4Jesus Outreach

Proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ.


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Rebuke a Wise Man

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“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

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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.


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Let God speak through you

Luis Josephus 1“Trust in the LORD (Jehovah) with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes… “ – Proverbs 3:5-7

Many times as I sit down to write these inspirational messages, I have no idea what I’m going to say. I study the Bible, pray and ask God to speak through me, and by faith the words begin to flow from my mind unto my computer.

Afterwards, people will hit the “Like” button or email me that the message touched their hearts and came to them “at just the right time.” I cannot take any credit for this since it was God who obviously directed the whole thing. He gave me my message, and placed it in the right place at the right time, for someone who needed to hear it.

God wants to use you too.

As you humbly make yourself available in God’s service (whatever area that may be), He too will direct your paths. Do not measure your success on how precisely you accomplished your task or how eloquently you delivered your speech, but by what God did through you. Simply pray and make yourself available for God’s anointing to rest upon you. He will do the rest.

God can do great and mighty things through the humblest person who trusts Him implicitly, and allows His divine Spirit to direct their paths.

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, I trust you completely with my life. Guide me everyday in the paths that I must follow, and use me to be a blessing to others. In Jesus’ name, amen.

–         Luis Josephus

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Divine Surprises

Spirit-Lifting Thoughts for Today_150 x 150_jpg“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the LORD.” –Isaiah 55:8

God’s blessings sometimes come to us in obvious ways, other times in not so obvious ways. Obvious ways would include personal health, happiness, and provision, the love of family and friendships, the enjoyment of art and music, the beauty of nature.

But did you know that God’s blessings also come in unexpected ways? I like to call them “Divine Surprises,” since you never anticipated them. Even difficulties and adverse circumstances are God’s blessings in disguise. He promises to make all things work together for our good (Romans 8:28).

We must not even hold on to our plans too tightly; our heavenly Father (who always does what’s best for us) may change things around a bit. He may surprise you with something better than you had planned! Trust Him implicitly.

PRAYER:

Dear heavenly Father, I thank you for every blessing in my life today – those that I expected, as well as those that I didn’t, for I know that Your ways are not always my ways, and You always do what is best for me. I trust You implicitly with my life, Lord. Continue to bless me and surprise me in any way you see fit in your perfect wisdom. In Jesus’ name I ask, amen.

– Luis Josephus

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Our Primary Purpose in Life

Spirit-Lifting Thoughts for Today_150 x 150_jpg“The people living in darkness have seen a great light…” – Matthew 4:16

One may be a pastor, evangelist, deacon, missionary, or business person, but if we are not striving to lead others to the light of Jesus Christ we are not doing the primary work that God has called us to do.

Most people living in the world today are living in darkness because they don’t know God. They may believe in God, but they really don’t know Him. Until a person is spiritually  “born again” he or she is lost (whether they realize it or not). They need to be told about Jesus; that He was the Great Light that came into this world to die on the cross for our sins.

Won’t you let God use you today to pray for those you know who need Jesus? There is no greater work for us to do than to help lead others to Christ. We may think we’re just this tiny little candle burning in the midst of great darkness, but God can still use us in a mighty way, if we allow Him.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, I thank you that You have brought me out of darkness and into Your kingdom of light through Jesus Christ. Help me to help others come to know Your salvation. Use me to shine the light of Jesus wherever I go and whatever I do. Amen.

– Luis Josephus

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Come and worship the LORD

This is my desire“All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; they will bring glory to your name.  For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God.” – Psalm 86:9-10

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A Cake in Honor of the King

Spirit-Lifting Thoughts for Today_150 x 150_jpg“The Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. “ – Isaiah 60:3

Creole people (descendents of the early French colonists) in the area of Louisiana, USA, have a tradition of baking a “King Cake” this time of year in January.  The King Cake is made in an oval shape from braided strands of Cinnamon dough and sprinkled with royal purple, gold and green. There is a very small baby figurine inserted somewhere in the cake. Whoever is served the slice with the baby inside is considered “the winner,” so to speak.

JNS.KingCakeThe baby is symbolic of the birth of Jesus in Jerusalem and the oval shape represents the circular journey the Wise Men took in finding Joseph, Mary, and Jesus in order to confuse evil Herod.  After they found the manger where Jesus was born, they honored the new King of the Jews and Messiah of the world with gifts of precious gold and spices.

Two thousand years later, we are still honoring King Jesus with our hearts, worship and service. You can also try baking a King Cake and inviting your friends and family to worship with you. The bakeries in New Orleans that sell them this time of year can have them shipped to you, too.

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, I thank you for revealing Yourself to us through Your Son, Jesus Christ (Messiah). Help me to honor You 365 days of the year and be Your instrument of service to bring others to the light of Your brightness and salvation. In Jesus’ name, amen.

–         Luis Josephus

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