4Jesus Outreach

Proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ.


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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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Abraham’s Moral Weakness

Abraham n Sarah 2Although Abraham distinguished himself in Bible history as a man of great faith, he was not without fault. Like all believers in the true and living God, he made some mistakes, which he had to repent of, and receive God’s forgiveness.

There was one occasion in particular when Abraham failed to trust in Yahovah God’s protection and took matters into his own hands. When his life was endangered, Abraham put his wife Sarah in a position to be sexually defiled by another man in order to save his own skin.

The incident occurs in Egypt where Abraham had to take his family to find food (Genesis 12:10-20). At the time, there was a grievous famine in the land of Canaan where Abraham lived, and he was forced to travel to Egypt which had plenty.

Sarah’s Beauty

Even at 65 years of age, Sarah was still a beautiful woman and Abraham became fearful that the Egyptians would murder him in order to take his wife (a habit not uncommon in the Middle East). Therefore, Abraham asked Sarah to lie for him and tell the Egyptians she was his sister.

“Say, I pray thee, you are my sister; that it may be well with me for your sake; and my soul shall live because of you.” – Genesis 12:13

Unfortunately, the king of Egypt himself (Pharaoh) took an interest in Sarah’s beauty and brought her into his harem of many wives. But before he could have sexual relations with her, God stepped in to correct Abraham’s mistake. He sent a plague on Pharaoh and his household. When Pharaoh realized what was happening – that he was under a curse, he called for Abraham and confronted him with his deceit.

“What is it you have done to me? Why didn’t you tell me she was your wife? Why did you say, ‘She is my sister’? so that I might have taken her [sexually] to be my wife?” Now therefore, here is your wife back; take her and go your way.” – Genesis 12:18-19

Abraham’s failure to trust God to deliver him out of any trouble and resort to dishonoring his own wife shows us that Abraham’s  faith  was not yet fully developed; he was still morally weak. However, Abraham did much better as he grew older and wiser in his latter years.  As a matter of fact, Abraham became known as the “Father of our faith” because of his overall exemplary accomplishments (Hebrews 11:8-12).

We can certainly relate to Abraham, when we examine our own lives.

How often have we made mistakes of our own? How many times have we made fools of ourselves for making wrong choices, or failing to trust God as we should? But despite these early setbacks, we can hopefully look back on our own lives and see how much better we are today than yesterday, by the grace of God. How much stronger is our faith today than it used to be, how we have spiritually grown since we first believed.

Praise be to God for never giving up on us; His mercies are new every morning (Lam. 3:22-23). Stop punishing yourself for the mistakes of the past, and keep looking forward to the glorious future that God has destined for you. Remember that Jesus our Lord, is the “author” and “finisher” of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). He will never give up on us until He has completed his work in us. It’s not how you start the race that matters most, but how you finish.

– Luis Josephus

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