Your Heart – A Crusty Sponge?

Have ever considered the difference between a wet sponge and a dry sponge? A wet sponge can be used – its flexible and malleable. But a dry sponge is dull, hard, and crusty. Its useless.

My friend, when we refuse to forgive someone, our hearts becomes like that dried up sponge! Bitter and ugly. Many people spoil their lives by refusing to forgive. They limit how God can use them because they arent free from the burden of resentment.

Some even have physical or emotional breakdowns because bitterness consumes them. No matter how great is the trespass against us, we cannot afford to harbor resentment in our soul.

The Bible says, “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

If you know Jesus Christ today, you do not have to “muster up” the strength to forgive. You just need to pray and ask Gods Spirit to enable you to forgive. The Holy Spirit living in you is what makes forgiveness possible. By His power, forgive those who have wronged you and point them to Jesus Christ.

Differences and Similarities: Perspective

Christians arent perfect. Ill be the first to testify to that. But one benefit we have in Jesus Christ is the eternal perspective He offers us.

When stresses and problems come our way, as they do in everyones life, a believers reaction is significantly different from a nonbelievers. The defining difference is the perspective with which we approach these problems.

As frustrating and painful as people and circumstances may be, Christ-followers know that this world is not the be-all and end-all. We live today in light of eternity! Its a joyously free feeling to not be trapped by earthly burdens. We know that heaven is our true home.

This perspective is not something nonbelievers can understand. All they are living for is here and now. But the Bible says, “this world in its present form is passing away.”

There is so much more to life than the present! Wont you reach out and tell someone about the reason for your lack of fear and worry? Wont you tell someone what Jesus Christ has done for you?

Those in Prison

My wife and I know of a woman who visits girls in a juvenile detention center. Once a month, the girls in this home have free time to leave the campus with a family member or friend. But sadly, many of them have no one to go with. Their family and friends simply dont visit them.

So this woman asked ladies from her church to meet with the girls. Each woman takes one girl out for coffee, or to the mall, or on a walk. And they simply talk. One hour a month is all it takes to share Christs love with these young girls. Isnt that powerful?

Hebrews 13:3 tells us, “Remember those in prison, as if you were their fellow prisoners.”

Now, talk about getting out of our comfort zones! This is perhaps one of the hardest places to imagine sharing the Good News Gospel. But many of the inmates have hit bottom and are hungry for hope, forgiveness, and a fresh start. You can be the one to tell them that Jesus Christ offers new life to all who believe in His name!

Think about some ways you can get alongside a prison ministry in your area. Perhaps you can mentor someone, or help lead a Bible study. As you let the Lord spiritually stretch you, Hell bring about amazing results in peoples lives – including your own!

Hell to Pay

I once had a gentleman ask me, “If I find another faith to believe in other than Christianity, will I really be punished like some people say?”

This is a tough question to answer, isnt it? One of the hardest things to tell people is that yes, there is hell to pay, for their sins. But thats exactly what we must share with others. Not in a judgmental kind of way, but with kindness and respect.

So I told this man, “Yes, if you turn down Jesus Christ, you will be punished. The Bible does warn us about the consequences of not following Jesus Christ.

Revelation chapter 20 says If anyones name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. We cant play games with God.”

You and I must remember that the Good News is so good because we dont get what we deserve, which is hell. Because of Jesus Christs death on the cross and His resurrection, we are free from eternal condemnation if we choose to believe in Him. The Good news is so wonderful because of what it frees us from, which is eternity without God!

Faith in Christ gives you a security and peace that you would never know otherwise — both now, and for eternity. Who in your world needs to hear this message?

Staring at Death

Michael was HIV positive when I met him. He told me he was “looking for some guidance,” as he put it. He was 31 years old, and the AIDS virus was really ravaging his body. Michael didnt have much time left to live, and he was in deep despair. “Where do I go from here?” he asked me.

I was so glad that I had the opportunity to talk with Michael. After I shared the Good News Gospel with him, I sensed that he was truly repentant of his lifestyle, and ready to make a decision for Jesus Christ. “Michael,” I said, “Have you ever surrendered your life to the Lord?” “No,” he replied. “But Id like to. Id like to come to peace.” I was so thrilled that Michael was ready to know God! We prayed together and Michael opened his heart to receive Jesus Christ. He was so relieved to be free from the fear of death, and could look forward to Heaven.

Jesus Christ said in John chapter 10, “I give you eternal life. You will never perish, and no one can snatch you out of my hands.” Often, people become open to the Lord in difficult times. Thats why we need to be ready to lovingly share the message of salvation with them. The Good News is that the Lord loves unconditionally. He longs to forgive, and give them eternal life.