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Good Enough 03


Good Enough 03


"When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not." Luke 8:28

There may be some things in life which we don't have to deal with, but Jesus Christ is not one of them! Here a demon had to face the one he really didn't want to face. Even the devil has to make up his mind about what he is going to do with Jesus. It was clear from the beginning that Satan wanted to kill Jesus, and he and a lot of others tried; and more, are still trying today. But Jesus laid down His own life at His Father's beckoning and died on Calvary's cross to pay in full the sin debt for all His people. Three days later he rose from the grave to seal God's acceptance of His redemptive work for us. Forty days after that He ascended back to the Father and is seated on His right side today making intercession for us. Even as I write this newsletter, Jesus is alive and is aware of what's going on in the world, the state of Georgia, Statesboro, Statesboro Primitive Baptist Church, your workplace, your family, and in your heart. Therefore, the question "What are you going to do with Jesus?," is a very valid one indeed.

What you do with Jesus is the most important thing about you really. Just think, Jesus took your place on that cross; he suffered much pain and agony because of spikes being driven in His hands, barbed ended whippings, slaps to His face, dehydration and suffocation and on top of all that hurt, the grief of being forsaken by His Holy Father. Yet, Jesus did that because He loved you and knew that would be what it took to get you to Heaven and immortal glory. Because Jesus is our Redeemer, our Saviour, and is alive today, the question "What are you going to do with Jesus?" has substance and is weighty. He is our only way to God and His kingdom. Jesus is that light of the world, the bread of life, the spring of living water and the word incarnate. Jesus knows what even a little sparrow is doing and much more so, He knows what we are doing with Him.

The fact is we have to do something with Jesus because He has done something to us. We have been quickened, made spiritually alive, so our new creation nature has a special affinity for holiness and a subtle hatred for sin. Besides, Jesus is omnipresent, we can't run or hide from Him.

"Whither shall I go from thy spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence?" Psalm 139:7

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If I don't want to hear Nancy Pelosi, or even President Donald Trump, I can turn the T.V. off. If I don't like a certain movie or T.V. program, I can change the channel, but I can't do that with Jesus. He is on every channel. What's really great is that, unlike the demon, instead of tormenting us, Jesus blesses us. His imputed righteousness is assurance that though we were once children of wrath, we are now children of the King of the universe. Yes, Jesus has put us in a position to bless us, so the more we have to do with Him the better, and more abundant the life of grace.

What we do with Jesus is not a prerequisite to be saved however. God does not ask our permission to save us. He just writes His law on our hearts, lays the conviction of our sins on us and then gives us faith, which opens our spiritual eyes and unstops our knotted natural ears so that we realize we do indeed have a Saviour and His name is Jesus. Oh happy day when we are delivered from the burden and bondage of sin! We no longer stumble in the darkness, but have The Light Of The World. We no longer are satisfied with the dainties of the world because we have the bread of life. We no longer crave the trickling streams of human approval and attention because we have found the ever flowing fountain of Holy Water.

Jesus is just flat good to us and it's a real tragic shame we don't do more with Him than we do. Really, we can't do anything worthwhile without Him. Still, even though we are part of His family, we can easily miss His fellowship, even though it's unintentional. Mary and Joseph should have thought about what they were going to do with Jesus as they left the temple in Jerusalem.

"But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought Him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him." Luke 2: 44-45

It is noteworthy to consider that even though they had gone only a day's journey before realizing Jesus was not with them, it took three days to get back to Him.

"And it came to pass that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them and asking them questions." Luke 2:46

Could it be that if we lose our focus on Jesus, and finally realize it; (and we surely will since He is our Saviour) it will take three times the effort and time to get back on track with our Lord?

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Life can be overwhelming at times, pulling us in more directions that we want or can go. But amidst our problems or prosperities, the key to spiritual health and witness stability is remembering to stay close to Jesus. When our girls were growing up, we sometimes went to the beach in the summer. You would think a good book with a chair in the sand on the shore would be a great place to relax. But when your children are playing in the surf, your "good read" concentration is broken by glances toward your little ones with warnings and instructions not to get too far from shore. The undertow and tidal flow can result in drifting away from the safety ofsolid ground. Jesus is the shore and the rock solid ground of our lives. Ignoring His words and forgetting the preciousness of His presence means troubled waters and being up the creek without a paddle! Those waves at the beach are like days of our lives. They constantly change because we never know what a day may bring. It's even more important that we hold on to the one who never changes and who loves us to the end. That re minds me of how a Gulfstream deep sea fishing trip was interrupted with sea sickness. Everybody seemed to be having fun but me. If only I could have focused on something that wasn't moving, I would have found relief. Man, was I glad to get back to shore. Maybe our Christian practical theme for each day should be "What are you going to do with Jesus?" rather than "What would Jesus do?" Jesus is the one we must look to when the waves of this life bring motion sickness and soul storms. There is a Christian song that has a line that says, "In the morning when I rise, give me Jesus." Now every believer can sing that tune, but the dance of life is only exhibited by what we do with Jesus when we have Him. Make a divine day planner centered on "What are you going to do with Jesus?"

Now, there are some things you can't do with Jesus. You cannot lie, steal, or cheat with Jesus. If you do those things, you are on your own. Well, maybe you will have the devil as a sidekick. Consider a few things though we can do with Jesus. Remember, "only one life, soon will be passed, only what's done for Jesus will last."

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"For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall." Psalm 18:29.

Having Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour is energizing! Knowing all of our sins are forgiven and that God is not angry with us results in pure joy! No wonder God tells us to rejoice in all things. The opportunity and privilege we have in serving our Lord makes even our trials and heartbreaks worth jumping into. Jesus will never, ever leave us and that means by His grace and power we can bounce back from any failure. General Douglas MacArthur said that success was measured by how high one bounces after hitting bottom. Christianity today is not for slow pokes, not for timid truth trumpeters, nor "flat tire" repenters. (Flat tire repenters are those who repent without obedience). The resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ is our platform to leap into service rather than linger in laziness. Joshua and Caleb were leapers when it came to possessing the promised land. They were not so concerned about what they were going to do with the giants or other obstacles in the area. Their courage and confidence prevailed because they knew that what they were going to do was going to be done with God.

Leaping for Jesus is like the reflex that happens when someone taps your knee causing your leg to move. Because God loved us first, it follows that we must love Him. It's like night following the day; it has to happen. The Bible gives the account of baby John the Baptist leaping in his mother's womb when Elizabeth and Mary met.

"And it came to pass, that when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost." Luke 1:41.

So, when we approach each day, each task, each opportunity of life with the mindset "What are you going to do with Jesus?," it implies that whatever we do we are going to do with all our might. When that happens, God is glorified and we are satisfied

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Not Lack

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"For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall." Psalm 18:29.

I once saw a painting of an old poverty stricken man sitting at a table alone bowing his head over a plate of a small portion of bread and saying "All this and Jesus too!" Once we face the reality of life with Jesus we will never come up short. I have talked to several people who have lived through the depression of the 1930's and they all told me they never remember going hungry. Jesus is the bread of life and He is more to be desired than our necessary food. Even though God doesn't provide us a menu, He knows what's good nourishment and soul food. God is enough! That's a tough lesson for us earth dwellers though. The Old and New Testament scriptures spend a lot of space telling about the adequacy of Almighty God. It is what's in the white spaces between the sentences though that test our sincerity of doing life with Jesus. The white spaces are faith places where the seeds of trusting God sprout and grow. The wilderness Israel trekked would have meant instant starvation unless the Lord provided for their lack. Manna though was not on the Jewish menu, yet provided a table in the wilderness. That provision was day by day, one day at a time, and His providing for our lack still works the same today.

Whether it's preaching, planting, planning, or pickling, when it's done with the goal of exalting the Lord Jesus Christ, there won't be any lack. Leave Jesus out and you will come up short every time. Why, our very prayers are connected to God by Jesus' name; and, our good works are worthless unless Jesus provides the main ingredient of grace. The Puritans said that even the tears of repentance must be washed in the Saviour's blood. Life in Christ is not just barely making it either. Our Lord Jesus Christ said that He came not only so that we would have life, but that we would have abundant life. Whatever we do, when we do it with Jesus, it's exciting!

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Not Lack

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"And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word." Luke 10:39.

I recently read a devotional which cited a study released by Harvard scientists demonstrating how meditation helps "fight the crippling high stress levels we experience during our busy lives." That study went on to say that meditation can change the physiology of a person's brain. The study though, wasn't referring to Biblical meditation but human or academic based techniques. Just think how much better the scores would have been had the participants thought about scripture! Jesus later said that Mary had chosen the right part and that it would be a lasting benefit. Remember Martha, her sister was also a woman of faith but she was so busy, she didn't take the time to listen to Jesus though he was in her very home. Sometimes we hear God's word but we don't listen to it. Doing with Jesus means listening to Him. It means after reading the Bible we ponder what we've read. Taking Jesus with us means we mull over His word as we drive, shower, exercise, walk, work or rest.

"But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night." Psalm 1:2.

Several years ago in my forestry life, I had recorded on a voice recorder timber cruise data and was replaying the recorded data collected from the woods. As I sat in my office tallying the trees from the recorder on paper for computation, I heard birds singing. Now, I didn't remember hearing those birds when I was doing the work. The reason was I was too busy, maybe too hot from the July sun or thinking how much profit there was or wasn't in that job. Surely we should listen to Jesus, and if we are too busy to do that then we just might have too much business. And, we should listen to others at times as well. In fact if we are not listening to others, most likely before long we won't be listening to God either. What all Christians are listening for and should hear when we face every day with the question "What are you going to do with Jesus?" is "well done thou good and faithful servant." Sometimes we need to perk our ears to what is not being said. In the lesson on the talents in Matthew twenty-five it wasn't the amount of the talents the Lord was noticing, it was the risk of sacrifice for promoting the kingdom of righteousness. The two servants who pleased their master did so because they viewed their talents not as their own, but as the master's. It wasn't so much what they did with their talents, as it was what they did with Jesus.

Brother Randy

Goe is Speaking


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