgiving towards us, shouldn’t we also practice the same?

–         Pastor Luis Yosefus

PRAYER:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for reminding me that You are, first and foremost, a God of love and compassion. Help me to avoid becoming like the judgmental, self-righteous Pharisees and scribes, and become more like Jesus – in my attitudes and treatment of others. Help me to be compassionate and forgiving, as You are with me. Help me to stop preaching the gospel of condemnation, and instead preach the Good News of Your grace and salvation that Jesus originally proclaimed. Amen.

REAL JESUS MINISTRIES
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Click Here to: Learn more about Jesus | Submit Prayer Request | Support Our Ministry | Ask Pastor Luis a Question | Visit Our Bookstore

Thanks to brother Jeff Brown for sharing the following video:

See also: “Forgiving Eyes” by Michael Card
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=laPFkFnHGlM


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The Value of Encouragement

– TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE: “The right word spoken at the right time is as pleasing to hear, as gold apples in a silver bowl are beautiful to behold.” Proverbs 25:11 (JCV)

www.RealJesus.netWhen was the last time you had a bad day? Think about how worn out and frazzled around the edges you felt. Then someone came to you unexpectedly and gave you a word of encouragement. Or, maybe even prayed with you to receive extra grace and strength from God. Suddenly your spirit was lifted and you felt much better. You thanked your friend – and God, for sending them at the right moment to encourage you.

Not only do we need uplifting people around us when we’re down, but we also need to return the blessing by being an encouragement to others. In our busy world, we need to take the time to give other people a word of hope, agree with them in prayer, or simply lend a listening ear.

Self-centered people only care about having their own needs met. But as followers of Jesus we also need to be sensitive to the needs of others. Jesus teaches us that mercy and compassion will be shown to those who also show mercy and compassion to others. (Matthew 5:7) We must ask the Holy Spirit to teach us to speak the right words at the right time, whenever He sends someone across our path to encourage them and be their friend.

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Selah

Selah: A Hebrew word for “pause, and think about that.”Don’t hesitate to offer hospitality regardless of whether you are too tired, too busy, or not wealthy enough to entertain. Do not neglect to demonstrate the love of God when someone needs a place to stay, nourishing food, or simply a listening ear. “Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” – Romans 12:13

Jesus the Messiah also commanded us to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty and clothe the naked…” Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “ – Matthew 25:34-36.

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*Selah: A Hebrew word for “pause, and think about that.”