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Rebuke a Wise Man

A Wise Man_jpg

“Do not correct a fool or he will hate you; correct a wise man and he will appreciate you.” – Proverbs 9:8

Do you love God? I’m sure you do.

Do you love your church pastor?
Ah, maybe you have to think about that question some more. You see, too many Christians do not fully recognize that their local church pastor  or elder is God’s representative and spiritual authority over your life. They have been given the responsibility to look after you…to teach you and disciple you and protect you from straying away from God’s flock or making mistakes that will hurt your relationship with Jesus Christ.

Your local church pastor is your overseer (1 Peter 5:12). His is the ruling shepherd in the church and is accountable to God for you under the “Chief Shepherd” Jesus Christ. Their job is to feed you the Word of God, guide you in your spiritual walk, and guard over your souls.

Loving Reproof

It is also a pastor’s job to correct you when you’re doing something wrong. Some believers don’t like this part of a pastor’s function, but it is a biblical fact. Reproof and rebuke is often necessary for all of us. When your pastor reproves you, don’t get angry at him or falsely accuse him of being unloving. If he cares enough to correct you, he is demonstrating the same love that God has for you:

“For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son [or daughter] He receives.” – Hebrews 12:6

The Greek word used here for “chastening” is paideia. It not only carries the nuances of “discipline,” “rebuke,” and “correction,” but also the positive connotation of “training” and “guiding instruction” by a loving parent to bring their son or daughter to mature adulthood.

When a pastor chastens us for something that needs to be corrected in our lives, we should do the right and wise thing and accept his correction with humility. We should recognize that He loves us and desires to see us achieve our fullest potential in Christ.

“Reprove not a fool, lest he hate you.” The fool, on the other hand, does not respond well to reproof or discipline. He faints when being rebuked and becomes angry and resentful towards his pastor or God. The fool is destined to never learn from his mistakes or reach any spiritual maturity. Some are so prideful they will actually leave the church when reproved and fall away from God.

”… rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.”

The wise Christian doesn’t get their feelings hurt when reproved by their pastor because he regards the Lord’s discipline as evidence of his pastor’s love and concern. He sees God’s grace and commitment to us as our Father in his actions.

” Now no chastening for the present seems to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them who are trained by it.” – Hebrews 12:11

When we receive correction from those in church authority – such as a pastor or elder, instead of getting mad, let us remember the admonition of Jesus who declared that whom He loves, He rebukes. Instead of sulking in self-pity, let us repent quickly and learn to love reproof.

” As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.“ – Revelation 3:19

– Luis Josephus

Logo_75 x 75_jpgLUIS JOSEPHUS MINISTRIES
www.LuisJosephus.com
EMAIL US

 


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God’s Blessing of Long Life

The Fruitful Tree

The Fruitful Tree

“With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” – Psalm 91:16

Have you ever wondered what’s the secret to a long life?

It’s more than eating healthy foods and exercising your body. It’s the same factor that helped Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and many of the Old Testament patriarch’s live long and fruitful lives. It’s the same factor that will help you too.

I recently did some research on the men that encouraged and mentored me in my career as an artist. I came across the online biography of one of these men. He was an older Jewish man who took the time to freely invite me over to his house once a month, to teach me how to develop my artistic skills. He and his wife were always very kind to me and I learned quite a lot from his professional advice.

Mr. Weiss was a busy and successful syndicated cartoonist who also had a mentally challenged autistic son to cope with. Yet despite his busy schedule and demanding family life, he always made time to help me when he could.

Many years have passed now and I feel such gratitude for this man for his generosity. I found out in his biography that he lived to the ripe old age of 98 years old! It was no coincidence that he lived a long life. I’m sure it was God’s blessing, among other reasons, for having such a compassionate and giving heart.

You see, when we love and honor God by our actions, that is, by reflecting His heart of love and compassion for others, our LORD takes into account our righteous deeds. He smiles down upon us from heaven and rewards us in many ways.

One such reward is the blessing of long life.

In Jewish tradition, length of days has always been considered to be the blessing for living a righteous life and honoring God. Living a long and fruitful life is what God desires for us all. Sadly, many people choose to ignore this fact and do not alter their self-destructive ways. They ignore God’s guidance and bring upon themselves trouble, unhappiness, sickness, pain, and premature death. It was never God’s intention that they experience such calamities, but it was their own wrong choices in life that brought about these consequences.

Be fruitful and multiply.

When God created our first parents, Adam and Eve, He created mankind to live forever in paradise. He planted them in the garden of Eden, where there was peace, happiness, bountiful food, health, and every need was taken care of. God Himself met with them in the cool of the afternoon* (Genesis 3:8).

Unfortunately, instead of trusting in God’s direction, they heeded the lies of Satan and ate of the forbidden fruit. As a result, sin and death entered into the world. They not only brought judgment upon themselves, but on the rest of mankind ever since.

Only Jesus can rescue us from this curse.

Despite their disobedience, God had mercy upon them and provided a way to redeem them and their descendents from the consequences of sin and death. Through faith in the vicarious sacrifice of Jesus the Messiah on the cross, we were freed from this curse. Jesus took the curse upon Himself for us and freed us to be happy and blessed once again.

But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.’ “ – Galatians 3:13

The day we invited Jesus to be our Savior and Lord, the curse of unhappiness, sickness, pain, and death was broken over our lives and now we can expect to live long and fruitful lives upon the earth.

Let us never forget.

But let us never forget where we came from. We must use this second chance of new life in Christ to avoid making the mistakes and poor choices of the past. By the grace of God we have been forgiven and set free of the old self and have put on the new self in Messiah Jesus. We have a new opportunity to fulfill the good plans God originally purposed for our lives.

As we endeavor to live according to God’s ways and pursue righteousness, God will satisfy us, among other things, with long and fruitful lives. We may not live to be 175 years old like Abraham, but we can expect to live to a ripe old age, full of peace, joy, and good health. We will enjoy the fruits of our labor to the fullest.

We are blessed with faithful Abraham.

Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: ‘All nations will be blessed through you.’ So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. “ – Galatians 3:7-9

As with Abraham – the father of our faith, we can expect God to bless our lives in every way and to finally die one day of “a good old age, an old man (or woman), and full of years” (Genesis 25:8).

The Scriptures also tell us that Abraham was “gathered to his people.” This Old Testament expression signifies more than his burial. It refers to a life well lived and the expectation of being reunited with our loved ones after death. Jesus, along with our departed family and friends in Messiah will be there to meet us upon our resurrection. He will welcome us and say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant; enter into the joy of the Lord” (Matthew 25:21).

– Luis Josephus

RealJesus Logo+75x75REAL JESUS MINISTRIES
www.RealJesus.net
EMAIL US

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* The natural connotation of Genesis 3:8 is that God was in the habit of meeting with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden each afternoon. Before they sinned, this passage suggests closeness and intimacy and fellowship with God. Although this was not the first time Adam and Eve heard God’s voice in the garden, this was the first time they hid themselves for fear of the sin they had committed.


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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

RealJesus Logo+75x75REAL JESUS MINISTRIES
www.RealJesus.net
RealJesusMinistries@gmail.com


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Fess Up When You Mess Up

Grace For Today“Fess up” is a modern phrasal verb that means “to admit that you have done something wrong.” In biblical terminology, it means “to confess your sin.” Even though we have been forgiven and saved by trusting on Jesus Christ, God understands that we still sin. That’s why He reminds us in 1 John 1:9:

 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

The precious, cleansing blood of Messiah Jesus our Savior is available to us, at any time, to cleanse us from all sin. All that God asks of us is to “confess” or “fess up” when we know we have sinned, once again, and missed the mark of God’s holy commandments.

Confession on our part helps us to recognize that we still struggle against the old sinful nature and how often we fall short of God’s standard of perfection. On a daily basis, confession also keeps us humble and dependent on God’s grace and mercy. Without regular confession, we have a tendency to become prideful and self-righteous. We may even become blind to our faults and self-deceived – like the Pharisee in Jesus’ parable (Luke 18:9-14). This pompous religionist looked down on other people and declared himself more righteous than the Publican because “he wasn’t an immoral person, fasted twice a week, and gave tithes of all he possessed.” Yet Jesus said he was still lost!

Only the Publican went home “justified” because he humbled and pleaded with God to forgive him – a sinner.

–         Pastor Luis Yosefus

REAL JESUS MINISTRIES
www.RealJesus.net
RealJesusMinistries@gmail.com

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Related Messages:
Get Over Past Failures
Prayers God Will Not Hear
God Be Merciful To Me A Sinner


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God Be Merciful To Me A Sinner

Grace For Today“And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.” – Luke 18:9-13

Without recognition of our sinfulness, we have a tendency to become prideful and self-righteous. We may even become self-deceived, like the Pharisee in Jesus’ parable (Luke 18:9-14). This pompous religionist looked down on other people and declared himself more righteous than the Publican because he wasn’t an immoral person, fasted twice a week, and gave tithes of all he possessed. Yet Jesus said he was still lost!

Notice Jesus said in verse 14 that only the Publican went home “justified” – forgiven by God and acquitted of his sins. The self-righteous Pharisee never got saved! He was obviously a religious man, fasted twice a week, and gave tithes of all he possessed. But his religion didn’t do him any good; he was trying to earn his salvation by his own efforts, not by faith in what Christ did for us on the cross. Despite his exceptional acts of piety and outward goodness, he thought he didn’t need the grace of God.

The Publican (i.e. Tax Collector) on the other hand, was deeply conscious of his sinfulness and guilt before God. In true FAITH, HUMILITY, and REPENTANCE, he pleaded with God to forgive him and be merciful.

The point of Jesus’ parable is that the Publican typifies the true child of God; one who continually recognizes his wretchedness and cries out for God’s amazing grace to sustain him. The assurance of his salvation is not based on his own good works, nor perfect obedience to God’s commandments, but on the certainty of God’s goodness and mercy towards all His children who abide in Jesus Christ and persevere in faith to the end.

–         Pastor Luis Yosefus

REAL JESUS MINISTRIES
www.RealJesus.net
RealJesusMinistries@gmail.com

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Related Messages:
Fess Up When You Mess Up
Get Over Past Failures
Prayers God Will Not Hear
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Comment from http://TheGospelOfGrace.Wordpress.com: “Amen. and Amen and Amen. I believed the publican justified after leaving the synagogue. I also believed next time the publican went to the synagogue He didn’t do the same thing again just like what he did the other time. Grace and peace.”



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Who’s responsible for Messiah’s death?

Jesus - The Sacrificial Lamb of God

Jesus – The Sacrificial Lamb of God

I have to admit I get a little bit annoyed when I hear people argue about who is responsible for the death of  Jesus the Messiah. Some blame Pontius Pilate and the Roman government – who executed Him by Crucifixion. Others, blame it on the Jewish religious leaders who accused Jesus (falsely, I may add). People can argue all they wish; the fact remains that if I hadn’t been a sinner, and if you hadn’t been a sinner, nobody could have put the Son of God to death. It was our sins that put the Messiah to death!

Jesus delared that He was laying down His life voluntarily:

The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life–only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” – John 10:17-18

The truth of the matter is, neither the Roman government, nor the Jewish religious leaders really had any power to take the Messiah’s life unless He was willing to be put to death. “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.”  He allowed them to do it because it was His mission at His first advent to die for our sins. At His second coming in the future, Jesus is going to rule and reign over the entire earth.

The innocent dies for the guilty.

The prophets long ago predicted that the Messiah would be the sin-bearer for His people:

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on Him (Jesus The Messiah) the iniquity of us all.” – Isaiah 53:6

When John the Baptist saw Jesus coming, he declared to all the people, “…Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” – John 1:29

Jesus Christ the Messiah was the Holy Lamb of God who was sacrificed in our place so that we would not have to pay the penalty for our sins. Yahovah God laid the iniquity of us all upon Him. The innocent had to die for the guilty. God loved us so much that He sent His only begotten Son to take our place on the cross. Yahovah God is a God of love and mercy, but He is also a God of justice. He could not allow our sins and iniquities to go unpunished. So He sent Jesus to suffer on our behalf.

“Messiah also once (and for all) suffered for our sins, the just (Jesus) for the unjust (that’s us)…” – 1 Peter 3:18.

He was the fulfillment of the Old Testament Passover Offering.

Many of the Old Testament offerings were simply types and shadows of what the Messiah would ultimately accomplish  on the cross. The innocent Passover Lamb which was sacrificed each year under the Old Testament sacrificial ordinances pointed to the sacrifice Jesus would make with His own body and blood in the New Testament.

Under the Old Covenant, the sinner had to bring a sacrificial animal to take his place. As the sinner put his hand on the animal to be slain he was designating this little animal was to be his substitute. The man was admitting that he deserved to die for his sins, but the little animal was instead taking his penalty. The animal would die a substitutionary death in the place of the offerer, and God’s justice would be satisfied.

That’s what Jesus did for us.

When you receive Jesus as your Saviour, you are admitting to God that you are a sinner, and that you can’t save yourself. You want to turn from your sins, make Jesus Lord of your life, and allow the Holy Spirit to transform you into the righteous man or woman that God created you to be.

Ask God’s forgiveness and receive Jesus as your Savior.

If you’ve never asked Jesus Christ to be your Savior and Lord, won’t you pray and ask Him today?

If you need someone to pray for you, email us your prayer requests: RealJesusMinistries@gmail.com

–         Pastor Luis Yosefus

REAL JESUS MINISTRIES
www.RealJesus.net


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Sinners In Need of a Physician

 

Sinners In Need of a Physician

Sinners In Need of a Physician

“But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be healthy need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go and learn what that means, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

– Matthew 9:12-13.

Modern day Pharisees in the Christian Church look down on other Christians that are not afraid of being criticized for rubbing shoulders with the outcasts of society in order to win them to saving faith in Jesus. When they see us conversing with blasphemers, witches, drug addicts, alcoholics, and sexually immoral people, they also ask the same question of us that they asked Jesus, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

Pharisaical* Christians are so arrogant in their own personal holiness that they forget they were once filthy sinners themselves. Only by God’s mercy were they forgiven, saved, and given a clean start in life. All Christians are what they are today because, some time ago, someone talked to us about Jesus. Even while we were spiritually dead in our trespasses and sins, God still loved us enough to draw us to repentance. He sent messengers into our lives to preach the Good News (Gospel) to us.

But Pharisees self-righteously criticize other brothers and sisters in the Messiah for being a friend to sinners. They forget that a sinner is not won to Jesus simply by the words you preach to them, but also by the love of God you show to them.

The love of God is best demonstrated by accepting a sinner just as they are, without becoming part of their sinful ways. They need to know you are their friend – despite the vast differences between you and them in moral standards and lifestyle.

By His example, Jesus taught us that having fellowship with sinners is not a sin; it is the will of God who desires that all men be saved. To paraphrase Matthew 9:12, “Those who have need of spiritual healing are not those who are healthy, but those who are sick with sin.”

Like Jesus pointed out, we are to liken ourselves to a physician who goes where there is genuine need. It would be absurd for a doctor to refuse to treat the sick.

– Pastor Luis Yosefus

* Marked by hypocritical censorious self-righteousness – Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

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