4Jesus Outreach

Proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ.


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God Can Clean Up Your Mess

And the winner is...you!

And the winner is…you!

Being confident of this, that He [God himself] who began a good work in you, will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 1:6

“He will keep you firm to the very end, so that you will be free from all blame on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns.” – 1 Corinthians 1:8

Both the Old and the New Testament teach that election and salvation is a sovereign work of God’s grace. God is the One who chooses us, God is the One who gives us faith to believe, God is the one who does the work of regeneration, and it is God who preserves us to the very end of our lives. True Christians patiently look forward to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and they will trust in His promises until they are fulfilled. Those that have this hope will be blameless in the day of Christ, made so by the rich and free grace of God.

Christians are distinguished from the profane and the atheists, that they have been chosen of God, and they have chosen to follow God.

Since God chose us from the foundations of the world, He didn’t wait for us to “clean up our act,” so to speak. He knew, in advance, what a mess we would make of our lives in many cases. Yet, God overlooked our sinful condition before coming to Christ foreknowing what a glorious transformation we would make one day. He also saw all sinful blunders we would commit – even after coming to Christ – as part of the process of transformation. Praise be to God that our Heavenly Father, continues to love us and patiently work with us despite ourselves, and the many, many times we fall short of perfection.

Why? Because He foreknew that we would eventually experience complete regeration and Christ-likeness. He keeps His eye on the big picture. He saw ahead of time, the beautiful masterpiece our lives would turn out to be.

Because He is the author of our book, He knows exactly how our story will end. He has already written the last chapter and it is thrilling! Surprisingly, it does have a happy ending. He has promised it will be a best seller among the saints and angels in heaven.

I can rest assured of my salvation.

“We love Him, because He first loved us..” – 1 John 4:19

I can rest in the assurance that God doesn’t make mistakes. Because our Heavenly Father chose us and loved us before we were able to love Him back, He saw the winner in us, not the loser.

I’m also glad that He gave me a free will. He gave me the ability to choose who I want to spend eternity with. I’m glad that my Heavenly Father didn’t make that choice for me; He wants us to choose Him of our own volition. He wants children that voluntarily love Him and want to be with Him in heaven. He does not want slaves who involuntarily give Him lip service. Everyone in heaven, and throughout eternity, will be present with God because they voluntarily chose to be there.

But right now, I have to admit, that sometimes my life is still a little messy. I’m not happy about it; I wish I could do better. I want to live in a manner that is pleasing to my Heavenly Father and make Him proud of me. But regardless of how messy it becomes at times, I’m not anxious about my eternal future. I am confident that despite the temporal setbacks, I am slowly being transformed into the image of Christ – holy and blameless. The inward man is being renewed day-by-day (2 Corinthians 4:16).

Beloved, we are the sons and daughters of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that when Christ shall appear again, we shall be like Him. Praise be to God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us in heavenly places with all spiritual blessings.

Let us always remember that no matter how messy it’s been in the past, we have a glorious future ahead of us!

– Luis Josephus

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God Chooses Winners

winner

And the winner is… You!

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.  For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us for adoption to Sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will…” – Ephesians 1:3-6

Isn’t it reassuring to know that God personally chose us before He laid the foundations of this world – billions of years ago?

Most Christians will readily affirm that our salvation is by grace through faith in what Jesus the Messiah accomplished for us on the cross. They may even be able to quote Ephesians 2:8-9 from memory, and equally affirm that we are not saved by our own good works, lest anyone of us have opportunity to take credit for our own salvation. But what most believers fail to understand is the concept of God’s sovereignty in the matter of election. In theological terms it is called Predestination.

The fact is, none of us would be saved today if God Himself had not chosen us long ago to salvation. Jesus Himself validated this truth when He said, “For no one can come to me unless [God] the Father draws them to me…” (John 6:44). Both the Old and the New Testament teach that election and salvation is a sovereign work of God’s grace. God is the One who chooses us, God is the One who gives us faith to believe, God is the one who does the work of regeneration, and it is God who sustains us to the very end of our lives.

Because of my Armenian theological background, I used to have a problem with this.

I used to wrestle with the issue of salvation and man’s free will. I once believed that Free Will Theology and God’s election were incompatible. Then one day, I heard a well-known theologian explain it in a way I could understand and agree with. I realized that man could have a free will, and I could still believe in the sovereignty of God with regards to election and salvation. The answer lies in understanding God’s foreknowledge (1). The apostle Paul describes this concept in Romans 8:28-30:

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.  And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.”

Notice that Paul says that whom God foreknew He predestined and called to salvation. Since God is all knowing, He knew ahead of time who would choose to accept His free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. In other words, He could see into the future – from the foundation of this world, who would make the decision, out of their own free will, to be saved. He knew beforehand who the winners were, and who the losers were, so to speak.

Take the Lottery, for example. I don’t gamble, but I know many Christians who have a weakness for this vice. If you could know ahead of time which numbers would win and which would lose, why would you bet on the losing numbers? That’s how God’s foreknowledge works. He knew in advance that you and I would choose Jesus Christ and become His winners. And because we are the winners – and not the losers, He chose us and predestined us to justification and glorification. Our eternal security is assured, because God doesn’t pick losers, but winners.

The God of this universe chose us from the foundation of this world to be adopted into His family and become His beloved sons and daughters. He has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus! How wonderful is that?

– Luis Josephus

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1. In his omniscience and foreknowledge, God knows what the future holds both for individuals and for nations. He knows and sees everything in advance and his will is carried out in accord with his plans and purposes. In the Old Testament God’s foreknowledge is usually represented by the verb yada is the normal verb for “know.” In the New Testament the main verbs are proginosko, “to know in advance, ” and proorao, “to see what is ahead.” Foreknowledge is closely connected to election and predestination and to God’s sovereign rule of his universe. – Bakers Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology


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Except You Abide in the Vine

“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can you, except you abide in Me.” – John 15:4

In the parable (allegory) of the vine tree, Jesus compares Himself to the “True Vine” because when we come to salvation, we are spiritually born again and given a special position as a branch on the Tree of life, which is Jesus the Messiah. He alone is the only Savior that can give us eternal life; all others are false prophets and false religions.

God the Father, on the other hand, is the “husbandman” (the farmer) that cultivates us as branches on the vine and tends to our care. He waters us every day, prunes our twigs, trims our leaves, and makes sure we are receiving the right amount of sunshine and nutrients from the ground.

But Jesus reminds us that unless we continue to abide in Him, we cannot bear good fruit or flourish as one of His branches, since a branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless we abide in the source of nourishment – the tree.

To abide comes from the original Greek word, menō, which means: to remain, continue, abide or live in. If the branch is broken, snapped or disconnected in any way from the vine or tree, the life-giving support cannot continue to flow. Without the tree’s nourishment, the branch will eventually wither and die. Likewise, the life of Christ can only continue to flow in us as long as we abide in Him by:

  • Studying the Word of God daily, keeping it continually in our hearts and minds, and letting it guide our lives.
  • Maintaining the habit of prayer and communion with the Holy Spirit in order to draw new and fresh strength from Him.
  • Obeying God’s commandments and endeavoring to live pleasing to Him.
  • Attending church regularly and loving the fellowship of the brethren.
  • Witnessing for Jesus everywhere we go and helping to bring lost souls to salvation.

We will continue to abide in Christ if we follow the above guidelines. As we do, we will also continue to bear the kind of good fruit He desires from us as His disciples and remain eternally secure in our salvation.

“I am the vine, you are the branches; he that abideth in Me, and I in him,” Jesus said, “the same brings forth much fruit [not some fruit, but much fruit]. For with Me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5

– Luis Josephus

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Comment from Donna: “This morning I was thinking about being grafted into the vine and what it means. I was thinking of the fact that the power that flows from the vine to us is LOVE. It is his love that gives us life. That is what the two great commandments were all about: LOVE. It’s not about what we do, per say, it is about how we LOVE God first and then others. All the instructions that you gave for abiding in the vine can be summed up in: LOVE GOD, LOVE OTHERS. May the Lord truly bless you for your service to Christ!”

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Free Booklet, “Grace For Today.”

Grace For TodayOrder your free devotional booklet “Grace For Today” by Pastor Luis Yosefus which contains many more inspirational messages written to encourage your life and enhance your understanding of God’s Word. Simply email us your postal address and we will mail it to you free of charge at no obligation.